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Unveiling the Mystery of the Happiest Country in the World

For the seventh consecutive year, Finland has been named the world’s happiest country according to the World Happiness Report, which was established in 2012 by the United Nations to promote sustainable development goals. In a survey where participants rated their lives on a scale from one to ten, Finland scored 7.7, securing its top spot. Scandinavian countries dominated the list while the United States and Germany fell out of the top 20.

Finland’s ambassador to Germany, Kai Sauer, attributes the country’s happiness to factors such as gender equality, trust in national institutions and citizens, and low corruption. One of these factors is that Finland was the first country in the world to grant women full rights to vote and run in parliamentary elections in 1906. Additionally, Helsinki was rated as one of the most honest cities by Reader’s Digest and Transparency International ranks Finland as one of the least corrupt countries after Denmark.

The Finnish government’s policies on education, healthcare and family support also contribute greatly to its citizens’ happiness levels. The Finnish education system is among the best globally and they offer universal healthcare. However, it is believed that Finns’ emphasis on sauna culture also plays a role in their contentment with approximately 3.5 million saunas nationwide – enough for one sauna per two residents – found in all government buildings and are an integral part of Finnish culture.

An exhibition titled “Die Sauna: Echt heiss – Echt finnisch.” sponsored by the Finnish embassy in Berlin celebrates this cultural tradition with photos, videos and an actual sauna available for visitors. The exhibition has been incredibly successful with all sessions fully booked. It highlights how Finland’s unique blend of societal factors including gender equality measures

By Samantha Jones

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