and welcome to Svenskfinland! We’re happy you are here and want to learn more about the Finland Swedish culture. Finland’s Swedish speaking folk proudly identify as being Finnish, however, they also have their own intriguing culture and traditions that is riddled with complexity and rich history. In the articles below you can read and learn about all things Finnish Swedish. We hope you find this website enlightening and useful.
Who are the Finland-Swedes?
The Finland-Swede’s culture is centuries old and dates from the reign of the Swedish kingdom, through the times of Russian rule, up to its status today as a protected linguistic minority. The Swedish spoken by Finland-Swedes consists of distinct dialects that are understandable to other Swedish speakers and those who speak other Scandinavian languages. The majority of Swedish-speaking Finns are bilingual...
There are some areas of Finland where Finnish is in fact rarely, if ever, spoken in day-to-day life. In Österbotten, on the west coast, and Nyland, between Åbo (Turku) and Helsinki, there are towns where the vast majority of inhabitants speak Swedish, and you could go days without hearing Finnish.
About 4 % of the 311 Finnish communities are considered Swedish-speaking only, a figure that consists primarily of the population of the Åland islands (0.5 per cent of the country’s total). The majority of Swedish-speaking Finns are bilingual, or can at least manage in both languages.
Across such disciplines as literature, theatre, movies, music and poetry, Finland Swedes have always found unique ways in which they can express themselves.
Casting an eye back through Finland’s history, the artistic landscape holds an abundance of famous Finland Swedes. Did you know that prominent Finnish artists Jean Sibelius and Tove Jansson were both born into Swedish-speaking families?
One of the cornerstones of Finnish-Swedish culture is the wide range of newspapers, magazines, podcasts and television and radio programs.
Education in Swedish
When a child is born in Finland, the parents can choose for themselves which language is officially registered as the child’s mother tongue. Bilingual families often register their children as Swedish-speaking and later put them in Swedish-language school. The reason for this is partly strategic and the choice is made to strengthen the child’s future language skills. Since Finnish generally dominates in society, it is in many ways an easier language for children to maintain and develop knowledge in, even when schooling takes place in Swedish.