Finland is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. In 2012
Finland's population was around 5.4 million. Helsinki is the capital of Finland. Other large cities include
Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti ja Kuopio.
Here’s a list of interesting places worth visiting that are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage
Sammallahdenmäki is a Bronze age burial site in Finland in Lappi municipality. It is one of the most
important Bronze Age sites in Scandinavia.
Suomenlinna is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands (Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari,
IsoMustasaari, PikkuMustasaari, LänsiMustasaari and Långören) and which now forms part of the
city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
Old Rauma is the wooden city centre of the town of Rauma. The oldest buildings date from the 18th
century, as two fires of 1640 and 1682 destroyed the town. Most buildings are currently inhabited and
owned by private individuals, although along the two main streets and around the town square they are
mainly out side in business use.
Santa Park (not on the UNESCO list) is an amusement park and visitor attraction near Rovaniemi in
the Lapland region of Finland. The park is designed to emulate the cavern residence of Santa Claus on
the Arctic circle. Popular culture often depicts Santa Claus (or joulupukki in Finnish) coming from
Lapland. Therefore, tourists come every year to Rovaniemi to meet Santa Claus.
Finnish and Swedish are the two official languages of Finland. Finnish is a member of the Finnic
group of the Uralic family of languages. The Finnic group also includes Estonian and a few minority
languages spoken around the Baltic Sea.
Hello = Moikka
Good Morning = Hyvää huomenta
How are you? = Mitä kuuluu?
I’m fine, thanks = Hyvää, kiitos
Finland’s national anthem was originally written in Swedish by Johan Ludvig Runeberg and it goes like
Oi maamme, Suomi, synnyinmaa,
soi, sana kultainen!
Ei laaksoa, ei kukkulaa,
ei vettä rantaa rakkaampaa,
kuin kotimaa tää pohjoinen,
maa kallis isien!
Sun kukoistukses kuorestaan
viel lempemme saa nousemaan
sun toivos, riemus loistossaan,
ja kerran, laulus synnyinmaa
korkeemman kaiun saa.
And in English:
Oh our land, Finland, land of our birth,
rings out the golden word!
No valley, no hill,
no water, shore more dear
than this northern homeland,
precious land of our fathers.
Your splendour from its shell
one day will bloom;
From our love shall rise
your hope, glorious joy,
and once your song, fatherland
higher still will echo.
Jean Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957)
Jean Sibelius (born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius) was a Finnish composer of the late
Romantic period. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national
identity. Sibelius was born in Hämeenlinna in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, the son of
Swedishspeaking doctor Christian Gustaf Sibelius and Maria Charlotta Sibelius née Borg.
Although known by the typical Finnish and Swedish name "Janne" to his family, during his
student years he began using the French form of his name, "Jean", inspired by the business card
of his seafaring uncle. He is now universally known as Jean Sibelius.
In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius's bestknown compositions include Finlandia,
the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor and The Swan of Tuonela (one
of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Sibelius composed prolifically until the
mid1920s. However, after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music to
The Tempest (1926), and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he produced no large scale works
for the remaining thirty years of his life. Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he in
fact attempted to continue writing, including abortive efforts to compose an eighth symphony.
He wrote some Masonic music and reedited some earlier works during this last period of his
life, and retained an active interest in new developments in music, although he did not always
view modern music favorably.
Tove Jansson (9 August 1914 – 27 June 2001)
Tove Marika Jansson was a Swedishspeaking Finnish novelist, painter, illustrator and
comic strip author. Brought up by artistic parents, Jansson studied art from 1930 to 1938 in
Stockholm, Helsinki and then Paris. Her first solo art exhibition was in 1943. At the same time,
she was writing short stories and articles for publication, as well as creating the graphics for
book covers and other purposes. She continued to work as an artist for the rest of her life,
alongside her writing.
Jansson is best known as the author of the Moomin books for children. The first such
book, The Moomins and the Great Flood, appeared in 1945, though it was the next two
books, Comet in Moominland and Finn Family Moomintroll, published in 1946 and 1948
respectively, that brought her fame.
Here’s a quote from the book Moominvalley in November:
“Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in
your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It's very easy to
― Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November
And here’s a link to a series of moomintrolls:
Finnish mythology is the mythology that goes with Finnish paganism which is still
practiced by the Finnish people. It has many features shared with fellow Finnic Estonian
mythology and its nonFinnic neighbours, the Balts and the Scandinavians. Some of their myths
are also distantly related to the myths of other FinnoUgric speakers like the Samis.
Finnish mythology survived within an oral tradition of mythical poemsinging and folklore
well into the 19th century.
Although the gradual influence of surrounding cultures raised the significance of the
skygod in a monolatristic manner, the father god "Ukko" (Old Man) was originally just a nature
spirit like all the others. Ukko was a god of the sky, weather, and the crops. He was also the
most significant god in Finnish mythology and the Finnish word for thunder, "ukkonen" (little
Ukko) or "ukonilma" (Ukko's weather), is derived from his name. In the Kalevala he is also
called "ylijumala" (overgod), as he is the god of things of the sky. He makes all his appearances
in myths solely by natural effects when invoked.
Of the animals, the most sacred was the bear, whose real name was never uttered out
loud, lest his kind be unfavorable to the hunting. The bear ("karhu" in Finnish) was seen as the
embodiment of the forefathers, and for this reason it was called by many euphemisms:
mesikämmen ("meadpaw"), otso ("browed one"), kontio ("dweller of the land"), lakkapoika
("cloudberry boy"), metsän kultaomena ("the golden apple of the forest") but not a god.
Tuonela was the land of dead. It was an underground home or city for all the dead
people, not only the good or the bad ones. It was a dark and lifeless place, where everybody
slept forever. Still a brave shaman could travel to Tuonela in trance to ask for the forefathers'
guidance. To travel to Tuonela, the soul had to cross the dark river of Tuonela. If he had a
proper reason, then a boat would come to take him over. Many times a shaman's soul had to
trick the guards of Tuonela into believing that he was actually dead.