How Finland embraced being 'world's happiest nation'

Once notorious for its bland food and long, harsh winters, Finland’s repeated success in the annual happiness rankings has helped transform the country’s global reputation, boosting tourism and business. The UN-sponsored World Happiness Report elicited some raised eyebrows when it first placed Finland at the top of its listings in 2018: many of the Nordic country’s 5.5 million people freely describe themselves as taciturn and prone to melancholy, and admit to eyeing public displays of joyfulness with suspicion. “When I first heard — and I’m not alone, I would say — I had a big laugh,” televi…

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