Finland

Culture

By: Mariam, Sagarika and Gergo

Geography

Finland is a heavily forested country which has thousands of lakes, numerous rivers and extensive areas of marshland. In the extreme northwest, there is a small highland region. It Less than 600 ft. (180m) above sea level. The Southwest coast is the Swedish-populated Aland Islands which have had an autonomous status since 1921. As of 2013, there are 5.439 million people living in Finland currently.

Political

Finland is a Republic and is part of the European Union. It is a Parliamentary Democracy with a multiparty political system. The head of state is the Prime Minister who is elected for a period of six years. The Prime Minister is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Defense forces. The maximum term that the Prime Minister can serve is two. A new constitution was adopted in 2000 and further adjusted in 2012, which gave the Prime Minister more of a role in making decisions. In 2000, Tarja Halonen, was the first female president to be elected.


- Declared itself independent from the Russian Empire on December 6, 1917

- Has survived through WWII and the Cold War


Finnish Parliament


The Finish Parliament has 200 members elected every 4 years. The Finish Parliament is unicameral which means, that they have only a single legislative chamber. The functions of the Finnish Parliament are to, enact Finnish Law, approve state budget, ratify international treaties and oversee the government. Since, they have a multiparty system, no single party is likely to win an absolute majority in parliamentary elections. So the country invariably has a coalition government that enjoys the confidence of the parliament.

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Finland First Female Prime Minister

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Historical

The first inhabitants of Finland were the Sami (Lapp) people. The Sami were forced to move northward to the arctic regions. The Finns’ repeated raids on the Scandinavian coast impelled Eric IX, the Swedish King, to conquer the country in 1157. Finland was made part of the Swedish Kingdom and converted to Christianity. By 1809, Finland was conquered by Alexander I of Russia. This period led to Russians sapping Finnish political power and made Russian the country’s official language. Russia became engulfed by the March Revolution of 1917, Finland seized the opportunity to declare independence on December 6, 1917. The USSR attacked Finland November 30, 1939. In 1948, A treaty of friendship and mutual assistance was signed by the two nations. They continued to pursue a foreign policy of non-alignment throughout the cold-war era. They became a member of the European Union in January 1998. On Jan 1, 1999, Finland along with 10 other countries, adopted the euro as its currency. A fact that sets this country apart is the fact that, Finland was the first European country to have a female Prime Minister.

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PRIME MINISTERS

Tapaninpäivä

Saturday, Dec. 26th, 12am

Finland

2nd Day of Christmas

Cultural Determinants

The culture of Finland was determined and influences by a wide range of factors. It combines with indigenous heritage. Due to its history and geographic location, (which you may read about more in the above sections) Finland has been influenced by those areas. The culture of Finland has also been determined by the former powers, Sweden and Russia. Finnish culture builds upon environmental realities, traditional livelihoods, an egalitarian society (where all humans are equal in status and worth) and self-sufficiency. The Finnish culture is also influenced by their religious beliefs, Christianity has influenced their culture as well.

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Business Environment

Finland has a very friendly and comfortable business environment. Finland promotes a first-class business environment. In this country, an individual can easily start their business. The Finnish government offers public research and development funding. Finland is able to provide a great infrastructure, new technology and functioning communication networks. They assist in finding a location for the business and encourage areas with growing markets. Finland has been very successful when it comes to its infrastructure, skilled workforce and competitive operating costs. In fact, according to Transparency International, Finland is one of the least corrupt countries. English is primarily spoken throughout Finland, and English is also widely spoken around the world, this makes it easy for countries to associate themselves with Finland because there is no language barrier. Finland also welcomes foreign investment into their country, as they have one of the most competitive and open economies in the world. Finland provides foreign businesses with government investment incentives and also access to the latest research done by private companies and Finnish universities. Finland provides an ethical and comfortable environment for businesses.

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Finns may appear shy and serious, but their humor is dry and sarcastic, and they are


opinionated and competitive. Finns follow all the traditional sports religiously, and every


now and then new competitions come along, like carrying a wife, throwing a cell phone,


or dancing tango. There are a few things business men should know when visiting


Finland.

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Cultural "Do's"

 Offering a bottle of alcohol will be highly appreciated as it is quite expensive in


Finland. They drink lots of beer or even Koskenkorva (local vodka). This would also be a good offering.


 Use a fork and a knife when eating. No food is finger food in Finland if the

silverware is available.


 Learn a few words in Finnish, even though it’s hard. It’s an ego-booster for

Finnish to hear a foreigner speak their language and strengthens the relationship.


 Being gentle is recommended in every situations, but don’t expect any reactions

to being nice to someone.


 Be aware of few topics that might lead to very good conversations depending on

the person you talk to. Such as; Cross country skiing, Ice Hockey, Sailing,

Fishing, the Finnish educational system (which they consider as the best in the

world) and everything related to Nature & Sauna.

Cultural "Don'ts"

 Don’t consider women less than men. Remember that Finnish women are

independent and believe in equality. And especially that young women drink

equally to men.


 Don’t be too long-tongued, locals appreciate some silences during conversation.

It leaves some time to think about what has been said and some room for the

other person to add anything to the topic if he wishes to do so.


 Don’t leave your shoes on, if you are invited to a home. Finnish tend to consider

this as a disrespectful gesture towards the hosts.


 Don’t position yourself as an unhygienic person. Your appearance impact Finnish

business men more than your first words.


 Don’t try to influence their decision making by leading them to what you benefit

from.

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Canadian's Doing Business in Finland

Overall, it is great for Canadians to do business in Finland. Finland is an country with very little corruption, strong morals and a great understanding their people. Canadians can expect politeness along with honesty when doing business with Finland.
10 Things People In Finland Do Better Than Americans

Juhannusaatto

Friday, June 24th 2016 at 12am

Finland

Midsummer Eve