Thursday, August 19, 2010

FINLAND - Country profile

Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden
from the 12th to the 19th centuries,
and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809.
It won its complete independence in 1917.
During World War II, it was able to successfully defend its freedom
and resist invasions by the Soviet Union - albeit with some loss of territory.
In the subsequent half century, the Finns made a remarkable transformation
from a farm/forest economy to a diversified modern industrial economy ;
per capita income is now among the highest in Western Europe.
A member of the European Union since 1995,
Finland was the only Nordic state to join the euro system
at its initiation in January 1999.
In the 21st century, the key features of Finland's modern welfare state
are a high standard of education, equality promotion,
and national social security system ;
currently challenged by an aging population
and the fluctuations of an export-driven economy.



Flag of FINLAND :



The flag of Finland (Finnish : Suomen lippu), also called Siniristilippu ("Blue Cross Flag"), dates from the beginning of the 20th century. It features a blue Nordic cross on a white background. The state flag has a coat of arms in the centre, but is otherwise identical to the civil flag. The swallow-tailed state flag is used by the military. The presidential standard is identical to the swallow-tailed state flag but also has in its upper left corner the Cross of Liberty after the Order of the Cross of Liberty, which has the President of Finland as its Grand Master. Like Sweden's, Finland's national flag is based on the Scandinavian cross. It was adopted after independence from Russia, when many patriotic Finns wanted a special flag for their country, but its design dates back to the 19th century. The blue coloring is said to represent the country's thousands of lakes and the sky, with white for the snow that covers the land in winter. This color combination has also been used over the centuries in various Finnish provincial, military, and town flags.


National anthem of FINLAND :

video

Maamme (Finnish) or Vårt land (Swedish) (Our Country), is the title of Finland's national anthem. There is no law on an official national anthem in Finland, but Maamme is firmly established by convention.

The music was composed by the German immigrant Fredrik Pacius, with (original Swedish) words by Johan Ludvig Runeberg, and was performed for the first time on 13 May 1848. The original poem, written in 1846 but not printed until 1848, had 11 stanzas and formed the prologue to the great verse cycle The Tales of Ensign Stål ("Fänrik Ståhls Sägner"), a masterpiece of Romantic nationalism. The current Finnish text is usually attributed to the 1889 translation of Ensign Stål by Paavo Cajander, but in fact originates from the 1867 translation by Julius Krohn.

Lyrics :

Finnish lyrics :

1. Oi maamme Suomi, synnyinmaa !
Soi, sana kultainen !
Ei laaksoa ei kukkulaa,
Ei vettä, rantaa rakkaampaa,
Kuin kotimaa tää pohjoinen,
Maa kallis isien !
Ei laaksoa ei kukkulaa,
Ei vettä, rantaa rakkaampaa,
Kuin kotimaa tää pohjoinen,
Maa kallis isien !

11. Sun kukoistukses kuorestaan
Kerrankin puhkeaa !
Viel' lempemme saa nousemaan,
Sun toivos, riemus loistossaan,
Ja kerran laulus, synnyinmaa,
Korkeemman kaiun saa.
Viel' lempemme saa nousemaan,
Sun toivos, riemus loistossaan,
Ja kerran laulus, synnyinmaa,
Korkeemman kaiun saa.

Swedish lyrics :

1. Vårt land, vårt land, vårt fosterland,
Ljud höjd, o dyra ord !
Ej lyfts en höjd mot himlens rand,
Ej sänks en dal, ej sköljs en strand,
Mer älskad än vår bygd i nord,
Än våra fäders jord.
Ej lyfts en höjd mot himlens rand,
Ej sänks en dal, ej sköljs en strand,
Mer älskad än vår bygd i nord,
Än våra fäders jord.

11. Din blomning, sluten än i knopp,
Skall mogna ur sitt tvång;
Se, ur vår kärlek skall gå opp
Ditt ljus, din glans, din fröjd, ditt hopp,
Och högra klinga skall en gång
Vår fosterländska sång.
Se, ur vår kärlek skall gå opp
Ditt ljus, din glans, din fröjd, ditt hopp,
Och högra klinga skall en gång
Vår fosterländska sång.

English translation of finnish lyrics :

1. O our home country, Finland, the land where we were born,
sound high, you golden word !
There is no valley, no mountain,
no lake or shore more dear,
than this northern home,
the land of our fathers.
There is no valley, no mountain,
no lake or shore more dear,
than this northern home,
the land of our fathers.

11. There shall be time
when you will burst
into full blossom,
then our love shall be roused
by your glorious hope and joy,
at last, your song, o motherland,
will sound in higher tone !
Our love shall be roused
by your glorious hope and joy,
at last, your song, o motherland,
will sound in higher tone !



Location :

Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia.





Maps :






Area :

Total : 338 145 sq km
Land : 303 815
sq km
Water : 34 330 sq km

Coastline :

1 250 km

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Baltic Sea 0 m
Highest point : Haltiatunturi 1 328 m


Terrain :

Mostly low, flat to rolling plains interspersed with lakes and low hills.

Natural resources :

Timber, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, limestone.

Climate :

Current weather : cold temperate, potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60 000 lakes.





Population :

5 255 068 (2010 estimation)

Nationality :

Demonym : Finns, Finnish

Ethnic groups :

Finn 93.4%, Swede 5.6%, Russian 0.5%, Estonian 0.3%, Roma (Gypsy) 0.1%, Sami 0.1% (2006).

Religions :

Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1% (2006).

Languages :

Finnish 91.2% (official), Swedish 5.5% (official), other 3.3% (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) (2007).






Country name :

Conventional long form : Republic of Finland
Conventional short form : Finland
Local long form : Suomen tasavalta / Republiken Finland
Local short form : Suomi / Finland

ISO country code :

fi

Government type :

Republic.

Capital :

Helsinki (population of city : 584 420 (2010) - Largest city in Finland)


Other major cities :
Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku.


Administrative divisions :

20 regions :

Aland (Swedish), Ahvenanmaa (Finnish) ;
Etela-Karjala (Finnish), Sodra Karelen (Swedish) ;
Etela-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Sodra Osterbotten (Swedish) ;
Etela-Savo (Finnish), Sodra Savolax (Swedish) ;
Kanta-Hame (Finnish), Egentliga Tavastland (Swedish) ;
Ita-Uusimaa (Finnish), Ostra Nyland (Swedish) ;
Kainuu (Finnish), Kajanaland (Swedish) ;
Keski-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Mellersta Osterbotten (Swedish) ;
Keski-Suomi (Finnish), Mellersta Finland (Swedish) ;
Kymenlaakso (Finnish), Kymmenedalen (Swedish) ;
Lappi (Finnish), Lappland (Swedish) ;
Paijat-Hame (Finnish), Paijanne-Tavastland (Swedish) ;
Pirkanmaa (Finnish), Birkaland (Swedish) ;
Osterbotten (Swedish), Pohjanmaa (Finnish) ;
Pohjois-Karjala (Finnish), Norra Karelen (Swedish) ;
Pohjois-Pohjanmaa (Finnish), Norra Osterbotten (Swedish) ;
Pohjois-Savo (Finnish), Norra Savolax (Swedish) ;
Satakunta (Finnish and Swedish) ;
Uusimaa (Finnish), Nyland (Swedish) ;
Varsinais-Suomi (Finnish), Egentliga Finland (Swedish).





Independance :

6 December 1917 (from Russia).

National holiday :

Independence Day, 6 December.

Constitution :

1 March 2000.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Tarja HALONEN (since 1 March 2000).



Head of government : Prime Minister Mari KIVINIEMI (since 22 June 2010 ; Deputy Prime Minister Jyrki KATAINEN (since 19 April 2007).

Cabinet : Council of State or Valtioneuvosto appointed by the president, responsible to parliament .

Elections : president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term) ; election last held on 15 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2012) ; the president appoints the prime minister and deputy prime minister from the majority party or the majority coalition after parliamentary elections and the parliament must approve the appointment.

Election results : percent of vote - Tarja HALONEN (SDP) 46.3%, Sauli NIINISTO (Kok) 24.1%, Matti VANHANEN (Kesk) 18.6%, Heidi HAUTALA (VIHR) 3.5%.

Legislative branch :

Unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta (200 seats ; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve four-year terms).

Judicial branch :


General courts - deal with criminal and civil cases (include district courts, Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court or Korkein Oikeus, whose judges are appointed by the president) ; administrative courts.





Currency :

Euro (EUR)




Agriculture products :

Barley, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, dairy cattle, fish.

Industries :

Metals and metal products, electronics, machinery and scientific instruments, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, clothing.

Exports partners :

Germany 10.32%, Sweden 9.79%, Russia 9%, US 7.85%, Netherlands 5.9%, UK 5.24%, China 4.1% (2009).

Imports partners :


Russia 16.28%, Germany 15.76%, Sweden 14.65%, Netherlands 6.99%, China 5.29%, France 4.22% (2009).

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