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No, Finland is not a Nordic country, and here’s why

No, Finland is not a Nordic country, and here’s why

Take the test. ask around which countries make up Scandinavia, you’ll probably be told Finland. Wrong. For simplicity, the countries of northern Europe are often (wrongly) classified as “Nordic countries”. However, Finland is not part of this region, which includes only three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The world’s happiest country develops its distinction from its Nordic neighbors mainly through its language and its history.

Linguistically, Finnish is really an exception in the Nordic countries. “This language belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family. (spoken in Finland, as well as Estonia and Hungary, in particular, editor’s note), which does not apply to the Scandinavian languages, which are part of the Germanic languagessays Sanna Tuononen, representative of Visit Finland.

In other words, gather a citizen of every Nordic country around dinner; if a Dane, an Icelander, a Norwegian, and a Swede can almost understand each other because of the proximity of their languages, a Finn runs the risk of the conversation being completely confused. ..

A legacy of centuries of Swedish occupation of Finland, Swedish is the country’s second official language, although only 5% of the population speak it. On the streets of Helsinki, for example, it is not uncommon to read signs written in both languages. Which helps us to see that they have absolutely nothing in common.

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Turku Cathedral, the third largest cathedral in Finland, located west of Helsinki. Xavier Allard – stock.adobe.com

Historically, Finland has taken different paths than the Nordic countries. The areas corresponding to present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden share a common history due to the fact that they were conquered by the Vikings. The three kingdoms were then united under one monarch in 1397 with the Union of Kalmar, which lasted until 1523. Then, over the centuries, the fates of the kingdoms were closely linked, while Finland followed its own destiny.

Finland’s history is marked by both the West and the East“, sums up Sanna Tuononen. From the west, first under Swedish rule from the Middle Ages until 1809, when most of Finland became a rural and sparsely populated province of the Kingdom of Sweden; From the East, then, when Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire in 1809 until its independence in 1917. Finland has never been a kingdom, which explains another feature of the country. it has adopted the euro, unlike its neighbors where. According to monarchical tradition, one always pays in crowns.

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The Nordic cross is present on the flag of five Scandinavian countries… including the flag of Finland, which is not in Scandinavia. Robert – stock.adobe.com

CulturallyAfter all, the country plays on its difference. “Finns have passions not shared by their Nordic neighbors, particularly tango and karaoke. Musically, heavy metal is very popular in Finland, while the dominant music genre in Norway and Sweden is quite pop.“, More Matthieu Mariotti, Production Manager Kuoni, a group owned by the travel agency Scanditours.

The way of thinking of Finns is also different. It boils down to term chickpeas (literally “belly”), a concept coined by Joanna Nylund Sisu – Finnish art of bravery (Les Éditions de l’Homme) defines as follows:inflexible determination, resistance to temptation, courage, fearlessness, strong will, tenacity and enduring energy“. It is different hygge A Dane who advocates cocooning around the fireplace or lagom A Swede who seeks the perfect balance between too much and too little.

Geographically, there is also a debate. Finland, except for the far north, is not included in the Scandinavian Peninsula, which almost entirely includes Sweden and Norway. The country is part of a larger geographic unit called Fennoscandia, which additionally includes Karelia and the Kola Peninsula in Russia.

as a result, Scandinavian countries refer to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The Nordic countries include these same countries plus Finland and Iceland. With its language and its history taking different paths from its neighbors, Finland is by no means a Nordic country. Hopefully Finland’s complicated history hasn’t dampened your desire to explore this Nordic country.

Source: Le Figaro

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