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The Finland Portal

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Finland (Finnish: Suomi ['suo?mi] ; Swedish: Finland ['fnland] , Finland Swedish: ['finl?nd]), officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta, Swedish: Republiken Finland (listen to all)), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Estonia to the south, and north-eastern Norway to the north. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Oulu, Turku, Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio.

Finland's population is 5.53 million as of May 2020, the majority of whom live in the central and south of the country and speak Finnish, a Finnic language from the Uralic language family, unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. It is a parliamentary republic of 310 municipalities, and includes an autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Swedish is the second official language of Finland, which is mainly spoken in certain coastal areas and on Åland. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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Our Land, Maamme (Finnish), or Vårt land (Swedish), is the title of Finland's national anthem. Finnish law doesn't state anything about a national anthem so the song has an unofficial status.

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.

The Tales of Ensign Stål were much appreciated throughout all of Scandinavia. Up until the time of Finland's independence in 1917–18, when the song began to be recognized as specifically applying to Finland, Pacius's tune and Runeberg's text were often also sung in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Note that in the original Swedish text there is no reference to Finland (except for in verses 4 and 10, which are rarely sung), only to a country in the north, but the Finnish text explicitly refers to Finland. The poem's theme is, furthermore, remarkably similar to that of the national anthems of Sweden (Du gamla, Du fria) and Norway (Ja, vi elsker dette landet).

Some Finns have proposed that the Finnish national anthem be changed to Finlandia by Jean Sibelius, with lyrics by V.A. Koskenniemi (Finnish) and Joel Rundt (Swedish). It is also said that Pacius composed the tune in a mere fifteen minutes, with no idea that it would become so important to the people of Finland that they would eventually make it their national anthem. There are also those who simply prefer Finlandia as a musical piece, although critics call it difficult to sing.

The tune of Maamme has similarities with the German drinking song Papst und Sultan. Many believe that Fredrik Pacius intentionally or unintentionally copied parts of the tune. Another Finnish patriotic song, Sotilaspoika, composed by Pacius, also includes similarities with Papst und Sultan.

The melody of Maamme is also used for the national anthem of Estonia with a similarly themed text, Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm, My Fatherland, My Happiness and Joy (1869).

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Photo credit: commons:User:Trainthh
Snow-covered landscape in Isokuru, Pyhä-Luosto National Park.

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You are invited to participate in Finland WikiProject, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Finland.

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Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapters 1-13 is the seventh studio album by Finnish gothic rock band HIM. Released on 8 February 2010, the album was recorded at The Lair Studios and NRG Studios in Los Angeles, California, with producer Matt Squire. Following his time in rehab, Screamworks was the first HIM album vocalist Ville Valo worked on completely sober. This resulted in the band rehearsing the material more than ever before, as Valo had set out to prove himself and the band following his new-found sobriety. Musically Screamworks featured a more accessible and straightforward sound than many of its predecessor, reminiscent of the music of the 1980s. Much of the album's material was inspired by Valo's relationship with an undisclosed partner, whom he referred to as his muse for the record.

Screamworks received generally positive reviews from critics. Valo's vocals and songwriting received praise, although the "lighter" tone of the album received mixed opinions. Screamworks charted in eleven countries, including the top ten in Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, eventually being certified gold in the band's home country. Two singles were also released, with "Heartkiller" peaking at number five in Finland. The release of Screamworks was followed by a world tour, starting with several European dates and a tour of Australia as a part of the Soundwave Festival. This was then followed-up by several dates throughout the UK and the US in 2010. In December 2010, HIM released a companion album to Screamworks, titled SWRMXS, featuring remixes done by various different artists, such as Tiësto and Morgan Page. Read more...

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Thomas is the first known Bishop of Finland. Only a few facts remain about his life.

The only reference to Bishop Thomas during his episcopate in Finland is a letter signed by him in Nousiainen in 1234, which granted certain lands around the parish to his chaplain, Wilhelm. The lands may be related to the papal permission from Pope Gregory IX in early 1229 that authorized the church to take over all non-Christian places of worship in Finland. The letter is the first surviving letter ever written in Finland.

No further information on bishop's activities has survived before he was granted resignation by Pope Innocent IV on February 21, 1245. According to the Pope, Thomas had admitted committing several felonies, like torturing a man to death and forging a papal letter. Church representatives to oversee the resignation were the Archbishop of Uppsala and the Dominican prior of the Dacian province. Thomas donated his books to the newly established Dominican convent in Sigtuna and went on to live his last years in the Dominican convent in Visby, Gotland. He died there in 1248, shortly before the Second Swedish Crusade which cemented the Swedish rule in Finland for more than 550 years.

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View from the water tower in Hanko, Finland
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Panoramic photo shot from the water tower in Hanko, Finland

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