Swedish culture in Finland

Swedish culture in Finland

The Swedish culture in Finland is active and its roots are long. Finland was a part of Sweden up until the division of the realm in 1809, and Swedish has been spoken around the coast areas of Finland for hundreds of years.

Swedish is a language very much alive in Finland both in speech and writing. Swedish is used in everyday life, in scientific or ecclesiastical contexts, in media and in cultural life. Swedish represents one of Finland's two official languages and is an administrative language, which implies that official documents can also be written in Swedish or translated into Swedish.

In Finland there are numerous associations, schools, day care centres and other institutions that function fully or partly in Swedish. There are also many publishing houses that publish literature primarily in Swedish. However, everyday life is in practice either bilingual or multi-lingual in many areas today.  

Common figures show that the Swedish-speaking population amounts to just under 6% of the total population of Finland. In reality there are many people that are more or less bilingual, although a person is registered with only one main language. Therefore, trying to measure the scope of the Swedish-speaking culture in this way may be misleading. The scientific, cultural and sociological activity pursued in Swedish is the central issue of the Society and represents the field of interest in which the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland documents, maintains and researches related material. 

Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland | PO Box 158, 00171 Helsinki | Phone: +358 9 618 777 | info(a)sls.fi