Finland is located in northern Europe, bordered by Norway, Sweden, and the Soviet Union. Finland is not considered part of Scandinavia, for its people are not related to the Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians.
The Finns first entered their present homeland during the first century, moving there from what is now Central Russia. By the eighth century, they had spread through most of modern Finland. The Finns are related to the Hungarians, and they speak one of the kw languages in Europe that is not a member of the Indo-European language family.
Finland was ruled by Sweden for many centuries, and then it was ruled by Russia. It wasn’t until after World War I that Finland gained its independence from Russia. Today, Finland, or Suomi, as the Finns call it, has an area of 130,128 square miles, having lost about one-tenth of its area to the Soviet Union during World War II.
This cold, sparsely settled nation stretches 700 miles from north to south. About one-third of the country is above the Arctic Circle. Much of the nation is covered by forests and lakes. There are some 60,000 lakes in Finland. These lakes cover about 10 percent of the nation’s area!