The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)
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Information: A country.
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. It is known as "the land of a thousand lakes."
Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended, approximately 9000 BCE. As a result of the crusades and the colonisation of some Finnish coastal areas with Christian Swedish population during the Middle Ages, Finland gradually became part of the kingdom of Sweden and the sphere of influence of the Catholic Church. Swedish became the dominant language of the nobility, administration, and education; Finnish was chiefly a language for the peasantry, clergy, and local courts in predominantly Finnish-speaking areas. Notwithstanding the efforts of Finland's elite and nobility to break ties with Sweden, there was no genuine independence movement in Finland until the early twentieth century.
Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought repeatedly to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Salla, Kuusamo, Petsamo and some islands, but retaining independence. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and established an official policy of neutrality.
National Dances: Polska, Finnish Tango
Languages: Finnish, Swedish
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
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