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Subject: Nordic FAQ - 4 of 7 - FINLAND
This article was archived around: 27 Jun 1998 16:46:04 GMT
A Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ) file for the newsgroup
S O C . C U L T U R E . N O R D I C
*** PART 4: FINLAND ***
Geography, climate, vegetation
Who is a Finn?
The Finnish language
A chronology of important dates
A list of Grand Dukes and presidents of Finland
@ Viking times and before that
@ Finland in the Swedish realm
@ Finland as a Russian Grand Duchy
@ The independence of Finland
! Wars with the Soviet Union
! Finland after the wars
The Finnish parliament, government and political
The political parties
The 1995 general elections
The present cabinet
Main tourist attractions
Other places of interest
The Finnish sauna
Books for learning Finnish
Grammars, Primers, Phrase Books.
Materials for Teaching Finnish
Subject: 4.1 Fact Sheet
Name: Suomen Tasavalta / Republiken Finland [ Fi / Sw ]
Telephone country code: 358
Area: 338,127 km² / 130,125 sq mi
Terrain: mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and
low hills; fjells and some mountains in the extreme northwest
Highest mountain: Haltiatunturi (1,328 m).
Natural resources: timber, copper, zinc, iron ore, silver
Land boundaries: Russia, Sweden, Norway
Population: 5,147,000 [year-end 1997]
Population density: 15.1 persons per km²
Distribution: 65% in urban, 35% in rural municipalities. 
Life expectancy: women 80, men 72. 
Infant mortality: 6 per 1,000 live births. 
Capital: Helsinki/Helsingfors (pop. 532,053), metropolitan area ca 1 mill.
Other major towns: Tampere/Tammerfors (186,026),
Espoo/Esbo (196,260)[a suburb to Helsinki]
Vantaa/Vanda (168,778) [a suburb to Helsinki]
Oulu/Uleåborg (111,556) [year-end, 1996]
(note: many places in Finland have
two names, Finnish and Swedish)
Flag: a blue Nordic cross on white background.
Head of state: President Martti Ahtisaari
Languages: Finnish (92.7 %),
Swedish (5.7 %) (both official),
small Sámi and Romani minorities.
Currency: markka (Finnish mark, FIM).
for the current exchange rate,
see the URL <http://www.dna.lth.se/cgi-bin/kurt/rates>
Climate: cold temperate. Gulf stream warms up parts of the country,
Lapland is sub-arctic. Average temp. in Helsinki:
-9°C - -4°C in Feb., 12°C - 22°C in July.
Religion: Evangelic-Lutheran (84%),
Greek Orthodox (1%) (both churches are official state-churches)
Exports: paper, metal, machinery, ships, timber, textiles, chemicals, electron
Subject: 4.2 General information
4.2.1 Geography, climate, vegetation
Finland (Finnish: Suomi) is the fifth largest country in Europe,
excluding the Russian federation. Roughly 1/3 of the country lies
north of the Arctic Circle. Finland shares a common border in the
north with Norway, in the east a long border (1,269 km) with Russia,
on the south it is bordered by the Gulf of Finland, and on the west by
the Gulf of Bothnia and Sweden. Most of Finland is lowland, but in the
far northwest (the "arm" of Finland) some mountains rise to over
1000m. Most of Finland is made of ancient granite bedrock, which has
been shaped and fractured by numerous ice ages, the marks of which can
be seen e.g in the complex lake system, the equally complex
archipelagos and the huge boulders scattered all over the country.
Finland has three main physical regions: the coastal lowlands, the
inland lake system, and the northern uplands. The coastal lowlands
extend along coasts of the Gulfs of Finland and Bothnia, off which lie
thousands of rocky islands; the principal archipelagos are the Åland
(in Finnish: Ahvenanmaa) Islands and the archipelago of Turku. The
lake district is an interior plateau of southern central, heavily
forested and studded with lakes, swamps and bogs. The northern upland,
much of which lies north of the Arctic Circle, has rather poor soils
and is the most sparsely populated region of Finland. In the far
north, arctic forests and swamps eventually change to tundra.
Finland's climate shows both maritime and continental influences.
Surrounding seas cool the climate on the coast in spring but on the
other hand warm it up in the autumn.The climate becomes more
continental, i.e more extreme, the further east and north one goes.
The furtherst north, however, has a rather marine climate because of
the influence of the Arctic Ocean. The summer lasts two to four
months, the growing season four to six.
The tourist cliche of Finland as "the country of thousands of lakes"
has some basis; in one count, a number of 187,880 islands was reached
(but it all depends on what counts as a lake). They are often
connected by rivers and canals to form large lake-systems. Finland's
largest lake, Saimaa, is in fact a system of more than a hundred
interconnected smaller lakes. Finland's rivers are short and shallow,
the longest being located in the north. Finland has about 30,000
coastal islands, of which the especially the southwestern archipelago
is known for its beauty.
The country is situated entirely within the northern zone of
coniferous forests. Forests cover about 65% of the total area (45%
pines, 37% spruces, 15%). Oaks, lindens, elms, and ashes appear mostly
in the southwest corner. Among the large wild animals are e.g ear,
elk, deer, lynx, wolverine and wolf.
Forests are Finland's most important natural resource, and paper,
timber, etc. are a major source of national income. The granite
bedrock contains a diversity of minor mineral deposits, including
copper, nickel, iron, zinc, chromium, lead, and iron pyrites. In
recent years, diamonds have been found in eastern Finland, but they
aren't mined yet. In addition, limestone, granite and sand are
quarried for building materials.
Wood processing has traditionally been the most important economy. The
metal and engineering industries have developed rapidly and today are
the largest source of industrial employment. Since the 1950s
large-scale swamp drainage, fertilizing, and reforestation have
improved woord production. The state owns 20% of the forests; the rest
are privately controlled. The chemical, graphics, and food industries
are also significant to the economy, followed by textile and
electrochemical enterprises. Mining activity has decreased in
importance, although Finland still produces one-half of the copper and
nickel needed for the domestic market. In 1960, 30% of Finland's work
force was engaged in farming; by 1990 the figure was less than 10%,
and only 7% of the total land area was cultivated. Nevertheless, the
agricultural sector produces a surplus of dairy products, meat, and
eggs. Wheat and rye are the most important bread grains; other major
crops include hay, potatoes, oats, and barley. Finland's climate and
small farms favor dairy and livestock production, which account for
most of the farm income. The problems created by overproduction have
led to soil banking (a policy of purposely leaving farmland
uncultivated) and reforestation.
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Finland is a bilingual country (with a Swedish-speaking minority
living mostly in the coastal areas).
The autonomous island-province of Åland is an exception: the province
is monolingually Swedish-speaking.
Åland Islands, with approximately 25,000 inhabitants, is a
demilitarized area with its own flag (a red Nordic cross outlined in
yellow, on blue background) and a separate local legislation. Its
autonomy is based on international treaties.
The Swedish-speaking minority of Finland descends chiefly from the
settlers that arrived with the Christian missionaries and crusaders in
the early middle ages. They speak a variety called "finlandssvenska"
that differs slightly from Swedish spoken in Sweden ("rikssvenska"),
most notably for its Finnish intonation and some archaic vocabulary.
Today 5.7 % of Finland's population is registered as Finland-Swedish.
The proportion has been steadily diminishing since the 18th century
when 20% of the population had Swedish as mother tongue.
The Romani, or Gypsies, who arrived to Finland in late 16th century
have long had to experience the prejudices of the majority population,
but in recent years their situation has been improving, and Romani
language is now taught at schools. They number approximately 5.500.
Different from the situation in Scandinavia the Gypsies of Finland
have usually not preserved their own language, but have Finnish as
their mother tongue. On the other hand, they have preserved their
dress customs a lot more.
In Lapland (the northernmost province of Finland), a small Sámi (Lapp)
minority still survives. Their number is only around 5,000, with even
fewer reporting Sami as their native language, but nowadays there are
schools for Sámi-speakers and the language is considered official in
municipalities with at least 7% of the population speaking Sámi. For
more information about the Sámi, see section 2.3.
4.2.4 Who is a Finn?
Believe it or not, but this question does raise heated discussions in
the news group now and then. The disputes have their base in the
inability, general among Nordeners, to distinguish between ethnicity,
nationality and citizenship.
In the news group you can find citizens of Finland who declare that he
or she "is certainly no Finn even if I am born in Finland (and my
ancestors some 600 years back at least). If some bullshit Fascists
think they can call everyone living in this country a Finn they are
On the other hand ethnic Finns can be studied, who get insulted by any
word referring to Finland's multi-ethnicity, arguing along the slogan
In Finland we speak Finnish. They might claim that the distinction
between Swedish-speaking and Finnish-speaking inhabitants of Finland
is based on racism and the minority's need to feel superior.
This is a sensitive topic.
The origin of Finns is still subject to a lot of discussion; the
traditional theory is that Finns emigrated from the Urals to Finland
some 2,000 years ago, but the current view seems to be that the
Finnish people have evolved into what they are in Finland as a result
of numerous successive waves of immigration coming from east, south
As Roman writers described the Fenni it is unclear whether they
referred to nomadic Lapps exclusively, or if also the Finnish speaking
farmers and sea-farers were included.
In any case: Written medieval sources exhibit great confusion on this
point. When the king of Norway (who for long was the king of Denmark),
or the Norse Sagas, refer to "Finns" they mostly mean Sámis or Lapps.
The Swedish administration wasn't much better in making the
distinctions we today put such a great importance to.
Still today "a Finn" is a Sámi or Lapp for many speakers of Norwegian.
Until the national awakening of the 19th century Swedish speakers
meant people from Finland, or with ancestry from Finland, when talking
about "Finns" (finne, plural: finnar). Then the Finnish nationalistic
movement led to the majority language (Finnish) being given equal
status to the old administrative language (Swedish). It became
fashionable for the educated class to learn Finnish, to start using
Finnish as much as possible, and to make Finnish the mother tongue of
Then the remaining parts of the Swedish speaking minority in Finland
started to stress their "Swedishness" - in reaction to the Finnish
nationalistic movement from the mid-1800's on with its expectation
that all inhabitants of Finland should switch from Swedish to Finnish.
The Swedish speakers began to label themselves as "Finland-Swedes"
defending their language's position in Finland as much as they could.
The battle was long and hard between proponents for Finnish as the
national language of Finland and the proponents for Swedish as the
language linking Finland to Germanic nations of Western Europe. And "a
Finn" became a term which for the Swedish speaking minority referred
to members of the Finnish speaking majority.
By the time of Finland's liberation from Russia the language-battle
was almost won by the proponents for Finnish, but the Swedish speakers
were still well represented in the government and among State
officials. The independent Finland became officially bilingual, and
during the Second World War (if not before) a consensus was
established that both "Finns" and "Swedes" of Finland belonged to the
same nation, a nation which thus in conflict with the 19th century
Nationalism's dogma comprised two very different languages: Finnish
But still, for the Finland-Swedes the term en finne ("a Finn") denotes
an ethnic Finn, and the term finländare (literally: Finlandener) is
used to denote nationality or citizenship. The Finnish language has a
term (suomenruotsalainen) for the Finland-Swedes, of course, but uses
the same term (suomalainen) for ethnic Finns and citizens of Finland.
In Sweden people try to show the Finland-Swedes basal courtesy by
remembering to distinguish between en finne and en finländare. In
Norway people try to avoid the word finne perceived as derogatively as
the word "Lapp" when denoting the Sámis, and the word finlender (the
equivalent term to "Finlandener") is the recommended form, especially
by people interested in politicial correctness.
The problem usually arises when Swedes or Norwegians remember the
political correctness but forget the sensitive nature of this matter.
The word "a Finn" can be avoided in English, by exchanging it to
citizen of Finland, inhabitant of Finland, ethnic Finn, or
Thereby, however, nothing is implicated for the question of Åland's
status as being a part of the country Finland or not, its population
belonging to the nation of ethnic Finns and Finland-Swedes or not, or
other disputable issues...
4.2.5 The Finnish language
Whatever the roots of Finns are, a fact is that they speak a language
that isn't Indo-European like the other Nordic languages, but
Finno-Ugric; its closest major relative is Estonian (but even those
two languages aren't really mutually intelligible), and it is
distantly related to Hungarian, Sámi, and several minor languages
spoken in European Russia and Siberia.
Eugene Holman writes:
Even though Finnish is not related to the Scandinavian languages,
like Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, it has its sister languages
which it is more or less mutually intelligible spoken by people of
essentially the same ethnic stock as the Finns. Many people know
that the difference between Finnish and Estonian is approximately
the same as the difference between Swedish and Danish. Fewer know
that the same holds for Finnish and the indigenous speech forms
behind the Russian border: Karelian (karjala), Olonetsian (aunus),
Lydian (lyydi) and Vepsian (Vepsä). These three speech forms are
essentially part of the eastern Finnish dialect continuum with an
increasingly strong Russian superstratum the further east one goes.
Twice in this century, specifically during the Finnish Civil War
1918-1920 and then again during the so-called Continuation War
(1941-1944), certain nationalist circles in Finland have aspired to
join these areas of Karelia to Finland.
Finnish military rule in White Sea Karelia during the Continuation
War meant the erection of concentration camps, and the internment
and eventual death of many Russians, communists, and other
"undesirables", a large number of them children. It also meant the
establishment of a school system teaching in local speech forms and
a serious effort to make the inhabitants literate in their local
"dialects" as a first step towards making them Finnish. The story,
although not without its positive aspects, is not one that official
Finland is particularly proud of.
Finnish culture could be characterized as a mixture of Swedish and
Finnish elements, with a touch of Russian influence especially in the
eastern provinces. Mikael Agricola (1510-57) established Finnish as a
written language. The national epic Kalevala, collected from Karelian
oral poetry by the scholar Elias Lönnrot, has had enormous effect on
the forming of the Finnish culture in the last century, as did the
poetry of Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-72) and the drama of the author
Aleksis Kivi (1834-72). The scholar H. G. Porthan (1739-1804) awakened
the public interest in Finnish mythology and folk poetry, and laid a
firm basis to humanist sciences. Tove Jansson (1914--) has won
popularity with her books about the Moomins.
Music has had a special place in Finnish culture, the best known and
loved composer being of course Jean Sibelius (1865-1957); others
include Fredrik Pacius (1809-91), Oskar Merikanto (1868-1924), and
Aarre Merikanto (1893-1958), Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947), and Uuno
Klami (1900-61). Aulis Sallinen, Joonas Kokkonen and Magnus Lindberg
are major contemporary composers. Hundreds of music festivals draw
large crowds in the summer; among the best known are Kaustinen Folk
Festival, Savonlinna Opera Festival which is held in a medieval
castle, and Ruisrock in Turku.
Finnish architecture has won international fame; it is represented by
people such as Eliel Saarinen (and his son Eero Saarinen, who worked
chiefly in North America) Wivi Lönn (1872-1966), and Lars Sonck
(1870-1956) who were pioneers of the national romantic style.
Neoclassicism was introduced by J. S. Siren (1889-1961), and
functionalism by Alvar Aalto (1898-1976). Aalto is also well known as
an urban planner, interior designer, and industrial and furniture
designer. Reima and Raili Pietilä are contemporary architects well
known for their unconventional, expressionistic style.
Among painters, Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905) and Akseli Gallen-Kallela
(1865-1931) are the best known representatives of the golden era of
Finnish painting; their styles were naturalism, realism, and
symbolism, the themes often being taken from Finnish history or
mythology. Helene Schjerbeck (1862-1946) was a leader in the break
with realism, Hugo Simberg (1873-1917) was one of the foremost
symbolists, and Tyko Sallinen (1879-1955) was one of the first
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
The Finnish constitution was adopted in 1919. Finland is a republic,
headed by a president elected for a 6-year term. The president is
chosen by the general electorate (all citizens over 18). Supreme
executive power is vested in the president, who heads the country's
foreign policy. Legislative power is shared by the president and the
one-chamber parliament of 200 members. The government which is headed
by a prime minister, is responsible for the country's general
administration. Judicial power is vested in independent courts of
justice. Finland has had an ombudsman (oikeusasiamies), an impartial
public officer whose duty is to handle public complaints against
actions of the government, since 1919.
The constitution of Finland guarantees a freedom of religion, but the
Evangelical Lutheran church is an official state church to which 84 %
of the population belongs to. The Orthodox church is also a state
church, 1.1 % of Finns are members (mainly in the east); those with no
religious affiliation constitute 12 % of the population.
See section 4.4 for more information about the current parliament,
cabinet and political parties. The virtual Embassy by the Finnish
Ministry for Foreign Affairs publishes on the web among a lot of
interesting documents also weekly newsletter on arts and sports.
4.2.8 The School system
Parents choose between placing their children in the Finnish-language
or the Swedish-language school. Education on either of the languages
is provided on all levels.
The compulsory education (Fi: peruskoulu, Sw: grundskolan) starts when
the child is 6 or 7 years old. The 9-year schooling is normally
completed when the pupil is 15 or 16.
High schools (Fi: lukio, Sw: gymnasium) are either academically or
vocationally oriented, with roughly half of the students attending
university-preparatory study programs, culminating with high school
diploma (Fi: ylioppilastutkinto, Sw: studentexamen) after rigorous
examination where grades are given on basis of the student's
achievement in relation to the nationwide graduating class. The more
vocationally oriented high schools (Fi: ammattikoulu, Sw: yrkesskola)
train their students in things such as auto mechanics, hairdressing,
Virtually all students attend public schools. Some private and
semi-private schools exist, in many cases offering education based on
a specific education philosophy or religious affiliation.
The teaching language in all schools in Åland is Swedish. The
nine-year comprehensive school, for which the local districts are
responsible, provides a general basic education. The English language
is a compulsory subject at comprehensive school, while the Finnish
language is optional. Pupils completing their schooling there may sit
for either the Finnish State Matriculation Examination, or else the
special Åland Leaving Examination in which Finnish is not a compulsory
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Subject: 4.3 History
4.3.1 A chronology of important dates
(A brief chronicle is to find in the section 4.3.3.)
(for the period 1155-1809, see also the Swedish history section)
The First Crusade to Finland, launched by Swedes and led by the
English bishop Henry and the Swedish king Erik (later canonized
and made Sweden's patron saint, St.Erik, and Finland's patron
saint, St.Henry, respectively ).
According to the legend, bishop Henry is murdered by the
peasant Lalli on the frozen surface of lake Köyliö.
The bishop's seat is moved from Nousiainen to Koroinen in the
vicinity of modern Turku; the year is considered to be the
founding year of Turku, which becomes the capital of the
eastern half of the kingdom.
After a pagan uprising, the Second Crusade to Tavastia (a
province of western/central Finland) is launched by Birger Jarl
and the pagans are defeated.
The Third Crusade by Sweden's marsk Torgils Knutsson to
Karelia, a province of eastern Finland, establishes the
borderline between Catholic West and Orthodox East for the
centuries to come. The castle and town of Viipuri/Viborg are
founded to defend the border.
The peace of Nöteburg (Pähkinäsaari) between Sweden and Russia.
Finland's eastern border is defined for the first time.
The first Swedish national law replaced the local provincial
Finns receive the right to participate in the election of the
The era of the Kalmar Union, with Finland, Sweden, Denmark
Norway and Iceland united as a single kingdom.
War against Russia. During a siege of Viipuri, just as the
Russians are about to get over the city walls, St. Andrew's
cross appears in the sky and the frightened Russians flee from
battle. In reality, what happened was probably the exploding of
a gunpowder tower.
Reformation. Finland becomes Lutheran with the rest of Sweden.
Helsinki founded by Gustav Vasa, but remains little more than a
fishing village for more than two centuries.
Mikael Agricola, a bishop of Turku, publishes his translation
of the New Testament in Finnish.
The peace of Täyssinä (Teusina); Finland's borders are moved
further east and north.
The Cudgel War.
Karelia joined into Finland in the peace treaty of Stolbova
ending a hundred years of almost continuous wars with Russia.
Finns fight in the Thirty Years' War in the continent. The
Finnish cavalry, known as hakkapeliittas, spreads fear among
the Catholic troops who're used to more orderly warfare.
1637-40 and 1648-54
Count Per Brahe as the general governor of Finland. Many and
important reforms are made, towns are founded, etc. His period
is generally considered very beneficial to the development of
Finland's first university founded in Turku.
The whole Bible is finally published on Finnish.
Russia occupies Finland during the Great Northern War. The
period of the so called "Great Wrath".
The peace of Uusikaupunki gives Karelia to Russia.
The "War of the Hats". Adventurous politics by the "Hat" party
leads to a new disastrous war with Russia and a new occupation
of Finland, known as "The Lesser Wrath", which ends in the
peace treaty of Turku in 1743.
Storskifte, first reform of Swedish farming decided.
The liberty of Press and "Offentlighetsprincipen" was declared
"The War of Finland". Russia attacks Finland in Feb. 1808
without a declaration of war; Finnish troops retreat all the
way to Oulu, which forces Russians to leave a large part of
their army as occupation forces, giving the Swedish general
Klingspor superiority in force. A reconquest starts in June and
Klingspor receives several victories; however, the baffling
surrender of the mighty Sveaborg / Suomenlinna fortress on May
3rd and the fresh Russian troops received in autumn of 1808
force the Swedish-Finnish troops to retreat all the way to
Härnösand in Sweden. Once again Russia occupies Finland.
In the diet of Porvoo, while the war still goes on, the Finnish
estates swear an oath of loyalty to Emperor Alexander I, who
grants Finland a status of an autonomous Grand Duchy, retaining
its old constitution and religion. A few months later the peace
treaty of Hamina (Fredrikshamn) is signed and Finland becomes
under Russian rule.
Helsinki, being closer to Russia than the Swedish-oriented
Turku, is made the new capital. Karelia is joined to the Grand
Duchy as an act of goodwill.
Finland prospers under the extensive autonomy and more liberal
conditions than in the rest of Russian Empire. National
identity and nationalism awakens.
The great fire of Turku destroys most of the former capital.
The university is moved to Helsinki.
The first publication of the Kalevala, the Finnish national
epic. It was collected by Elias Lönnrot from traditional
Karelian oral poetry, and became the most important source of
inspiration to Finnish nationalists when it appeared in its
final form in 1849.
The first railway, between Helsinki and Hämeenlinna.
Finnish becomes, alongside with Swedish and Russian, an
Russia starts a Russification policy of Finland with the so
called "February manifesto". After the initial shock and
disbelief, a well-organized passive resistance follows.
The dictatorical general governor and active adherent of
Russification of Finland, Nikolai Bobrikov, is assassinated by
the young clerk Eugen Schauman.
Finnish women receive the right to vote and to run for
parliament. Finland was the first country in Europe (and second
in the world, after New Zealand) to grant women an equal right
to vote in elections. The Finnish diet, which up until now had
been a system of four estates (nobility, clergy, merchantry,
peasantry), becomes a unicameral parliament and a universal
suffrage is declared.
As Russia plunges into the chaos of the October Revolution,
Finland seizes the opportunity and declares independence on the
6th of December.
A civil war erupts between "whites" and "reds", and ends in
"white" victory under the commander . Even though the war is
relatively brief, the casualties rise high because of "red" and
"white" terror, poor conditions at prison camps and random
executions of prisoners. The war leaves bitter marks on the
nation, which are eventually healed in the Winter War of
1939-40, when both sides have to unite forces against a common
The civil war increases scepticism towards the effeciency of
democratic institutions, and monarchists in the parliament
succeed (chiefly because the Social Democrats had not been
allowed to partake in the parliament) in turning Finland into a
monarchy, and the German prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse is
invited to become King of Finland. However, as Germany soon
lost the World War I, Friedrich who had delayed answering to
the invitiation refused the crown so Finland never officially
had a king; as a result monarchism in general suffered an
inflation. In 1919 Finland gets a republican constitution, with
a strong position for the president as a concession to the
Finland prospers after the war and adopts a neutral Nordic
profile in its foreign policy, although with strong German
sympathies. In early 1930's fascism in the Italian fashion
emerges and the so called Lapua-movement attempts a coup d'etat
in 1932, but fails and is banned (ironically, using the laws
the movement was itself most eager to push into force). The IKL
("Patriotic Movement"), an extreme right party, is formed to
continue the legacy of Lapua-movement, but it never gains
significant support and Finnish fascism remains a fringe
Soviet Union attacks Finland. Fierce Finnish resistance
surprises the overwhelming but poorly prepared Soviet troops
and the Winter War lasts for roughly three and a half months,
causing heavy casualties on the Soviet side. Eventually Finland
has to give in and cede Karelia to the USSR, causing some
400,000 people to lose their homes.
The Continuation War; Finland attacks the Soviet Union with
Germany, hoping to regain the lost areas, but eventually has to
accept the borders of 1940 and, and also cede Pechenga, lease
Porkkala peninsula as a military base for 50 years (SU returns
it already in 1956) and pay war reparations.
The War of Lapland. As a part of the peace treaty, Finland has
to force all German troops to leave Finland. Germans put up a
fight and burn much of Finnish Lapland as they retreat.
Paris peace treaty. Finland assumes a policy of careful
neutrality (e.g declining to receive Marshall aid) and
realpolitik, taking into account Finland's geographical
location next to the USSR. This policy becomes known as the
So called "Years of Danger" ("vaaran vuodet") when a communist
takeover was hanging in the air. Some leading Finnish
communists proclaimed that the "Czechoslovakian model" was to
be Finland's future as well. This ends in the signing of the
Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance ("YYA"
is the Finnish acronym) with the Soviet Union in 1948. In it,
Finland among other things commits itself to defend its
territory against Germany or any other country allied with
Germany that might use Finland as a way to attack Soviet Union.
The treaty guarantees Finland's sovereignty in the years to
follow, but places Finland in between the two blocs of the Cold
War, trying hard to please both sides.
"Finlandization" era. Finland remains an independent western
European democracy, but falls into exaggerations in keeping the
eastern neighbour pleased. On the other hand, the bilateral
trade arrangements with the Soviet Union are very beneficial to
Finnish economy, which make possible the emergence of Finland
as a rich welfare state.
The Olympic Games held in Helsinki.
Finland joins the United Nations and the Nordic Council.
A time of intensive urbanization, Finland turns from a
predominantly agrarian state into an urban one almost
"overnight". This results in severe unemployment, and large
numbers of Finns emigrate to Sweden in search of jobs.
Finland signs a free trade treaty with the EEC (a precedent of
the European Union), but remains outside the community.
The first CSCE conference in held in Helsinki. The "spirit of
Helsinki" becomes to epitomize the process of detente between
East and West after the Cold War era.
Finland becomes a full member of EFTA (European Free Trade
Association). A special FINEFTA customs treaty had been in
effect already since 1961.
Finland becomes a member of the European Council.
On 16th of October Finns voted YES (57% vs. 43% NO) to
membership in the European Union; the parliament ratified the
result after a long filibustering campaign by the NO-side.
As of January 1st, Finland became a full member in the EU.
4.3.2 Grand Dukes and presidents of Finland
For a list of kings and queens of Sweden-Finland, see Part 7 of
the FAQ, section 7.3.1.
Grand Dukes of the Grand Duchy of Finland
Alexander I (1809-25)
Nicholas I (1825-55)
Alexander II (1855-81)
Alexander III (1881-94)
Nicholas II (1894-1917)
Regents of the period of Civil War
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud (1918)
Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim (1918-19)
Presidents of the republic of Finland
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg (1919-25)
Lauri Kristian Relander (1925-31)
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud (1931-37)
Kyösti Kallio (1937-40)
Risto Heikki Ryti (1940-44)
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim (1944-46)
Juho Kusti Paasikivi (1946-56)
Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (1956-81)
Mauno Henrik Koivisto (1982-94)
Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari (1994- )
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
4.3.3 Viking times and before that
Finland as an entity did hardly exist before the 14th century.
The ancestors of nowaday Finns consisted different tribes like
Karelians, Tavastians and Finns. At that time, only the most
South-Western part of the country was known as "Finland" and
its inhabitants as Finns. These names came to be used of the
entire country and the population at the beginning of the
modern era. In the middle ages, the whole Finland was commonly
called Österlandet. (The South-Western part is now called as
Finland proper, Varsinais-Suomi, and its inhabitants as Proper
Speakers of an early form of Finnish (of Finno-Ugric languages
in any case) are believed to have lived in Finland for 6.000
years. Earlier settlers are of unknown descent. This was also
the time when Finnish and Hungarian lost contact with each
other. Archaeological finds of wood objects (as runners - jalas
/medar) made of pine from east of the Ural mountains indicate
how these people must have belonged to a hunting culture moving
over very wide areas.
Historical linguists believe that a major portion of Germanic
loan words were injected into the Finnish vocabulary
approximately 500 B.C. Before this, the Sámis and the Finns had
split to constitute separate cultures.
The Sámis and Finns probably split into distinct cultures
already 6,000 years ago, when the Baltic Indo-European
immigrants settled the coast and merged into the native
Comb-Ceramic culture. Thus the coast became a separate
("Finnish") cultural zone with elements of both cultures,
whereas the hunter-gatherers of the inland continued the
traditional lifestyle and seem to have developed to the Sámi
4,500 years ago animal husbandry was introduced by Baltic
immigrants. (The first agriculture in Finland may also have
been introduced by them, although no definite proof exists as
2,000 years ago the southern and western coasts were inhabited
by people in close cultural contact with Scandinavia. The
inland kept the contacts to the east. The similarity of the
coastal bronze culture with that of Scandinavia is easily
explained with cultural diffusion; there are no evidence of a
conquest, and though much is similar, there are notable
differences too. The continuity of culture from the neolithic
(Kiukainen culture) is best shown in ceramics and stone tools,
as well as some aspects of burial.
During the "Roman Iron Age" (A.D. 1-400) evidences are
convincing for a Baltic sea-farer culture connecting estuaries
at Elbe (west for Jutland) and Vistula (at Gdansk) with
Finland, Estonia and Sweden. People began to bury deceased in
rich graveyards. The culture spread inland to Tavastia and
Ostrobothnia. Fur trading peaked, wealth increased and maybe a
new surge of immigrants arrived. In any case: Åland was
colonized by Germanics from Sweden and has remained
(culturally) Swedish ever since. The Åland population stood in
close contact with the people along the Finnish coast from
Ostrobothnia in north to Hanko in east.
Later during the first millennium the West-Finnish culture
spread to Karelia, around Lake Ladoga, where an independent
At Viking age three distinct Finnish cultures can be
identified: In Karelia, in Tavastia and in Varsinais-Suomi
("Finland proper" i.e. later Turku fief). In these three
provinces there is believed to have existed regents or
governors comparable to those among Germanic tribes; leading
cult, big game hunting, defense and military expeditions. Finns
are not believed to have launched Viking raids outside the
Baltic. But nothing certain is known.
Southern Ostrobothnia was inhabited by people in close contact
with the Scandinavians. The culture of Southern Ostrobothnia
certainly had strong Scandinavian flavor, but there are no
graves of Swedish types such as one finds on Åland, nor has
Swedish ceramics been found. It's rather obvious that the
"Scandinavization" of Southern Ostrobothnia in the migration
period is due to trade contacts - the inhabitants were Finns
(possibly the Kvæns mentioned in the sagas). The area becomes
depopulated by 800 A.D., probably because of changes in trade
routes (the eastern trade being now conducted through the Gulf
The northern shores of the Gulf of Finland were for unknown
reasons uninhabited - at least no archaeological traces have
been found. The Vikings did not like to lose the sight of land
while sailing, and used to camp each night, why one must assume
that the Gulf's shores were (at least) free from enemies of the
The Vikings are known for their assimilation in the cultures
along their trading routes. It's probable that Vikings settled
also at Finnish shores and estuaries, married Finns, learned
the language, and got Finnish children who after a few
generations had no affiliation what-so-ever with their
Particularly in Karelia it is known (or sooner: believed) to
have existed Viking trading posts, which became assimilated or
alienated to the original Viking culture in Novgorod, Uppland,
Gotland or wherever they had come from. The town of Staraja
Ladoga was a Viking stronghold, for instance. A Viking type
(but Tavastian) trade station has in recent years been
excavated in the heart of Tavastia, in Varikkoniemi.
Finland's trade with the Vikings have left evidences as rich
findings of Arabic silver coins, indicating Finland to have
prospered as much as Scandinavia from the eastern trade.
Linguistic similarities suggest that Gotland is the Germanic
province which have been the greatest contributor to Swedish
settlements in Finland, and Gotland is also the province were
two thirds of Sweden's Viking time coins have been found; but
no written sources support this theory. (Except for the
Visby-bishops' great interest in supporting the Finnish
colleagues against pagans and Russians in the 12th and 13th
In early medieval time the eastern Christian Church extended
its influence to Novgorod, Karelia and Tavastia. The energetic
bishop Thomas (1220-45) extended the Finnish Catholic diocese
to Tavastia, probably with armed assistance in the 1230s from
the German Brethren of the Sword. His death was followed by a
pagan rebellion in Tavastia.
With Earl Birger (Birger Jarl), Sweden's virtual leader
1248-66, the Tavastian rebellion was defeated, the Finnish
bishopric was put under Sweden, and the German presence in
Finland limited to Hanseatic merchants. A strong castle was
built in Tavastia; And Uusimaa /Nyland along the Gulf of
Finland was colonized by Swedish "crusaders".
At the end of the 13th century the Catholic Church's control in
the Baltic sea region had increased, as Danes and Germans
occupied the Baltic countries and Swedish magnates extended the
Swedish realm along the Gulf of Finland to Viipuri /Viborg.
The Finns are sometimes pictured as weak victims of foreign
coercion. This is not entirely true. The Finns were expanding
tribes who extended their areas continuously by clearing of
woods, and sometimes by colonization of rich soil far away, as
in Karelia and along the Kemi and Tornio rivers. These areas
weren't uninhabited, but in fact belonged to the Sámi, whom the
Finns (pirkkalaiset /birkarlar) taxed most brutally.
Finns were successful in colonizing the inland (inland rivers,
inland sea shores and inland woods), but maybe less interested
in long journeys in big boats. Is it a coincidence that Finns
still today are less of flock followers than our neighbor
4.3.4 Finland in the Swedish realm
[ see also the sections 7.3.3 - 7.3.5 in the Swedish part of
the faq. ]
During early medieval time fief after fief in Finland came to
be governed by Swedish magnates. First around Turku /Åbo, then
farther and farther into the country. The peasantry seems to
have had a judicial organization with "Things" similar to that
in the rest of Norden. It is unclear if the Thing also had
pre-Christian religious functions.
Sweden's colonization of Finland is often connected to "the
First Crusade" (1155) led by the English bishop Henry and the
Swedish king Erik. By this time Finland was, however, already
mostly Christian so the real motivations of the "crusade" are
obscure. SW Finland appears to have been allied with central
Sweden already in the Viking age, so it has been hypothesized
that the campaign was a punitive expedition against an ally
that had become unreliable, perhaps because of the influence of
Greek Orthodox missionaries. It's also disputed if the First
Crusade really was a historical event. In due time, Finland
becomes an integral part of the kingdom of Sweden.
Year 1323 Finland's border is for the first time fixed in the
peace in Pähkinäsaari at lake Ladoga. The Swedish government
supported the Church, and tithes were enforced. On February
15th, 1362, the provinces in Finland can be said to have been
officially acknowledged as equal parts of the realm under
Swedish crown as the national law now was enforced in all parts
of the realm, and Finland was represented at the election of
king. (King Håkon of Norway was elected king also of Sweden.)
During the following Kalmar Union, Finland plays a rather
independent role. Viipuri fief became increasingly important as
the Muscovite realm expanded. The clergy, including the
bishops, has Finnish names and the magnates with estates in
southern Finland come to play a strong part in the power-play
between the Danish Union-king and the Swedish State Council.
The most important positions - such as those of governors -
were often held by men from the highest nobility, with its
roots and base in Svealand (or Götaland).
After Novgorod had been conquered by Moscow 1471 the situation
became worse with skirmishes, sieges and small wars.
At Gustav Vasa's rebellion in Svealand it was unclear whether
the provinces in Finland would remain in the Union or not. The
Union-king's connection with Moscow was probably the crucial
reason to why the nobility in Finland took Gustav Vasa's side.
All of the 16th century was marked by continuous conflicts with
Moscow. But Finland thereby also became a prioritized part of
the realm. The Vasa princes were taught Finnish, prince Johan
was given an enlarged Turku fief as duchy, and the Finnish
nobility made careers in the civil service - and in the wars
with Russia. Viipuri was established as Finland's second
bishopric beside Turku.
In the national conflicts and civil wars the Finnish nobility
supported the legal kings (Erik XIV & Sigismund), and not the
opponents duke Johan & duke Karl, with the consequence that
many lost their lands and/or their heads when duke Karl had
become king Karl IX.
The civil war between duke Karl and king Sigismund led to a
peasant rebellion in central Finland, the so called Cudgel War.
Manipulated by the usurper duke Karl, Finnish peasantry
uprises, prompted by the worsened living conditions. After
short-lived success, the poorly armed peasants are brutally
defeated by the troops of Klaus Fleming, a Finnish aristocrat,
regent of Finland and the commander-in-chief (riksmarsk) for
Sweden, who opted for an extended union with Poland and
During the 17th century the nobility in Finland accepts the
succeeding Swedish king Gustav II Adolf. Karelia (Kexholm's
län) is now incorporated as another Finnish province. The
followers of Russian Orthodox faith in the occupied Karelia and
Ingria are persecuted, and many flee to the Russian side of the
border. After that (during internal turbulence in Russia),
peace is to prevail at Finland's borders until year 1700.
The 17th century is therefore remembered as a good time for
Finland. 1637-54 count Per Brahe worked as governor for the
Finnish provinces taking initiative to many important
improvements and reliefs for the war-pestered land, and Finnish
troops became feared in the 30 Years' War. Lots of new baronies
were granted in reward (to be retracted anew in 1680).
But the 17th century was also the era when Sweden directed its
interest to the south. Gotland and the Scanian provinces were
conquered, as were also large areas on the European continent.
1696-98 the crops failed and the population was reduced by a
third. Then followed Karl XII's failed war with Russian
occupation, much suffering and loss of southern Karelia with
Viipuri and the Karelian isthmus. At the Gulf of Finland, in
the conquered Ingria, a new town was founded and made capital
for all of Russia - St. Petersburg.
The 18th century meant both repeated wars with Russia and a
marked increase of population. Politicians from Finland often
played a leading role during the Parliamentarian times:
+ Count Arvid Horn is chancellor 1721-38;
+ In the end of the century, Gustav Mauritz Armfelt from
Halikko became the leading councillor at Gustav III - and
then later the Russian emperor's chief-councillor for Finnish
+ The campaign for freedom of press (and
"offentlighetsprincipen") in the Swedish realm was for
instance led by the Finnish priest Anders Chydenius.
[ Anders Chydenius is also dedicated a www-server at
<http://www.chyden.net/> honoring his publication National
Profit & Loss from the year 1765. This book is a perfect
example of how "new" ideas often get discovered independently
by several persons at the same time. Adam Smith did not read
Swedish, and could not know of Chydenius' work as he eleven
years later wrote The Wealth of Nations with by and large the
same content. ]
The Finnish language, which had been neglected during the 17th
century, now begins to gain ground (very slowly!) in the
"official" sphere. The parliament grants tax reliefs to the
Finnish provinces pestered by the wars with Russia.
The opinion among the educated classes in Finland shifts slowly
toward a pro-Russian stand, which ultimately results in
distrust for the kings Gustav III and Gustav IV Adolf. The
upper class is mentally well prepared for an annexion to Russia
at the Russian attack in February 1809. However, the peasantry
is not, and the distrust between the commoners and the masters
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
4.3.5 Finland as a Russian Grand Duchy
The time as a Grand-Duchy under the Russian Emperor is
generally regarded as very good times for Finland.
Finland enjoys an economic autonomy, the taxes from Finland are
spent in Finland. Finland gets a National Bank of its own, a
currency of its own, and a customs service of its own.
Finland also gets a Civil Service of its own, and in all
aspects a more independent position then she had had as one of
many parts in the Swedish realm. (The position of Finland in
the Swedish realm is sometimes compared to the present-day
position of Norrland.)
The Russian interest to draw Finland apart from Sweden, and to
thereby make a re-conquest less likely, led to reforms which
gradually promoted the use of Finnish language - explicit
expressions of nationalism were repressed, however.
Between 1863 and 1902, the status of the Finnish language in
the Civil Service was gradually equalized with that of the
The 19th century was also the time when scholars and scientists
in Finland began to be identified as Finns (and not Swedes) by
the surrounding world. For the self-esteem of the Finns it was
of particular importance that prominent scientists (such as for
instance family of geologists Nordenskiöld and the family of
zoologists von Wright of which Magnus von Wright, became famous
for his outstanding zoological paintings) were working at the
University of Helsinki.
From year 1869, the Parliament was to be regularly summoned
every fifth year, although briefly 1899-1905 the Parliament was
given a subordinate role in the legislative process as a step
in the Russian policy of tying Finland closer to Russia. Until
Russia's defeat by Japan in 1905 the situation in Finland
remains very tense. Then the decree from 1899 is revoked, and
common suffrage, equal for all men and women, is enacted in
The Social Democrats get a strong, bordering to very strong,
position in the Parliament, but the Left loses its confidence
in democracy as discussions and compromises with Liberals
and/or Conservatives turn out to give very poor results.
Furthermore: the Russian representative uses his power to close
the Parliament to hinder radical reforms.
At the end of the first World War, the educated classes in
Finland were (like those in Sweden) heavily oriented towards
Germany. During the war, a number of Finnish men (mainly young
and mainly of the educated classes, with pro-German and
right-wing views) have secretly fled to Germany to receive
military education, training and experience.
4.3.6 The independence of Finland
As the political situation in Russia gets increasingly chaotic
after the revolutions in 1917, Finland prepares for liberation.
...or sooner: the Conservative farmers and the educated class
prepare for Independence. The agrarian and urban proletarians,
inspired by the October Revolution in Russia, instead prepare
for a World Revolution. Strikes, riots and shootouts occur in
several cities and towns; as well as some widely-publicized
The former organized so-called Security Corps - the latter Red
As Finland's parliament declares Finland a sovereign state on
December 6th 1917, the "Security Corps" claim status as the
national army, and the polarity between the Corps and the Red
Militia aggravates further.
(The Åland Islands try to become independent too - from
Finland! - but fail to achieve this.)
According to a revoked law from 1878, a compulsory military
service is introduced, and the remaining Russian troops are
required to leave. As they don't, they are disarmed by the
National Army. This triggers the mobilization of the Red
Militias of southern Finland against the "White" government at
the end of January 1918.
The Civil War lasts only three months, but is both bitter and
bloody. Initially, southern Finland (with a majority of the
country's population and its major urban centers) is controlled
by the Red Militias, while the White government controls the
predominantly agrarian northern and central provinces.
Eventually, the White side defeats the Red, aided by
volunteering officers from Sweden (8,000 man) and Norway
(700 man), Finnish officers from the Czar's army, the Finnish
officers educated in Germany and additionally also military
support from Germany. Some 30,000 people (out of 3 mill.
population) die as a result of the war; when the Red fronts
collapse at end of April, the Militia leaders go underground or
flee to Russia; tens of thousands of rank-and-file surrendered
militia troops, male and female, are placed in prison camps.
Several thousands are executed. At end of May 1918, General
Mannerheim receives the White victory parade in Helsinki.
The Civil War is followed by enhanced orientation toward
Germany, and a German prince is proposed to become king of
Finland. As Germany loses the World War, this alternative
becomes politically unrealistic.
4.3.7 Wars with the Soviet Union
This section is not yet written
> I need to know for school why that a high percentage
> of Jewish people survived in Finland.
Hiski Haapoja replies:
Because the Finnish government didn't give in to German demands to
deport them. The only known case is 8 Central European
refugees, one of whom survived.
4.3.8 Finland after the wars
This section is not yet written
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Subject: 4.4 The Finnish parliament, government and political parties
<by Jorma Kyppö, Hiski Haapoja et al>
+ Official governmental information is available in English at
ministry press pages).
+ Finland's Constitution and other Laws with constitutional
status are available in English at
4.4.1 The political parties
The Centre (Keskusta, abbr. Kesk) was called Agrarian League
until 1965 and still derives its main support from rural areas
covering most of Finland. Not nearly all the voters have
anything to do with farming, but loyalty to the Centre is
almost a family value in the provinces, particularly the two
northern ones (Oulu and Lapland). The higher voting percentage
of the rural areas is an additional asset. The party has a
strong anti-EU wing, which has close ties with Vapaan Suomen
Liitto (Union of Free Finland), whose sole issue is to
terminate the EU membership. Esko Aho has been chairman of the
Centre since 1990 and Prime Minister since 1991. Other main
politicians include the controversial Paavo Väyrynen, Seppo
Kääriäinen, Olli Rehn, Tytti Isohookana-Asunmaa, Anneli
Jäätteenmäki. The chairman of VSL is the noted troublemaker
The Social Democrats (SDP) are strongest in Southern industrial
towns, also sharing much of the middle-class and public
employee vote. Party chairman Paavo Lipponen is the new Prime
Minister. Other notable names: Arja Alho, Erkki Tuomioja,
Pertti Paasio, Ulf Sundqvist, Antti Kalliomäki, Lasse Lehtinen,
Kalevi Sorsa. President Martti Ahtisaari, EU commissioner Erkki
Liikanen and many trade union figures come from SDP.
The National Coalition (Kokoomus, abbr. Kok), or Conservatives,
presents itself as the party of entrepreneurs and patriots,
winning 90 per cent shares of vote in army bases. Helsinki and
the other main cities are National Coalition strongholds. While
most of rural Finland is dominated by the green of the Centre,
Eastern Häme is blue for some reason. Chairman Sauli Niinistö
and his minions (Pertti Salolainen, Pekka Kivelä, Ilkka
Suominen, Harri Holkeri) are currently worried about a new
rival, Nuorsuomalaiset (Young Finns - the name harks back to
the days of the Tsar), which appears as a more modern, "cool"
urban alternative. Risto E. J. Penttilä is the champion of the
Young Finns, while the image of the National Coalition is
burdened by the ruthless know-it-all Minister of Finance, Iiro
Viinanen. Riitta Uosukainen is the first-ever Chairwoman of the
The Left-wing Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto, abbr. Vas) is a 1990
attempt to gather together the quarreling Communist movement.
Some splits are still visible both inside and outside of the
party. Much stronger in the North than in the South, the party
gets most of its votes from industrial workers. The eternal
struggle with SDP over trade unions goes on and on. The
chairman is Claes Andersson, psychiatrist and novelist.
The correct translation of Svenska Folkpartiet is not obvious.
In this article "Swedish People's Party" is used, however this
is far from a perfect translation:
"Folkpartiet" means "People's party" and denotes in Finland
like in Scandinavia parties of Liberal, non-Socialist,
character. "Svenska" means that the party intends to represent
the fraction of Finland's citizens with Swedish mother-tongue.
This they do quite well as the Swedish speakers are less than
6% of Finland's population.
The Swedish People's Party (SFP in Swedish, RKP in Finnish)
unites the Swedish-speaking minority of the Southern and
Ostrobothnian coasts, from leftist intellectuals through
farmers and fishermen to nobility. The language issue gives SFP
the stablest electorate of any Finnish party. It manages to
worm its way to most Finnish governments, thus having influence
far greater than its size. One of the 12 mandates is the
representative of Åland Islands, Gunnar Jansson, who
technically is not a member of the party as the islands have a
political system of their own.
The Greens first entered the Parliament in 1983. Their main
concern is the environment (attitudes ranging from moderate to
fanatical) but many counter-culture youths and citizens' rights
activists feel home here as well. Paradoxically, the nature
party thrives mainly in the big cities (the "Neon Greens") as
well as in the Universities.
The Christian League (founded in 1958) owes most of its seats
to skillful electoral alliances which give the party benefit
from votes originally given to other parties. Many of its faces
represent Revivalist movements rather than mainstream
Lutheranism. The chairman is Toimi Kankaanniemi.
SMP, The Finnish Rural Party, (although changing the meaning of
the letters is continually proposed) originated in 1959 as a
rebellious (anti-Kekkonen) fraction of the Agrarian League. The
party's electoral success has been very variable and despite
government participation during the 1980s it never achieved, or
much sought for, respectability, preferring to fish the
populist vote with anti-refugee statements. The current state
of SMP is chaotic, but it has happened before and SMP has risen
like a phoenix from the ashes.
The Liberal Party lost its only MP, the party's chairwoman
Tuulikki Ukkola, in the elections. LKP has a history of power
despite its small size, but is facing extinction and is
hysterical about the threat of the Young Finns.
The ultra green Ecological Party got one MP, one of the
surprises of the elections.
There are a dozen registered parties outside the Parliament.
The law states that a party which twice consecutively fails to
enter the Parliament must be dissolved, but usually they
re-arrange themselves with the collection of another 5,000
signatures. Among them are three pensioners' parties (the least
of them called Party of Shared Responsibility of Pension
Receivers and Greens), the Women's Party and the Natural Law
Party which aims to heal the Finnish economy by the means of
yoga flying. The status of bad old IKL (the main Fascist party,
banned in 1944) is somewhat unclear at the moment.
4.4.2 The 1995 general elections
The Finnish parliament is unicameral, elected by citizens over
18 every fourth March (to commemorate the opening of the
Estates' Diet by Tsar Alexander I in March 1809). The
President, with the consent of the Prime Minister, can dissolve
the Parliament and call for new elections. This last occurred
in 1975. In the election of March 1995 the 200 seats went as
Party % of votes Seats (change from -91)
Social Democrats 28.3 63 (+15)
Centre Party 19.9 44 (-11)
National Coalition (cons.) 17.9 39 (-1)
Left-wing Alliance (comm.) 11.2 22 (+3)
Greens 6.5 9 (-1)
Swedish People's Party 5.1 11 (0)
Christian League 3.0 7 (-1)
Young Finns 2.8 2 (+2)
Rural Party 1.3 1 (-6)
Ecological Party 0.3 1 (+1)
Åland representative 1
Voting percentage: 71.8
Of the new MP's 143 are men and 67 women. The parliament
elected in 1991 had 77 women out of the total 200 MP's (a world
record in its time), and as many women's organizations had set
the goal as 101 women MP's to be elected, the result was
clearly a disappointment and one of the most surprising
elements of the elections.
The Social Democrats got a great victory as a result of their
being in the opposition in the last government. Centre party,
the leading party of the previous government, was the greatest
loser of the elections, probably because the party's split-up
in the question of EU-membership. The National Coalition, the
other major party in the government, was among the losers but
was much less affected by government responsibility than the
Centre. The gallups lied to the Greens once again and for the
first time since its formation the party stopped growing. Young
Finns got their first seats, not as many as they expected but
it's a start. The Rural Party was one of the biggest losers of
the elections; a once significant populist party, it has waned
away almost completely and may soon disappear entirely from the
Finnish political chart as it is currently in deep economical
problems. The little known Ecological Party got its sole seat
because of its candidate Pertti "Veltto" ("Slack") Virtanen, a
well-known eccentric rock musician and psychologist, who was
also a candidate in the presidential elections (and did
As Mrs. Speaker of the Parliament Riitta Uosukainen (Cons.)
4.4.3 The rainbow cabinet
The new cabinet appointed by president Ahtisaari is nicknamed
"Rainbow cabinet" as it includes 7 Social Democrats, 5
Conservatives, 2 (ex-)Communists, 2 ethnic Swedes, one Green
and one independent minister. The only major party left out is
the Centre, which dominates rural Finland. Cuts in agricultural
subsidies are expected. The notion of Conservatives and
Communists in the same cabinet is unheard before, as is the
presence of the Green (party chairman Pekka Haavisto, who lost
his seat in the Parliament), as Minister of Environment. 11 men
and 7 women.
Prime Minister: Paavo Lipponen (born 1941). The slow-speaking,
197cm tall chairman of the Social Democratic Party was the
first Finnish politician to suggest EC membership, at a time
when it was highly unrealistic and potentially career-damaging
Foreign Minister: Tarja Halonen (SocDem). A surprise choice.
Red hair and onetime Minister of Justice is all I can remember.
Unless I'm mistaken, our first female Foreign Minister.
Minister of the Treasury: Iiro Viinanen (Cons.) The most hated
member of the former cabinet continues to persecute women,
children and the trade unions. He has also gained much respect
among some people, which shows e.g in that he got one of the
biggest shares of votes in the parliamentary elections of all
Second Minister of Treasury: Arja Alho, a Social Democrat from
Helsinki with an independent mind.
Minister of Trade and Commerce: Antti Kalliomäki, vice-chairman
of the Social Democratic Party. A gray bore and former athlete.
Minister of Interior Affairs (such as the Police): Jouni
Backman (SocDem). A totalitarian character. 2nd minister
Jan-Erik Enestam (Swedish People's Party), a municipal leader
Minister of Labour: Liisa Jaakonsaari (SocDem, from Oulu).
Faces a huge task of reducing the record-high unemployment.
Minister of Justice: Sauli Niinistö, Chairman of the
Conservatives. Lost his wife in a car accident earlier this
Minister of Defence: Anneli Taina (Cons.) Apparently they
decided to make this a permanent women's job.
Minister of Traffic: Tuula Linnainmaa (Cons.) A nobody.
Minister of Education: the 30-year old Conservative Olli-Pekka
Minister of Social and Health Issues: Sinikka Mönkäre (SocDem)
and Terttu Huttu (Comm.), a newcomer from Suomussalmi.
Minister of European Affairs: Ole Norrback, the Ostrobothnian
chairman of the Swedish People's Party and just about our most
Minister of Culture: Claes Andersson, Comm. Chairman, poet,
jazz pianist, ex-football player, psychiatrist and father of
six or more. It's not often that we see a Minister of Culture
who actually understands something about culture.
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Subject: 4.5 Main tourist attractions
Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors) is the capital and largest city
of Finland. It is in the southern coast of the country on the
Gulf of Finland and occupies the tip of a small peninsula. The
"towns" of Vantaa and Espoo are effectively suburbs of
Helsinki, and together with Kaunianen, form the metropolitan
where ca. 1 million people or nearly 20% if Finland's
The city is protected from the sea by a fringe of islands, so
that its harbor is almost landlocked. It is underlain by hard
rock, which shows in rounded masses, smothered and polished by
ice sheets. Hollows in this surface are occupied by lakes or
the sea, although some have been filled with urban waste to
create new land. Summers in Helsinki are rather mild, with an
average temperature of 18C in July; winters are pretty long and
cold, January temperatures averaging -6°C. A belt of sea ice
forms close to the coast during the winter months,but a passage
is usually kept open by icebreakers.
Helsinki was founded in 1550 by King Gustav Vasa to compete
with the Hansaetic city of Tallinn in Estonia, some 50km south
across the Gulf of Finland, and merchants from several smaller
towns were ordered by force to move to Helsinki. It didn't
start out well, however; many of the merchants moved back to
their own towns, the place of the town had to be moved a couple
of times to more suitable locations, fires and war destroyed
the town several times, and plague killed most of the
ihabitants. For over two hundred years, Helsinki was little
more than a fishing village, but things started to improve when
the construction of the huge fortress of Sveaborg started in
1748 on the islands just outside Helsinki and brought tens of
thousands of soldiers, builders, officers, etc. to Helsinki.
In 1809 Sveaborg (the modern Finnish name is Suomenlinna)
surrendered almost without a shot to a Russian army that was
much smaller than the Swedish-Finnish garrison, and Finland
became an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia. Helsinki was made
capital in 1812, the university (founded 1640) was moved there
from Turku in 1827, and the modern growth of the city started.
The war had destroyed much of the old Helsinki, and the central
city was rebuilt according to the plans of the German-born
architect C.L.Engel in grand imperial scale to show the power
of the Russian Empire. The city was bombed during the World War
II, but not as badly as it might have because of the ingenious
air raid defense (for example, a fake Helsinki was built next
to the real one and set on fire to fool the Russian bombers).
The Helsinki accords was the "declaration of policy intent"
signed in Helsinki in 1975, by the United States, Canada, the
USSR, and 32 European countries at the end of the Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe (1973-75). The accords
declared inviolable the frontiers of all the signatory nations,
provided for scientific, technological, and cultural exchanges,
and pledged the signatories to respect human rights, including
"freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief."
The most important sights in Helsinki include the following:
+ The Senate Square, in the very centre of Helsinki, is one of
the most beautiful neo-classical squares in Europe. On one
side of the square is situated the Senate palace, and on the
other, the maiun building of Helsinki University; above them
rises the Helsinki Cathedral (all are designed by C.L.Engel),
and in the centre of the square is a statue of Emperor
Alexander II. The university library is next to the main
building of the university is considered to be perhaps
Engel's finest work, especially the intererior is beautiful.
Slightly "hidden" behind the square is the old House of the
Estates, a fine piece of exuberant neo-renaissance
architecture with golden decorations. Ateneum Art Museum
located in the Rautatientori square nearby has the best
collection of fine arts in Finland; mostly Finnish painters
and some foreign masters of turn of the century (the rest of
the somewhat modest collection of foreign art is housed in
the Sinebrychoff museum on Bulevardi street); on the same
square is the railway station, designed by Eliel Saarinen,
which is a large and innovative Art Nouveau building (the
main entrance looks a bit like an old radio set).
+ The Market Square, in the South Harbour, is a lively
year-round market in beautiful surroundings. Beside the
square is the fountain of Havis Amanda, the symbol of
Helsinki. The Esplanade, a park avenue lined with shops and
cafes starts from the fountain; at it's other end is the
Swedish Theatre and the Stockmann department store, reputedly
the largest in Scandinavia, and certainly the best one in
Helsinki. A part of the Stockmann, although located in a
separate building next to it, is the Academic Bookstore which
is a must for every bookhoarder. They have a large selection
of books in English, as well as several other major
languages. For slightly cheaper shopping, you could take the
subway to the Itäkeskus -station (East Centre). The station
is right next to a huge suburban mall.
+ On the other end of the Market Square rises the golden,
onion-shaped cupola of the Uspensky Cathedral, representing
the other major religion in Finland, Greek Orthodoxy. Ferries
leave from the square to the 18th century island fortress of
Suomenlinna (Sveaborg), once called "the Gibraltar of the
North" (but unlike Gibraltar, never had much military
significance), located just outside the harbour; it's a
beautiful place for picnics and just strolling around.
There's also a centre for Scandinavian art in one of the old
barracks, and a museum dedicated to the man behind Sveaborg's
building, Augustin Ehrensvärd. The fortress is included in
the UNESCO list of world heritage. Tickets to the ferries
cost only about 10 FIM. There are also ferries to Korkeasaari
Zoo, also located in a nearby island. Another good place for
picnics is the Kaivopuisto park, where free pop-concerts are
held in summer.
+ Going down the Mannerheimintie (Mannerheim street), which
starts from the other end of the Esplanade, you'll pass the
following places of interest: the parliament, which is a
massive granite building that dates from the 1930's (and,
frankly, looks like something that Albert Speer might have
designed..). The Finlandia-house, by Finland's most famous
architect Alvar Aalto, built of white marble, where the
Helsinki accords were signed (it's also the home of e.g the
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra). The Italian Carrara-marble
plates haven't quite stood the test of Finnish weather, so it
might be a good idea to wear a helmet in case of falling
marble. :) The National Museum built in Art Nouveau style
displays objects from different periods of Finnish history.
The collection is relatively interesting, but displayed in a
somewhat conservative way. Also, the museum is far too small
for it's purpose. The National Opera is the next building on
the line, it's a piece of modern architecture finished in
1993, more beautiful from the inside than the outside; and
finally, the Olympic Stadium, where the 1952 Olympics were
+ You might also want to check the Temppeliaukio church in the
district of Töölö, which is carved into a low hill of granite
rock and covered by a copper dome (architect Reima Pietilä).
Take a look from above, some of the staircases of the houses
next to it for example; it looks like a landed UFO.
Seurasaari island has an open-air museum of traditional
Finnish wooden houses, not quite as good as Skansen in
Stockholm or Bygdøy in Oslo, but if you're interested in folk
culture it's certainly worth checking out. Linnanmäki
amusement park is the largest in Finland; it differs in no
way from your average large amusement park, but might still
be a nice place to spend a day, especially if you're
travelling with children. Heureka Science Center in the
suburb of Vantaa is another good place to spend time with
children; it popularizes science, lets you do all sorts of
experiments of your own, and has a globular movie theatre.
You can get there by local train or a special bus line
leaving from Rautatientori. Ainola, home of the composer Jean
Sibelius, is located in Järvenpää not far from Helsinki.
+ Internet addicts visiting the city can cure their withdrawal
symptoms at the CompuCafe at Annankatu 22 in the center of
the city. Free net access is also provided by an increasing
number of public libraries, for instance the Kirjakaapeli
library in the Kaapelitehdas (Cable Factory) culture center
in western Helsinki. The place is well worth a visit on its
own right. It's a huge old factory building where cables used
to be made (hence the name), which after the closing of the
factory was spontaneously taken over by various artists,
workshops, clubs, etc., and after a brief wrestle with the
city authorities and the company owning the building, it was
turned in its entirety into a culture complex. It now houses,
in addition to the library, cafes, galleries, several
museums, repetition rooms for rock bands, classical
orchestras, martial arts clubs, theatre groups, etc, and its
a site for all sorts of cultural happenings. Getting there is
easiest by taking the subway to the Ruoholahti station.
For more information on Helsinki, you may wish to check these
A clicable map of Helsinki WWW-resources:
Official Helsinki city information:
4.5.2 Turku, the old capital
Turku (Swedish: Åbo) is a port city in southwestern Finland at
the mouth of the river Aura, about 160 km west of Helsinki. It
has several important libraries, museums, and theaters. The
Swedish University of Åbo (Åbo Akademi, 1917) and the
University of Turku (1920) serve, respectively, the Swedish and
Finnish populations of this bilingual city.
Turku/Åbo is Finland's oldest city, founded sometime in the
early 13th century, but not very many old buildings remain
because of tens of disastrous fires, the worst one being that
of 1827 which destroyed the city almost completely. Most of the
buildings are, therefore, fairly new, with a couple of old
monuments remaining. Before the Russian takeover in 1809, Turku
was Finland's largest city and served as its capital. It was
rather heavily damaged during also during the WWII.
The city is divided by the river Aura, on the bank of which
rises the Turku Cathedral, the most important medieval
cathedral in Finland and a national sanctuary. It was started
in 1230, and it's present shape (except for the cupola and the
roof, which were built after the 1827 fire) dates from late
middle ages. In the cathedral are buried e.g the wife of Erik
XIV, Queen Karin Månsdotter (Kaarina Maununtytär) and some of
the most famous of Gustav II Adolf's military leaders from the
Thirty Years' War (the Finnish marshalls Evert Horn and Åke
Tott, the general of the Hakkapeliitta cavalry Torsten
Stålhandske and the Scottish colonel Samuel Cockburn). There's
also a museum in one of the galleries.
The other major medieval monument in Turku is the castle,
started in the 1310's. The castle acted as the main castle of
Finland in the middle ages and renaissance and experienced it's
best days in the 16th century when the duke of Finland, Johan,
held his court there together with the Polish-born princess
Katarina Jagellonica whom he married in 1562. Later, in 1568,
Johan imprisoned his brother, the mad renaissance king Erik
XIV, and he was held prisoner in Turku castle. It's an
impressive construction, but perhaps not exceptionally
romantic. In the river Aura, there are two 19th century
sailingships that act as museums, the Suomen Joutsen and Sigyn.
The Cloister Hill (Luostarinmäki) has an attractive collection
of simple wooden merchants houses that were spared from the
fire of 1827.
For more information on Turku: <http://www.tku.fi/>
4.5.3 Tampere, the third largest city of Finland
<from: Kari Yli-Kuha >
Tampere (in Swedish Tammerfors) lies about 160 km northwest of
Helsinki. A major manufacturing hub and the textile center of
Finland, Tampere also produces metals, heavy machinery, pulp,
and paper, etc. The heavy concentration of industry has
prompted some to call it Finland's Manchester (the center, with
several rather attractive old factory buildings, looks pretty
Just currently some old factories, such as Finlayson and
Tampella, and their wide factory areas in the centre of the
city are being renovated and partly rebuilt, but still in an
attempt to maintain the architectural general appearance.
Tampere was founded in 1779 and is the largest inland city in
Scandinavia. The location between two lakes, Näsijärvi and
Pyhäjärvi, and the rapids (Tammerkoski) joining the lakes gave
birth to the industry in the city. The cathedral by Lars Sonck
is a masterpiece of Finnish national-romantic Art Nouveau; it's
frescoes by the symbolist painter Hugo Simberg are especially
fascinating. Lake tours, "Hopealinja" (Silver Line) in
Pyhäjärvi and "Runoilijan tie" (Poet's Way) in Näsijärvi, are
popular in the summer. A gravel ridge, Pispalan harju, and the
settlement there is also a major tourist attraction. Tampere
has two theatres (TT and TTT) and a summer theatre with a
revolving auditorium. The Särkänniemi amusement park is very
popular in the summer. The new Tampere Hall is currently the
second most popular place in Finland (after Finlandia House in
Helsinki) for international congresses, large special events
One of the gastronomic delicacies typical for Tampere is black
sausage ("mustamakkara") which is made of blood, though not
nearly all regard it as a delicacy.
+ Main shopping street Hämeenkatu
+ "Koskikeskus" shopping center by the rapids
+ Pyynikki natural park only two kilometres west from downtown
+ A 20 min ferry trip to Viikinsaari island
For more information on Tampere:
A clicable map of Tampere WWW-resources:
Official Tampere city information:
Maps of Tampere:
<from: Jarmo Ryyti>
Jyväskylä was where Alvar Aalto began his career as an
architect; from 1920's up until our days, dozens of buildings
designed by him have been built in and around Jyvaskyla, thus
making the city famous for its architecture.
Jyväskylä in the area of Finnish language culture it has a
remarkable succession of "firsts": the first Finnish-language
lyceum, the first school for the girls, the first teachers'
training college (the seminary) the first national song and
instrument festivals, the first society for the advancement of
public education, the first "summer university", and the first
Porvoo (Swedish: Borgå) on the coast of the Gulf of Finland
received its town rights in 1346. The town lies 48 km northeast
of Helsinki, along the Porvoonjoki River. It's a rather small
town with only 30,000 or so inhabitants, but it's rather
attractive and the (mostly wooden) Old Town still has a rather
medieval character. Building of the the cathedral in the center
of the Old Town was finished 1414-18, and the Diet of Porvoo
where Finland was granted its autonomous status as a Grand
Duchy was held there in 1809 by emperor Alexander I. The house
of Porvoo Gymnasium, built 1760, is on the cathedral square.
The town hall was built in 1764 and now houses a historical
museum; the art collection of the museum is in the Holm house
(1762), included are works by two great artists of the golden
age of Finnish art who were born in Porvoo, the painter Albert
Edelfelt (1854-1940) and the sculptor Ville Valgren
(1855-1940). Edelfelt's studio is one of the most popular
museums of Porvoo area, it's located close to the Haikko manor
(now a hotel) a few kilometers from Porvoo. The poet Johan
Ludvig Runeberg spent the 25 last years of his life in Porvoo;
his home at the corner of Aleksanterinkatu and Runeberginkatu
has been a museum since 1880. He is buried in the Näsimäki
cemetary of Porvoo. Next to the Old Town, on a hill across the
Porvoo river, is Linnanmäki or Borgbacken (Castle Hill, which
has given Porvoo its name; Borgå = Castle River). There are no
stone fortifications left, the only remains are moats that have
belonged to hillfort built by the Danes in the late 12th or
early 13th century.
4.5.6 Other places of interest in Finland
Åland islands (Ahvenanmaa in Finnish) are a beautiful
archipelago, perfect for cycling, with medieval churches
scattered around and the castle ruins of Kastelholm.
Naantali/Nådendal, close to Turku, is a charming small,
medieval town by the sea, where a Brigittine cloister was
located (the church still remains). A popular place to visit in
summers. Likewise, Rauma, located 100km north of Turku, has a
very charming old town which is included in the UNESCO world
heritage list, and a church that was part of a Franciscan
monastery. The inland lake-system, with such lakes as Saimaa
and Päijänne is perfect for a canoeing holiday; trips on one of
the many lake steam boats are also recommended. The mightiest
of Finnish medieval castles, Olavinlinna, is located in an
island in the Saimaa, and a famous opera-festival is arranged
in the castle every summer. The province of Lapland is among
the last wild natural areas in Europe; no real mountains
(except in some areas close to Norwegian border), but low fells
that rise to some 500 metres. Good for trekking, but be
prepared for mosquitoes.
For general information through WWW see the clicable map of
Finnish resources at <http://www.funet.fi:80/resources/maps/>
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Subject: 4.6 The Finnish Sauna
<by Mauri Haikola>
While the word "sauna" (in the Finnish pronounciation, the "au"
sound is like "ou" in "loud") means different things in
different countries, for a Finn it means an elementary part of
everyday life. Ever since childhood, Finnish people learn to
bathe in sauna, usually at least once a week. Yes, they do it
naked, and yes, they go in there together with other people,
while naked. This and other aspects of the Finnish sauna are
discussed in the following questions and answers.
Q1 Why is sauna something special in Finland?
A1: Mostly because of ancient traditions. Wherever there have
lived Finns, there have also been a sauna nearby their
residences. In the early days of Finnish history, it was a
small wooden hut near a lake, and people used it not only for
cleaning themselves, but for childbirths, some medical
operations and other duties that required a clean,
bacteria-free environment. Today, practically all houses in
Finland have a sauna. In urban areas, you usually have one per
building, but even in a relatively small apartment it is not a
rare piece of luxury these days. This being the case, Finns
discover at an early age what a refreshing way it is to clean
oneself both physically and mentally. The tradition is not a
dying one either.
Q2 What is a Finnish sauna like?
A2: The basic parts are the stove ("kiuas"), filled with
fist-sized stones, and the benches or platforms ("lauteet"),
made of wood (anecdotes of metal benches in the saunas of some
Finnish-built Russian warships are told :). There are usually
two benches, one of which is higher (the seat) and the other
one lower (place to rest your feet on, or another seat if you
feel it's too hot). These are what all saunas have. The modern
saunas have the usual shower and dressing rooms too, but the
traditional ones near a lake or sea (usually in the vicinity of
a summer cabin, or built in one) do not require anything but a
stove for heating and a bench to sit down on -- you can do the
cleaning in the lake. The stove is traditionally fuelled by
wood, but electrically heated saunas are common due to their
safe, easy and clean use. The average sauna has room for 3-6
people at a time.
Q3 How are you supposed to bathe?
A3: There are no rules, only guidelines. Finns like their
traditions, but do not enforce them on themselves or
foreigners. Usually you bathe together with your family. If you
are with friends or others that aren't family members, men and
women take turns to bathe separately. Most public saunas are
separate for men and women, but not all. You take your clothes
off (this is not a rule, mind you; if someone wants to use a
towel or bathing suite, it's not a breach of any important
etiquette), go and sit down on the benches and relax. The air
is not particularly humid at first (there is no visible steam),
and when you feel like it, you throw some water on the stones
to increase humidity. This causes the water to vaporize very
quickly, and it makes the bathers feel a momentary breath of
hot air in their backs. It may be uncomfortable, if the stove
is too hot or if you use too much water, and in those cases it
helps to step down on the lower bench, or to go out entirely.
This is also perfectly acceptable, and first-time sauna bathers
shouldn't feel obligated to stay in if they don't feel like it.
The basic goal is to enjoy and relax, and sweat. After you've
done enough of that, you go to the showers, and/or swim in the
lake, depending on the facilities. After swimming or showering,
you can go back to the sauna, and repeat this cycle as many
times as you want.
Q4 How hot is it in there?
A4: This varies according to the bathers' wishes. Usually the
temperature is between 60°C and 110°C, the widely-agreed-upon
ideal temperature being somewhere around 85°degrees. Sometimes
(after a few drinks) Finnish men engage in an unhealthy
competition over who can stay in a hot sauna the longest time.
This is not the way sauna is meant to be enjoyed, not to
mention that it can be dangerous. Also, you shouldn't be drunk
in sauna. A cold beer after sauna, however, tastes usually
great, even a mediocre brand.
Q5 What is a smoke sauna? How does it differ from the usual one?
A5: A smoke sauna (savusauna) is perhaps the most traditional
kind of sauna. There is no smoke pipe: all the smoke from the
stove goes inside the sauna while heating. Of course, it has to
be removed before bathing, and this is done by opening a small
hatch on the wall. The fire on the stove must not be burning
while bathing, but this doesn't matter, since the massive stove
radiates plenty of heat for many hours. A smoke sauna is often
considered the ultimate sauna experience, complete with the
wonderful smoke odour. Smoke saunas are somewhat rare compared
to the normal ones these days, but sauna enthusiasts praise
them so that there still exist plenty of them.
Q6 Do Finns really jump out naked into the snow in the middle of sauna
bathing and roll around in winter time? Or go swimming in a frozen lake?
A6: Some do, most don't. This is a habit that requires a
healthy heart and a bit of courage, but it is practised, and
there are some enthusiasts who think sauna in the winter is
nothing without a quick swim in the snow or freezing water. Of
course, others think this is sheer madness.
Q7 What about sauna and sex?
A7: Even though people are naked in sauna, Finns do not see
anything sex-related in their sauna tradition. Of course you
can have sex in there if you feel like it, but that is neither
a part of any tradition nor very comfortable. Women used to
give birth in saunas a long time ago, but the conceiving was
done mostly elsewhere. Massage parlours and other (sometimes
sexual) services that often come with a public sauna in the
red-light districts of big cities are unknown phenomena in
Finland. Going to sauna naked with all your family is not at
all perverted, as the reader might think. Instead, the sauna
tradition makes it natural and comfortable for children to
learn about human body, and for parents to tell them about it.
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Subject: 4.7 Finnish literature
Most of the text below is reproduced on the Project Runeberg
pages on Nordic Authors
<http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/authors/>. Links to the
Project Runeberg pages are provided when they hold also other
Fire has destroyed most of the early literature the Finnish
church and monasteries must have produced. The first known
Finnish author was Jöns Budde, a Franciscan monk who lived in
the Brigittene monastery at Naantali in the latter part of 15th
century, chiefly translating from Latin to Swedish, but he also
wrote a few things of his own. Codex Aboensis written probably
in Turku in the 1440's is an important collection of law texts;
Missale Aboense printed in 1488 for the Finnish church is a
beautiful book and a source of medieval Finnish religious life.
Mikael Agricola (circa 1510-57), a bishop of Turku and great
advocate of Lutheranism, is considered the father of Finnish
literature. His ABC-book published 1538 is the first known book
in Finnish, but the translation of New Testament (1548) is his
greatest achievement. Paavali Juusten (?1512-72) was another
important 16th century author; his Chronicon episcoporum
Finlandensium (Chronicle of the Finnish Bishops [published in
Latin]) is an important source of early Finnish history. Erik
Sorolainen (1545-1625) did most of the translation of the Old
Testament when the whole Bible was eventually published in
Finnish in 1642, delayed by the Thirty Years' War. The first
grammar of Finnish, Linguae Finnicae brevis institutio [Latin],
was written by Eskil Petraeus in 1649.
Daniel Juslenius (1676-1752) was an enthusiastic advocate of
things Finnish. He wrote a baroque study on Finland (Aboa vetus
et Nova [Latin], 1700) which among other things traced the
origins of Roman civilization to Finland; a defense of
Finnishness (Vindicae Fennorum [Latin], 1702); and most
importantly, the first major Finnish dictionary (Suomalaisen
Sana-Lugun Coetus, 1745), containing 16,000 entries. He and his
ideological followers became known as Fennophiles
(proto-nationalists, but not separatists). Jakob Frese
(1691-1729) and Gustaf Filip Creutz (1731-1785) contributed
importantly to the Swedish-language poetry of the era.
The first major Finnish poet, however, was Frans Mikael Franzén
(1772-1847), whose fresh, romantic poetry was enormously
popular in Sweden (including Finland!) in his time. His teacher
was the great scholar Henrik Gabriel Porthan (1739-1804), a
student of Juslenius and a Fennophile, who brought Finnish
history-writing, study of mythology and folk poetry, and other
humanistic sciences to an international level. His De Poësi
Fennica (published in Latin in five parts 1776-78), a study on
Finnish folk poetry, had great importance in awakening public
interest in the Kalevala-poetry and Finnish mythology, and the
study was also the basis of all later study of the poetry. He
was among the founders of the Aurora Society that advocated
Finnish literary pursuits and was the editor of the first
Finnish newspaper, Tidningar utgifne af et sällskap i Åbo,
founded in 1771. Antti Lizelius (1708-1795) published the first
newspaper in Finnish, Suomenkieliset Tieto-Sanomat, 1776.
Porthan inspired the following generation of Finnish authors,
poets and researchers, many of whom were among the founders of
the Finnish Literature Society in 1831. A movement literary
trend known as Helsinki Romanticism was born in the 1830's when
the university was moved to the new capital. Four young
university students came to have towering importance to the
forming of the Finnish literature, and ultimately, the Finnish
national identity. These were the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg
(1804-77), the scholar Elias Lönnrot (1802-84), the author
Zacharias Topelius (1818-1898) and the Hegelian philosopher and
statesman Johan Vilhelm Snellman (1806-81).
Especially important was Elias Lönnrot, who did a huge task of
collecting folk poetry from the remote wildernesses of Karelia,
and compiling these to what was to become Finland's national
epic, the Kalevala. (1849). It is composed of 50 poems
(sometimes called runes), altogether 22,795 verses. The book
starts with a creation-myth, then goes on to recount the deeds
and adventures of the three protagonists, Väinämöinen the
magician and bard, Ilmarinen the smith, and Lemminkäinen the
wanton loverboy and warrior, and ends with the introduction of
Christianity to Finland. Lönnrot was under the influence of
Homeric ideals and tried to forge the poems into a single epic,
adding bits and pieces of his own and altering some parts to
make them appear a whole, which they however never have been.
Nevertheless, its role to the development of Finnish
literature, arts and identity can hardly be over-estimated, and
having been translated to all major world languages and lots of
minor ones, it is no doubt the most important contribution of
Finland to world literature. Lönnrot also published a
counterpart to Kalevala, the Kanteletar, a collection of
ancient lyrical poetry often sung by women. These two books,
however, cover but a small part of the recorded Finnish folk
poetry. For instance, between 1908-48 was published a massive,
33-volume book series called Suomen Kansan Vanhoja Runoja,
containing altogether 85,000 poems, with well over a million
verses. Kalevala & Kanteletar can be found (in Finnish) at
Runeberg's main works were the realist/idealist poem
Älgskyttarna (Elk Hunters, 1832), which can be called the first
major literary portrayal of ordinary people in Scandinavia, the
Ossianic epic Kung Fjalar (King Fjalar, 1844) and the emotional
and humane heroic poem Fänrik Ståls Sägner (The Tales of Ensign
Stål, I 1848, II 1860) on the war of 1808-09, which enjoyed
huge popularity in both Finland and Sweden and became something
of a national romantic symbol.
Topelius was a full-blooded romantic, more superficial as a
literary artist than Runeberg, and less of an innovator. His
Fältskärns Berättelser (1851-67, The Barber-Surgeons Stories)
is a historical novel set in the Thirty Years' War, in the
tradition of Sir Walter Scott; he is also well known in Finland
for his fairy tales.
Snellman's chief achievement was in his role as a national
awakener, the editor of two newspapers, strongly encouraging
literature as part of the process leading to independence.
Early writers in Finnish
The first great prose writer in Finnish - considered by some to
be the most genial - was Aleksis Kivi (1834-72), a novelist and
playwright who during his lifetime was largely ignored. Major
works include Seitsemän Veljestä (The Seven Brothers, 1870),
his most celebrated play, and the comedy Nummisuutarit (The
Heath Shoemakers, 1864). He was more modern and many-sided in
his expression than Runeberg, but his image of the Finnish
people was too "raw" and realistic for most people of his era,
and he died in extreme poverty, suffering from a mental
Minna Canth (1844-97), an energetic fighter for women's rights
and social justice, was a contemporary of Juhani Aho
(1861-1921), a novelist and short-story writer known for his
humorous sketches and lyrical, dreamy descriptions of nature.
Eino Leino (1878-1926) was a poet of exceptional talent,
drawing heavily on the Kalevala tradition. His main themes are
love and nature, and poem collections such as Helkavirsiä
(Helka-hymns, 1903), Halla (Frost, 1908) which includes the
wonderful love/nature poem Nocturne, and Hymyilevä Apollo (The
Smiling Apollo) are still much-loved. V. A. Koskenniemi often
turned to classical themes. Uuno Kailas wrote harsh,
self-analytic verse, whereas Kaarlo Sarkia sought solace in
aestheticism and fantasy. The personal, abrupt, and humorous
poetry of Aaro Hellaakoski and the equally humorous, learned,
yet folklike verse of P. Mustapää were only appreciated after
1945. The generation of the 1950s, including Paavo Haavikko and
Eeva-Liisa Manner, introduced new poetic forms to which their
successors often added absurd humor, formalist experimentation,
and social criticism.
Modern writers in Swedish
Finland-Swedish modernism was introduced by Edith Södergran
(1892-1923). She didn't receive much recognition in her
lifetime, but is now regarded one of Finland's foremost poets.
She was first influenced by French symbolism, then German
expressionism and Russian futurism, and creatively applied
these to her own poetry. Her free rhythm, strong, challenging
images fired by a Nietzschean self-conscience and conviction of
the importance of her message were new and baffling to the
Finnish audience, and she was almost without exception
misunderstood and even ridiculed. Her first collection of poems
was Dikter (Poems, 1916), which was followed by Rosenaltaret
(The Rose Altar, 1919) and Landet som icke är (The land that is
not, 1925) among others. Always physically weak and somewhat
sickly, she died young just as she was starting to get
followers. Among these the most important were Elmer Diktonius
(1896-1961), Gunnar Björling (1887-1960) and Rabbe Enckell
In recent years writers such as Märta & Henrik Tikkanen, Kjell
Westö (b. 1961) and others have proved that the size of a
linguistic minority has very little to do with the quality of
The author Tove Jansson (b. 1914) has won much international
fame for her creation of the Moomins, philosophical-minded,
friendly trolls who live in Moominvalley. There are many books
on their adventures, e. g. Muminpappan och Havet (Moominpappa
and the Sea). Her fantasy world charms with its richness,
inventiveness and wisdom of life spiced with witty humor. The
events and imagery flow freely and uninhibited, yet reflecting
the phenomena of the real world.
Modern writers in Finnish
Joel Lehtonen, Volter Kilpi, and especially Frans Eemil
Sillanpää (1888-1964) dominated naturalistic prose in the first
half of the 20th century. Sillanpää was awarded the 1939 Nobel
Prize for literature for the book Silja, nuorena nukkunut
(Silja, Fallen Asleep While Young, 1931). Also important are
Toivo Pekkanen, who wrote about the plight of industrial
workers, and Pentti Haanpää, who portrayed with a bitter but
defiant humor the struggle of humans against harsh nature in
After World War II, Väinö Linna had great success with the
novel Tuntematon Sotilas (The Unknown Soldier, 1954) which
played a part in the healing of the wounds of the war and is
read by almost every Finnish schoolkid. The extensive use of
dialects make the book quite impossible to translate;
translations into English and many other languages do exist,
but cannot be recommended very highly (although I hear the
Swedish one is pretty good). His other major work is the
trilogy Täällä pohjantähden alla (Here Under the North Star,
1959-62), a story of the struggles of poor farmers that
culminated in the Civil War of 1918. More recently, Veijo Meri
has described the violence and absurdity of human life,
especially during times of war.
Mika Waltari (1908-79) is among the Finnish prose writers best
known to an international audience. He wrote his most
successful novels in the 1940s and 50's, many of them on
historical subjects; among these is Sinuhe egyptiläinen (The
Egyptian, 1945), a novel set in ancient Egypt, about the
collapse of traditional ways of life and the inflation of
inherited values. It's also been filmed into a dreary Hollywood
From the 1960s, social issues became central to the young
novelists and poets. Hannu Salama went through a famous trial
for blasphemy (after which the blasphemy laws were repealed)
for his novel Juhannustanssit (Juhannus Dances, 1964). Pentti
Saarikoski was the leading poet of the 60's. Often better
remembered for his for his unhealthy lifestyle, Saarikoski was
nevertheless one of the most genial poets in Finnish and a
brilliant translator of e. g. Homer and Joyce. Such younger
writers as as Alpo Ruuth and Antti Tuuri have also dealt with
Another author who has long been very popular in Finland and
has started to win international fame recently is the humorist
Arto Paasilinna; Jäniksen Vuosi (The Year of the Hare, 1974),
is the story of an advertising man who gets sick of urban life
and escapes to the wilderness with his pet hare.
For electronic versions of some of the works of Nordic
literature, see the collection of Project Runeberg:
+ Icelandic Literature
+ Literature from the Viking Age
+ Medieval Nordic Literature
+ Danish Literature
+ Norwegian Literature
+ Literature of Finland
+ Literature from the Age of Liberty [ in Sweden and Finland
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
Subject: 4.8 Dictionaries and other study-material
<Compiled by Nils O. Monaghan>
BOOKS USEFUL FOR LEARNING FINNISH (Version 2.3)
Many thanks to all those who have contributed and commented on
this list. As usual any additions, corrections, and other
comments should be mailed to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
This list contains works which may be found useful for learning
Finnish - either whether by self-study or other means. Some
works are directed towards teachers rather than students. Older
works are retained as these are often the ones that will be
stumbled across in libraries.
Grammars, Primers, Phrase Books.
Materials for Teaching Finnish
4.8.1 Grammars, primers, phrase books
Maija-Hellikki Aaltio: Finnish for Foreigners (1963)
A good book to work through, it teaches grammar and
vocabulary in small chunks with plenty of grammatical exercises
and reading exercises. The emphasis on obtaining a practical
command of the language (even if mainly a reading knowledge)
makes it very useful. I think there may well be an updated
version available these days. A new edition is now available. [NOM]
Maija-Hellikki Aaltio: Finnish for Foreigners (1987):
Finnish for Foreigners 1 Textbook
Finnish for Foreigners 1 Exercises
Finnish for Foreigners 2 Textbook
Finnish for Foreigners 2 Exercises
Finnish for Foreigners 3 Textbook
[ There are also 2 cassettes per book giving aural
versions of the chapter readers and listening
exercises for the exercise books. ]
I find these books OK for learning progressively, and the
reference tables in the back are more useful as a quick grammar
reference than Fred Karlsson's book, however there are two
1. It is very difficult to find anything in the books, e.g. if
you decide you want to check up a particular grammatical
feature or item of vocabulary.
2. The texts are getting a bit out of date (they're quite
sixties/seventies in their topics and attitudes in places).
A complete revision of the original 1963 book which
bore the same title, this has long been the standard work
for teaching Finnish to English-speaking foreigners. The
book is slightly dated with respect to language teaching
methodology, but it takes the student from the basics to
a solid command of the language. The 1987 edition devotes
considerable attention to the peculiarities of spoken Finnish.
J. Atkinson: Finnish Grammar (Helsinki, 1956)
A course in Finnish grammar for the learner. It concentrates
on explaining the grammar and thus contains only a
few short reading passages and a very limited vocabulary.
Michael Branch et al: A Student's Glossary of Finnish: The Literary
Language Arranged by Frequency and Alphabet (Werner Soderstrom
Osakeyhtio, Porvoo, 1980)
1200 items, graded and accompanied by morphological
information. Glossed in several languages, including English.
Berlitz Finnish for Travellers
Various editions in various languages.
A typical inexpensive Berlitz pocket language guide.
Like all the these guides, it of great help unless you actually
know a little bit already, but then it is very helpful for
vocabulary in various situations - especially menus. [NOM]
Björn Collinder: A Handbook of the Uralic Languages. Part 2. Survey of
the Uralic Languages (Stockholm, 1957) [This may have been
issued separately entitled "A Finnish Primer".]
Although a book aimed at compartative linguists, the Finnish
section contains a graded grammatical introduction together
with reading passages and a vocabulary. I have seen this Finnish
section as a separate pamphlet but without any publication
Artem Davdijants Inge Davidjants, Eugene Holman, Riitta Koivisto-Arhinmäki:
Terve, Suomi! Conversational Finnish in video ( Helsinki/Tallinn
This is the first attempt to produce an audiovisual
course in Finnish. The course consists of a 45-minute video
(VHS-PAL) dramatization of a trip to Finland, a 60-minutte
audio cassette, and a 140-page textbook. The English version
is a translation and expansion of the Estonian original. The
course was produced under difficult circumstances during the
last days of Soviet Estonia, and it has some unfortunate
shortcomings. Nevertheless, it represents a totally new
approach to presenting and teaching Finnish as a foreign langauge.
Contact <email@example.com> for further information.
Eugene Holman: Handbook of Finnish Verbs. 231 Finnish verbs
conjugated in all tenses (Finnish Literature Society, 1984)
Modelled on the famous Barrons 201 Verbs series, this
book contains a detailed discussion of all the regularities
and peculiarities of Finnish verb morphology, in
addition to which it has information on the cases used in
conjunction with more than 1200 Finnish verbs.
Eugene Holman: Finnmorf (1986)
An MS-DOS computer program which generates
all the forms of a Finnish verb, noun, adjective, numeral
or pronoun if given the dictionary form. It is thus a computer
emulation of a handbook of Finnish inflectional morphology.
Particularly useful for teachers of Finnish because it
quickly produces neatly formatted full paradigms
which can be saved as text files for further editing. Available
as freeware upon request from <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Leena Horton: First Finnish (Helsinki, 1982)
Teaches a very basic knowledge of Finnish with a limited
vocabulary through pictures. There are no grammatical
explanations beyond the translations in the vocabularies for
each chapter. This book was designed for use with children in a
classroom situation. [NOM]
Mirja Joro et al.: Askelia Suomeen (Ammattikasvatushallitus,
Four slim vols, all in Finnish, and intended for
newcomers to Finland. [Lance Eccles]
Fred Karlsson: Finnish Grammar (tr Andrew Chesterman, WSOY,
Finnish edition: Suomen peruskielioppi (1982)
Swedish edition: Finsk grammatik (1978).
Karrlsson systematically covers the grammar of Finnish. This
is an excellent book - the grammar rules are easy to read and
understand and numerous examples are given. The book uses a very
clear and understandable style of layout. However, it is a
grammar and will need to be used in conjunction with other
I've got this book, and while I find it useful, I'd
hesitate to call it "excellent". It's difficult to find things
in it sometimes, it doesn't cover everything (e.g. I would dearly
love to have information on such things as the use of "fossilised"
cases (e.g. maanatai/sin, posti/tse) and I find the rule blocks
written entirely in capitals difficult to read. There is
definite room for improvement. [Matthew Faupel]
Aira Haapakoski, Seija Koski & Mirja Valkesalmi: HUOMENTA SUOMI (Valtion
painatuskeskus, Helsinki, 1990, ISBN 951-861-175-0)
I've used it for adults and children. It
illustrates basic grammar fairly clearly and may make teaching
grammar more fun, it does not, however, give verbal rules, mainly
the info is given in "boxes". Huomenta Suomi costs around 100
FIM (= $25 CAD). [Marja Coady]
Marjatta Karanko & Ulla Talvitie: TOTTAKAI! (Oy Finn Lectura Ab, Loimaan
kirjapaino, Loimaa 1993, ISBN 951-8905-71-1)
I have not used it much yet but it would seem to
be suitable especially for teenagers since its texts are geared
towards them. Grammar is explained somewhat and the book
contains exercises as well. Everything is done in Finnish.
Meri Lehtinen: Basic Course in Finnish (Ural and Altaic Series #27,
Indiana UP, Bloomington, 1963)
A huge book, full of drills. Unfortunately now out of
print. [Lance Eccles]
Terttu Leney: Teach Yourself Finnish (New Version, Hodder and Stoughton,
ISBN 0-340-56174-2) [An audio casette is also available]
Whitney's notorious _Teach Yourself Finnish_ has been
superseded by a new Finnish textbook compiled according to the
Council of Europe's Threshold guidelines on language learning.
It is an excellent introduction to spoken and written
Finnish. [Eugene Holman]
Teach Yourself has just recently brought out a
new version. A colleague recckons its pretty good. [Matthew Faupel]
The new version seems to be a *much* better
book [Antti Lahelma]
Anneli Lieko: Suomen kielen fonetiikkaa ja fonologiaa ulkomaalaisille
(1992) [Finnish phonetics and phonology for foreigners].
A clearly written presentation of the Finnish sound
system intended for foreigners with a good reading knowledge
of the language. The book concentrates on the learning
difficulties foreigners speaking a wide range
of languages face when trying to master Finnish pronunciation.
I would like to say that the book is certainly useful
but far from being a complete presentation of Finnish phonetics and
phonology for foreigners. It does not, for example, specify exactly
when a two-vowel pair is pronounced as a diphthong (instead of two
vowels belonging to distinct syllables), nor does it describe the
rules for secondary stress in Finnish. Admittedly, these are areas
which have not been studied extensively enough, and they seldom have
any phonematic effect. But the phenomena certainly affect the
naturalness of one's speech in Finnish. [Jukka "Yucca" Korpela]
Olli Nuutinen: Suomea Suomeksi 1. (Suomalaisen Sirjallisuuden Seura,
Helsinki, repr. 1992) Vocabuary available in Danish, Icelandic,
French, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, English, German, and Italian.
Teaches everything in Finnish only. Probably less suitable
for self studies. No audio cassettes available. As a student
I know only this one and can't compare, but my impression is
quite good. Seems to be up to date. The German vocabulary
contains many errors. [Uwe Geuder]
At first the book looks extremely childish but all of
the grammar is there. I have found it quite effective when used in
tandem with Karlsson's grammar. I first used this book in
1982 and I would guess it was first published in the
late 70's. This book makes Finnish feel EASY and
with a little imagination is fun to learn from (and teach with!).
[Cecelia A Musselman].
John B. Olli: Fundamentals of Finnish Grammar (Northland Press, New
This book concentrates mainly on long lists of declensions
and conjugations. The approach taken is not a very helpful for the
Anges Renfors: Finnish Self-Taught (Thimm's System) with Phonetic
Pronunciation (Marlborough's Self Taught Series, London, 1910)
Quite a old one! It is really a structured vocabulary with a
brief grammar and a mini-phrase book. Very similar in many ways
to the modern Berlitz books. [NOM]
Thomas A. Sekeboed (?): Spoken Finnish
It seems to be good for having lots of conversational
stuff in it, though probably you need the tapes (and a grammar)
to make a good go of it [Robert Cumming]
Leena Silfverberg: Suomen kielen jatko-oppikirja (Finn Lectura,
An intermediate course. All in Finnish. Has vocab lists,
but no translations. [Lance Eccles]
Arthur H. Whitney: Finnish (Teach Yourself Books, Hodder and Stoughton,
Being available in the cheap Teach Yourself Series, this book
is easily and widely available. Which makes it such a shame that
it is so bad. It consists of 20 chapters each of which has a
grammatical section, a vocabulary, and exercises including short
reading passages. The grammar is dreadfully complicated with the
reader learning rare variations almost immediately. It is also
very poorly laid out with no attempt at making it even vaguely
easy on the eye and brain. The vocabularies seem somewhat
pointless - they are normally 4 or 5 pages long which is an
incredible amount of learning expected for a single chapter - it
would have been better to include them alphabetically at the end
of the work and then tell the reader "learn the words beigining
with 'a' today". The exercises and reading passages are short
and no great aid to someone working alone - as "Teach yourself"
implies. A replacement by Terttu Leney is now available in this
Yes, that book presents the reader with the most massive
vocabulary lessons I have seen in any text book. But, I liked
one thing about it; the reading passages form a real continuing
story. This is something most language books lack completely.
Personally, I also liked the fact that even the first passage is
far from trivial, not on the order of "Hello, Mrs. Paivinen.
That is a house." But as usually happens with me and language
books, I didn't assimilate the whole of the book. A
lot has stuck, though.
[ <email@example.com> ]
Suomi-Englanti-Suomi taskusanakirja, WSOY, Porvoo-Helsinki-Juva 1989.
A small pocket dictionary with a stylised picture of the Union
Jack as its cover. Just about passable as a pocket dictionary,
but it often doesn't give an indication of whether the word is
a noun, adjective or verb (not always obvious) and only gives
the basic form of each word (not helpful if it has an irregular
partitive or whatever). It also lacks most Finnish
colloquialisms (the dictionary seems to be designed for Finns
coming to Britain rather than vice-versa). [Matthew Faupel]
WSOY Suomi/Englanti and Englanti/Suomi.
Two volumes, about the same size as the Concise Oxford
(i.e. about 25cmx20cmx8cm). Hence lots of words and
examples. [Matthew Faupel]
Suomi/Englanti/Suomi Sanakirja, Gummerus Kirjapaino OY, 1989
A single volume mid-size dictionary with a reasonable amount
of colloquial information in, but still no information on
things other than the basic forms of words (other than
indirectly via examples). [Matthew Faupel]
Something like 6 volumes. Irreplaceable for knowing
which words inflect in which ways, and for less common words.
Clearly not for beginners, because of the total lack of English,
but it's currently a bargain at around 300FIM (40 pounds
sterling) in softback. [Steve Kelly]
Robert Austerlitz: Finnish Reader and Glossary (Research and Studies in
Uralic and Altaic Languages No 14, Indiana UP, 1963)
Aili Rytkönen Bell & Augustus Koski: Finnish Graded Reader (1968)
(Foreign Service Institute. Department of State. 1968)
[Audio cassettes are also available]
A behemoth (744 pgs.) of a book, this book takes the
student from the advanmced elementary level (approx. 500 words
and basic grammar) up to unedited journalistic, literary, and
historical texts. Jam packed with interesting exercises and
information otherwise unavailable about Finnish vocabulary,
idioms and phraseology. In my opinion this is the
BEST BOOK AVAILABLE for mastering Finnish in all of its
stylistic variety after you have learned the basics. The book
is a public document and costs $17.50 according to the latest
information I have available. [Eugene Holman]
4.8.4 Material for teaching Finnish
(Language Centre for Finnish Universities)
Eija Aalto (ed.): Kohdekielenä suomi. Oppimateriaalien kommentoitu
bibliografia. (Information from the Language Centre for Finnish
Universities, 1991) (in Finnish)
Jönsson-Korhola & White: Rakastan sinua. Pidätkö sinä minusta? Suomen
verbien rektioita. (Language Centre Materials No. 66, 1989)
H. Koivisto: Suomi-tytön kieli. Suggestopedinen alkeiskurssi (Finnish-
English). (Language Centre Materials No. 75, 1990)
K. Siitonen: Auringonvalo. Elämää suomalaisessa kylässä. (Reading
materials for conversation classes). (Language Centre Materials
No. 79, 1990)
E. Aalto: Kuule hei! Suomen kielen kuunteluharjoituksia
vieraskielisille, (listening comprehension material, booklet + tapes).
(Language Centre Materials No. 80, 1990)
Ahonen & White: Monta sataa suomen sanaa. (reader for vocabulary
building and revision, English glossaries). (Language Centre
Materials No. 101, 1993)
All the above can be ordered from: Language Centre for Finnish
Universities, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, 40351 Jyväskylä,
Finland. If you want further information, feel free to contact Helena Valtanen
Peter Hajdu: Finno-Ugrian languages and peoples (tr and adapted by G.F.
Cushing fr Hungarian "Finnugor nepek es nyelvek", Deutsch,
Gives a background to the peoples and cultures of the
Finno-Ugrian family of languages. [NOM]
4.8.6 Course details
Soumen kielen ja kultuurin opinnot kesällä 1994 /
Att studera finska och Finlands kultur sommaren 1994 /
Courses in Finnish language and culture summer 1994
(Council for Instruction of Finnish for Foreigners, Ministery of
This brochure is available from UKAN/Opitusministeri|
PL 293, FIN-00171 Helsinki, Finland [Uwe Geuder]
With lots of additions & help gratefully received from:
Uwe Geuder <Uwe.Geuder@informatik.uni-stuttgart.d400.de>;
Matthew Faupel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Antti Lahelma <email@example.com>
Eugene Holman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Cumming <email@example.com>
Cecelia A Musselman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Helena Valtanen <email@example.com>
Arndt Jonasson <Arndt.Jonasson@eua.ericsson.se>
Brian Wilkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hans-Christian Holm <email@example.com>
Lance Eccles <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Steven Kelly <email@example.com>
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marja Coady <COADY@ERE.UMONTREAL.CA>
[ the sections above are available at the www-page
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- END OF PART 4 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
© Copyright 1994-98 by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson.
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