Fun Finland Facts
- Finland is not as ethnically homogenous as we believe. A commenter on Finland for thought writes:
I am (tired of the blond, ethnically homogenous Finn line) , especially as this is a load of crap. Sure, most Finns speak some dialect
of Finnish, but the dialects are in fact so diverse that people from different parts of the country sometimes have difficulties understanding each other. If you think you understand Finnish, do pick up a copy of Raumlaissi jaarituksi. Being born in Helsinki and having lived here all my life, I don’t understand half of it.
Also, the differences between rural and urban cultures are tremendous. This stereotype of silent Finns tends to be less true with e.g. Carelians, who (stereotypically) couldn’t shut up to save their lives. I would say that as an IT consultant in Helsinki, I would have more in common with any colleague in any major European city than, for instance, a small time farmer in Ostrobothnia.
- In 1940, the Finnish Army defeated an invasion of their country by the Soviet Red Army, a feat not to be repeated untill 1989. They then fought the Soviets again for four years, and then fought with German troops in Lapland.
- Finns make some really good music. If you haven't heard Finnish bands like Ensiferum and Children of Bodom, you should.
- Jacques Chirac once said that "after Finland, Britain has the worst food." Soon after, Mr. Chirac was sent a bomb hidden in a cellphone. No arrests have been made as yet. (WARNING: Only the first line in this point is true. DO NOT take the rest of it seriously.)
- Finland plays host to the world Mosquito Swatting Championships. Apparently (and I have trouble believing this) they are better at this than us Indians.
- Finland has two million guns in a country of around five million people (There is, incredibly, an article on Gun Politics in Finland on Wikipedia). Despite this, Finns have prudently refrained from killing each other in large numbers since 1920, when 20,000 people died in a bloody Civil War.
- Finland is the least corrupt nation in the world, according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. It is also the most Globally Competitive Country, according t the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index..
- Finalnd is home to New Age guru/eccentric Ior Bock, who, according to Wikipedia has a fan following among "New Age minded people from Goa" (?!). I'm a Goan, however, and I have never heard of him. Maybe it's because I'm Old Age minded.
- Armi Kuusela won the first ever Miss Universe contest as Miss Finland.
- The only Finnish contribution to the spoken English language is "sauna". The Finns are very fond of saunas, and have even started a Finnish Sauna Society.
- Finalnd's most popular cocktail, the Salmiakki Koskenkorva, was, according to Wikipedia, invented after the Simpson's episode Flaming Moe's was broadcast in Finland. Apparently, the Finns saw Moe Szyslak make a cocktail with cough syrup, and were inspired to promptly make a version of their own with ammonium chloride based candy.
- Finns are either a very interesting people, or there are a lot of Finnish pranksters on Wikipedia.
- Update 1: Reader Ravikiran Rao points out that Finland has been hosting the Wife Carrying Championships since 1992. Much to the dissappointment of the hardy wife-carrying Finns, this sport has come to be dominated by Estonians.