Modern Finland

Modern Finland

by Harald Haarmann


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Providing a multifaceted view of modern Finland, this book describes its history, culture, language, geography, natural history and the mythology of early peoples. Topics include Fenno-Scandia inhabitants and their environment, traditional naturalism and modern environmentalism, and the salient features of “Finnishness,” including an analysis of the Finnish educational system and gender equality. Finland’s art, architecture and music are highlighted, along with its peace-keeping missions worldwide.
The country’s several ethnic groups and their languages are discussed—the Saami, Finns, Finland-Swedes, Russian-speaking peoples, Jews and Gypsies. The author examines Finland’s late but rapid development in commerce and industry, with a focus on the history of Nokia Corporation, which grew from a 19th-century manufacturer of pulpwood and rubber boots to a 21st-century international digital communications company.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476662022
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 09/19/2016
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

German linguist and cultural scientist Harald Haarmann is vice-president of the Institute of Archaeomythology and director of its European branch. He has written more than 50 books in various languages, including numerous studies on cultures and languages. He lives in Finland.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction: What Makes a Small Country Like Finland Exceptional? 1

1 How Do People Interact with Nature in Finland? The Natural Environment Vis-a-Vis Human Cultural Space 5

The Power of Nature-How the Environment Formed After the Last Ice Age 7

How Many Lakes Are There in Finland? 9

Finland and Wildlife: Where Are the Polar Bears? 10

The Bear and Its Role in Northern People's Cultural Memory 13

How Did the Early Inhabitants of Fenno-Scandia Experience Their Environment? 17

A Prehistoric Chronicle: Rock Art by the Lakeside 18

The Solar Disk Symbolizing the Giver of Life 21

Water Birds as Messengers Between the Worlds 24

Mythical Realms: Nature and Female Guardian-Spirits of Living Things 24

Mother Nature: A Central Mythological Concept 25

Ancient Ties to Living Nature: The Shamanistic Tradition 26

Traditional Respect for Nature Meets Modern Environmentalism 27

Human Interests and the Scope of Nature 29

The Control of Nature as an Historical Drive in Western Europe 30

Respect for Nature in the Northern Region: A Traditional Notion Embraced by Modern Science 31

Buildings and the Space Between Them: Modern Finnish Architecture in Contact with Nature 35

Breaking the Rules: Talvivaara-The Black Sheep of Environmentalism 37

The Mystery of the Northern Lights 38

The Gold of Lapland 40

2 Where Do People Live and What Languages Do They Speak? Natives, Newcomers and Social Networking in a Multicultural Society 42

The Saami-Masters of the Arctic Region 44

Saami Terms for Snow 45

The Saami Have Many Words for "Reindeer" 48

Modernization in the Arctic Region: Mass Tourism and Santa Clans 50

Cultural Heritage in a Box: The Treasure of the Skolt Saami 53

On the Ways Saami Speak Finnish 53

Finns: Modern Europeans with an Exotic Language 54

The Coming of Finnic Tribes 56

Finnish Communities in Fenno-Scandia 57

Who Is Finnish and Who Is Karelian? 58

Finnish: Some Specifics 59

Finnish Americans and American Finnish (Finglish) 63

Finland-Swedes: The Nordic Input in Finland and Its History 65

The Coming of Christianity 66

Swedish Social Institutions in Finland 67

The Impact of Swedish on Finnish 69

Russian-Speaking People: One Language-Two Ethnic Groups 70

Russian-Speaking Immigrants 71

Russian-Speaking Ingrians 72

Russian Loanwords in Finnish 72

Russian in Finnish Media 73

Jews in Finland: Merging with the Majority 73

Romani-Finland's Gypsies: Between Ethnic Boundary-Marking and Social Integration 75

Refugees from Outside Europe: Resettling and Constructing Identity in the New Homeland 77

Language Choices in a Multilingual Society: Communicative Networks and How They Function in Finland 79

Regulations of Finnish-Swedish Bilingualism 80

Regulations of Finnish-Saami Bilingualism 83

3 What Makes a Finn and What Makes Finnish Society? Defining Finnishness 84

What's in a Name? How Finns Call Themselves and How Others Call the Finns 86

Salient Features of Finnishness 87

The Environmental Mindset 90

Sisu: The Secret of Finnish Determination and Resilience 91

Social Cohesion at Work: Trust and Reliability 93

The Finnish Sense for Pragmatism 94

Cultural Stereotypes in Light of Finnish Realities 96

Finnish Sauna: Myth and Reality 96

Tango-Finnish Style 98

The Lure of Snow and Ice: Finns and Some of Their Pastime Activities 99

Skiing 101

Ice Hockey 102

Skating 103

Some Unusual Competitions 104

Wife-Carrying (or Woman-Carrying) 104

Mud Soccer (Football) 105

Mobile Phone Throwing 106

What Holds Finnish Society Together? The Secrets of the Finnish Communitarian Spirit 106

The Long Trail of Women's Participation in Communitarian Decision-Making 108

Female Shamans, Healers and the Christian Witch-Hunt 109

Farm Households and Self-Confident Farm Mistresses 111

Women's Rights to Vote in Local and National Elections 112

Women's Equality in the Welfare State 114

Giving Profile to the Scandinavian Model of a Welfare State 115

4 What Do Carl Gustaf Mannerheim and George Washington Have in Common? Impressions from the Drive for Independence 120

A Glimpse at Family History 121

The Guidance of Providence 122

Setting the Stage for Finnish-Russian Confrontation 123

Mannerheim as Leader of the White Finns in the Civil War 127

A Secret Diplomatic Mission and Early International Recognition of Finland's Independence 128

Mannerheim as an Integrative National Figure at a Time of Crisis 129

Mannerheim and Washington: The Profile of Humble Public Servants 132

5 How Did Finland Modernize? The Secrets of Finnish Entrepreneurship, Know-How and Inventiveness 134

Maxims of Entrepreneurship and Finnish Work Ethics 135

Industrializing Finland: A Latecomer but a Fast Developer 137

The Finland-Swedish Impact on Industry and Commerce 140

Finland's Economic Miracle: Standards of Technological Modernization 141

The Nokia Story: From Pulp wood and Rubber Boots to Communication Systems 143

Modest Beginnings in the 1860s 144

Engaging in the Production of Electrical Equipment Since the Early 20th Century 145

Digitalization and the Great Endeavor of the Mobile Phone Business 146

Selling a New Image of Global Telecommunication: Mobile Phones for Everybody 147

Nokia's Decline and Fall and Rise to New Heights 149

Nokia's Communicative Strategy for International Marketing 149

Managing Network Society: A Small Country Mobilizing Know-How and Capacities 150

6 What Makes Finland's School Education So Efficient and How Important Are the Language Choices for Knowledge-Construction? 152

The Art of Learning Fast: Finnish Education and the Test of Time 152

Finnish as a Written Language: From Religious Books to Cybercommunication 160

Which Are the Media of Finnish Know-How? Foreign Languages as Mental Capital 164

Latin and French 165

Latin and German 165

Latin and Swedish 166

Finnish and German 166

Finnish and English 167

English as the Icon of Modernity and of Intercommunication 168

Domains of a Practical Use of English in Finland 168

English as a Vehicle of Symbolic Internationalization 171

The Role of English for Higher Education and Professional Specialization 171

The Passive Consumption of Academic Texts in English by Students 171

The Passive Consumption of Academic Texts in English by Scientists 173

The Production of Oral English Texts for Teaching and Training at the University Level 173

The Production of Written Scientific Texts (i.e., Non-Literary Prose) in English 173

7 What Is Known in the World About Finnish Culture? Global Manifestations of the Finnish Creative Mind 177

Architecture 178

Art: Finnish Painting 182

Finnish Design and Fashion 183

Finnish Glassware 184

Finnish Furniture 184

Finnish Homeware and Ceramics 184

Finnish Textiles and Fashion 184

Literature 185

The National Epic Kalevala and Its Legacy 186

Sofi Oksanen's Purge: An Unconventional Success Story 188

Finnish Filmmakers and Movie Stars Abroad 188

What Makes Finnish Music Attractive for the World? Composers, Conductors, Opera and Jazz 190

Traditional Finnish and Saami Music 190

Jean Sibelius and the Finiandia 191

Finnish Composers Beyond Sibelius 193

The World of Opera and the Savonlinna Opera Festival 193

Finnish Creative Leadership in the. Orchestra World 196

Finnish Singers with an International Career 199

The Pori jazz Festival 201

The Moomins and Their Valley 201

Angry Birds and Other Computer Games 203

8 Do the Finns Have a Recipe for World Peace? Minding One's Own Business and That of Others in a Cooperative Fashion 205

Prelude: Finland's Contribution to Securing Bulgaria's Independence 206

Finnish Peacekeeping Missions in the World Since the 1950s 206

Getting Along with World Powers 209

Finland's Flexibility to Cope with Foreign Rule: Per Brahe and Alexander II in Focus 209

Per Brahe 210

Alexander II 210

The Odds of "Finlandization" 211

The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1975) 212

The Art of Negotiating: Martti Ahtisaari and His Imprints on World Peace 213

Achieving Independence for Namibia 214

Negotiating Peace for Kosovo 215

Negotiating Autonomy for the Aceh Region in Indonesia 217

Epilogue: How to Cope with Accelerating Globalization 219

Appendix I Finland in Figures 223

Appendix II Administrative Regions of Finland 225

Bibliography 227

Index 241

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