Cultural Aspects of Finland
The culture of Finland can be
seen as a combination of Nordic, European and Russian traditions as
well as a number of indigenous traditions unique to Finland.
Finland's cultural influences are predominately dependent on its
geographic location and the power struggles that plagued the nordic
nations throughout its history.
Presently, the people of Finland are comprised of a finnish-speaking
population and a swedish-speaking population. Both can be
distinguished by certain genetic traits that are unique to each
population. The language differences within each population has
significantly decreased since the urbanization that followed World
War II (WWII). Thus, many of the dialects that differentiated
subgroups in Finland have died out in recent years.
The cultural philosophy of Finland incorporates an egalitarian
structure that has persisted since ancient times. Finnish people
believe highly in the idea of a welfare state, which prohibits
social stratification and large disparities in wealth. The Finns
also believe that all publicly and privately own land should be
accessible to every citizen of Finland for a number of leisurely
Finland has always been a deeply-rooted agricultural nation. The
Finns show high regard towards nature and promote a lifestyle of
harmony with their surroundings. Additionally, the people of Finland
do not like to identify with any specific ethnicity or clan. Rather,
the Finns have a strong sense of national pride and continually work
for the common good of the country as a whole.
The main religion of the Finnish people has varied across the ages,
but, in more recent times, most of Finland identify with the
Evangelical Lutheran Church. A very small percentage of the Finnish
population are associated with the Finnish Orthodox Church as well.
Although most Finns identify themselves with the christian religion,
most of them hold primarily secular views.
Education is also another very important aspect in Finland's
culture. In recent years, Finland passed legislature that made
education a civil right for all the Finnish people. Even college is
provided free to any Finn, as long as they have the appropriate test
scores to be accepted into a tertiary school system.
The structure of the family drastically changed after the end of the
Second World War. With a completely novice conception of gender
roles, now it is expected that both men and women provide for their
families. Because of Finland's ingenious welfare system, all Finnish
families are given paid parental leave with benefits based on their
Some of the most famous Finnish traditions stem from the
millennium-long presence of the Christian religion as well as the
age-old pagan traditions. The Finnish midsummer, referred to as
Juhannus, is one of the many ancient pagan traditions that still
thrive to this day. During Juhannus, most Finns travel to their
summer cottages to celebrate the coming of the summer solstice.
The most famous Christian tradition of all, Christmas, is also
prevalent in Finnish culture. In Finland, Christmas is referred to
as Joulu. The Finns celebrate Joulu a little differently than the
rest of the world. The festivities begin on December 23rd and gifts
are given out on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is usually reserved
for traditional meals and a relaxing time in the famous Finnish
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