Monday, September 25, 2006


''Oh, Gifu, how nice, thanks,'' said most people given the box. When I first heard for sisu, I have easily mistaken it for susi, a wolf. Talking about Finnish language here. Well, so what does this sisu mean? Those small ''Gifu'' boxes belong to candies. Not hard to guess the candies are Finnish; they are supposed to be good for our throats. I like them pretty much, those in red sokton-labeled box. So, Sisu candies.

But the real sisu is not about candies. Do I really understand the meaning of Finnish sisu? I guess - no. I am not a Finn, I have not been born into the culture of sisu. And I am a bit naive.

To have the sisu. To own a wolf, then...?

Sisu can be described as a very special phenomena; not that simple thing at all. One word would not be enough when trying to capture the meaning of sisu. I will (roughly) agree with the following definition. Sisu means will and decisiveness to get the things done against impossible odds, or to succeed even when the chance is slim to make it. Stamina, guts, pride. Resistance. Not-giving-up position.

Stubborness; hei, sometimes even too strong stubborness. Self-confidence. Insisting in walking one's own way, no matter what the world around says. No matter what the world around does to the one. No matter what the world asks from this one. Walking one's own way untill the one reaches the final goal successfully. And gets what was wanted.

Back to some past trying-too-hard-for-what, really? thoughts. Sisu as insisting in trying hard, even if the situation seems hopeless. Still, it might seem hopeless just at this very moment... who knows what future can bring, right? So, just keep up one's good sisu, try hard still, no matter how hopeless it seems, no matter that life actually sucks.

Just keep on going. Just don't give up.

But, on the other hand - keep one's softeness and, especially, flexibility within. Not to become implacable, not to get stuck into one option only, not to be able to see all other possibilities around. Can this be the meaning of one's sisu?


Aelfsciene said...

When I got my first bag of Sisu candy in Finland, I thought it read "GIFA". I was explained by the Finns that it's Sisu and it means "to have balls" :) They also told me Sisu only tastes so funny so the Swedes wouldn't like it :D

But anyways, coming to think of it, you can hardly give anyone a better present than a box of Sisu candy. Metaphoricly, it means: "Here, I'm giving you courage, endurance, strength, ability, power. I'm giving you a posibilty to conquer the world. Make all you desire to happen."

So thank you for the bag of Sisu :D

kaneli said...

Eipä kestä. Thank you for being thankful. :)

I actually haven't even thought about this fact when buying these candies for presents... I have tasted Sisu once and I liked it, that was the main motivation. However, nice meaning indeed.

Just use the sisu in a good and constructive way. ;)

mooch said...

Söin äsken sisuja ajaessani autolla kotiin! Mielestäni olet onnistunut selittämään erinomaisesti sen mitä "sisu" tarkoittaa. Olen kuitenkin sitä mieltä, että sanassa "sisu" on sellainen tietty vivahde, jota on mahdoton tavoittaa millään muulla kielellä kuin suomella. Ehkä juuri tuon vivahteen takia sanaa on niin vaikea kääntää suoraan.

kaneli said...

Hei täälläkin! Kiitos kiinostuksestasi ja ajatuksestasi.

Niin, luulen että on yleensä vaikea sanoa tarkasti mitä ''sisu'' oikeastaan on. Mutta uskallan sanoakin että on mahdollista tuntea sisua kun tutustutaan suomalaisiin.