Happy 104th Finnish Independence Day – December 06 – Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää 6.12

Happy 104th Finnish Independence Day – December 06 – Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää 6.12

Celebrating one’s Independence Day in the winter is much different than the festivities we Canadians celebrate during the heat of July 1st summer’s day for Canada Day.

However, the Finnish “SISU” can bear the cold while singing the flag song Lippulaulu Siniristilippumme during suns-rise on a frigid winter morning as the Finnish flag, the blue cross is raised up the flag pole. The blue signifies the many lakes in Finland and white the winter snow that blankets the country during winter.

Finnish people respect and honour their war veterans, as they have had to battle mightily against bigger and stronger countries to maintain their independence. Finland is recognized globally as peace keepers and providing excellent social services for their citizens.

During normal times, the President of Finland hosts a 2000 guest gala, with meet and greet. In the past watching it on television through internet, part of the commentary is always about the fashions that the guests are wearing to the party. During the national holiday Finns watch the gala while blue and white candles are aflame in their homes.

Finland is synonymous to sauna and pulla. However, in our everyday lives we encounter many Finnish inventions. One of the well-known products was the NOKIA cellphone. Nokia is a large corporation, originally started out as a paper mill, expanding to rubber and cables. Many are familiar with vehicle tires, Hakkapelliitta, one of the highest rated winter tires and their famous rubber boots. The Nokian Corporation was established in 1988.

Fiskars are well-known by their orange or red handled scissors. Orange handled for right handed and the red handled ones are for left handed folks, for two of my family members. Fiskars has risen to be a global entity acquiring the well-known Finnish glassware company Iittala, and Arabia, and housewares, Hackman and others. They have also acquired the world renowned Waterford crystal, Wedgwood porcelain, Royal Albert and Royal Doulton. Fiskars is not just a snipping and cutting tool manufacturer anymore.

Finland is a leader in technology, not just telecommunications, but Finns have invented many tech items that we use every day. The computer operating system LINUX and original internet web browser were developed by Finns. If you played a computer game Angry Birds, that was invented in Finland. For the athletes, the first wireless heart rate monitor by Polar is Finnish.

Finns are known for their designs, from Marimekko, Finlayson, glassware, furniture and architecture. Pretty awesome for a small country of 5.5 million.

So much more to take pride in, to athleticism, environment and literacy/education. But more importantly the true Santa Claus, Joulu Pukki up in Korvatunturi with his many elves are right now busy checking lists to see who is naughty or nice!

Happy Finnish Independence Day from around the world, enjoy a cup of coffee and some pulla. Oh yes, Finns are the top coffee drinkers, consuming about 12 kg of kahvia annually.

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