Facts x about Finland

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Information about Facts x about Finland

Published on November 22, 2007

Author: Barbara

Source: authorstream.com

Facts about Finland:  Facts about Finland Welcome to Finland, the land of the midnight sun.:  Welcome to Finland, the land of the midnight sun. Population :  Population 5,2 million, 92% speak Finnish, 6% speak Swedish. 85 % are Lutheran, 1% Orthodox. 70% of the population aged 25 to 64 have completed upper secondary or tertiary education and 30 % (the highest percentage in the EU countries) have university or other tertiary qualification. Government :  Government Sovereign parliamentary republic since 1917. The President is elected every six years. The office has been held by Tarja Halonen since March 1.,2000. The 200 members of Parliament are elected for four-year terms. Area :  Area 338,00 sq. kilometres or 131,00 sq. miles, of which 10% is water. There are 188,00 lakes. 6% of the land is under cultivation, with barley and oats the main crops. Forests (mainly pine and spruce) cover 68% of the country. About Finland:  About Finland Finland (Finnish name Suomi) is a republic which became a member of the European Union in 1995. Its population is 5.2 million. The capital Helsinki has 560 000 residents. Finland is an advanced industrial economy: the metal, engineering and electronics industries account for 50 % of export revenues, the forest products industry for 30 %. Finland is one of the leading countries in Internet use. Today, there are more mobile phone than fixed network subscriptions. Languages :  Languages The Finnish language is a member of the Finno-Ugric linguistic family that includes, in one, Finnish, Estonian and a number of other Finnic tongues, and in the other, Hungarian, by far the biggest language of the Ugric group. The official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish, the latter spoken as a mother tongue by about 6 % of the people. Another indigenous minority language is Sami, spoken by the Sami people (also known as Lapps) of Lapland. The official status of Swedish has historical roots in the period when Finland was a part of the Swedish realm, a period that lasted from the beginning of the 13th century until 1809. The number of foreign citizens living permanently in Finland was about 107 000 in 2003. The biggest groups were from the neighbouring countries Russia, Estonia and Sweden. Geography:  Geography Finland is situated in northern Europe between the 60th and 70th parallels of latitude. A quarter of its total area lies north of the Arctic Circle. Finland's neighbouring countries are Sweden, Norway and Russia, which have land borders with Finland, and Estonia across the Gulf of Finland. Much of the country is a gently undulating plateau of worn bedrock and boreal forests, presenting a striking mixture of wooded hills and waters. High rounded fells form the landscape in Finnish Lapland, the most northerly part of the country. Forests:  Forests Forests cover three quarters of the country's surface area of 338 000 sq. km. Other outstanding features of Finland's scenery are some 190 000 lakes and approximately as many islands. The principal archipelago and the self-governing province of the Åland Islands lie off the south-west coast while the main lake district, centred on Lake Saimaa, is in the east. Climate :  Climate The climate is marked by cold winters and warm summers. The mean annual temperature in the capital, Helsinki, is 5.3 degrees Celsius. The highest daytime temperature in southern Finland during the summer occasionally rises to almost 30 degrees. During the winter months, particularly in January and February, temperatures of minus 20 Celsius are not uncommon. In the far north, beyond the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set for about 73 days, producing the white nights of summer. In the same region, during the dark winter period, the sun remains below the horizon for 51 days, creating the polar night known in Finnish as kaamos. What is Saimaa? :  What is Saimaa? Saimaa is a labyrinthine watercourse whose waters flow slowly from north to south and finally through its outflow channel, the Vuoksi, southeast over the Russian border into Ladoga, Europe’s largest lake. The Saimaa drainage region covers most of the southern part of eastern Finland, a region about the size of Belgium, extending almost to Lake Oulujärvi in the north and just over the Russian border in the east. In places, there is more shoreline here per unit of area than anywhere else in the world, the total length being nearly 15,000 km. The number of islands in the region, 14,000, also shows what a maze of detail the system is. Saimaa was created by the continental ice sheet in the Ice Age. Ice more than a kilometre thick then covered the entire area; when it melted, Saimaa gradually emerged through various stages as a freshwater basin separate from the sea and about 76 metres above sea level. Swans :  Swans Finland is safe and clean country :  Finland is safe and clean country Finland is safe. The Finnish health care is mostly based on public Health Centres and Hospitals. The prince of the care is based only on how many visits you do to the doctor or how many days you have to stay in hospital – it doesn’t depend on the operations or the medicines that are necessary for the treatment. The school health care is totally free. There is a wide and high quality private health care system in Finland as an alternative as well. Finland is clean. Finland is one of the leading countries to take care of the environment – even though it is highly industrialized. The pollution of the air and waters is strictly under control of the authorities. And the companies themselves do their best because the consumers everywhere are aware of these matters, too. You can swim in most lakes and rivers – and we have lots of them. In Northern Finland the water of the creeks is clean enough to be used as drinking water without cooking. The towns are tidy and people take good care of their houses, gardens and the public areas well. The food is clean and tap water doesn’t have to be cooked before drinking. The people :  The people The population of Finland is approximately 5 200 000. Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe in area, with a low population density of 17 persons per square kilometre. Most Finns, some 67 %, now live in urban areas, while 33 % remain in a rural environment. The three cities of Helsinki, the capital, population 560 000, Espoo, 225 000, and Vantaa, 185 000, form the fast growing Helsinki metropolitan region, which is now home to almost a fifth of the country's total population. Other important cities are Tampere, 200 000, Turku, 175 000, and in the north Oulu, 126 000. The people:  The people There are about 1.4 million families in Finland. Among families with children the average number of offspring is 1.8. In 1960 the figure was 2.27. In 2003 women made up 48 % of the total work force of 2.5 million. Their average earnings were 80 % of average male earnings. Women on average outlive men in Finland. Average life expectancy for females is 81 years and for males 74 years. In the parliamentary elections of 2003 women won 74 of the 200 seats. The sauna:  The sauna Yuo can´t write about Finland without mentioning the sauna. “The sauna came from Finland”! the sauna is not just a place to wash – it`s a place ti relax or freshen up. You are invited to take off all your clothes and go to a little room heated to almost 100 Cº, where you will sit, naked, with others for a while and sweat. In summertime, you may also be handed a "vihta" - a bunch of birch branches which you dip in water and with which you then gently flagellate yourself. Saunas have existed in other cultures, but it is in Finland that they have become entwined in the national culture. Slide21:  In days gone by, they were the most practical place to wash during the long winters when there was no running hot water. You can still find people in Finland who were born in the sauna. Not when it was heated, of course, but it was a sterile place where hot water was available. Traditional saunas are heated by wood, burned either in a stove with a chimney, or by a stove with no chimney. The latter - a smoke-sauna - is the original sauna and believed by most Finns to be the best. The door is closed after the wood has burned down (and most of the smoke has escaped), leaving the embers to heat the sauna to the proper temperature, but giving a soft heat and the aroma of woodsmoke. Seasons and hobbies:  Seasons and hobbies Summertime means fresh fish, fried sausages, new potatoes, Baltic herring, fresh tomatoes and cucumber. In July outdoor markets are full of fresh strawberries and bilberries, and in August the first mushrooms appear on the market stalls. In summertime you can even see the sun at the midnight, because it doesn’t go away and it shines through whole night. Then is one of the biggest celebrations in Finland called Juhannus. The autumn is often stormy and trees quickly lose their leaves. The birds waste no time leaving. But market places are full of onions, potatoes and root vegetables. Finnish cellars are full of jams, juices, and pickles. The winter is long and dark but Christmas gives light to it. Food means rice pudding, roast ham and mustard, pickled herring as well as carrot, Swede and potato casseroles. And apparently, just like us, they all eat too much. Slide23:  The Easter and early spring period is very important for Lapland’s ski slopes. Cross-country skiing and skidoo safaris are also popular then. But if you have any free time in mid-winter that’s also a good time to visit. They have kaamos in Lapland then. That means the winter darkness, a time when the sun is hardly on the horizon at all. The ski slopes and tracks are lit so you can still ski or go snowboarding. And if you’re lucky you might even see and hear the wonder of the Northern Lights. Midnight sun:  Midnight sun Juhannus, as the summer solstice is called in Finnish, referring to the commemoration day of John the Baptist or Johannes, is the initiation of all Finnish summer ambitions. It is a holiday that is a quasi holy day, vehemently kept apart for special occasions such as family reunions, weddings and christenings, and is by far the best time to visit Finland to view her in her verdant summer dress. The night of the midnight sun is the greatest magic of summer in Lapland. The further north you go, the longer the sun stays above the horizon. The sun doesn’t set at the latitude of Ivalo for about two months. The bright nights call upon people to go out into nature - and nature itself is in a hurry to bloom. In the towns and villages, the building of the kokko, a huge bonfire, commences. Old boats and cast lumber are used to fashion the distinct conical shape of the kokko. Excitement builds as the silhouette rises on a prominent location near water. Summer:  Summer Summer is a rare commodity in the North-European country of Finland where winter’s reign lengthens its grip far into spring. But when summer arrives with its solstice on or around June 25, celebrations take over and take on grand proportions. Symbolic of the climate, Finns are sober, serious people who view the world with furrowed brows from underneath their fur hats, but as soon as the sun eclipses the equinoctial line, the hats are thrown off, brows smooth and the Finns’ alter-ego is set free. The summer solstice:  Days before the holiday, preparations begin. On the home front, it means cleaning the entire house inside and out, and cutting—or purchasing—tender green-leafed, fragrant branches of birch trees that will be tied in bunches to adorn doorways and porches to bring the summer’s glories even closer home. The Finnish flag is also cleaned and pressed, so that it can fly gloriously bright against the azure skies all through the nightless night. National costumes are brought out of the attic to air out and are readied for the year’s most important national outing. In the towns and villages, the building of the kokko, a huge bonfire, commences. Old boats and cast lumber are used to fashion the distinct conical shape of the kokko. Excitement builds as the silhouette rises on a prominent location near water—there is always water nearby in any town in Finland, a lake, a pond, a river, a stream. Children especially rejoice in the prospects of watching the kokko burn late into the night at the appointed hour. That special incineration of the bonfire happens on the eve of Juhannus, but not before lengthy entertainment and feasting have taken place. Folk songs, accompanied by the national Finnish instrument kantele— a lute-like musical implement first mentioned in Kalevala, the Finnish national epic—dances known as tanhut, brought to life with the call of accordions and fiddles and rendered by skillful performers dressed in their colorful regional national costumes, both men, women and children alike, and audience participation in some raucous polkas and waltzes precede the hour of burning. The summer solstice Slide28:  Close to midnight, the darkest hour of the night, which in most places is not dark at all, the kokko is ceremoniously set on fire. The spectators express their admiration as the flames roar up to the sky, ferociously licking the dry wood of the boats while black smoke towers up from the tar and oil used to render the boats waterproof in their earlier role. But this role is the most glorious one: assuredly not fireproof, the burning vessels brighten up the already light midnight sky to the endless delight of the observers who linger far into the early morning hours, enjoying the warmth and magic that burning fire somehow conjures up. Another summer solstice is over, but in Finland it only wakes up the sleeping winter-worn spirits, and summer comes to life in the land of the midnight sun. Slide29:  The vast majority of Finns love sport. And, according to a recent poll, 75% of Finnish school kids practice some form of sport or physical recreation in their spare time. No wonders so many of the country’s modern-day heroes are sportsmen and sportswomen Northern lights :  Northern lights Nokia:  Nokia Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia is dedicated to enhancing people's lives and productivity by providing easy-to-use and secure products like mobile phones, and solutions for imaging, games, media, mobile network operators and businesses. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on five major exchanges. Here in Finland almost everyone have a mobile phone. In some jobs it’s the most important thing to do business. But it’s useful for students too. Life has gone mobile - and that mobility extends to business. Nokia believes that business mobility will fundamentally change the way people work. Whether your business is large or small, Nokia offers a suite of business mobility and security solutions designed to enable mobile voice and more - anytime, anywhere, any device access for people on the move that's IT approved. Nokia offers a line of versatile business phones incorporating mobile voice, mobile messaging and business-critical applications to meet the needs of different user groups.

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