Finland: Logan Matzke

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Map of Finland

Finland
Finland is a Nordic country in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the West, Norway in the north and Russia in the east and Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. It is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union.
The Capital of Finland is Helsinki. Some of the other larger cities include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Yjvaskyla, Lahti, Kuopio and Kouvola.
As of 2010 the population is about 5.4 million and it almost equal of men and women.
Absolute Location: 60 degrees 10’ N 024 degrees 56’ E



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Flag of Finland


Flag
The description of the flag is an overall white back ground with a blue cross.
The white background represents snow and also peace and honesty. The blue cross represents lakes and sky and also vigilance, truth and loyalty, perseverance and justice.
Ettiquette for the Finland Flag is very strict and is important that the rules are followed correctly.







Government
Finland is a Parliament Republic with a central government. The current Prime Minister of Findland is Mari Kiviniemi.
The War of Finland in 1801 took Finland from Swedish rule to become and autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. I 1809 the new Grand Duchy of Finland got its own central administration under the leadership of a governing council and fro 1816 the Imperial Finnish Senate. This is what was later to become the Government of Finland following its independence in 1917. The Senate was made up of the Economic Division and a Judicial Division. The senate had between 5 and 9 senators.
The Economic Division acted as the supreme administrative & judicial authority for administration and economic affairs while the Judicial Division was responsible for the administration of justice.
In 1918 the Senators became Ministers and the Vice Chairman of the Economic Division became the Prime Minister. Judicial division was divided in two to get the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court.
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Population
The population of Finland is about 5.4 Million. The Capital city is Helsinki and the population is about 590,000. Finland is the third most sparsely populated country in Europe. Most of its population resides in the southern parts of the country. There are only about 2.5% of foreign citizens and most of the others are from Russia, Estonia and Sweden.

Physical Features
Finland is the north most country on the European continent. The country is 130,128 square miles.
The most predominant influences were the glaciers that gouged the country’s surface. Finland has thousands of lakes and islands. The largest lad is Saimaa and that is also the fourth largest lake in Europe. Finland is mostly flat and has few mountains. The highest point is the Halti and it is at the border of Finland and Norway. About 86% of forest covers the country and is the largest forest in Europe.
Gleysols and peat blogs cover areas that drain poorly. The greater part of the islands are found in the Achhiepelagos Sea. This is along the Southern coast in the Gulf of Finland.
An interesting point is that Finland is one of the few countries in the world whose surface is still expanding. This is due to the post-glacial rebound that has been taking place since the last ice age.
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(lake Simaa fourth largest lake in finland)

Economy
Finland has a highly industrialized mixed economy with per capita about equal to Western economies like France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. The largest sector is services at about 66% followed by manufacturing and refining.
Forests are a major contributor to the economy. It is one of the world’s leading wood producers and provides competitive prices for the crucial wood processing industries.
Farms tend to be small and the climate and soil make it a challenge to grow crops. They have severe winters and short growing seasons. Farmers in this country have to rely on quick ripening and frost resistant crops.
The U.S. is Finland’s third most important trading partner outside of Europe. In 2009 the U.S. was the ninth largest supplier to Finland. The major exports from the U.S.to Finland are electronics, machinery, ships & boats, paper and refined petroleum products, telecommunication equipment and parts.

Religion
About 80% of Finlander’s are Luther and belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. This is one of the largest churches in the world. The second largest group is one that has no religious affiliation. There are also Catholic, Jewish and Islamic congregation and also some other small religious communities.
One of the most main recent reasons for someone to leave the Lutheran church is the controversial vies that homosexuality is a sin.
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Culture
There are several name that Finlande’s may be called and they are “Finnish”,”Finn’s”, or “Finlander”.
The Finnish speaking people are called Finns and they are very close with their nuclear family (father, mother & children) rather than their extended family. They also encourage equality and liberalism and discourage having social classes.
Folk music is much of the country’s influence and they are also know for highly spiritual songs. Today’s Finland is a lively classical music. There is also modern music that includes heavy metal.
The food is generally simple, fresh and healthy. Fish, meat, berries and vegetables are the main ingredients. Traditional cuisines are a combination of European, Fennoscandian and Western Russian.
The main sports in Finland are Formula One, hockey and football with the National sport being baseball.

Customs
Some standard customs of the Finns are:
· Punctuality – Never be late!
· Do not raise your voice when talking to others, especially in public
· If you want to visit a friend, always let them know in advance
· When you visit, always take off your shoes and bring an extra pair to wear in the house.
· They are very organized
Christmas is the main holiday or festivity in Finland and it is all about families and homes.
Midsummer is the second most important celebration and has been and important ritual since Pagan times. They celebrate the fact that the sun remains above the horizon all night. They go to their cottages and have bonfires all night.
Easter is their most religious holiday and Independence Day (December 6th) is the most important National Holiday. At 6:00 p.m. it is customary to burn two blue candles in the window sill out of respect for those who fought for Finnish Independence under the last few years of Russian rule.

Sites for information:
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107513.html - about the religion and basically all needs in finland
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3238.htm - about the goverment
http://www.mapsofworld.com/finland/geography-history/finland-geography.html - geography and history of finland