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APN Podcast: How to Make Friends and Influence People in Finland | Yle news

This week’s episode looks at finding Finnish friends.

Two dogs look into the camera against a snowy background.

The show teaches that you shouldn’t ignore the power of furry companions when it comes to meeting new people. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle, image editing for All Points North: Maija Keskisaari / Yle

Is it difficult to make friends in Finland? Previous research on this topic has shown that newcomers often report feelings of social isolation.

We explore different avenues to combat loneliness – from joining groups and activities to visiting the local dog park.

Listen to the episode via this embedded player, op Yle Areena, through Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Finding Finnish friends

Major changes and transitions in life often lead to circumstances in which people experience loneliness, according to HelsinkiMissio, a group dedicated to combating loneliness.

“When we have a friend or support person, we take it for granted. But when we lose one, we really know how it affects our health and well-being,” Maria Lähteenmäki from HelsinkiMissio narrated the show.

The group’s findings indicate that a tenth of the Finnish population experiences long-term loneliness, but that number rises to one in five among young foreign men, according to public health authority THL.

This week’s guests suggested harnessing the power of collective interests when it comes to making new friends. Mustering up the courage to go to meetings can create real connections.

“It’s not just for immigrants. There were a lot of local Finns who also feel very lonely and they really found their place here,” he explains. Alaa Altamimi from community group MIITTI, which carries out activities in Helsinki.

Joel Willans of the Very Finnish Problems franchise said he did not subscribe to the idea that it is particularly difficult to get to know people in Finland.

“All cities are quite small. So you can bump into someone and you can accidentally bump into them again on the street – that would never happen in London,” he said.

According to Willans, dogs can also improve your social life.

“The most shockingly easy way to meet people yet is to get a dog and go to a dog park – suddenly everyone is chatting to everyone else.”

Join the conversation!

This week’s show was presented by Miyuki Jokiranta And Zena Iovino. The sound engineer was Juha Hjelm.

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