1998 GLE - About Finland

About Finland


Finland is located in northern Europe between the 60th and 70th parallels of latitude. A quarter of its total area lies north of the Arctic Circle. Finland's neighboring countries are Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south, across the Gulf of Finland. Much of the country is a gently rolling plateau of worn bedrock and boreal forests, presenting a striking mixture of wooded hills and waters. Leave GLOBE and visit Virtual Finland.

Finnish Students Talk About Finland

Our Learning Expedition includes learning about other countries and other cultures as well as learning about the environment. To help us learn about Finland, we asked some students there to tell us about their country. Here is what they said.

The first list comes from 9th grade students Antti Siivonen and Olli Pvyry and has to do with sports.

  1. Soccer and ice hockey are the most popular sports in Finland.
  2. The most famous Finnish athlete is Paavo Nurmi.
  3. Jari Litmanen is one of the best soccer players in the world.
  4. Mika Hdkkinen and Mika Salo are Finnish Formula I drivers.
  5. Jari Kurri is the best European player ever in NHL.
  6. Tommi Mdkinen and Juha Kankkunen are World Champions in Rally.
  7. The Finnish are good at javelin.
  8. Riku Kiri is one of the most powerful men in the world.
  9. Finland and Sweden compete against each other every year at track and field. Usually Finland wins.
  10. The Finns are good at winter sports.

The second list comes to us from 9th grade students Minna Himanen, Sanna Kontio, and Titta Gyntheri.

  1. Finnish people like sausage and beer.
  2. Finland's winter is cold and beautiful.
  3. Finland's specialty is sauna.
  4. Finns like ice hockey.
  5. Finns are shy and not open-minded.
  6. Linnanmdki is Finland's most famous amusement park.
  7. Finnish is a difficult language.
  8. Santa Claus is living in Finland`s Korvatunturi.
  9. Xylitol is invented by Finns.
  10. Finns use mobile phones the most in the world.

Thanks to all the Finnish students who contributed and are helping us better understand their country.


Scouting Out Finland

Is it even hotter in Eastern Finland than Southern California? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is, yes. GLOBE teacher, Kathy Burton, from Rossmoor Elementary, Los Alamitos, CA, and student-daughter Lian, headed to Finland on June 23, 1997 for a three week visit with their GLOBEMail friends and experienced first-hand this unusual phenomenon.

GLOBE teacher Mika Vanhanen, his wife, Virpi and students from Enon Kirkonkylan ala-aste, welcomed them to Eno, Finland. A local reporter accompanied them on a tour of their school, weather station and snow measuring location. Several students played the Kantele (a Finnish stringed instrument) and the Star Spangled Banner to welcome the visiting Americans.

Enon Kirkonkylan ala-aste and Rossmoor Elementary School have exchanged GLOBEMail, crafts, audio and cassettes and 2 telephone calls for over one year. Students at both schools have expressed a better understanding of each other's lifestyles, cultural traditions, tastes in music and sounds of their languages through this GLOBE partnership. In addition, the Rossmoor students have improved their understanding of geography and seasonal changes because of this connection with the students from Eno.

The meeting day culminated with a walk in their Biology site - a thickly forested area in beautiful shades of green. By then, the initial shyness had vanished and the students treated the visitors to an authentic Finnish sauna and dip into nearby river Pielinen. Very cold!!

"Everything that is written about Finnish hospitality is true," reported Ms. Burton. "Kindness, warmth and generosity marked every interaction in this land where nature is highly valued."

Were the temperatures really higher in Finland or was it just the perception? Check the Student Data Archive or make a comparison graph to find out.


About Swans

The whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus, is one of the national nature symbols of Finland. The swan has been used as a symbol in Finnish culture since ancient times. The 'swan of Tuonela', the swan on the river of death in Finnish tradition, and the 'swan song' are familiar themes in art and literature. The swan is currently a popular motif in advertising and promotion in Finland and is used to identify environmentally friendly products throughout the Nordic region.

Hunted almost to extinction in the mid-1900s, the whooper swan is now a respected and protected part of the Finnish landscape. The whooper swan owes its salvation to one man, Yrjv Kokko, a veterinarian in Enontekiv, Lapland. Kokko wrote a series of books about the swans that raised public awareness and generated support for their legal protection. In the 1950's there were estimated to be only about 10 nesting pairs of whooper swans. Thanks to the efforts of Yrjv Kokko, there are now approximately 1,500 nesting pairs and their numbers continue to grow.