In the 1200s the Swedes took over the lands and introduced Christianity. The Swedes,
as well as the later Russians introduced changes to the culture, some accepted,
but many others were rejected. However, Christianity and settlement were two things
that stuck as the nomadic lifestyle was quickly lost, although the people generally
continued to live off the lands and seas in other ways. These two foreign powers
also regularly fought with each other and fought over Finland, giving the Finns
and Sami people stronger independent identities.
These foreign struggles continued through the early 1900s as Finland found itself
between the Russians, Swedes, and the Germans from war to war. However, this also
magnified the Finnish and Sami identities as the people sought different allies
and a changing lifestyle that came with the Industrial Revolution.
Since gaining full independence, Finland has adopted new technologies as the culture
and lifestyle have changed dramatically. Cities have grown and the economy has shifted
as has the lifestyle. The architecture, clothing, and technology reflect that of
Europe, but the language and ethnicity remain rooted in their past. Despite past
foreign influences that were rejected by the people, today the country is becoming
more and more multi-cultural and accepting of these differences. Immigrants own
local restaurants and shops that add international flair and most locals use English
to communicate with these immigrants, making some parts of Finland, including neighborhoods
in Helsinki incredible diverse and adaptable.