Portal:Finland

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Location of Finland within Europe

The Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta Swedish: Republiken Finland) is a Nordic country in northeastern Europe, bordered by the Baltic Sea to the southwest, the Gulf of Finland to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the west. Finland has land frontiers with Sweden, Norway and Russia. The Åland Islands, off the southwestern coast, are under Finnish sovereignty while enjoying extensive autonomy. The Finnish name for Finland is Suomi; in Swedish it is Finland.

Finland gained independence from Russia on 6 December 1917. Prior to that, it had been part of the Kingdom of Sweden and an autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland under Imperial Russia. After fighting two wars with the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century, it has grown quickly from a largely agrarian society to one of the world's most developed countries. Finland has a high standard of living, one of the best educational systems in the world, and it has been the birthplace to many technological phenomena such as Nokia, SMS, Linux, Angry Birds and IRC.

Finland has been a member of the European Union since 1995.


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Vårt land - front page.jpg

Our Land, Maamme (Finnish), or Vårt land (Swedish), is the title of Finland's national anthem. Finnish law doesn't state anything about a national anthem so the song has an unofficial status.

The music was composed by the German immigrant Fredrik Pacius, with (original Swedish) words by Johan Ludvig Runeberg, and was performed for the first time on 13 May 1848. The original poem, written in 1846 but not printed until 1848, had 11 stanzas and formed the prologue to the great verse cycle The Tales of Ensign Stål ("Fänrik Ståhls Sägner"), a masterpiece of Romantic nationalism. The current Finnish text is usually attributed to the 1889 translation of Ensign Stål by Paavo Cajander, but in fact originates from the 1867 translation by Julius Krohn.

The Tales of Ensign Stål were much appreciated throughout all of Scandinavia. Up until the time of Finland's independence in 1917–18, when the song began to be recognized as specifically applying to Finland, Pacius's tune and Runeberg's text were often also sung in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Note that in the original Swedish text there is no reference to Finland (except for in verses 4 and 10, which are rarely sung), only to a country in the north, but the Finnish text explicitly refers to Finland. The poem's theme is, furthermore, remarkably similar to that of the national anthems of Sweden (Du gamla, Du fria) and Norway (Ja, vi elsker dette landet).

Some Finns have proposed that the Finnish national anthem be changed to Finlandia by Jean Sibelius, with lyrics by V.A. Koskenniemi (Finnish) and Joel Rundt (Swedish). It is also said that Pacius composed the tune in a mere fifteen minutes, with no idea that it would become so important to the people of Finland that they would eventually make it their national anthem. There are also those who simply prefer Finlandia as a musical piece, although critics call it difficult to sing.

The tune of Maamme has similarities with the German drinking song Papst und Sultan. Many believe that Fredrik Pacius intentionally or unintentionally copied parts of the tune. Another Finnish patriotic song, Sotilaspoika, composed by Pacius, also includes similarities with Papst und Sultan.

The melody of Maamme is also used for the national anthem of Estonia with a similarly themed text, Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm, My Fatherland, My Happiness and Joy (1869).

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Photo credit: commons:User:Trainthh
Snow-covered landscape in Isokuru, Pyhä-Luosto National Park.

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Type II submarine

Selected biography

Martti Ahtisaari

Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari (born 23 June 1937) is a former President of Finland (1994–2000), 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and United Nations diplomat and mediator, noted for his international peace work.

Ahtisaari was a UN Special Envoy at the Kosovo status process negotiations, aimed at resolving a long-running dispute in Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. In October 2008 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts". The Nobel statement said that Ahtisaari has played a prominent role in resolving many conflicts in Namibia, Indonesia, Kosovo and Iraq, among other areas.

Finland News

Wikinews Finland portal
  • August 21: Man with knife stabs people in Finnish city of Turku
  • December 31: Helsinki court jails anti-drug chief Jari Aarnio for drug smuggling
  • December 4: Gunman kills official, two journalists in Imatra, Finland
  • October 5: World Wildlife Fund: 75% of seafood species consumed in Singapore not caught sustainably
  • September 1: Biologist Nick Bos tells Wikinews about 'self-medicating' ants
  • November 28: Finland passes law allowing same-sex marriage
  • June 29: Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships
  • June 26: Belgian men's goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships
  • March 10: Wheelchair curling enters third day at 2014 Winter Paralympics
  • October 9: Japanese adults rank high in literacy and numeracy in OECD survey


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Flag of Finland.svg You are invited to participate in Finland WikiProject, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Finland.

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View of Helsinki
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Panoramic photo shot of Helsinki, Finland.

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