» Today, Finland has 6 administrative provinces. The province authority is part of the executive branch of the national government. Since then, the six provinces are:
* Southern Finland
* Western Finland
* Eastern Finland
Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islands; 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands to be precise. One of these lakes, Saimaa, is the 5th largest in Europe. The Finnish landscape is mostly flat with few hills and its highest point, the Haltitunturi at 1,328 m, is found in the extreme north of Lapland. Finland is one of the few countries in the world that is still growing.
There are two official languages in Finland: Finnish, spoken by 92% of the population, and Swedish, mother tongue for 5.5% of the population. Ethnic Finns and Finland Swedes are generally considered to comprise a common nation. The Finland Swedes are concentrated in the coastal areas; and there is a slight cultural difference between the culture of the Ethnic Finns, focused on lakes and woods, and the more outward-oriented coastal culture of the Finland Swedes. This difference may be considered as an ethnic division, but the difference is slight and not more pronounced than the difference between East Finnish and West Finnish culture.
» The Culture of Finland is inherently hard to define. However, there are some general characteristics often associated with Finnish society and every day culture. Finns are generally a reserved people, like other Nordic peoples in Norway or Sweden. Traditionally, Finns enjoy peace and nature, though the modern, urban lifestyle is popular with many.
» A sense of melancholy and depression is sometimes associated with the Finns. People in Finland are reserved when meeting strangers and sometimes take a long time to become familiar with others but, as a result, relationships are deep and lasting. Alcohol is considered to be an effective method of lowering these inhibitions. Still, Finns tend to be less gregarious and inclined to small talk than most of their European peers.
|Capital of Finland: Helsinki
|Offical Language: Finnish & Swedish
|Calling Code: +358
» Finns are proud that their country has managed to rise from its relative poverty during the early 20th century to a modern democracy. Equality is an important part of Finnish culture as in other Nordic countries, so much so that success or what may be seen as a deliberate attempt to distinguish oneself from others may be viewed with hostility. It is commonly frowned upon in Nordic cultures to believe yourself to be better than others, whether by birth or achievement.
» The Finnish national character is called sisu, for which an exact English equivalent does not exist. Historically, the Finns have had to be a tough people to survive with their own culture and language in the face of incessant Russian aggression alternating with Swedish rule.
Despite its difficult history, Finland has exported its culture far out of proportion to its small population. Finnish designers and musicians led the way, and today Finland is known for its technological products such as Nokia. The national dance of Finland, oddly enough, is the tango.