Pluses and minuses of being a Finn, part 2

I am a Finn who lives in Sweden. Finland is my synnyinmaa (country of birth), and it has a very special place in my heart. Mainly because of this, it is difficult for me to take negative comments on Finland and Finns. But "let the other part also be heard" as the Romans used say (in Latin). Here, the other part is a Russian who lives in Canada. In this second part, only his negative ideas of the Finns and of Finnishness in general are included. I start his statements with "Claim X" (e.g. "Minus-claim 3"), and put my comments after these claims.

Part 2
Minus-claim 3: Apathy - Nothing interests Finns (except beer and sports news). Someone here wrote about a Finn at the theatre... *Laughing*. Finns don't go to the theatre, nor do they go to museums, art galleries, the opera or the ballet. To talk with Finns about art, classical music or literature is a complete waste of time. Their entire knowledge of politics and history is limited to the Winter War and russophobia.

My comment: My picture of the Finns is for obvious reasons the opposite: they love theatre, music and arts. For example, in the summer-time there are music festivals, theatre happenings, great political and popular scientific seminars everywhere in the country. 

In a small town of Kuhmo in NE-Finland we have the annual Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, not to forget about the Savonlinna Opera Festival in E-Finland and Pori Jazz, a large international jazz festival in W-Finland. The Finns are among the most literate people in the world, there are hundreds of libraries in the country (for more information in English, click here.) 
But the critic has a point, some Finns bear grudge against Russians and especially the Red Army that started the Winter War on Stalin's orders on November 30, 1939. Terrible tragedies took place in the Karelian forests during that cold winter and later in the war called "Jatkosota" in Finnish ("Continuation war", 1941-44). 

From the Finnish point of view, the main thing was that the Red Army did not manage to occupy Finland. The Finnish army did its duty, it saved the country from the occupation (and a fairly probable Communist takeover, cf. history of the so-called East-European "folk-democracies" after the WW2). On her own, Finland had never coped with the Red Army, and put between the two devilish alternatives, the Finns chose Nazi-Germany instead of the Stalinist Soviet Union. To join the Western Allies was not a realistic alternative because of, among other things, the Nazi dominance in the Baltic area. 
Do Finns have Russophobia? Yes and No. There are many Finns who like Russia, the Russian culture and Russians. I am one of them. We have a site on the Internet called Моя Россия / Minun Venäjäni (My Russia). I also happen to know that quite a few Russians like Finland. How do I know it? Well, the second biggest language minority in Finland is the Russian-speaking group, 55 000 persons or 24% of the foreign-language speakers in Finland. Further, Russian tourists have almost invaded Finland. The country seems to be "a Schengen-gate" to many Russians. Thousands of more or less rich Russians have bought an apartment or a datcha in Finland, preferably in SE-Finland. Russians living in Finland enrich the country socially and culturally. Russian tourism also creates employment opportunities in Finland, especially for Finns who can speak Russian. 

In general, and in my personal view, it is time to make the Eastern border of Finland similar to the border with Sweden and Norway, where one hardly notices that there is a border. (Those who know Russian may read this blog of mine, where I discuss borders between neighbouring countries).

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