Sunday, December 6, 2009

Finnish Independence Day 2009

Finland declared independence from Russia on December 6, 1917. Finland had been a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire since 1809. With the provisional government in Petrograd overthrown by Lenin and his Bolsheviks in October, the Finns weren't going to stick around any longer.

The video below has the playing of Maamme (Our Land), Finland's national anthem. You see in the picture the Finnish flag plus two candles in the window. The significance is that during the final years of Russian rule, many young Finnish men were going to other countries for military service, wanting the training to one day drive the Russians out of Suomi (Finnish for "Finland"). Finns willing to open their homes to any such men in transit would place two candles in the window to signal that they were welcome there.

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