Friday, 15 February 2013

Sisu and Schadenfreude

English is a really adaptable language.  It freely claims words from other languages and makes them its own.

I read a feature on Finnish F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen a couple of months back in the Straits Times sports section and came across this word - sisu - used to describe him.  Today I have a bit of time in between running work reports, hence googled.
[My porous brain remembered the word as risu... at first I tried google translate, typed risu in, and google translate detected first Malay (!!!) then Italian (!!!!!!)]

From Wikipedia: Sisu is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. Sisu is not bravery, not courage, not strength.  It is the ability to finish a task successfully, the will and decisiveness to surmount challenges despite impossible odds.

Loosely translated into English, the German term Schadenfreude means happiness at another's misfortune.  There is a lot of German schadenfreude around these days in Singapore, where my dear countrymen takes delight in pulling one another down.... oh, the trash that goes onto STOMP, Straits Time's online portal for everything and nothing.....

Methinks everyone needs more Sisu and less Schadenfreude

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