The National Day of the Sweden Finns

Wow! :O I didn’t know they have their special day too. 🙂 How great! Happy National Day to all Sweden Finns out there in the world! I love both Sweden and Finland, so both these nations and both these languages are dear to me, and I find the Finnish Swedish accent very endearing and cute, one of my favourite Swedish accents or dialects actually.

Watching the Swedes

In Sweden, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting somebody Finnish or of Finnish heritage. Almost everybody knows somebody with a Finnish connection. In fact, there are so many Finns living in Sweden that they have their own commemorative day. And today is that day.

Today, 24th February is ‘Sverigefinnarnas’ Day, (Sweden Finns Day) – the day that celebrates the roughly half million people who live in Sweden and have Finnish as their mother tongue.

So why are there so many Finns in Sweden?

There has been a long history of emigration between the two countries, especially in the border regions of the north. However, a larger emigration happened when 70,000 young Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden during WW2. 15,000 are believed to have stayed and an unknown number to have returned as adults.

Then, in the 1950s and 1960s the migration from Finland to Sweden was considerable, chiefly…

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Song of the day (9th January) – Poropetra “Luonnotar”.

The song for yesterday (as it’s well over 1 AM already here and I’m soon going to bed with Misha 😀 ) is by Finnish band called Poropetra, whom I got to know via my friend Jacek from Helsinki about whom I’ve written here multiple times already. He was a great fan of them and showed their music to me saying that “this is something perfectly for you”. At first I thought he was joking, I mean when I heard them, because in fact my first impression was that their music is… quite funny, like awkward, I don’t know how to put it really. I dont know, there’s still something funny about it for me. It just made me laugh back then and still does sometimes. But he was serious, and in time I realised that indeed I like them, despite that I thought they are funny, in a little weird way. Their songs also often regard various old Finnish deities and such (like this one), while I am Christian, but after consulting this with my Mum it seems to me that it’s not in such an invading way, and I guess there’s nothing wrong with their music from the Christian point of view. Why do I like them? Because they sound so weird, because the founder member of the band – Juha Jyrkäs – plays kantele (it’s such a Finnish harp, kind of, it’s called harp but as you can hear it sounds differently, more clangy) and does throat singing or overtone singing, because they sing in Finnish, because their music is a blend of two genres I like – folk and rock, – and probably I could also find something else as a reason why I like them, so you have to agree that’s a lot. This is my favourite song by them, although you won’t hear Jyrkäs’s throat singing here, maybe I’ll post something else from them another time so you can hear how weirdly wonderful it sounds, or you can look it up on your own if you’re very curious, and no, it’s not like Mongolian or Tibetan overtone singing. The group is apparently inspired by Siberian and Karelian music, and while I don’t have any idea about the above, I guess even I can see it because their music is very different from other Finnish folk/folk rock bands and has a different feel. As for Luonnotar, it’s a different name used in referrence to Ilmatar, and Ilmatar is Finnish virgin spirit of the air, mentioned frequently in Kalevala. Oh and Jacek told me that poropetra in Finnish means some type of elk, but I’m not sure if that’s true and reliable, although it should be haha. I’m curious what your impressions will be. 🙂