Finland: strange language, strange music

During my trip to the Nordic countries I also visited Finland. To be honest the Finns don’t see themselves as part of Scandinavia. Being under Swedish occupation for so many years the try to distance themselves from Sweden. On the other side you will notice that city names and labellings on the streets are in both languages: Finnish and Swedish. That’s because there’s a big Swedish speaking minority in the south of Finland. The capital city Helsinki for instance is called Helsingfors in Swedish. And that’s the city I visited after Stockholm. Finland indeed differs from the other Nordic countries in many aspects. One aspect is the valuta. Being in Denmark, Norway or Sweden you pay with crowns. Finland is the only Nordic country which introduced the Euro back in 2002. Regarding the language it’s the other way round. Coming to Denmark, Norway or Sweden you will understand many words as they are similar to English. English and the Scandinavian languages all belong to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Being in Finland at first you might think you are in a completely strange country. I can assure you that Finnish is not that complicated as it might seem to you. Finnish has an agglutinative grammar like also Hungarian or Turkish. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with chemistry or glue! It means that possessive pronounce or prepositions are added as a suffix to the noun. For instance the Finnish word for house is talo. If you want to say ‘in the house’ you say talossa. But Finland also has some other exotic things to offer. One of them is the music. There’s probably no other country where the mass is enthusiastic about rock and heavy metal like here. Maybe you will remember bands like HIM with the lead singer Ville Valo or The Rasmus with their legendary song In The Shadows. Many of you will still remember the monster rockers Lordi who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006. And certainly you know the band Leningrad Cowboys who even has its own restaurant near the famous department store Stockmann. Finland even has a band wearing dinosaur masks and making black metal music especially for children. Walking through Helsinki I indeed noticed many rockers on the street. I got the feeling that Finns are very reserved and distanced. I notice that when asking them for the way to the Sibelius Park. Jean Sibelius is the most famous classic musician and even the Music Academy of Helsinki is named after him. But there’s another exotic sort of music you wouldn’t expect coming from Finland. After Argentina Finland is the second tango nation of the world. Of course there are some differences. While Argentinian tango is based on sex and the man tries to seduce the woman Finnish tango is a melancholic dance. This trend came to Finland after the Secong World War and in Seinäjoki there’s a big tango festival every summer. It’s the so called Seinäjoen tangomarkinat. Finland has a strange sounding language and a strange music scene. But once you break the ice you will love it!

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2 thoughts on “Finland: strange language, strange music

  1. Good post. My music taste in Finland is Rautalanka music. You told that You speak 30 languages. Congratulations. I speak only four, but know the basics of two more languages. Speaking and writing of some language is different thing, I think.

    Because You speak so many languages, I would love to see a post written in them. My post is only in four languages. 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you! Paljon kiitoksia!, I am always grateful for music tips. Maybe I will write an article in another language in future or translate my English articles in other languages.

      Like

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