After spending all these years on earth, it should come as no surprise to us that all our actions, behaviors, and emotions affect the world. Things and people around us cannot live in their isolated bubbles. Even if someone says they love being alone, they can’t be on their own at all times. It wasn’t possible before either but capitalism has made sure that we come in contact with each other on regular basis. If shopping confuses you, you can order online and avoid having to face people. But you will still interact with the person coming to deliver your package. If you thank them and wish them happy holidays, there is a high chance you will instantly improve the quality of their day. And if they are polite in return, you will get a smile on your face too. This is an example of a pretty simple interaction but even that can affect humans.
When people say they are becoming like their parents, it is just the qualities they had absorbed in their childhood coming out of them. The same way, siblings influence us more than they realize just like we affect them without noticing. The more time you spend with someone, the bigger their influence on you will be. But it is not easy for one person to influence a group. If someone has that power, they become a leader. However, leaders who have influenced a large number of people were only a few in history.
When it comes to a big group of people influencing another group, that’s when things become more interesting. In such situations, the influence can go both ways but the people in power or majority have an advantage and are more likely to affect the community. Examples of this can be seen in every country which was once colonized by a European state. Since Britain invaded many countries and did that on the basis of power, it affected the culture of all the people who had to live under its rule. This is why English is the most widely spoken language today, it became ingrained in the minds of people that they must learn it to fight their colonizers. However, there are also instances in history when an area was simply under the control of a country and ended up becoming an independent state later.
Finland and Sweden:
From late 13th century to the beginning of 19th century, Finland remained under Swedish rule. It started as a result of the Crusades. The Swedish colonization of Finland’s coastal areas made things worse for the Finns who had to give up their fishing rights in the end. In the end, it was a war between Russia and Sweden that ended up getting Finland its rights. During the course of these five centuries, the Finns adopted and absorbed a lot of qualities of the Swedish culture. All aspects of their private lives were affected by the Swedes in one way or another. In many cases, the Swedes didn’t even know the way they were influencing the culture of the Finns.
Finnish vs Swedish Facts:
Here are some interesting facts about both these vernaculars and why they are so different from each other despite being in close proximity for such a long time:
- Finnish was considered an inferior language during the rule of Sweden. Its use was prohibited by those in power. As a result, the Finns grew distant from their rulers and started valuing their language a bit more. They worked hard to make sure it survived long enough to be officially recognized in the constitution.
- Finnish is a lot more complicated than Swedish. The latter, in fact, is known for its simplicity in both pronunciation and written form. A lot of people are learning it today because of its reach and easy grammar and phonetics. Finnish, on the other hand, is very confusing for the speakers of Swedish. It has an extensive vocabulary where hundreds of words can mean the same thing. This feature is quite difficult to learn for the speakers of any language. Even English speakers get confused and scared by it.
- There are no prepositions in Finnish, a feature not shared by Swedish, which have many. The former, however, does have fifteen cases, which play the role of prepositions when necessary.
- The reason behind Finnish’s differences with all the other vernaculars spoken in the region is that the Finns had to fight hard to maintain the identity of their tongue. In order to keep it pure and free from outside influence, they had to rely on their own strength. After struggling to maintain their identity for over 500 years, Finns were able to introduce their vernacular in their country and it has been going strong since then.
- The differences between the two mean that Finnish is a lot different than other Nordic languages too and only share a couple of features which might not be visible to create mutual intelligence.
Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish may be mutually intelligible but that won’t help you march if you are trying to understand Finland and its people. Studying the history of a place, however, can teach you a lot about its residents and the kind of live they world. Once you know their history, and as you grow older, you will begin to understand them more and more. The way that the Finns have kept their language safe is truly remarkable.