Helsinki

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Another postcard showing the Finnish capital, Helsinki, comes from Tuula. Since I have already posted a postcard on my blog about this great city, I will not bore you with repetition. So, do take a look at that postcard if you should be interested. But in this post I will add that Helsinki in my language, Afrikaans, sounds something along the lines of “little boy from hell.” Except that we would spell that Helseuntjie but pronounce it as Helsinki. Fun fact, hey? And no, that is not a hair.

The Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis, Finland

Aurora Borealis, Finland

This postcard of an aurora borealis comes from Tuula from Finland. The Northern Lights or aurora borealis is caused as a result of charged particles from the sun that collide with atoms and molecules in the earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of between 90 and 250 kilometers. It is due to this collision that oxygen and nitrogen emit the light that we perceive. On the other side of the planet, a similar event takes place, the lesser known, Southern Lights or aurora australis can be viewed from the Southern parts of Australia, New Zealand, South America and also in Antarctica. Unfortunately for me, South Africa just is not south enough. Aurorae also occur on other planets in the solar system, specifically at the magnetic north pole of the planet. Very interesting to know about this, thank you Tuula!

Happy Birthday Kiuruvesi

Kiuruvesi, Finland

Kiuruvesi, Finland

This postcard comes from Tuula from Finland. It shows the pretty town of Kiuruvesi in Central Finland. It is, again, one of those postcards that I love very much, i.e. a postcard that celebrates a specific event. At the top right, you will see “140” and yes, you guessed it, the town was founded in 1873 and turned 140 in 2013. Spanning 1,422.90 square kilometers and having a population of just under 9000, Kiuruvesi is certainly very sparsely populated, with only 6.77 people per square kilometer. It’s a great postcard, thank you Tuula!

Something Significant?

Finnish Flag and Lighthouse

Finnish Flag and Lighthouse

This Finnish postcard comes from Marjatta. It shows the Finnish flag and a lighthouse located somewhere in Finland, I would presume. I cannot give you any details about it, as I have no clue where it is or what it’s significance is. So, if there’s a Finnish person out there, please tell me whether you know this place and its significance. Thank you!

A Tad Early

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

This postcard comes from Anja in Finland. It reached me in September already but I kept it for today to add to the Christmas postcard posts. It is quite a cute postcard, although, the September thing was quite odd to me. But I’m glad that I have it and I absolutely love it. I just wish that we had such clever dog breeds here in South Africa, so that I might teach it to sled as badly as this one does! Merry Christmas to you as well Anja!

Flag of Finland

Flag of Finland

Flag of Finland

This postcard of the Finnish flag comes all the way from Krookus. The flag was adopted in 1920 after independence from Russia. The Nordic cross used on the flag represents Christianity. The blue represents the thousands of lakes that cover the country, while the white represents the snow-covered land during winter. The colours have, however, been used for hundreds of years as town flags and military flags. In Finland it is illegal to deface the flag or to remove it from a pole without permission. Offenders may very well face a fine for doing so. Very interesting to know.

Translator Needed

Huh?

Huh?

A cute-looking card from Tuula in Finland. I have to say that my Finnish isn’t what it once was and I am having difficulty understanding it. Okay, I’m lying. It’s the same that it’s always been. I have never been able to speak literally a word of Finnish. So, dearest people from Finland, would you be so kind as explaining what I presume is something funny? Thank you!

Finnish Capital

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Tuula from one of the countries that I respect most of all sent me this postcard. It is very obviously from the Finnish capital of Helsinki. As is usually the case with most capital cities, Helsinki is the largest city in Finland with a population of 610 000 people in the city and almost 1.4 million people in the metropolitan area. The city is considered to be the most livable city on the planet. I would agree but for the temperatures in winter. Life expectancy in the city are, however, almost 7 years lower for people from Helsinki than that of the rest of Finland. Very odd. Let that be a lesson to all of us urban dwellers. Thank you Tuula, this is my first city-view from Finland.

Capital University

University of Helsinki, Finland

University of Helsinki, Finland

This postcard of the University of Helsinki came from Eva who lives in Finland. The university has been in Helsinki since 1829 but was originally founded in Turku, as the Royal Academy of Turku, under Swedish rule in 1640. That’s before my country was even discovered. It is the largest university in Finland, with over 36 000 students enrolled and studying in 11 different faculties. The university ranks among the top 100 universities in the world (as opposed to mine, which is usually top 500.) Usually. The university only admits 15% of all its applicants, which means that it’s not far behind the likes of Yale and Harvard on admissions, if at all. Looks like a pretty brilliant place to study for me. Of course my dream university has always been that oh so lovely place in The Netherlands called Leiden. Thank you Eva!

Unbearably Cute

Brown Bears

Brown Bears

This great postcard comes from Sini, who lives in Finland. The babies are just so cute, aren’t they? The brown bear must be one of the most fascinating and beautiful creatures on this earth! Boy do I wish we had bears in this region of Africa! The bear brown bear or ursus arctos can weigh up to 635 kg. The largest subspecies of the brown bear, the kodiak bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest bears in the world. I am rather surprised to read that brown bears are not endangered (as most great animals are,) with a population of over 200 000. They live mostly across Russia, the Carpathians (particularly Romania) and in North America. I am absolutely in love with bears, thank you for the great postcard Sini!