Welcome to Uralic Family Home Page, about Finnish people and some of their relatives. The Uralic Family of languages is
comprised of two branches: 1) Finno-Ugric, and 2) Samoyedic. The Baltic Finnish/Karelian and Estonian (Finnic), Hungarian (Ugric) and Lapp people belong to
this distinct group of linguistically and culturally related people.
There are many related groups in the former Soviet Union. Most of these are quickly being assimilated into the dominant Russian language and culture, which continues many genocidal practises with the blessings of the Russian government. The eastern Finnish languages cannot be understood by Finns today as contacts to the east have been more or less cut for eight hundred years of Russian history. Some Finnish people, and especially Estonians, have a keen interest in their relatives to the east with whom many still feel some kinship ties. The eastern Finnish cultures have developed with many Turkic and Slavic cultural, religious and linguistic influences. Finnish culture, which is the main focus at this site, is very Scandinavian in style, but Finno-Ugric origins make the people distinct in many ways. If you are interested in exploring the background history of the Finns and other related groups, you are welcome to participate and give us your opinions of what is presented here. Perhaps there is something missing that you think should be included.
Who are the Uralic people? Where did they come from? Where do they live? What
is their language and culture like? This web page explores these and many other questions
relating to Uralic people: their past, present and future.
cannot understand Finnish language, history and culture without some
knowledge of related people. Finnish history and culture that are presented
in these pages is set against a background of the other Finno-Ugric
people. Finnish written history is only from the second millennium,
but fortunately the Finns have a strong oral tradition going back to
the ice ages. Finns, and Karelian tribes in particular, had a strong oral
tradition of rune singing their history, ancient shamanistic beliefs,
myth, magic, love and war. These traditions survived in Karelia probably
because of the relative isolation from the early Finnish church. These
stories were collected in the 19th Century and compiled into one story,
composed of a masterful collection of epic poems that reveal the daily
life of the people over millennia. Karelia has a long history going back
over eight thousand years.
You can also read about the period
in which the slavs began intercepting Karelian trade with the Norwegians
and Volga traders. The slavs came and actually took over the key trading
posts to the East, forcing the inhabitants to move west. Of course Russians claim all conquered land as "ancient Russian land." If the Slavs were there first, it would be the Finns kicking Slavs out, not the other way around. But the Slavs are unable to prove even that they inhabited the Baltic regions on both sides of the Gulf of Finland in ancient times; the Finns and Lapps have no problem doing that. In fact, history traces the gradual encroachment of Slavs northward, displacing a lot of Finno-Ugric people westward, and some eastward. Karelia, Finland's Eastern province was inhabited by Karelians who have their own dialect of Finnish. But due to the military exploits from Novgorod, Finns (who were under Swedish rule) had to build fortifications, and fight to keep their land - even up to 1944. Russia's position is that they were fighting to take Finnish land held by Sweden ("Germans"). Eventually,
by 1703, while the Finnish army was away fighting Sweden's battles, Peter the Great established St. Petersburg on Finnish Ingerian lands.
Viipuri (Vyborg), which is not far from St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland, was established by Finns and built by Finns - not Russians. They have taken parts of Finland, but they cannot turn Finnish towns and cities into "old Russian" cities without rewriting history. This is exactly what is being done as I write. But anyone who reads the old Russian texts, will note that reference is always made to "Swedish" cities, as Finland was then a part of Sweden - not "old Russian" cities. So, Russia is still at it - falsifying history to justify their actions which are usually predatory on its neighbors. If the Baltic Finns were to take back all lands belonging to them, Russians would have no access to the Atlantic. There is only one way the Russian people can join the civilized world, and that is by admitting everything they have done against the Finnish people, and ask for forgiveness, thus showing a sincere desire to abandon its old ways and join the civilized world. Yeltsin was beginning this process, but Putin has put a quick stop to that. Perm / Karelian Power and decline in
Today, Finns love their
Kalevala which is read and enjoyed as a rich historical and
mythological legacy of their ancestors. Kalevala
As for the reliability of the information contained here, of course there may be some
outdated material as some sources are very old. In researching sources such as the Encyclopaedia
Britannica be aware that it may contain Soviet era disinformation regarding areas they
"liberated." Also personal views may sometimes blur the facts as the writer adds
his own interpretations though great effort has been expended in minimizing such
artifacts. For these reasons links are provided to other history sites.
You will also find famous Finnish
products, CD's, Videos, books and other links provided for your convenience and enjoyment at
the Uralic City Center. Check out Pirkko Kiansten's Internet radio show Saturday mornings
9:30 - 11:00 AM Pacific time. We now offer some of Pirkko's finest shows from archived files. listen now
If you are interested in war history, may I recommend
Antti's exclusive WW2 Continuation War Photo Gallery. There are dozens of photos Antti
took in 1941-42 on Lake Laatokka (Ladoga), scanned from our family album. I hope you enjoy
your stay and that you will come back often to see what's new. Please bookmark it now for
Finland and The Finnish People
(Suomi), a northern European country of 5.2 million people, is a land
where peasants have always been free. Historically, Finns are stubbornly independent and hard-working.
Since 1155, Finland had been in the Swedish realm. Finland became the
borderline between the Orthodox east and Western Christianity. Most Finns are Lutheran, which is basically
Protestantism. (simply put, the Bible is the highest authority) In 1808, Finland became a
Russian autonomous Grand Duchy, a special status giving the Finns great control of their
internal government. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Finland became an independent republic
with a social democratic government. The Finnish Independence Day is December 6.
At 337,000 sq. km. (130,128.01 sq. mi.), with 60,000 lakes, Finland is a
little smaller than Montana, about the size of New England, New Jersey, and New York
combined, or 4/10 the size of British Columbia, Canada. Finland's southern shores are at
the approximate latitude of Yukon/Northwest Territories/British Columbia border. Mapquest Stats summary with
NEW YORK - No country has an economy more conducive to sustained growth
than Finland. So says the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its newly released
Global Competitiveness Report. Forbes, 2004
Freedom of Press: which country is tops? You guessed it. Reporters Without Borders
These values and identity that built and sustained Finland should be preserved.
1939 and again in 1944, Finland was almost swallowed up by its giant
communist neighbor, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics headed by the
dictator Joseph Stalin. Nowadays Russia still claims that tiny Finland attacked the giant Soviet Union. That would be like a mouse attacking an elephant - absurd. This is refuted or accepted by Russian leadership, depending on who is in power. The present administration claims Finland attacked, which was the Soviet position. Russia downplays the first 1939-40 Winter War (which is easily seen as Russian aggression) but emphasizes Finland's 1941 offensive to take back the lost territory with German aid. Hence the Soviets claim that the land they took was liberated from the fascists, though Finland is and has always been, a Social Democratic country. Being aligned for any reason with Hitler is thought to automatically make Finland's position weak. Whether Finland was seen as merely defending itself or attacking depends upon how badly USSR was needed as an ally, and Churchill and Roosevelt desperately needed Stalin to help beat Hitler. That fact did not escape Stalin and he used it to annex most of Karelia province without retribution.
Although Finland managed to remain outside
the Soviet Union, she lost most of the province of Karelia and more
than 400,000 people were relocated in Finland, which included the writer's
parents and grandparents. The question why Stalin's allies were ready to give up Finland to Communist slavery, is one that still baffles the writer. Like many other European countries abandoned to the whims of the mass-murderer Joseph Stalin, Finland would have ended up
in the Soviet bloc but for the superhuman resistance put up by the Finnish
Army. Both Finland and Soviet Union were on the side of Hitler during the war at some point, for their own reasons.
Finland was lucky and survived the Russians. But other ethnic states are not so lucky, being remotely located from their cousins, and their protection, on the Baltic. This makes them more vulnerable to acts of genocide and Russification. UN declared in 1948 that any attempt to destroy a culture by taking away rights to language and culture is genocide, which is now gaining momentum in Russia against the Finnish tribes. This reminds us of Stalin's final solution to Finnish-Karelian nationalism, which was the real reason these minorities became victims of the Purges. It also reminds us of the genocide of natives in North America in residential schools and elsewhere. Soviet propaganda, however, stated that all ethnic groups have equal standing in the people's paradise, while in reality, terror reigned against the minorities. This is exactly what is starting to happen in Russia today.
Gangs of hoollums go around beating up those involved with cultural activities in their own language, with the blessings of Moscow, as in Stalin's time. One of the goals of this site is to bring to your attention and reverse the trend of forced language extinction by Russian authorities in Moscow and repression of minorities. Putin is the man in charge of these acts. Development of democractic principles within the Russian Federation was a fleeting dream, now beginning to crumble under Putin. Based on how the Russian majority loves their Putin, it looks like they don't care about developing the proper way - they rather revert to bullying and corrupt tactics of the past. Too bad, what a waste. Democracy is the only hope for survival of minorities.
Finnish Society underwent a profound transition in the last part of the
second millennium, and continues in the new one. On the 1st of January 1995, Finland
joined the European Union (EU, former EEC
or EC), losing some of her autonomy in the process. Finland is participating in the Economic and Monetary Union
(EMU); the currency (markka, abbr. mk or FIM)
is now replaced by Euro (with a ratio of 5.94571 FIM = 1 euro). (There
are so many songs in Finland with Markka in it. Will they have to change
the words? "Ei ole mulla Euroja taskussa...")
In February 2000, Tarja Halonen
became the first woman president of Finland. She is active in charting
a "humane" (if that is possible!) path for globalization, women's rights
and human rights. In 2006 Tarja won a second term, and Conan O'Brien, her look-alike, gave her so much publicity, (His band played and sang Finnish songs about Tarja, and poked fun at her competition) that he made a special Valentine's Day 2006 visit to Finland. Even with his pronounciation of "Tarja" - with an english "j", it was funny and impressive. The amount of production time spent was quite astounding for an American production about a little northern country on a late-night TV show that the Finns watch with a two day delay.