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message 1: by Tytti (last edited Jun 09, 2016 06:42PM) (new)

Tytti | 494 comments Continuing from another thread...

Jan wrote: "Are Greenland and Iceland part of a separate entity?"

Yes, they are a part of the Nordic countries but not Scandinavia, it's an on old historical, geographical, cultural, linguistic matter. Though the Icelandic people are former Scandinavians (from 1000 years ago) and their language is related to them, so I'm not sure how they really think about it and it's not my place to say. Greenland has a completely different heritage, they are a bit like Finland in that regard but even further away because it IS so far away.

One also has to remember that Finland has a completely different history compared to the other Nordic countries and that has greatly influenced our culture. Our society might be similar to the other Nordic countries when it comes to stuff like the legislation but if you dig any deeper you will find many differences. I don't think foreigners can even begin to understand our relationship with Russia and Russians, it's so layered and complicated, not to mention long, and it's certainly not all negative either. We had it very well under their rule during the (late) 19th century. That's why there is a statue of Tsar Alexander II in the middle of the finest square in Helsinki, and it was even erected by Finns (though as a subtle protest to the current Tsar at the time). And even during WWII Russian songs and melodies were listened to on our side of the front as well. This was one of the most popular ones (with English transation): The lyrics were written at the front during the Winter War in 1940. (Oh, and today, June 9, the major Soviet offensive began against Finland in 1944. In the coming summer the fate of Finland was decided for the second time.) And this is something that probably only Finns could have come up with in 1993, just 1.5 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. 70,000 people chearing for the Red Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys: Btw, this same square is the one with that statue and it was also used in the movie Reds to portray Petrograd. And the Governor-General Bobrikov was shot in the opposite building in 1904 and the university building behind the stage was hit in the war, so there is a lot of history in this place.

And then again university students have sung songs like this, even in my time: A rough translation inside the spoiler tags, most of it is not mine. The first part may or may not be Russian, it's gibberish to me.
(view spoiler)

And btw, people who would like their children to study e.g. French or German (instead of Swedish) were just today called "primitives" in the comment section of our biggest newspaper. But of course we are the intolerant and racist ones. Apparently the Swedish culture can't survive if it's not forced on everybody. It's not enough that they have their own kindergartens, schools, universities, foundations, institutions, extra money from the government to all bilingual towns, based in part on the number of Swedish speakers (2.1 million Euros annually to a town with a population of 9,600)... Here is a sample (in English) of the discussion that is going on:

message 2: by Jan (new)

Jan Notzon | 261 comments Truly fascinating, Tytti. Thanks so much for the abundant information. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

message 3: by Trine (new)

Trine (majjalol) | 203 comments Greenland is a part of Denmark, with the same queen. They got their own prime minister though.. Autonomous within the danish realm are the righe terms, if I remember correct.. Just like the Faraoe Islands I belive xD

message 4: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 494 comments Yeah, but they don't belong to the EU, even though Denmark does. Åland, too, is autonomous and it has some strange deal with EU as well. People from Åland are also exempt from the Finnish military because it's a demilitarized zone because of the Crimean War. Of course in the case of war it would be occupied by someone immediately. (Not sure how eager the rest of the Finns would be to defend it, though. :D Well, it's only important to Finland militarily, so...)

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