The Land of Finns (Finnish: Suomi) is a country with a Uralic language that borders Sweden, Norway, and Russia. It is known as the place where the inhabitants sing, dance, and find romance in the traditional Scandinavian way. It is populated almost entirely by ducks, who share their country with an estimated 7000-7500 goats.
Finland has lots of ice, snow trees (yes, snow trees), and dirt. They also have 188,000 lakes and, in summer, 3.23x1083987 little flying bitey things, which they export to Sweden and Estonia. Also, liquor costs a fortune, which isn't that big a deal since native Finns generally get drunk very easily. They are also known to occasionally deal with said alcohol prices via the home brewing of a foul concoction of fermented sugar aptly named kilju (pronounced kill-you), or conversely, a fantastic rye and juniper ale known as sahti.
The capital of Finland is Helsinki and the second largest city is Espoo.
The area of what is Finland today was conquered and ruled by Sweden until 1809, when the Russian Empire took over. After some failed rebellions the Finns won their independence in 1917 while taking advantage of the Russian Revolution. Russia tried to retake it during the 1939-40 Winter War, but only succeeded in getting about a tenth of it because even they weren't prepared for the cold temperatures, or the Finnish resistance. In particular, they weren't prepared for Simo Häyhä.
Finns are considered the shyest people on earth.[note 1] Aww. :)
Despite this shyness most Finns are satisfied with their lives and the United Nations’ World Happiness Report ranked Finland the second happiest nation after Denmark, though this is probably related to the Finnish joke "The reason Swedes get pregnant is because they have the Finns to help them out". They leave a large ecological footprint.
The language of Finland is Finnish (though there is a small Swedish-speaking population, especially on the Åland islands, of which Linus Torvalds, who started the Linux project, was part before moving to Oregon), which
is proof of alien visitors looks somewhat like the alphabet throwing up. This is largely because instead of using diacritics to show a phonemic long vowel or consonant, they decided to duplicate the entire letter. The Latin alphabet, spread by Protestant Christianity, is in use, so we are allowed to blame the Church for any illnesses caused by looking at the orthography, although they probably won't listen. Of course, the idea that English readers have any right to complain about anyone else's "difficult orthography" is laughable in itself.
A major part of Finns are irreligious or non-practising but registered Lutherans. They follow the antics of various USA-based fundies with mixed feelings of amusement, schadenfreude, and disbelief; such is their fascination with the exotic Yankee Whackadoodle that Finland manages to be the second largest reader of Conservapedia in the world. Member of parliament and later Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen has recreated some relatively tame American Conservative antics on Finnish soil, which has resulted in the Lutheran church losing thousands of members each time.
Finland is often praised for its high quality education system, and Finnish students are often ranked as the best in the world. Finnish schools do not teach intelligent design, nor do they teach the controversy. Biology books, for one, establish evolution as one of the 8 primary conditions for life and the Big Bang is referenced constantly as the origin of the universe. Religion is taught mostly for the students to understand and tolerate world religions, and Christianity is mostly dealt from a philosophical perspective.
Cranks and wingnuttery
Popular wingnuttery in Finland revolves mostly around racism, Russo- or Islamophobia, and revanchism over territories lost in the Second World War. Euroskepticism is also very popular in modern Finland and is one of the main attractions for the main nationalist party Perussuomalaiset (they would like to be known as "the Finns Party", but are literally "the Ordinary Finns").
In a bit of historical revisionism, Finland often downplays its allegiance to Nazi Germany during World War II, and Cold War sensibilities gave rise to the idea that Finland was involved with the German invasion of the Soviet Union through sheer bad luck and coincidence. Nowadays it is common to completely ignore the presence of over 200,000 German soldiers in northern Finland (including Waffen-SS) and instead lower the bar by emphasizing Finland's lack of direct involvement in the Holocaust. While Finland did deport 8 foreign national Jews to Germany where they were exterminated, Finnish Jews were equal to everyone else and actively served in the Finnish military. Also, hey, no official alliance with Hitler. That's something, right? The UK declared war on Finland in December 1941, but had already bombed Finnish ports in July 1941 to little effect; this is often cited as a counter-example to the claim that no two democracies have ever gone to war against each other. Many Finnish war memorials also list Finland's involvement in the war as lasting from 1939-1944, thus ignoring the short war between Finland and Germany in 1944-1945[note 2].
- Angry Birds
- Finlandia vodka
- Actually, "Finland" is a song by Michael Palin of Monty Python.[note 3]
- Visit Finland! (But don't make eye contact!)
- Some say that making eye contact with a Finn is akin to physical assault. The only time you are allowed to say anything to a Finn is when you are both in a sauna.
- Just as a matter for thought. The Winter War was purely defensive for the Finns. When the time came for Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, there was no real possibility for Finland to remain neutral. They had a choice: Hitler or Stalin, that is the Devil and his grandmother.
- Finland also makes a brief appearance as a village in Monty Python's Spamalot. It was not originally scheduled to have a role in the play, but was pushed onstage due to poor hearing on the part of the backstage crew.