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FINNISH CULTURE   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINNISH SOUL AND CIVILIZATION IN A NUTSHELL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agricola

(Mikael Agricola 1500-1557). Bishop of Turku, he published the very first book in Finnish.

 

 

Alphabet

The most common sound is the "a", the rarest the "ö".

 

 

Alko

Finnish alcohol monopoly.

 

 

Bon appetite

Finns don't usually wish themselves "hyvää ruokahalua" (Bon appetite) but instead are always thankful after having eaten and will eventually say "Kiitos" (thanks).

 

 

Ethnic groups

In Finland there are 5 ethnic groups: Häme people, Karelian, Savo people, Ostrobothnians and Lapps.

 

 

Finland Svenska

In Finland around 8% of the population has Swedish as mother tongue.

 

 

Gods (in ancient mythology)

Ukko was the greatest. Tapio was the god of the forest and Ahti the one for lakes. Ilmarinen was the blacksmith who created skies and stars. Last but no least Väinämöinen the hero of the Kalevala.

 

 

Hölökynkölökyn

Means "Cheers". Wider use is "Kippis".

 

 

Jääkiekko

Jääkiekko (Ice hockey) is the most important sport in Finland. Once a year the highlight is the match against Sweden.

 

 

Joulupukki

Santa Claus

 

 

Kahvi

Kahvi (Coffee). Finns are the biggest coffee consumers per capita in the world.

 

 

Kalevala

National Epic.

 

 

Kontio, Otso, Urho

The three ice-breakers anchored in Helsinki. Kontio

 

 

Korvatunturi

 

The home of Joulupukki Santa Claus (Lapland).

 

 

Krigsbarn

The "Krigsbarn" were the children, who were hosted by Swedish families to protect them during the second world war. Around 65 000 kids were send to Sweden until 1946. (See the documentary "Sotalapset / Krigsbarn" by Erja Dammert (2003).

 

 

Lactose

Component of the milk. In Finland you can find "lactositon" milk (lactose free milk) since a lot of Finns is lactose- intolerant. By the way nowhere else in the world is people lactose intolerant…

 

Lakes

There are more lakes in Finland than in any other country on earth. There are 187 888 with at least 500m². More than 30000 have the name Järvinen (lake person). The largest lake system is the Saimaa.

 

 

Lumilinna

(Snowcastle) Every year the largest snowcastle in the world is built in Kemi. www.snowcastle.net

 

 

Mannerheim-risti

The Mannerheim cross is the highest Finnish decoration. It was introduced during the Winter War and named by Marshall Mannerheim Commander in Chief of the Army 1939-1946. Up to 2004 just 2 persons (Marshall Mannerheim and General Heinrichs) were awarded 1st class and 191 persons 2sd class.

 

 

Mämmi

Finnish Easter pudding. It might be a question of time or amount of beer before starting, but you'll surely enjoy it after trying a while.

 

 

Midnight Sun

Aavasaksa is the place in Lapland from where to watch the Midnight sun. Around 70° Lat. N. you will have between may and July more than 70 days without night.

 

 

Miss Suomi

The nicest Finnish Girl every year. Click here to see more.

 

 

Molotov Cocktail

Now use all over the world by any guerrilla fighter this invention was more or less the only antitank weapon the Finns had 1939.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Napapiiri

That's the Finnish name for the Arctic Circle.

 

Nicest sentence

1) "Aja hiljaa sillalla" (Drive carefully on the bridge) is taken from a road sign and won a European contest for the most pleasant sounding sentence.

 

2) Users send the following sentence to the webmaster and we find it equally good, even funnier:

 

-Kokko, kokoo kokoon koko kokko!

(Kokko (surname) build up the bonfire)

-Koko kokko?

(The whole bonfire?)

-Koko kokko!

(Yes the whole bonfire!)

 

 

Nollapiste

(Absolute zero) Book published 1964 by Osmo Jokinen. Except the title a list of content and page numbers, the book has no text (!) and is thus probably the shortest of the world.

 

 

Palindrome

A very funny palindrome in Finnish language is:

 

Allu, taas sulaa jää

(Allu, the ice is melting again)

Lenin elää ja alus saa tulla!

(Lenin is alive and the vessel may come)

 

 

Pea soup

(Hernekeitto) If you're lucky you like it because you should enjoy it every week in most public canteens.

 

 

Pesäpallo

It is a sort of baseball, very popular in Finland. It was developped by Lauri "Tahko" Pihkala in the 1920s.

 

 

Restaurant Korkki

The smallest licensed restaurant in the world: just for 2 customers.

 

 

Riiuuyöaie

The word with the most vowels. Means:"intention to spend a night wooing women” but ain’t in use anymore.

 

 

Saapanheitto

Boot throwing. Finnish national sport.

 

 

Saippuakivikauppias

“A soapstone seller” is the longest palindrome (you can read in both directions) of the world according to Guinness Book of Records.

 

 

Sauna

A Finnish institution! Don't miss it.

 

 

Sinivalkoisin sivin

The “blue and white wings” i.e. Finnair the Finnish Airlines.

 

 

 

Sisu

Without Sisu you can't live in Finland. Sisu means something like stamina.

 

 

Tango

The Finnish version of the tango is most beloved especially among middle-age people. Every year there's a contest in Seinäjoki. One of the most popular tango is Satumaa (Fairytale Land), composed by Unto Mononen in 1955. Maybe the greatest singer was Olavi Virta (1915-72)

 

 

 

Temperatures

The coldest temperature: -50°C in Salla, Lapland 1985. The highest 36°C in Turku, 1914.

 

 

 

 

Tipaton Tammikuu

(January without any drop). A campaign for helping you stopping drinking in January. After having had a real good time in December, your body should have a chance to recover.

www.tipatontammikuu.fi

 

 

 

 

Vaimonkanto

Wife Carrying. Finnish “national sport”.

 

 

 

 

Väinö 1

Prince Friedrich Karl of Hessen. The first and only King in Finland's history from October 1918 to December 1918 but he actually never came to Finland. He might have got cold feet :-)

 

 

 

 

Viipuri

(or Vyborg) Capital of Karelia, wich was lost to the UdSSR 1947.

 

 

 

 

Xylitol

Birch sugar, so children can eat sweets without fearing for their teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partly based on: "Sauna, Sisu & Sibelius for businesspeople", Yrityskirjat OY

© L.Joachim, 05/2002