Finnish cultural life is rich and versatile.
In the field of music everything can be seen from hard
rock to opera. Finland has several internationally
renowned writers, visual artists and filmmakers. But the
country is also known for modern architecture, fashion
Modern cultural life began to gain momentum during
Finland's time as the Grand Principality of the Russian
czar Alexander I (1809–1917). During this period,
Finnish and Karelian popular culture also began to
influence the Swedish-speaking population.
Latest population statistics of Finland, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Bishop Mikael Agricola (c. 1510–1557) is regarded as
the creator of the Finnish written language through his
translation of the New Testament into Finnish. But a
Finnish-language literature first appeared with Elias
Lönnrot (1802–1884), who collected folk poems (runo
songs) and formed the national epic Kalevala (1835). The
first major novel written in Finnish is Aleksis Kivi's
(1834–1872) Seven brothers from 1870 who had great
The portal figure of Finnish literature is Johan
Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877). He is best known for his
war heroic work Fänrik Stål's tales, in which figures
such as Sven Dufva and farmer Paavo embody Finnish
endurance (sisu). Our first poem Our country is
Finland's national anthem. The author Zacharias Topelius
in the novel Fältskärn's stories depicted the history of
Sweden and Finland. He also contributed strongly to the
incipient national feeling and popular education with
the Book of Our Country (Maamme kirja). One of the most
important writers of the 19th century was Minna Canth
(1844-1897), who wrote realistically about the often
difficult life situation of women and workers. Her
best-known work is the play The Worker's Wife (Työmiehen
vaimo), which she wrote in 1885. Also Maria Jotuni
(1880-1943) depicted in her works the relationship
between men and women.
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Finland. Artists and albums are also included.
Frans Eemil Sillanpää (1888–1964) received the Nobel
Prize in literature in 1939. Mika Waltari (1908-1979),
one of the most internationally read writers with
Sinuhe, the Egyptian, is also among the 20th century
writers. Väinö Linna (1920–1992) broke through the war
novel Unknown Soldier in 1954. Among modern Finnish
writers can also be mentioned Paavo Haavikko, Eeva
Kilpi, Rosa Somsom, Hannu Mäkelä, Sofi Oksanen, Arto
Paasilinna, Paavo Rintala, Pentti Saarikoski, Hannu
Salama and Antti Tuuri.
Finnish Swedish poets such as Edith Södergran, Elmer
Diktonius and Gunnar Björling meant a great deal to the
breakthrough of modern lyric in Sweden as well. Recent
Swedish-language writers include Solveig von Schoultz,
Bo Carpelan, Claes Andersson, Kjell Westö, Monika
Fagerholm, Märta Tikkanen, Henrik Tikkanen and Tove
One of the most viewed films in Finland is Unknown
Soldier (1985) directed by Edvin Laine. The film is
based on Väinö Linna's classic novel of the same name.
The brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki as well as Renny
Harlin are the internationally best known contemporary
Finnish visual art has many internationally renowned
names, such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931) and
Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905). During the 20th century,
Hugo Simberg, Tyko Sallinen, Magnus Enckell and Helene
Schjerfbeck, as well as the more modern Kimmo Kaivanto,
Juhani Harri, Olli Lyytikäinen, Eija Liisa Anttila and
Silja Rantanen, helped to make Finnish visual art
In recent years, the Touko Valio Laaksonen
(1920–1991), with the pseudonym Tom of Finland, has been
noted both in Finland and abroad for his drawings of gay
men, among other things. His pseudonym got the Laaksonen
when he drew pictures for the American gay magazine
Physique Pictorial during the 1970s. In 2014, the
Finnish post printed stamps with his motives.
Famous sculptors include Wäinö Aaltonen, Eila
Hiltunen and Cain Tapper. The world-renowned architects
Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) and
Reima Pietilä (1923–1993) have designed several of
Finland's most famous buildings.
Finland is also known for fashion and design. In the
1970s, the clothing industry had its heyday and already
in the early 1900s several clothing brands were
launched. Among the most famous are Marimekko, Nanso,
Luhta and Seppälä. In addition to manufacturing clothing
and other textiles, companies also produce design items
such as furniture and china. In addition to Marimekko,
Iittala and Arabia are well-known Finnish design
In music, Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) is the foremost
name. Among contemporary composers are Aulis Sallinen,
Joonas Kokkonen and Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho.
Finnish conductors play around the world, such as Leif
Segerstam, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Susanna Mälkki and
Jukka-Pekka Saraste. In Finland, there are several
internationally renowned festivals such as the Kuhmo
Chamber Music Festival, the Kaustinen Folk Music
Festival, the Opera Festival in Savonlinna and the Jazz
Festival in Pori.
Tango became popular in Finland in the 1920s and
1930s. The Finnish tango differs from the Argentine, in
part by being more tact-resistant. Since 1985, a tango
festival has been held every year in the city of
Seinäjoki. The festival concludes with a singing
competition in which a tango king and a tango queen are
Among the most well-known rock and hard rock groups
include HIM, The Rasmus and Nightwish. Heavy metal bands
Hanoi Rocks and Children of Bodom have long been big in
The government adopts a national language strategy
The strategy provides strong support for bilingualism and emphasizes the
Swedish need for community support.
Highest credit rating
Despite the euro crisis and the downturn in the Finnish economy, the credit
institution Moody's declares that Finland is the only euro area with the highest
possible credit rating.
Finnish yes to crisis package to Spain
A majority of the parliament votes for a financial aid package to the
Serious problems for Nokia
Finland's economy is hit when the previously profitable telecom company Nokia
is facing a number of financial problems. Nokia announces that further staff
cuts are necessary. Nearly 10,000 employees will be laid off by 2013. Nokia,
which has 32,000 employees in the mobile phone, has in a few years lost its
world-leading position in the telecommunications market and made huge losses.
New Center Leader
The center selects the wealthy businessman and MP Juha Sipilä as new party
Shot drama raises gun debate
An 18-year-old boy kills two people and injures seven in Hyvinge in Uusimaa.
The shooting drama brings new life to the slumbering debate on Finland's liberal
gun laws. Similar shooting dramas have previously occurred in, among others,
Jokela 2007 and Kauhajoki 2008.
A number of statutory supplements come into force
Among other things, the prime minister now also formally represents Finland
in the EU instead of the president. Citizens are entitled to propose new laws to
Parliament if they collect at least 50,000 signatures within a six-month period.
First bourgeois president of 50 years
The party's candidate Sauli Niinistö clearly wins in the second round of the
presidential election with 63 percent of the vote against 37 percent for Pekka
Haavisto from the Green.
The first round of the presidential election is held
Unionist Sauli Niinistö wins the first round of the presidential election,
followed by Pekka Haavisto from the Greens. Since no candidate received 50
percent of the vote or more, Niinistö and Haavisto will meet in a second and
decisive election round.