THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND ESTABLISHED IN 1918
Traditional competition between Finns and neighboring Swedes has been going on. The people of the 10.5 million inhabitants, the Kingdom of Sweden consider sometimes Finland with 5.5 million people a bit provincial and some Finns consider Swedes to be arrogant.
Fin-land (beautiful country in Swedish), which had belonged to the Swedish kingdom for centuries in history, was attached to its eastern neighbor Russia in 1809 during the reign of the Russian Tsar Alexander. When the Bolshevik revolution broke up in Russia in 1918, the Finns took the opportunity to declare their independence and established The Republic of Finland!
GERMAN FÜHRER VISITED FINLAND IN 1942
The Finns, who were traditionally close to the Germans, sided with the Germans in World War II, out of fear of Russia. In 1942, during the war, Führer Hitler made a day visit on a Focke-Wulf Condor plane from Berlin to Imatra, a small town in Eastern Finland to celebrate the 75th birthday of Finnish Commander-in-Chief, Marshall Mannerheim.
Svenska frivilligkåren organiserade de svenska medborgaresom anmält sig som frivilliga på Finlands sida i Vinterkiget 1939-1940 mellan Finland and Sovjetunionen
When Russia declared Winter war on Finland, the Swedish people collected money and forwarded it to the neighbor. On the other hand, the Swedish Brigade, consisting of some eight thousand Swedish volunteer Corps arrived in Finland and supported Finland’s Defence Forces against the Soviet enemy.
FINSKA KRIGSBARN EVAKUERADES TILL SVERIGE
Under andra världskriget 1939-1945 evakuerades omkring 70 000 finska barn till Sverige. Over 70 000 children were moved from Finland to “safer” Sweden during the Second World War. Over 15 000 “Finnish War children” remained in Swedish families in Sweden after the war was over, as they lost contact with their parents.
RUSSIA OCCUPIED FINLAND IN 1944
When the German army was defeated in 1944, Finland surrendered to the Russians. Britain, Soviet Union, and Finland made a peace agreement. With this agreement, USSR declared that it has annexed occupied Finnish lands: Eastern Karelia, Viipuri, and Eastern Lapland to Russia. In the 1950s, Finland paid huge war reparations to the Soviet Union, and on the other hand, straightened its weakened economy.
During the cold war period, with the contribution of the Finnish President Urho Kekkonen, Finland did not enter Nato and established a careful balance between the West and the USSR. In this way, Finland ensured its sovereignty and exported agricultural and quality industrial products to the Russians. Finland and Sweden have been a member of EU since 1995.
COMPETITION BETWEEN FINLAND AND SWEDEN
As the Finnish economy recovered, neighbor competition with Sweden has begun! E.g. when the Finns started producing and selling Nokia phones to the world, Sweden produced Ericsson phones. Finnish and Swedish ice hockey teams respectively became world champions. Anecdotes and insulting jokes about which nation is smarter and more clever have sprung up in both countries.
I witnessed the last competition between the two neighbors. This time Finland won this butter competition: 2-1.
Yesterday I went to Post Office to mail official translations of Finnish Passports I have translated for customers. Then I visited the neighborhood grocery market. The normal price of half a kg of Swedish Arla butter (smör) had been 5 Euro/50 SEK.
The Finnish dairy company Valio has launched its butter in Sweden at a -20% discount. Due to competition The Swedish Arla lowered the price and published a -25% discount. A lot of customers among us bought several butter packs at a nice price…
But the dairy company of Finland VALIO made a new “unexpected” move yesterday by bringing a large amount of fresh Finnish butter to Sweden and selling it with a %50 discount: 2,5 Euro/25 SEK for a 500g pack! This means that the Finnish milkman is campaigning butter below the cost to increase its market share in Sweden.
Nevertheless as a result of the competition we consumers benefit. We should go to get a couple more Valio butter packages tomorrow before the sale ends!