Main facts a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered bySweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south over the Gulf of Finland. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. Finland is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital of Helsinki
History Prehistory According to archaeological evidence, the area now comprising Finland was settled at the latest around 8500 BCE during the Stone Age as the ice sheet of the last ice age receded. Swedish era Swedish kings established their rule in the Northern Crusades from the 12th century until 1249 The area of present-day Finland became a fully consolidated part of the Swedish kingdom. Swedish-speaking settlers arrived at the coastal regions during the medieval time. In the 17th century, Swedish became the dominant language of the nobility, administration and education; Relationships with Russia On 29 March 1809, having been taken over by the armies of Alexander I of Russia in the Finnish War, Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire until the end of 1917
Geography Lying approximately between latitudes 60° and 70° N, and longitudes 20° and 32° E, Finland is one of the world's northernmost countries. Of world capitals, only Reykjavík lies more to the north than Helsinki. Finland is a country of thousands of lakes and islandsabout 188,000 lakes (larger than 500 m2 or 0.12 acre) and 179,000 islands. Its largest lake, Saimaa, is the fourth largest in Europe. Much of the geography of Finland is explained by the Ice Age. The highest mountain whose peak is entirely in Finland is Ridnitsohkka at 1,316 m (4,318 ft), directly adjacent to Halti.
Regions and cities Finland consists of 19 regions called maakunta in Finnish and landskap in Swedish. The regions are governed by regional councils which serve as forums of cooperation for the municipalities of a region. The main tasks of the regions are regional planning and development of enterprise and education. In addition, the public health services are usually organized on the basis of regions. Currently, the only region where a popular election is held for the council is Kainuu. Other regional councils are elected by municipal councils, each municipality sending representatives in proportion to its population.
Language Finnish and Swedish are the official languages of Finland. Finnish predominates nationwide while Swedish is spoken in some coastal areas in the west and south and in the autonomous region of Åland. The Sami language is an official language in northern Lapland. Also Finnish Romani and Finnish Sign Language are recognized in the constitution. The Nordic languages and Karelian are also specially treated in some contexts. The native language of 90% of the population is Finnish, which is part of the Finnic subgroup of the Uralic languages. The language is one of only four official EU languages not of Indo-European origin. Finnish is closely related to Karelian and Estonian and more remotely to the Sami languages and Hungarian. Swedish is the native language of 5.4% of the population
Politics and parties Constitution The Constitution of Finland defines the political system. Finland is a parliamentary democracy, and the prime minister is the country's most powerful politician. The constitution in its current form came into force on 1 March 2000, and was amended on 1 March Citizens can run and vote in parliamentary, municipal, and presidential elections, and in European Union elections. After the parliamentary elections on 17 April 2011, the seats were divided among eight parties President is the head of the country
Sport Various sporting events are popular in Finland. resembling baseball, is the national sport of Finland, although the most popular sports in terms of spectators are ice hockey, athletics, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Formula One Some of the most popular recreational sports and activities include floorball, Nordic walking, running, cycling and skiing, football. Football however is the most played team sport when looking at the amount of players the country consists and the popularity of football is rising year after year
Lappi- Lappland is the largest and northernmost of the regions of Finland. The municipalities in the region cooperate in a Regional Council. Lapland borders the Region of North Ostrobothnia in the south. It also borders the Gulf of Bothnia, Norrbotten County in Sweden,Finnmark County and Troms County in Norway, and Murmansk Oblast in Russia. The region is also home to many National Parks and Wilderness Areas Also it is a mother land of Santa.