Ostrobothnia is a region of Finland. It is located in Western Finland, it borders the regions of Central Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Satakunta and is one of the four modern regions making up the historical province of Ostrobothnia. Ostrobothnia is one of the two Finnish regions with a Swedish-speaking majority; the region contains both bilingual municipalities and ones that are Finnish-speaking. Geographically, Ostrobothnia has little topographical relief, because it is former seafloor brought to surface by post-glacial rebound and the accumulation of alluvial sediment. Ostrobothnia has both vast expanses of cultivated fields as in Southern Ostrobothnia, the archipelago of Kvarken. Glacial transport has deposited large quantities of glacial erratics in the area. Like elsewhere in Pohjanmaa, rivers are a prominent part of the landscape; the major rivers that discharge into the Gulf of Bothnia in Ostrobothnia are Kyrönjoki, Lapuanjoki and Ähtävänjoki. The regional tree is the black alder, the regional mammal is the common elk, the regional stone is Vaasa granite and the regional song is "The march of Vaasa".
In local circles or communities, Ostrobothnia is referred to as "Pampas". The word derives from the similarities in the flat landscape with the Pampas area in South America; the region of Ostrobothnia is made up of 15 municipalities, of which six have city status, the links are only in the majority language names. Former municipalities: The current Vörå is the result of consolidation of Maxmo and Oravais. Nykarleby has been merged with Jeppo and Nykarleby landskommun. Korsholm has been consolidated from the five municipalities of Korsholm, Replot, Björköby and Kvevlax. Vaasa has been merged with parts of Korsholm. Pedersöre has been merged with Purmo. Malax has been consolidated from the municipalities of Malax, Bergö and the northern part of Pörtom. Närpes has been merged with Pörtom. Kristinestad has been consolidated from Tjöck, Lappfjärd and Sideby. Kronoby is consolidated from Kronoby and Terjärv; the sprouting wheatsheaf is a symbol of the Royal House of Vasa. The running stoats are a symbol of Ostrobothnia.
Swedish dialects in Ostrobothnia Katrina Media related to Ostrobothnia at Wikimedia Commons Regional Council of Ostrobothnia
Betula pendula known as silver birch, warty birch, European white birch, or East Asian white birch, is a species of tree in the family Betulaceae, native to Europe and parts of Asia, though in southern Europe it is only found at higher altitudes. Its range extends into Siberia and southwest Asia in the mountains of northern Turkey, the Caucasus and northern Iran, it has been introduced into North America, where it is known as the European white birch, is considered invasive in some states in the United States and in parts of Canada. The tree can be found in more temperate regions of Australia; the silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree that owes its common name to the white peeling bark on the trunk. The twigs are slender and pendulous and the leaves are triangular with doubly serrate margins and turn yellow in autumn before they fall; the flowers are catkins and the light, winged seeds get scattered by the wind. The silver birch is a hardy tree, a pioneer species, one of the first trees to appear on bare or fire-swept land.
Many species of birds and animals are found in birch woodland, the tree supports a wide range of insects and the light shade it casts allows shrubby and other plants to grow beneath its canopy. It is planted decoratively in parks and gardens and is used for forest products such as joinery timber, tanning, racecourse jumps and brooms. Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine and the bark contains triterpenes which have been shown to have medicinal properties; the silver birch is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 15 to 25 m tall, with a slender trunk under 40 cm diameter. The bark on the trunk and branches is golden-brown at first, but this turns to white as a result of papery tissue developing on the surface and peeling off in flakes, in a similar manner to the related Paper birch; the bark remains smooth until the tree gets quite large, but in older trees, the bark thickens, becoming irregular and rugged. Young branches have whitish resin warts and the twigs are slender and pendulous.
The buds are small and sticky, development is sympodial, to say the terminal bud dies away and growth continues from a lateral bud. The species is monoecious with male and female catkins found in the same tree; some shoots are long and bear the male catkins at the tip, while others are short and bear female catkins. The immature male catkins are present during the winter but the female catkins develop in the spring, soon after the leaves unfurl; the leaves have short slender stalks and are 3 to 7 cm long, triangular with broad, wedge-shaped bases, slender pointed tips and coarsely double-toothed, serrated margins. They are sticky with resin at first but this dries as they age leaving small white scales; the foliage turns yellow early in the autumn before the leaves fall. In mid-summer, the female catkins mature and the male catkins expand and release pollen, wind pollination takes place; the small 1 to 2 mm winged seeds ripen in late summer on pendulous, cylindrical catkins 2 to 4 cm long and 7 mm broad.
The seeds are numerous and are separated by scales, when ripe, the whole catkin disintegrates and the seeds are spread by the wind. Silver birch can be confused with the similar downy birch. Yet, downy birch are characterised by hairy leaves and young shoots whereas the same parts on silver birch are hairless; the leaf base of silver birch is a right angle to the stalk while for downy birch it is rounded. In terms of genetic structure the trees are quite different but do, however hybridise; the silver birch grows from western Europe eastwards to Kazakhstan, the Sakha Republic in Siberia and the Xinjiang province in China, southwards to the mountains of the Caucasus and northern Iran and Turkey. It is native to northern Morocco and has become naturalised in some other parts of the world. In the southern parts of its range it is found in mountainous regions, its light seeds are blown by the wind and it is a pioneer species, one of the first trees to sprout on bare land or after a forest fire. It needs plenty of light and does best on dry, acid soils and is found on heathland and clinging to crags.
Its tolerance to pollution make it suitable for planting in exposed sites. It has been introduced into North America where it is known as the European white birch, is considered invasive in the states of Kentucky, Maryland and Wisconsin, it is locally invasive in parts of Canada. Three subspecies of silver birch are accepted: Betula pendula subsp. Pendula – Europe and eastwards to central Asia Betula pendula subsp. Mandshurica Ashburner & McAll. – eastern Asia and western North America. Szechuanica Ashburner & McAll. – western China, from Qinghai and Gansu to Yunnan and southeast Xizang, treated by some botanists as Betula szechuanicaB. Pendula is distinguished from the related downy birch in having hairless, warty shoots, more triangular leaves with double serration on the margins, whiter bark with scattered black fissures, it is distinguished cytologically, silver birch being diploid, whereas downy birch is tetraploid. Hybrids between the two are known, but
Björköby is a village in Korsholm, Finland. It is the chief settlement on the island of Björkö; the harbour of the village is called Svedjehamn. Björköby was an independent municipality until 1973
Kvarken is the narrow region in the Gulf of Bothnia separating the Bothnian Bay from the Bothnian Sea. The distance from Swedish mainland to Finnish mainland is around 80 km while the distance between the outmost islands is only 25 km; the water depth in the Kvarken region is only around 25 metres. The region has an unusual rate of land rising at about 10 mm a year. On the Finnish side of Kvarken, there is a large archipelago, the Kvarken Archipelago, which includes the large islands Replot, Björkö and a large number of smaller islands. Most of it is belongs to the municipality of Korsholm. Most of the small islands are inhabited; the archipelago is smaller on the Swedish side of the region, the islands have much steeper shores. The Kvarken region was important because mail was delivered across Kvarken when the sea was frozen from the Swedish to the Finnish coast; this mail route was used during the period of Swedish rule. In the group of islands in the “middle” of the Kvarken region, in Swedish called Valsörarna – Finnish Valassaaret, is a 36-metre-high lighthouse designed by Henry Lepaute who worked for Gustave Eiffel's engineering bureau.
The structural similarity between the lighthouse and the Eiffel tower is quite obvious. The lighthouse is now automated. Several attempts to cross the strait swimming have been made but cold water and currents have been insurmountable obstacle; the first successful attempt was carried out by Lennart Flygare, Pavio Grzelewski and Tore Klingberg, who on the 24:th of July 2018 swam from Valassaaret on the Finnish side to Holmögadd in Sweden. It took them 12 hours 2 minutes to cross the strait. In 2006, parts of the Kvarken Archipelago were added as an extension to the World Heritage Site of the High Coast in Sweden, because it is “continuously rising from the sea in a process of rapid glacio-isostatic uplift, whereby the land weighed down under the weight of a glacier, lifts at rates that are among the highest in the world; as a consequence of the advancing shoreline, islands appear and unite, peninsulas expand, lakes evolve from bays and develop into marshes and peat fens. This property is a ‘type area’ for research on isostasy.
Most Finnish parts of the High Coast/Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site are situated in the Korsholm municipality. There have been proposals for a bridge across the strait, at a cost of about 1.5 to 2 billion euros. There are islands in the strait, the sum of the lengths of the three bridge parts would be about 40 km; the Swedish minister of finance has said it is an interesting idea, but the idea is still decades from being brought to fruition. There is a debate in the coastal cities on both sides, like Vaasa; the official view from the Swedish and Finnish governments is. The natural values in the area makes a bridge dubious. Kvarken World Heritage Site UNESCO World Heritage profile "The black islands rising from the sea", BBC Travel, 14 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
Sub-regions of Finland
Finland is divided into 70 sub-regional units. The sub-regions are formed by groups of municipalities within the 19 regions of Finland; the sub-regions represent a LAU 1 level of division used in conjunction with the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Eastern Lapland Kemi-Tornio sub-region Northern Lapland Rovaniemi sub-region Torne Valley Tunturi Lapland, i.e. Fell Lapland Koillismaa Nivala-Haapajärvi sub-region Oulu sub-region Oulunkaari Raahe sub-region Siikalatva sub-region Ylivieska sub-region Kajaani sub-region Kehys-Kainuu Central Karelia Joensuu sub-region Pielinen Karelia Inner Savonia Kuopio sub-region North Eastern Savonia Upper Savonia Varkaus sub-region Mikkeli sub-region Pieksämäki sub-region Savonlinna sub-region Järviseutu Kuusiokunnat Seinäjoki sub-region Suupohja Sydösterbotten Jakobstad sub-region Kyrönmaa Vaasa sub-region North Western Pirkanmaa South Western Pirkanmaa Southern Pirkanmaa Tampere sub-region Upper Pirkanmaa Northern Satakunta Pori sub-region Rauma sub-region Kaustinen sub-region Kokkola sub-region Äänekoski sub-region Jämsä sub-region Joutsa sub-region Jyväskylä sub-region Keuruu sub-region Saarijärvi-Viitasaari sub-region Loimaa sub-region Salo sub-region Turku sub-region Vakka-Suomi Åboland Imatra sub-region Lappeenranta sub-region Lahti sub-region Forssa sub-region Hämeenlinna sub-region Riihimäki sub-region Helsinki sub-region Loviisa sub-region Porvoo sub-region Raseborg sub-region Kotka-Hamina sub-region Kouvola sub-region Archipelago Countryside Mariehamn sub-region Media related to Sub-regions of Finland at Wikimedia Commons