November 6th marks the annual Swedish Heritage Day – or Svenska Dagen – in Finland.
The event celebrates the contribution that Swedish-speaking Finns have made to the history and culture of the country and has been celebrated annually since 1908.
The date for Svenska Dagen was chosen by the Swedish People’s Party originally to help unite Swedish-speaking people in Finland and promote, and preserve Swedish language and cultural heritage.
Today there are around 300,000 Swedish-speaking Finns, roughly 5% of the population, with their language rights enshrined in the constitution. There’s publicly-funded Swedish education all the way from kindergarten to university; Swedish public service media; and the right to use Swedish in any and all situations involving legislative issues, police and judicial courts. Bilingually-defined municipalities have the same obligations within their jurisdiction.
November 6th marks the death of a Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in 1632, and here in Finland you can celebrate by eating a slice of Gustav Adolfs cake which is a pastry with a chocolate silhouette of the king on top.
Did you know: there are no monolingual Swedish municipalities on the Finnish mainland, however there are 16 municipalities in Åland; and 15 municipalities in the rest of Finland with a Swedish-speaking majority.
You might also be interested in: