Finland is a very vast land with a very rich history and culture. Finland is more than what you thought it ever was. You may think that it is just another European country, but it is so much more.You may not have known that Finland produces more paper than any other country in the world. You also may not have known that Finland has a female President. You will learn this and so much more when you read the following article.

Culture #1- The History of Finland

Finland has a
Map of Finland
very interesting and diverse history dating back to 1000.Finland was settled in 1000.In 1100 A.D. the Swedish came and converted the Finnish to Catholicism, but instead of leaving they stayed to rule the land. In 1809 Sweden went to war with Russia and Sweden gave Finland to Russia as part of the peace agreement.

Under Russian rule Finland was more independent but they weren't completely free. However they did create their own military in 1878. Some of the Russian leadeers wanted to put a stop to this. They made all of the people of Finland learn Russian and they made men join the Russian military. In 1917 when Russia was at Civil War, Finland declared itself an independent nation.

Shortly after independence Finland went into a Civil War of its own. Although the war lasted a mere 2 years it was a brutal and bitter war. In 1919 Finland became a republic which is where the people of a country elect representatives to govern the people. Finland was the first European country to let all of its citizens,male or female, the right to vote in 1906. In 1955 Finland joined the United Nations and in 1995 they joined the European Union. Members of the EU can trade freely and they all use the same currency,the Euro. In 2000 Finland elected Tarja Halonen the first female President and re-elected her to a second term in 2006. Tensions between Finl
The Flag of Finland
and and Russia have lessened in the last 50 years.

Culture #2- The Economy of Finland

Finland's forests are sometimes called "green gold" because Finland produces more paper and paper related products than any other country in the world. Computers and cell phones are now a big industry in Finland today. In 2002 Finland changed its form of currency from the markkas that were previously used to the Euro that is used by most other European countries. Today Finland is highly industrialized and has a large free market for trade.

Some of Finland's natural resources are timber and timber related products like paper, copper, iron ore, and silver. Some of Finland's largest industries include manufacturing, technology, and trade. Major exports include timber/paper, chemicals, shipbuilding, and textiles.The cell phone maker Nokia is responsible for more than 25% of Finland's exports. Finland provides most of its own grain, dairy products,and meat. Finland relies on imports for energy.

Finland has a high standard of living. The people there are fairly prosperous. Finland is still recovering from a recession that hit in the early 1990's which was caused by weakened trade with Russia and depressed foreign trade markets.

A ream of paper
A ream of paper

Chart of Euros
Chart of Euros

Culture #3- Education of Finland

All kids in Finland attend at least one year of preschool, free of charge. After nine years of primary (elementary) school children then choose a trade like cooking or computers or go on to secondary (high) school. About half of the children choose secondary school. Because school is so important to the Finnish, college is free for everyone. The government gives students an allowance to help with expenses. Finland’s schools are equipped with new computers, smart boards, and wireless internet access. Children usually have an average of one hour of homework a day. The University of Helsinki is the national university. Hot lunch is provided free for all students first through twelfth grade. Secondary School drop out rates are extremly low. Equality is a main priority in the Finnish school system. Students in primary school do not have to pay for books, notebooks, or pencils.

University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki

A Finnish Primary  School
A Finnish Primary School

Culture #4- The Government of Finland

Finland is currently a republic in which the people elect representatives to govern themselves. Finland’s current president is Tarja Halonen. She is a directly elected president and was elected the first female President of Finland in 2000 and was re-elected in 2006. She is the eleventh president and prior to her election she served as minister for foreign affairs and minister for justice and minister for social affairs and health. She serves six year terms. The current voting age is 18. Recently approved constitutional reforms limit presidential power in favor of strong parliament. The prime minister and valtioneuvosto are appointed by the president but the selections must be approved by the Eduskunta. The capital and largest city in Finland is Helsinki. Finland's current prime minister is Mari Kiviniemi.
The Finnish "Cathedral"
The Finnish "Cathedral"
President Tarja Halonen
President Tarja Halonen

Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi
Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi


Helsinki Cathedral -

Tarja Halonen -

Culture Grams -

Finland Primary School -

University of Helsinki -

Euro Coin and Bill Chart -

Ream of Paper -

Finland Flag - http://finland-240-animated-flag-gifs.gif/

Finland Map - http://finland-map.gif/

Mari Kiviniemi -