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Happy 100th birthday, Finland!

Perkele! Finland just turned 100 years.

Growing up, I was never quite patriotic. I used to think that Finland is an insignificant country with shitty weather. I still think we have a shitty weather. But the more I’ve grown up, the more I’ve realized that in the grand scale of things Finland is actually pretty awesome!

I used to idolize the USA, I think because it’s a powerful and wealthy country, a notable portion of aired TV shows in Finland are from the US, and most tech things seemed to come from the US. Therefore they must be awesome, right?

The more I’ve become aware of politics and other issues that actually matter, I see the faults in US and many other countries (don’t even get me started on Trump the person or Trump the phenomenom..). Don’t get me wrong, all countries have their own issues, but all in all Finland does many things right:

  • We have a welfare system where if you’re having a hard time, the state helps you out. In Finland homelessness is basically a thing only for people with severe drug or alcohol problems.

  • Our education system is famous the world over.

  • Like many other nordic countries, our healthcare is essentially free.

  • There is no police brutality in Finland. Each time a police fires a weapon, a thorough investigation is conducted. In ten years the police have fired a gun 122 times - killing only seven people.

  • Finland is almost the least corrupt country in the world.

  • We have many political parties. How’s the two party system working out for the US? Instead of having to pick from two groups of dicks to misrepresent us, we can pick from nine groups of dicks to misrepresent us. :) Finland also used to have electoral college, but we got rid of it in 1994.

Cool things about Finland

Like I said, I used to think we’re insignificant. That might stem from the fact that I was young and stupid(er). And also, Finns are modest people. :)

But now it’s time to list a couple of cool things about Finland:

Oversimplified history

For anybody interested in Finnish history, here’s a short timeline:

  • Prehistoric times
  • 1323: first borders defined
  • 1150 - 1350: Gradual Swedish colonization, spreading of Christianity. The colonization was not without resistance from Finns.
  • 1808-1809: Russia started a war with Sweden, capturing Finland.
  • 1809–1917: Autonomy under the Russian Empire.
  • Dec 1917: Finland declared independence after a long stretch of Russification (= efforts of destroying the cultural and administrative autonomy of Finland).
  • Jan 1918 - May 1918 Civil war.
  • Nov 1939 - Mar 1940 Winter war (three months after the outbreak of World War II) Soviet Union, without a formal declaration of war, invaded Finland claiming “Finland shot first”, though it was staged. Despite the soviets having overwhelmingly more resources, Finland put up a good fight, with about 4 fallen Soviets for every fallen Finn. Finland eventually lost 12 % of its land as a result of the following peace negotiations.
  • 1941-1944 Continuation war with the Soviets attacking again.

Wrapping up

I’m proud of my country - it’s one of the best countries in the world and I’m thankful for our independence.

Here’s to 100 years of being awesome, and let’s hope the world hasn’t ended when we reach the 200th birthday. :)

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