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Transcript of Finland Culture
The Finnish people settled in the land that is today call Finland thousands of years ago. During the 12th Century, the Kingdom of Sweden took over the land and it remained a part of Sweden for almost 700 years.
In 1809, Russia and the armies of Czar Alexander I conquered Finland and took possession of the land.
In 1835, the publication of the Finnish national epic, The Kalevala--a collection of traditional myths and legends--first stirred the nationalism that later led to Finland's independence from Russia. When the Bolshevik Revolution occurred in Russia in 1917 Finland claimed independence.
Sauna is the only Finnish word used in English, although its not what we think it is. In Finland, a sauna is used for hygiene, relaxing, and healing. Most Fins own one and will use use it at least once a week. It considered the cleanest place in the house, and the holiest. Women would give birth in saunas, and marriages may happen in saunas even today!
In contrast to America, being humble and modest are core values. Making a scene anywhere is looked down upon, and no one argues with authority, no matter how wrong they may be. Most people generally think about what they y, and words hold lots of weight. Speaking a lot, or loudly, is considered rude. Talking to strangers is not something most people do, but if you were to ask for directions you would be greeted by incredible hospitality.
Finland is what is called an egalitarian society, meaning they believe everyone is equal, all genders, races, religions, classes and backgrounds. Because of this their language is gender neutral, for example, instead of gender specific pronouns they have one that covers all of them. Also most job titles are not gender specific; like chairman, fire woman, steward, and are instead replaced with chairperson, flight attendant and firefighter. However, don't think that that their language is entirely gender neutral, they still have many issues using feminine adjectives negatively, and so on.
Geography & More
Education and healthcare are nearly free, and the women ministers in office outnumber the men, so equality is not an issue. Their baby mortality rate is the lowest in the world at 3.52 deaths for every 1,000 births, and %70 of Finland is still covered in forest even though they are the leading newspaper industry.
Fumblings in Finland
Your Guide to Finland's Culture
Though Finland is very close to Scandinavia, they do not consider themselves Scandinavian
They are known for drinking lots of alcohol and having looser laws regarding its intake
Nokia Corporation, a Finnish phone company, created Angry Birds a well known app and soon to be a movie
Vacation and Recreation
Every since the Kalevala was released national pride has been a fuel for the Finns. When it comes to their country Finns have a rather strange double standard. If you going to visit, it is best to know a little of their achievements. Recognizing Nokia as Finnish, or either of footballers Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä is recommended. Although they have a strong sense of national pride, they are also very insecure about their culture. Travelers will be bombarded with question along the lines of; "How do like Finland?" "Where did you hear of it?" etc. They are constantly searching for confirmation they are as greats as they think they are.
Finn's calendar of celebrations is much like any other european country's, although the Lutheranism Protestant calendar doesn't match up with the Catholic calendar. Most people will go down to a cabin midsummer, usually by a lake, and of course, with a sauna. Christmas and their own independence day are celebrated quietly and seriously, as it is not in their nature to be loud.
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