Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to Finns: Finnish people



(self-designation, Suomalaiset), a nation (natsiia, nation in the historical sense) and the indigenous population of Finland. There are more than 4.3 million Finns (1974, estimate). About 500,000 live in the USA, Canada, northern Sweden, and northern Norway and 85,000 live in the USSR (1970 census). The Finns speak Finnish. Believers are Protestants.

The earliest ancestors of the Baltic Finns were tribes of the Pit-Comb Pottery culture, who settled in southern Finland in the third millennium B.C. During the second millennium B.C., Baltic tribes of the Corded Ware and Boat-ax cultures reached Finland, adding their particular characteristics to the southwestern group of Finns; their culture shows the influence of the peoples of Scandinavia and Estonia. The culture of the eastern regions of Finland is related to that of the peoples of the Ladoga, Onega, and Upper Volga regions.

The ancestors of the Finns gradually moved northward, driving back the ancestors of the modern Lapps (Laplanders). The Finnish nationality emerged from the mingling of the tribal groups of the southwest (the Suomi), the central region (the Häme), and the east (the western group of Korela tribes). The eastern group of Korela tribes, which became part of the Novgorod Feudal Republic in the 12th century, formed a separate people, the Karelians. As feudalism was established in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Finns came under Swedish rule. From 1809 to 1917, Finland was part of the Russian empire. The development of capitalism during the second half of the 19th century facilitated the consolidation of the Finns into a nation. The Finns achieved national independence after the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia.

Prolonged Swedish domination left an imprint on Finnish culture that may be traced in agrarian relations, legal procedure, and other aspects of life. The Swedish conquest was accompanied by forced Christianization. During the Reformation, in the 16th century, the Finnish writing system was created. Instruction in primary schools was conducted in Finnish, but the Swedish language long played a major role in the government and culture. Finnish did not become the language of instruction in higher educational institutions until the mid-19th century. The traditional folk culture of the Finns has been preserved, both material (dwellings, clothing, and utensils) and spiritual (family rituals, folklore, and epic songs and runes, most notably Kalevala). For the history, economy, and culture of the Finns, see.


Narody zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 2. Moscow, 1965.
Sirelius, U. T. Suomen kansanomaista kultuuria, vols. 1–3. Helsinki, 1919–21.
Talve, I. Suomalaisen kansanelämän historialliset taustatekijät. Helsinki, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
The most common problems experienced by Finns pertained to travel documents.
They reported that Finland's Swedish-speaking minority of 5 per cent would be beaten up in the streets of Helsinki for speaking their language; their neighbour was 'turning inwards' and other parties should be 'ashamed' for even contemplating working with the 'anti-Europe, anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, xenophobic' True Finns.
The results also showed that fewer people than ever want the country to leave the EU and that Finns hope that the EU will protect the country against threats from countries outside the Union.
Older Finns use new technology more than the European Union average, according to a poll carried out by SeniorWatch.
One of the continuing court cases stemming from the death of Hugh Finn, the man with severe disabilities who died in 1998 when his wife ordered his feeding tube removed, was resolved March 3 when the Virginia Supreme Court upheld Gov.
A recent poll carried out for the European Parliament's bureau of information and the Finnish television channel MTV3 shows that 55% of Finns want a referendum while 41% think that a vote is not needed.
According to the survey, one in four Finns say that they can identify with the EU while three in four say that they do not feel that it concerns them.
Finns are divided by the enlargement of the European Union.