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by Krisztina Pintye
• Finland is situated in the region
of Northern Europe
п‚— It is bordered
by Sweden to the
west, Norway to the north
and Russia to the east
п‚— An estimated 5.4 million people live in Finland, with the
majority concentrated in its southern regions.[6]
п‚— It is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely
populated country in the European Union.
п‚— Politically, it is a parliamentary republic with a central
government based in the capital of Helsinki .
п‚— Other larger cities
include Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio.
п‚— Education
п‚— Pre-school education is rare compared to other EU
countries and formal education is usually started at the
age of 7.
п‚— Primary school takes normally six years and lower
secondary school three years.
п‚— Most schools are managed by municipal officials.
п‚— Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16.
п‚— After lower secondary school, graduates may either enter
the workforce directly, or apply to trade schools or
п‚— Education is free and living expenses are to a large
extent financed by the government through student
п‚— There are 20 universities and 30 polytechnics in the
п‚— Literature
п‚— Written Finnish could be said to have existed
since Mikael Agricola translated the New Testament into
Finnish during the Protestant Reformation.
п‚— After Finland became independent, there was a rise
of modernist writers, most famously the Finnishspeaking Mika Waltari
п‚— Visual arts
п‚— Finns have made major contributions
to handicrafts and industrial design.
п‚— Finnish architecture is famous around the world.
Among the top of the twentieth century Finnish architects to win
international recognition are
Eliel Saarinen (designer of the widely recognised Helsinki Central
railway station and many other public works)
and his son Eero Saarinen. Alvar Aalto, who helped
bring functionalist architecture to Finland, is also famous for his
work in furniture, textiles andglassware.
п‚— Television
п‚— Finland's most internationally successful TV shows are
the backpacking travel documentary
series Madventures and the reality TV show The
Dudesons, about four childhood friends who perform
stunts and play pranks on each other (in similar vein to
the American TV show Jackass)
п‚— Cuisine
п‚— Finnish cuisine is notable for generally combining
traditional country fare and haute cuisine with
contemporary continental style cooking.
п‚— Fish and meat play a prominent role in traditional
Finnish dishes from the western part of the country,
while the dishes from the eastern part have traditionally
included various vegetables and mushrooms.]
п‚— According to the statistics, red meat consumption has
risen, but still Finns eat less beef than many other
nations, and more fish and poultry. This is mainly
because of the high cost of meat in Finland.
п‚— Public holidays
п‚— All official holidays in Finland are established by Acts of
п‚— Christian holidays include Christmas, New Year's
Day, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension
Day, Pentecost, Midsummer Day(St. John's Day) and All
Saints' Day, while secular holidays include May Day and
the Independence Day, New Year's Day and Midsummer.
Christmas is the most extensively celebrated and at least
24 to 26 December is taken as a holiday.
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