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No.1 U.K. Podcast Features Dr. Hilary Virtanen on the Meaning of Sisu

April 14, 2021

meaning of sisu with Dr. Hilary Virtanen- background of text is of Lake Superior after sunset

Most Finlandia students, faculty, and staff have heard the term sisu thrown around in conversations or even marketing materials on campus. The word is nothing new to FinnU, but in the United Kingdom, that may be otherwise. On April 14, FinnU professor of Finnish and Nordic studies, Dr. Hilary Virtanen, was featured in the No. 1 documentary podcast in the United Kingdom titled “Getting Emotional” about the meaning of sisu.

“If you talk about it [sisu] more thoroughly, it’s this kind of condition that kicks in during difficult situations,” said Dr. Virtanen. “It allows a person to navigate the situation with, what I would call tenacity, integrity and calm.”

The premise of the show is to discuss obscure emotions people feel but may not be aware there is a name for them. Dr. Virtanen discussed the meaning of sisu, instances in Finnish history when sisu was displayed, and how sisu has been a part of her life until this point.

Listen to the 14-minute episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts:

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