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19th century Fennomans consciously sought to define the Finnish people through depiction of the common people's everyday lives in art, such as this painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

Finns or Finnish people (Finnish: suomalaiset) are a Finnic ethnic group native to Finland.


  • Finns live in smaller homes than Americans and consume a lot less. They spend relatively little on national defense, though they still have universal male conscription, and it is popular. Their per capita national income is about 30 percent lower... Private consumption of goods and services represents about 52 percent of Finland’s economy... Finns pay considerably higher taxes — nearly half their income... Finns have extraordinary confidence in their political class and public officials. Corruption is extremely rare... I was bothered by a sense of entitlement among many Finns, especially younger people. Sirpa Jalkanen, a microbiologist and biotech entrepreneur affiliated with Turku University in that ancient Finnish port city, told me she was discouraged by "this new generation we have now who love entertainment, the easy life." She said she wished the government would require every university student to pay a "significant but affordable" part of the cost of their education, "just so they’d appreciate it."
  • Suomalaisten oli vaikea käsittää että joku, esimerkiksi keisari, voisi rankaisematta rikkoa lakia. (Paavo Haavikko)
    • The Finns found it difficult to understand that someone, the emperor for example, could break the law without punishment. (Suuri Sitaattisanakirja. Toimittanut Jarkko Laine. Helsinki: Otava, 1989)
  • Eikä suomalaista erota suomalaisesta mikään, / ei mikään paitsi kuolema ja poliisi. (Jorma Etto)
    • And nothing can separate a Finn from a Finn, / nothing but death and police. (Suuri Sitaattisanakirja)
  • The Finnons have continual warres with the Muscouites in the arme or bosome of the sea Finnonicus: usyng in Summer the ayde of Shyppes, and in Wynter they combat upon the Ise.
    • George North in 1561 (Jonathan Clements, An Armchair Traveller's History of Finland, 2014, bookHaus, ISBN 978-1-909961-00-5)
  • Suomessa elättää hyvin ahkera kansa hyvin laiskaa rahaa. (Samuli Paronen)
    • In Finland very hard-working people support very lazy money. (Suuri Sitaattisanakirja)
  • Suomen kansa hommaa yhtä asiaa kerrallaan. Kun se urheilee, niin se urheilee. Kun se käy sotaa, niin se käy sotaa. Kun se jälleenrakentaa, niin se jälleenrakentaa. Kun se lukee, niin se lukee. (Ilmari Turja)
    • The Finns do one issue at a time. When they do sport, they do sport. When they wage war, they wage war. When they rebuild, they rebuild. When they read, they read. (Suuri Sitaattisanakirja)
  • Jos suomalaisessa joskus on ylpeyttä, on sekin passiivista: kieltäytymistä. (Juhani Siljo)
    • If a Finn sometimes has pride it is passive: self-sacrificing. (Suuri Sitaattisanakirja)
  • Suomalaiset ovat hyvin harrasta kansaa, / ne kirkonmenot aina aikaan saa, / oli seurat, sirkushuvit taikka huumoria hurttia, / on naama kuin ois syönyt yogurttia. (Eppu Normaali, "Abe Normal", Finnish rock band)
    • The Finns are very devout people, / they always create church services, / when there's devotional meetings, circus amusements or excellent humour, / their faces look like they've eaten yoghurt. (Pidetään ikävää, "Let's get bored", from the album Maximum Jee & Jee, 1979)
  • Finns, among other pagan delusions, would offer wind for sale to traders who were detained on their coasts by offshore gales, and when payment had been brought would give them in return three magic knots tied in a strap not likely to break.
    • Olaus Magnus in his Description of the Northern Peoples in 1555 (Jonathan Clements, An Armchair Traveller's History of Finland, 2014, bookHaus, ISBN 978-1-909961-00-5)
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