First published April 1, 2009
Finland: the North Dakota of Central Europe. 130,558 square miles of forest, lakes, cities, and fens. The northernmost agricultural country in the world, and home to 99.99997% of the world’s mosquito population. Yeah, in my travels, I have learned that this is a fairly inconsequential country. One of the few countries on earth where you can fall asleep in the middle of a hockey match. While you’re playing.
Or is it?
And by “Or is it,” I don’t mean “is Finland boring?” I mean “Is Finland a country?” Remember my saying I traveled to Finland? Because I sure as hell don’t. The traveling part not the saying…something.
Equally peculiar is the fact that I’m hard-pressed to find departures to/arrivals from Finland at the local airport. Okay, I was too lazy to actually look, but that’s beside the point.
But Fenris! If there’s no such thing as Finland, then where do Finnish exports come from?
Good question! But first you have to consider: where are these exports exported from? Some quick homework revealed something shocking:
Finland’s Chief Exports
- Japanese-looking cellphones that are manufactured in China
- Japanese-sounding power metal bands
- The Moomin TV series, which was manufactured in Japan. Three times.
- Japanese girls that spin leeks and sing Finnish polka
- Star Trek parodies
Everything’s…Japanese? In short, everything that is presumably exported from Finland goes through this system:
Holy shit, a smoking gun!
In an interview with the New Zealand Herald on March 20th, 2008, Jussi Sydänmaa of the award-winning metal band Lordi claimed that being a superstar in Finland “f****** sucks” (Only Finns are able to vocalize asterisks.)
I have no idea what this graph means, but I’m sure it has something to do with what I just said. Maybe something to do with the Finnish language. Seriously, umlauts may be awesome, but geez, enough is enough. Ëvërÿ vöwël ïn thë Fïnnïsh längüägë häs ümläüts ïn ït, änd ïn äccördäncë wïth Fïnnïsh läw, ëvërÿ wörd müst cöntäïn ät lëäst fööüürtëën vööwëëls, föör whïïch thëë pëënäältÿÿ ööf vïïööläätïïöön ïïs dëëääth bÿÿ joulutortut.
But Fenris! Why would someone do such a thing?
Two reasons: money (not sure how, but it’s an effective default cop-out for conspiracy theorists,) and to pull an elaborate prank.
There’s been a long-running insult war between Finland and Sweden (allegedly,) lasting well since 1150 AD. It lasted that long because, not only was Finland part of the Swedish Empire until 1809, but because as mentioned, both the Finnish and the Swedish language have really, really long words in them. In 1997, the BBC reported that two Helsinki teenagers died of dehydration while playing the Dozens for over 36 hours. Spectators report that they each completed two rounds.
After 800 years of rule, or roughly one dozen “yo momma” jokes, the Swedish empire lost their land to the Russian Empire, who held on until 1917.
Flash forward to 1939. The Finns got bored, so after a good ol’ traditional 200-degree sauna and a jump in a freezing-cold lake, they decided to have the 1939 Winter War. It took from 1938 to winter 1939 to come to that decision because they had to talk about it first, in Finnish. The results were…well…
Wikipedia: always full of lies, no matter what, don’t even argue, now excuse me while I put my hands over my ears.
Clearly, the Russians wanted in on that prank, so they threw a fight in exchange for the land as one package (explaining why there are likely more Finns abroad than in Finland itself, if any.) Imagine the laugh Stalin had when he saw the Swedes try to argue with an empty Finland-shaped hole! His moustache must’ve curled with delight. They probably still have the whole land in their palaces somewhere.