Finland returns to work

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Well, the summer break in Finland is pretty much over and autumn is just around the corner. The kids have gone back to school and everybody has had the chance to catch up with their emails. Now is the time to get your English language web pages and other assorted documentation checked for perfect spelling, grammar and style. It’s so important to look good out there in the international market.

We offer extremely cost-effective and professional copy-editing and proofreading services at a budget €30 per thousand words of original text. You know it makes sense.

Click HERE for more details.

Hauskaa Vappua Suomi!

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Vappu in Vaasa, Finland

Vappu in Vaasa, Finland

Which, roughly translated, means ‘Fun May Day Finland’. Vappu is celebrated on the 1st of May by just about everyone in Finland. It is particularly a day for students to celebrate and trade unionists to hold marches, and for everyone else to just enjoy. It’s a Bank Holiday and the town squares are totally full of stalls selling foods and toys and sweets. There are parades of veteran cars, American cars and motorbikes and (weather permitting) everybody celebrates the coming of spring. Click HERE to see my album of photos from various Vappu years.

Moving to Finland?


Prepare for the beauty (and the cold) of Finland.

Prepare for the beauty (and the cold) of Finland.

If you happen to be moving to Finland for an extended or permanent stay, I can offer expert training and lots of great advice. Culture shock can be an unpleasant and expensive thing, especially if you are unprepared. Read more HERE about the effects of culture shock.

This training can be done remotely via Skype or Webex and costs just £100 or €120 per adult for a 3-hour online meeting (kids can attend free). This includes a pdf version of the related presentation “Moving to Finland” and ongoing email support.

I did better than survive in Finland, and I did it for 25 years – you can too.

Please contact me at: <malcolm.pemberton@gmail.com>

How safe can a gun be?

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The old argument from those who insist on, for example, the US citizens’ right to carry a gun for the defence of themselves or others in need sounds something like this:
“It’s not the gun that kills people – it’s the one pulling the trigger.”

smart gun
Of course, to a large extent this is true, but (as I have written before) it would be better to have no guns in the first place. Long ago, for example, the UK drastically reduced rights to own a gun. Admittedly, the UK was never like Texas and the vast majority of gun owners had their weapons only for hunting, sport shooting or pest control – not for self defence. Gun deaths in the UK are some of the lowest in the world. In contrast, Finland hosts an amazing 1.9 million privately-held weapons, and has a population of only five million people, but they are not for self-defence either – they are for hunting and sport shooting. But, gun deaths are uncomfortably high, suicide being the major problem, followed by homicide. Guns can be misused, and they are much easier to kill someone with than a knife or a hammer – you don’t have to get so close.

My point here is that even the most responsible gun owner just might lose control if faced with, for example, depression or marital infidelity. After a few drinks, the gun in the cupboard just might seem like a simple solution to the problem of the moment. Or, of course, a neighbour or family member just might know where the gun is kept and (as most Finnish men have been in the military) just how to use it. The gun in the picture above is a ‘smart gun’, and can only be fired if the registered owner is holding it. It remembers their palm print. This is a great step forward, and might be improved further if it knew that the person wielding it was drunk!

Who was Johan Ludvig Runeberg?


A Runeberg Tart (Runebergintorttu in finnish)

A Runeberg Tart (Runebergintorttu in Finnish)

Now here’s a question you are unlikely to be able to answer unless you are Finnish. Runeberg was born in Jakobstad, in what is now Finland, but then was part of Sweden, on 5th February 1804, and is held to be the national poet of Finland. Many of his poems deal with the difficulties of life in rural Finland at the time. He died on 6th May 1877 in Porvoo, Finland (then a Grand Duchy of Russia).

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Does Finland Love American Cars?

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You bet!

Happy Independence Day Finland!

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320px-Flag_of_Finland.svg1917 – The Russians have a revolution and Finland takes the opportunity to declare independence.

Well , the story is a bit more complicated than that. From Wikipedia:

From the 12th until the start of the 19th century, Finland was a part of Sweden. It then became an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution. This prompted the Finnish Declaration of Independence, which was followed by a civil war where the pro-Bolshevik “Reds” were defeated by the pro-conservative “Whites” with support from the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a monarchy in the country, Finland became a republic. Finland’s experience of World War II involved three separate conflicts: the Winter War (1939–1940) and Continuation War (1941–1944) against the Soviet Union and the Lapland War (1944–1945) against Nazi Germany. Following the end of the war, Finland joined the United Nations in 1955, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1969, the European Union in 1995, and the eurozone at its inception in 1999. During this time, it built an extensive Nordic-style welfare state.

Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. Thereafter, economic development was rapid, such that today, Finland has a nominal per-capita income of over $46,000 (2012).According to some measures,Finland has the best educational system in Europe and has recently been ranked as one of the world’s most peaceful and economically competitive countries. It has also been ranked as one of the world’s countries with the highest quality of life.

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