Roughly 5% of Finns are native Swedish speakers known as the “Swedish Finns” or [confusingly] “Finnish Swedes” or [more accurately] “Swedish-speaking Finns” or [Swedishly] “finlandssvenskar” or [Finnishly] “pappa betalar”.
You’ll find most of them located on the southern and western coasts of Finland. They came over centuries ago from Sweden as part of the country’s crusade to spread Christianity and more importantly, expand Sweden’s borders. While most are bilingual, speaking both Swedish and Finnish, you will find a few hillbillies up north who only learned Swedish, essentially quarantining themselves off to a very small part of the country.
They have their own political party which unsurprisingly gets roughly 5% of the vote during elections. They even created their own flag. (identical to the Finnish flag, but with bright red background and Ikea-yellow cross). They have their own semi-autonomous islands, the Åland Islands, located southwest of Finland, but actually much closer to Sweden. Rumor says when all good Swedish-Finns die they go to Åland, or “Finlandssvenskar heaven” – it’s kinda like South Florida for American Jews.
Swedish-speakers are far superior to the Finnish-speakers in every way imaginable – They’re wealthier, they’re more educated, they’re more cultured, they’re more sophisticated, they’re more international, they’re have better social skills, better clothes, better looks, a wayyyyy better language (and easier), they don’t get drunk, they all drive Mercades, they all have boats, they all have summer cottages in the archipelago for their boats, their language is pleasing to the ear, they throw crayfish parties in the summer where they systematically throw expensive crayfish into the trash and giggle while drinking schnapps, their language doesn’t sound robotic drone from the 1950′s. I could go on and on, but you get the picture: Swedish-Finns are better. (once more: Jews)
Unfortunately my partner is a Finnish-speaker, so I won’t ever inherit a boat or a cottage in the archipelago for that boat – so here’s some nasty stereotypes Finns say about the Swedish-Finns: they’re snobs, they think they’re better than everyone, they’re gay, they’re Swedish, they don’t allow Finnish-speakers into their cliques, they don’t give jobs to Finnish-speakers, they control all the power in Finland, they force people to learn Swedish, they have an easier time getting into schools cause the requirements aren’t as hard, they’re loud, at pubs they feel the need to sing stupid songs in unison, they bribed Google Maps to display only Swedish city and road names, handball is lame. I could go and on, but you get the picture: Finnish-speakers are jealous.
I kid, I kid. But it’s all true: There’s probably know bigger taboo in Finland than the relationship between the Finnish speakers and Swedish speakers. You’ll never hear the feeling of animosity discussed publicly. When the two groups are together they’ll never say anything mean, but get them each alone and they’ll…make subtle, caddy comments. But in reality, they’re all just one big unhappy family.
This car is clearly owned by a Finnish-speaker, as it’s an Opel and not a Mercedes.
Photo from Pavel Trebukov