This year marks 100 years of Finnish independence. With celebrations in full swing at the start of December, we say Happy Birthday Finland.

During Finland’s long history, it has been passed from pillar to post. After being under Swedish ruling for centuries, in 1809, the Finnish War resulted in Russia gaining control of Finland and the Grand Duchy of Finland was born.

Finland — or Suomi as it is known in Finnish — finally gained its own independence over 100 years later.

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Finnish journalist Adolf Ivar Arwidsson once said:

We are not Swedes, we do not want to become Russians, let us, therefore, be Finns.

100 years ago, in 1917, Finland became its own nation, so now we are celebrating the centenary of the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes.’

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This week marks the worldwide celebration of Finnish independence. With celebrations all across the world, from Helsinki to Hong Kong, Finns will join together to pay their respects to their beloved country.

It is a long-running joke that Finn’s are quite solitary and a bit antisocial, with Finnish Personal Space images being somewhat of an internet meme.

There is, like all good jokes, some truth to this. According to a survey by Taloustutkimus Oy, Finns eat together less than any other OECD member country.

Also, 25% of Finns have their lunch or coffee breaks in work in solitude and only go visiting friends or relatives a few times a year.

So with these special celebrations happening across the globe, Finns are getting together and battling against their anti-sociality.

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Let’s eat together

Back in the summer, there was a great push for Finns across the globe to celebrate the August bank holiday by eating together.

Finland’s centenary celebrations are focusing on the theme of togetherness. What better way for Finns and friends of Finland to celebrate their togetherness than by getting together to create memories that can be continued for the next 100 years of

Petra Theman, from the Ministry of foreign affairs, said: This is a good example of how the centenary year brings together Finns and friends of Finland even abroad.

Here are some useful phrases to impress your new Finnish friends

  • Good day – Hyvää päivää(Huu-vaa pie-vaa)
  • Hello — Hei
  • How are you? — Mitä kuuluu?(Mee-ta Koo-loo?)
  • Thank you — Kiitos(Key-toss)
  • My name is ______ — Nimeni on ______ (Nee-men-ee on _____)
  • Nice to meet you —Hauska tavata (Hows-kah Ta-va-tah)
  • Yes — Kylla(Kuu-la)
  • — Ei(ay)
  • Goodbye — Nakemiin(Nak-eh-meen.)
  • Do you speak English? — Puhutko englantia?(Poo-hoot-koh Eng-lahn-tia?)