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芬兰人为何不认为自己最幸福快乐

更新时间:2018-6-26 20:45:34 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why the Finns don't want to be happy
芬兰人为何不认为自己最幸福快乐

A ballet dancer leaves her purse on a park bench. She walks away, absent-mindedly leaving behind the little bag with her money and belongings in it. Fifteen minutes later, she realises it’s missing. She does not panic; she does not get that sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. She knows it will be exactly where she left it, untouched. Sure enough, upon retracing her steps, she finds the purse and cheerfully picks it up.

一位芭蕾舞演员把钱包遗忘在公园的长凳上。她离开时,不留意地把这个装有钱和其他物品的小包落下了。15分钟之后,她发现钱包不见了,但她并不惊慌,心里也没有一丝不快。她知道钱包会原封不动地留在她丢失的那个地方。对此她深信不疑,往回走了没几步果然还在那儿,然后她开心地捡回了自己的钱包。

Riddle me this: If a ballet dancer is this lackadaisical about her belongings, where in the world does she live?

来猜个谜吧:如果一位芭蕾舞演员对自己的随身物品可以如此漫不经心,那么这位芭蕾舞演员应该是生活在世界哪个地方?

Finland. Minna Tervamäki lives in Finland.

答案是芬兰。明娜‧泰尔瓦迈基(Minna Tervamäki)生活在芬兰这个国家。

“I feel safe here. I feel for sure one of the main things people feel in Finland is safe,” said Tervamäki, who was nominated as the most positive person in Finland last year by a company called Positiivarit Oy, which make products to encourage positive thinking. “We trust each other.”

泰尔瓦迈基说,“我在这里很有安全感。我深信生活在芬兰的人感受最强的就是这个国家非常安全,我们彼此都非常信任”。 去年泰尔瓦迈基被芬兰一家叫“积极生活”(Positiivarit Oy )的公司提名竞争芬兰最积极正向人物之头衔。这家公司通过其产品来鼓励人们正向积极思考人生。

According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, based on research conducted by Gallup, Finland is the happiest country in the world. The Finns are not so sure about the result, though – being, as they are, a typically stoic sort of people.

2018年度世界幸福指数报告基于盖洛普(Gallup)的研究指出,芬兰是世界上最幸福快乐的国家。然而芬兰人对这一结果反而不敢苟同,因为芬兰人本身是典型的喜怒不形于色,坚韧克己的民族。

“Nordic people, and the Finns in particular, are emotionally introverted,” explained Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, an independent think tank in Denmark that studies happiness and wellbeing. “They rarely rank highly on expressions of joy or anger – they are very different in that way from people from Latin America, for example, who have a more exuberant emotional expression as a people. For [the Finns], happiness is more about living a reserved, balanced and resilient life.”

维京(Meik Wiking)是幸福研究所(Happiness Research Institute)的首席执行官,这个研究所是丹麦一所独立智库,专门研究人类幸福感和社会福祉。他说:“北欧人尤其是芬兰人性格非常内向。如果以表达喜悦和愤怒来排名,芬兰人排名则不会高——在这一点上他们和拉美人非常不同,比如说拉美人整体上的情感表达非常丰富。对芬兰人来说,幸福是一种有节制的、均衡的,以及不怨天尤人的生活。”

Tervamäki agrees, saying, “I have very contradictory feelings about the happiness survey. Finnish people read it and laugh, like ‘What? Us?’. What comes to my mind is that Finnish people are content more than happy.”

泰尔瓦迈基也同意这样的看法,她说,“我对于这个幸福调查的感受是很矛盾的。芬兰人看了这个调查会觉得好笑,比如他们会说‘什么?竟然是我们?’芬兰人心里觉得与其说自己很幸福,倒不如说自己很知足”。

The discrepancy comes from the fact that the happiness study is, paradoxically, not actually about our most coveted emotion: happiness. Professor Emeritus John Helliwell of the University of British Columbia, co-editor of the World Happiness Report, explains that measuring happiness is not an emotional study at all – in fact, it has a lot more to do with Tervamäki’s purse. It is, rather, a look at the quality of life around the world, and in those terms, Finland came out the strongest this year.

产生这样的差异是因为这项幸福研究本身有些矛盾,它实际上研究的并不是我们最渴望的情感:快乐。英属哥伦比亚大学(University of British Columbia)荣休教授哈利维尔(John Helliwell)是世界幸福报告的编辑之一。他解释说,衡量幸福并不是一项情感研究——实际关注的是有关泰尔瓦迈基丢失钱包这类的社会问题,确切地说它研究的是全世界各国人民的生活质素,从这些层面来看,芬兰今年的表现最为出色。

“The factors that contribute to quality of life are a healthy life expectancy and a strong GDP per capita,” Helliwell said. “But also things like being capable of looking after one another, having someone to count on in times of trouble, the freedom to make your own life decisions and personal support. It’s about trust and generosity, and Finland ranks very high in those. Nordic countries tend to have a flatter structure in their society, less inequality, and a better capacity to help the disadvantaged. All of these things would make them score higher on a test which asks them to rank their quality of life.”

哈利维尔说,有助于提高生活质素的因素包括较长的平均寿命和较高的人均国内生产总值(GDP per capita)。另外还有一些因素,比如说人们能够互相关照,遇到困难时有人可以依靠,可以自由地做出人生决定以及提供个人帮助。生活质素关乎社会的信任感和慷慨友善,芬兰在这些方面排名很高。北欧国家的社会结构趋向扁平化,社会中的不平等较少,人们能够给予弱势群体更多帮助。所有这些都让北欧国家在一项评估生活质素高低的测验中获得高分。

Dr Frank Martela, a researcher in social psychology at the University of Helsinki, agrees. “Trust is a big thing here. People want to see themselves as trustworthy. If you drop your wallet on the street, you can be quite sure you get it back – usually with the money still inside. Reader’s Digest actually tested this once. Of all the cities they studied, most wallets were returned in Helsinki. No wonder then, that of all European countries, trust in strangers is highest in Finland.”

马尔代拉(Martela)博士是赫尔辛基大学(University of Helsinki)社会心理学研究员,他同意这样的看法。他说,”在这里信任很重要。人们希望自己是值得信赖的。如果你把钱包丢在街上,你非常确定能够再找回来——而且钱包里的钱通常会原封未动。读者文摘(Reader's Digest)真的做过一次掉钱包的测试。在测试过的所有城市中,钱包物归原主最多的城市是赫尔辛基。在所有欧洲国家里面,陌生人之间信任度最高的无疑是芬兰“。

This year, for the first time, the World Happiness Report asked immigrants to take part in the survey, and the happiness of the immigrant populations were virtually identical to the results for the overall population, with Finland at the top. That is to say, both Finnish-born people and those who migrated there are equally happy. This is interesting because it essentially refutes the theory that happiness is intrinsically Finnish.

世界幸福报告今年首次让移民参与调查,移民人口的幸福程度一般和该国总体人口的幸福程度几乎相同,芬兰移民人口的幸福度也排名第一。也就是说,在芬兰出生的人和移民到芬兰的人幸福程度是相同的。这一点非常有趣,因为此数据从根本上驳斥了一种理论,即幸福是芬兰民族所固有的。

“Looking at immigrants’ happiness shatters the idea that Nordic countries are closed, homogenic societies,” Helliwell said. “If happiness is to do with something in the Finnish psyche, it’s equally available to someone from Bangladesh. So it’s got to be more about the way the country is run.”

哈利维尔说,“研究移民的幸福感否定了这样的理论,即北欧国家是自成体系而且民族同质性很高的社会。如果幸福所涉及的是芬兰人心智上的一些东西,那么这些东西同样可以在孟加拉国人身上找到。所以说幸福与国家的治理方式应该更为相关”。

Finland is governed with efficient compassion and a profound respect for human rights. It’s one of the best places in the world to be a mother and has one of the world’s best education systems. It is astoundingly good at environmental policy, gender equality and work-life balance. These are all things that can make a nation of people demonstrably more content with their lives than any other, whether or not it’s in their nature or their culture to smile about it. It is indeed quite possible to be outwardly grouchy – and still live in the ‘happiest’ place on Earth.

芬兰的治国方式依靠高效的人文关怀和对人权的高度尊重。芬兰是世界上最适合母亲生儿育女的地方之一,也是全球教育体系最好的地方之一。芬兰在环境政策、性别平等,以及维持工作和生活之间的平衡,都非常的卓越。以上总总都能够让这个国家的人民对生活的满足感明显超过其它任何地方,不论这种满足感是出于他们的本性还是出于这个国家的文化传统。这里的人们也有脾气不好和发牢骚的时候——不过他们依然可以生活在这片“最幸福的”土地上。

“If Finns tell you they’re not happy, I understand,” said Finland native Anu Partanen, author of The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life, who has lived in the US for a decade but plans to move her family back this summer. “They are often pessimistic by nature and reserved about their emotions. They drink too much, it’s dark, the winters are cold and hard psychologically. This Finnish happiness we hear about is not about dancing or smiling or being outwardly happy. If that’s your idea of happy, then no, they are not the happiest. These studies are about the quality of life, that’s why. Of all possible lives, are you living the best one? Can you control your life? Do you have choices? Can you spend time with your family? Do you feel safe? Can you be productive in society?”

芬兰原住民帕塔宁(Anu Partanen)是《北欧理论看万物:追求精彩人生(The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life)》一书的作者。他在美国生活了十年,不过打算今年夏天举家回国。他说,“如果芬兰人跟你说他们不快乐,我是明白的。他们生性悲观,情感内敛。他们经常饮酒,生活有些忧郁,芬兰的冬天非常寒冷,让人在心里饱受煎熬。我们听到的所谓芬兰人的幸福并不在于跳舞或者微笑,也不是表现得很开心。如果这是你对幸福的理解,那么芬兰人并不是最幸福的。幸福研究关注的是生活质素,因此芬兰会脱颖而出。在形形色色的生活当中,你的生活是不是最好的?你能否控制自己的生活?你是否有选择的权利?你有时间陪伴家人吗?你有安全感吗?你能否在社会上有所作为?”

(And, perhaps worth asking too: can you get drunk in your pants at home and call it a national tradition? The best trend since hygge is päntsdrunk, the English version of the Finnish word kalsarikänni, which means sitting at home, alone, drinking in your underwear.)

(也许同样值得问的是:你是否能够穿着内衣在家里喝得酩酊大醉,并且把这心安理得地称之为民族传统?自从舒适惬意(hygge)与英文单词päntsdrunk相提并论后,北欧人寒冷冬夜安坐温暖家中穿内衣饮美酒就成了一时风行的惬意生活方式。而päntsdrunk这个词正源自芬兰语的kalsarikänni,意思就是独自在家穿着内衣喝个大醉。)

The emotional repression or introversion that Finns can be known for may have to do with something called ‘sisu’. Sisu is a Finnish word meaning a show of strength, stoicism and resilience – and it’s an important part of the Finnish identity. Part of the reason Finnish people do not, idiosyncratically and generally speaking, tend to display a lot of intense emotion is because they value a quiet courage and patience over outlandish joy – and perhaps that is why they are so confused to be crowned happiest population.

芬兰人为世人所熟知的是他们惯常压抑自己的情感,性格矜持内向,这也许与一种人们称之为“西苏”(sisu)的精神有关。西苏是芬兰语中的一个单词,意思是意志力强大、坚忍不拔,绝不怨天尤人的能力——这是芬兰人性格中的一个重要特质。异乎寻常的是,通常来说,芬兰人之所以往往不会表达强烈的感情,部分原因在于他们更珍视隐忍的勇气和耐心,而不是不切实际的欢欣——或许这就可以解释他们为什么对世上最幸福快乐之国民这个荣誉会感到困惑而不解。

“I understand why the Finns might say ‘Really? Us?’ The Danes and the Norwegians have the same reaction,” Wiking said. “People forget that what it is we’re measuring when we do happiness research and they forget that it’s a national average. It’s probably more accurate to say that the Finns are the least unhappy people in the world. They always do well at reducing the causes of unhappiness. Things like financial stress, barriers to accessing healthcare and homelessness – things that make us unhappy. They are simply better at converting wealth into wellbeing.”

维京说,“我明白为什么芬兰人会说——‘真的吗?竟然是我们?’丹麦人和挪威人也有同样的反应。人们在研究幸福的时候常常忘了是以什么作为衡量,他们忘了实际衡量的是国家的平均水平。或者更为准确的说法应该是,芬兰人是世界上不幸福程度最低的国民。他们非常擅长于减少那些让人不幸福的因素,比如说资金紧张,难以享有医疗保障以及无家可归等等一些让我们感到不快乐的事情。他们只是更擅长把财富转化为社会福祉罢了。”

When these happiness evaluations are released, Wiking says there is always a great deal of curiosity about the top-ranked nations. We are naturally fascinated by people who seem to achieve happiness, this great emotional state we all aspire to, and even more so by the idea of an entire nation of people who live in glee. There are fewer questions asked about the nations on the bottom of the happiness list – places like Syria, Liberia and Afghanistan – because unhappiness is obvious. If we believe there is some sort of secret to Finnish happiness, perhaps the closest thing is to live in a society that emphatically values trust and generosity.

维京说,对各国幸福指数的评估结果出炉后,人们总是对那些排名靠前的国家非常好奇。我们自然而然地会对这样一群人很着迷,他们似乎获得了幸福之道,他们拥有愉悦快乐的情感状态,这正是我们所渴求的;而更加令我们着迷的是整个国家的人民都能生活得如此幸福快乐。相反,人们则不太会问及在这个幸福榜单上垫底的那些国家——比如说叙利亚、利比亚和阿富汗——因为那里的人民不幸福是显而易见。如果我们相信芬兰人的幸福藏着某些秘诀,那么或许最接近真相的解释便是:要想幸福,需生活在一个崇尚信任和慷慨仁慈的社会里。

“When these studies come out, everyone says ‘Want to be happy? Move to Finland.’ We can’t all fit in the happiest place; they’d no longer be the happiest if everyone came for their dose,” Helliwell said. “The moral of these studies is more: how do we do what they do, what do the Finns do right, how can we make better lives for ourselves and other people? Those are the questions we should be asking. As for the Finns, they should just relax a bit more and enjoy their happiness.”

哈利维尔说,“这些研究出炉后,每个人都会说‘想要过得幸福吗?去芬兰吧。’其实并不是所有人都适合这个最幸福的国家;如果每个国家都以此为良方,那么芬兰人将不再是最幸福的人。这些研究更深层的道德意义在于:芬兰人做的事情换作我们应该怎样来做;芬兰人做得对的地方在哪里;我们怎样才能活得更好,既为自己也为他人?这些问题需要我们不断思考。对于芬兰人来说,他们应该放松一些,好好享受他们的幸福。”

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