Talk:Swedes/Archive 2

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Population

There is far more Swedes than 7,800,000. We are actually 9,182,927 according to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division (2006). "World Population Prospects, Table A.2" (.PDF). 2006 revision. United Nations. Retrieved on 2007-06-30. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.229.73.179 (talk) 06:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

The image

Shouldn't we add any woman to the image? For example, Christina of Sweden? Aaker 09:32, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

My biggest question is why is Marcus Naslund up there? If you're going to put a famous Swedish hockey player....Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, Börje Salming, Niklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg are all significantly better choices--Lvivske (talk) 23:01, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Finland Swedes

Out of curiosity, are members of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland considered "Swedes"?

Moved commentary statement off main page:

"Self-described Swedish ethnicity, Swedish nationality or Swedish culture should not be presumed for someone with Swedish as mother tongue. Nor the other way around. These matters might be sensitive."
Not in English, why the following sentence is moved too:
The term is also used to denote people with Swedish mother tongue, most notably the Finland-Swedes, or sometimes with Swedish ancestry.
One could suspect that this sentence is thoughtlessly translated from Swedish.
-- Johan Magnus 01:49 19 May 2003 (UTC)

Edit conflict

Why are you altering the following part:

  1. people who speaks Swedish language and are ethnically and culturally distinct from their surroundings and somehow of Swedish heritage (ethnic Swedes). Among those are the Swedes living in Sweden, the Swedes living in Finland, Finland-Swedes (the Swedish speaking minority in Finland) and the Swedes living in Estonia, Estonia-Swedes (the Swedish speaking minority in Estonia)

It is one defintion of Swedes, maybe you don't like that definition, but this IS one definition, any you shouldn't censor it just because YOU don't like it! Den fjättrade ankan 23:09, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

First of all, I've not censored anything. This is Wikipedia. Here we improve the edits step by step. And the improvement[1] is specifically explained in the Edit summary:
controversial notion of Finland-Swedes as ethnic Swedes removed (and similarly controversial notion of Ålänningar as Finland-Swedes)
Additionally, I hold the result to be much clearer and reader-friendly.
If you hold different (including such alien to English usage) and controversial understandings of who the "Swedes" are to be of profound importance, then I suggest the format of this article has to be quite another.
Why don't you write an article on ethnic Swedes instead? /Tuomas 17:55, 5 May 2004 (UTC)
Well, I improved Wikipedia by adding the fact that Finland-Swedes are Swedes (why should they else be called Finland-Swedes).
Since their first language is Swedish, as you well know. Johan Magnus 09:46, 15 May 2004 (UTC)
You didn't liek that, and removed it. I added it back, and you removed it. That IS censoring. An improvement would add that this idea is controversial (and who consider tthis controversial), not removing it. What you did was censoring.
I even know Finland-Swedes who call themselves East-Swedes, to even more emphasize that they are 'Swedes. Maybe we would listen to them and their definition of who they are? And that they are ethnic Swedes: Well, they have the same ethnic background as Swedes in Sweden, and that's defining them as ethnic Swedes. The only difference between the Finland-Swedes and Sweden-Swedes is that they after the Russian aggression war of 1808-1809 came to live on the other side of the border. Den fjättrade ankan 22:07, 7 May 2004 (UTC)
It's hard to raise this issue above the anectdotical level. That's bad. It seems, however, as if Den fjättrade ankan recognizes that at least the issue of the Finland-Swedes is controversial, something I fail to find traces of in ankan's last edits. That's a pitty. The removal of the reference to Finland-Swedes from this article is not helpful. The question is, how do we proceed from here? Looking through the edit history, I find Ankan's previous version much better, and have partly restored that.[2] Johan Magnus 09:46, 15 May 2004 (UTC)


Weasel Words

A lot of weasel word being used in the article.--GorillazFanAdam 04:22, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I deem all weasel words to have been removed by now. Rursus declamavi; 08:16, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Swedes in the US

I am somewhat confused by the absense from this text of self-designating "Swedes" in the US, but I guess I'm not really the right one to write about it. /Tuomas 16:46, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Descendants of swedes who emigrated to US during the swedish poverty?
I doubt other Swedes consider America-Swedes to be Swedes. :-) --Johan Magnus 08:25, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think most would consider them to be more Swedish than the Non-European immigrants. Being Swedish is about culture and values and think the culture of the Swedish Americans is a lot more similar to ours than the culture of the people who have been invading and mooching of our country for the past 20-30 years. - Helyllesvensk
Swedes in Sweden do NOT in general consider americans with swedish ancestry as being swedish.A lot of people in Sweden have distant relatives in the US,but they don´t consider them swedish,even if they may feel a connection-I think that swedish-related americans feel a lot more swedish than they would be considered to be in Sweden.In Sweden they are first of all americans.In fact,I have heard from several older people that people who moved/emigrated to the US were not so seldom even considered as "quitters" by the people who stayed.But that was I suppose pre-WW2 when the living conditions could be harsh even in Sweden.//Cecilia Löwen —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.216.33.21 (talk) 02:27, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I do find it strange that people who are, third, fourth, fifth, eighth, tenth, generation immigrants to another country consider themselves to be 'ethnic' Swedes. Under the link for the figure of ethinc Swedes also states that there are over 34m ethnic Irish in the USA. There is a HUGE differnce between someone who can trace part of their ancestry to another country (and given the history of the USA is the case for MOST people, and the case for many other nations) but are have been fully intergrated into said nation, than minorhity populations living in another country, such as ethnic Swedes in Finland (who have maintain cultres and langauge very different from the host country) or ethnic Russians in Latvia. Assimilation into another nations culture, langauge as well as the amount of time is key here. - Matchrthom —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 62.56.71.55 (talk) 21:54, 1 February 2007 (UTC).
Hmmm, ... do we speak about different things? Swede by heritage/language and Swede by heritage/personal identity? A topic, Swede, that shouldn't be too hot, becomes hot for confusion of definitions? The person in US (or Argentina, or wherever) has some connection and/or heritage from Sweden, and sympathizes with Swedishness, a.s.o., v.s. the poor (ironi för Böfvelen!) human that lives in Sweden just is a Swede. In my opinion each have a right to be called Swede personally, but in a wikipedia, we have to adapt to what the public expects a reliable encyclopedia tö cöntäin! Rursus declamavi; 08:26, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Swedes and Svear

A distinction between "svenskar" and "svear" does not really exist in English. "Swede" is used in academic works on both Icelandic sagas, Beowulf and Vikings in the sense "Svear". It is a bit silly to have a text "some people disagree with this definition" when that extension of the term is current in English. You don't find such a relativisation under Dane for instance, even though the distinction between "dansker" and "daner" perfectly parallels the distinction between "svenskar" and "svear". Wikipedia is not supposed to be a dictionary of Swenglish. --Wiglaf 18:20, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

But Swedes can be both svear and geats as well as (at leats according to some) people from Skåne. // Liftarn
Americans can be New Yorkers, Californians, Texans etc. whats your point? They are still called, and call them selves Americans. The same goes for Sweedes. There are no geats or svear anymore, it's history. The only point where I could agree with you is the part about Scania (Skåne), they are many times seen more as Danes than Sweedes, at least here in Gothenburg. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 85.224.44.19 (talk) 16:56, 15 January 2007 (UTC).
The point, that Liftarn and Wiglaf pinpoints is that Swedes contains Swedes and Geats. That would be like if Americans contained Americans and Texans. In Swedish, there's no problem at all:
Svenskar innefattar svear och götar
Swedes contain Swedes and Geats
We're just nagging about the imprecision of the English terms, not nagging about the English language (that's for another place, another time). Rursus declamavi; 08:32, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


There is no escaping that in the English language, Swedes refers to both svear and svenskar. I think it's unfortunate, but there is nothing that can be done to change this and that's not what we should be discussing here. A few proposals:

  1. in cases where it is obvious that Swedes refers to the svear, eg when discussing the iron age period, it's not a problem
  2. in cases where it might be unclear, eg when discussing the middle ages, it might be necessary to explain that the Swedes in this case refers to the svear (Suiones).

Regards Osli73 11:10, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Swedish settlement in Finland

I think this part is incorrect information:

In the coastal areas where they historically have comprised the majority of the population they have lived longer than the Finnish speakers, making them the aboriginals of these areas.

As far as I know, the Swedish speaking population have lived longer than Finnish speaking population only in the Åland islands and Swedish speakers started to settle in the coastal areas of Finland only after Finland became under Swedish regime, and at that time there already was Finnish speaking population in the coastal areas. Thus the Swedish speaking population are aboriginals in Åland, not in mainland Finland. /THS

The following debate is unecessarily hot (according to Swedish cultural norms, You should ashame yourselves for not keeping Your heads cool!), the problem that THS pinpoints should be addressed: we don't know who were first in the coastal areas of Finland, and so the encyclopedic text shall reflect that we don't know, and maybe refer to the various alternative theories. (Personally I would wager that the Suomen were first – since the Vikings/Værings were generally more apt to conquests and colonizations, but that's my opinion). Rursus declamavi; 08:43, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Please show a source of reference to the statement that Germanic speakers have inhabited the eastern coastal areas of the Gulf of Bothnia earlier than Finnic speakers. Archeological finds from the comb ceramic culture (association with Finnic peoples) predate finds of the cord ceramic culture (association with Indo-European speakers) by ca 3000 years in areas representing the old shore lines. Many place names in present day Swedish speaking areas have their origin in Finnish. Compare -lax (Swedish endings) - lahti (Finnish for bay).

part 1: Comb Ceramic, Ahvenanmaa to Maalahti

For the distribution of comb ceramic and cord ceramic finds see http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/arla/keram/ka1_1.html and http://www.helsinki.fi/hum/arla/keram/nuora.html 194.157.191.37

Don't confuse the Comb Ceramic Culture with ethnic Finns. It is true that there is a possible connection between the CCC and the Finno-Ugrians, but it is speculation since they did not leave any written documentation about their language.--Wiglaf 23:30, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
So there are (archeological) finds of written Germanic/Norse/Swedish on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Bothnia then? Please state a reference. Did I use the word "Finn" somewhere? The restored word for "bay", by the way, in proto-Finnic would have been "lakte" or "laksi", which gives Finnish "lahti", Saami "luokta" and thus the ending -lax to the assumed later Germanic speaking settlers. Compare e.g. the names of the bilingual municipality "Malax" (sw) and "Maalahti" (Fi).
Well, it is you who argue by referring to a culture that disappeared 4000 years ago! Concerning place names, you'll need references that show that they belong to the earliest Germanic settlements on the coast.--Wiglaf 19:25, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
As for Aland/Ahvenanamaa: the olderst finds there belong to the comb ceramic culture. Finnic place names, such Jomala exist there too.
I repeat that you'll need to show that the Finnish place names belong to the oldest names in the area. Moreover, it is interesting that you refer to ahvenanmaa, because ahwa was the early Proto-Germanic form of å and it was probably borrowed by the Finns from the Germanic settlers on the coasts together with haltija, tyttär, ja and kuningas :).--Wiglaf 19:44, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Um, why do I need references? (I haven't written anything on the article about the Swedish people)? It is the article which states a line which has so far not proven to be true. So, the article should state references. I do not understand your logic. Why do I have to prove that e.g. "Malax" is among the oldest Germanic settlements in the eastern shores of the Gulf of Bothnia? It probably is not. But place names usually tend to stick for longer periods than populations. (This is a theory of anthropologists I understand). "Malax" means nothing in Swedish whereas "Maalahti" means "land bay" in Finnish so isn't it more logical to assume that the former is a "mutation" of an earlier place name with a meaning? (At least this is what the linguist anthropologists assume). Malax/Maalahti is but one example in that area.
According to your theory, southern Sweden was originally Finnish, because you find some odd Finnish place names there.--Wiglaf 20:24, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

part 2: various suomen-þiudan loans

I don't understand where this conversation is going. 'Tytär' and 'haltia' are apparently Baltic loans in modern Finnish, 'kuningas' is apparently indeed from proto-Germanic. What does this have to do with the article's claim that the Finland-Swedes are the aboriginals of coastal areas? 'Kuningaz' is a far older word than the Swedish language. Your etymology for 'Ahvenanmaa'is interesting. However, 'ahven' already has a meaning in Finnic (modern Finnish too), it is the fish 'bass'.

Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about (Southern Sweden?).

Perhaps you're refering to other Finnic speakers such as the Saami?

OK, I may be wrong about tytär, but IIRC, haltija was according to Britannica from a Gothic haltijar. Ahven does not mean "bass", it means perch, and it may be a case of popular etymology. There are several Finnish place names in southern Sweden, because Finland belonged to Sweden for a very long time, and unlike Finns, Swedes do not change place names for nationalistic reasons. The claim that Swedes are the aboriginal population of the coastal areas may be correct, or it may be wrong. However, you claim that it is wrong because of a putative connection between Finno-ugric and the CCC.--Wiglaf 20:48, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Ok, so where does the article's claim base on? Any suggestions? (Back to the original request for references).

A few comments: 1. it is interesting that 'ahven' -> 'ahvenanmaa' can be dismissed as popular etymology whereas a story about a bunch of people naming an entire archipelago after a letter in a foreign alphabet is not 2. 'perch' is the fresh water version of a 'bass' according to the dictionary (the Baltic Sea is saline) 3. according to your theory of the Swedish non-nationalism the Finns seem equally non-nationalistic as they seem to have given Saami place names all over present day Finland

For the association of Finnic and Finno-Ugric speakers and the Comb Ceramic Culture see e.g. Nationalencyklopedin.

1. You have misunderstood. Å means "river" and in Åland it means "strait" (long body of water). The proto-Germanic form of this name was ahwa, so it is not named after a "letter".
2. The perch is not the fresh water version of Sea bass, which does not even exist in Finland.
3. The difference between Sweden and Finland is that in Sweden we do not even try to make the names look Swedish. The Finns change Swedish place names to make them look Finnish.
The putative connection between Fenno-Ugric speakers and the CCC is widely assumed but impossible to prove.--Wiglaf 21:13, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Well, anyways AFAIK the Bronze Age culture of mainland Finland certainly was of Fenno-Ugric population, and at that time they lived alreayd on the coastal areas of Finland, before any certain Swedish settlement. I have no references for that at this moment (too lazy now :D ), but this is what I have always read. In the Bronze Age (and Iron Age) the coastal regions of Finland were more under Geremanic influence than the inland regions, but the coastal and inland regions of Finland still had distinctly Finnish culture, ie. the culture of Finland Proper (southwest coast) was closer to the culture of Finns of Tavastia and Karelia than the culture of Sweden. I think it would be appropriate for now to remove the mention of Swedish speaking population living longer than the Finnish speaking population in the mainland coastal areas. /THS
I am sorry, but I think you are trying to state that the Finno-Ugrians are the indigenous populiation of the Finnish coastlands, in order to remove a line that you find offensive for some reason. The line clearly states
In the coastal areas where they historically have comprised the majority of the population they have lived longer than the Finnish speakers, making them the aboriginals of these areas.
This is actually true, because, the Finnish language was invented by Mikael Agricola in the 16th century, prior to which there were a number of Fenno-Ugric dialects which were mutually intelligible stretching from the Baltic sea to the Volga, but not a single Finnish language for Finland. The Finnish nation was invented during the 19th century (using the slogan Svenskar får vi inte vara, ryssar vill vi inte bli, låt oss vara finnar![3], meaning we are not allowed to be Swedes and we do not want to be Russians, let's be Finns) from former Swedish citizens. The line only states that Swedish was spoken in the area before the Finnish language was spoken in the area, which is true, unless Agricola lived in the 12th century. Finnish is Fenno-Ugric, but it is not the other way round as you try to argue, probably for nationalistic reasons as you live in Finland.--Wiglaf 13:43, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Agricola did not invent Finnish language. He was the first one to create written Finnish. Before that there were Finnish dialects which of course were not the same as modern Finnish. Dialects are a subcategory of language, and in odrer for dialects to exist there must be a language from which they are dialects from. Also, the Baltic Finnish languages were isolated from the rest of the Fenno-Ugric speakers long before Agricola.
Languages keep evolving constantly, and the Swedish spoken 1000 years ago is not the same kind of Swedish spoken today. The same thing with Finnish.
As for inventing the Finnish nation. It was not invented. Before the national romanticism of 19th century there still existed a group of people who shared the same kind of culture, language, religion and geographical area. Even though Finns did not percieve themselves as Finnish before the 19th century, but rather as Karelians, Savonians, Tavastians and so on, there was a distinctly Finnish nation. Finns just did not see it before.
The line states that Swedish speakers are aborginals of the coastal areas and Finnish (or Finnic) speakers are not. If one is to say that the Finnic language spoken over 1000 years ago is not Finnish, and thus it is correct to say Finnish was not spoken there one must also say that the Germanic language spoken at that time also wasn't Swedish. So it can't be said that Swedish was spoken but Finnish was not, neither can be said that the Swedish speakers are aborginals if there already lived Finnic people before the Swedish speakers.
And yes, I am Finnish, but that is no reason to mock my criticism or blame me for nationalism. / THS

As the Saami place names are still well recognizeable in Finland and still in use, Finns seem not to have changed them. Perhaps the real difference between the Swedes (if you are one) and the rest of the world is that others accept it more probable that newcomers adapt to an established place name rather than that a population would name places using a language/dialect different to their own.

I am sorry but I don't understand what you're trying to say. Please, rephrase.--Wiglaf 13:43, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

part 3: hothead reversion war

You reverted me in a few seconds? Did you even read the addition completely? Please, I'm NOT confusing 'Finnish' with 'Finnic'! These are quite different things. Compare 'Germanic' and 'Swedish'. When I'm saying 'Finnic' it's like you saying 'Germanic'. Do you understand? Of course Finno-Ugric is not Finnish! Rephrasing my earlier entry above: Quoting you: "The difference between Sweden and Finland is that in Sweden we do not even try to make the names look Swedish. The Finns change Swedish place names to make them look Finnish." My argument about the Saami place names in Finland proves the latter sentence false. Finns have never tried actively to make Saami place names Finnish (the Saami names are still well recognizable and in every day use!). Your claim was that the Swedes don't try to make foreign looking place names look Swedish. So, in respect of making foreign place names look their own, Finns and Swedes are alike. I.e. they DON'T change. My difference to You seems to be that whereas I am willing to accept that place names can originate from an earlier population you are not. Where is the nationalism in this case? Who suffers from prejudice here? It is not I who seems biased by ones' current location. No-one argues against the fact that nations and nation-states are a relatively new invention. When do you think Gotlanders, Svealanders and Götalanders etc. started to considers themselves "Swedish"? No-one argues against the fact that texts written in early Swedish predate texts written in early Finnish. The argument is solely against the article's unproven (and non-referred) claim that speakers of Swedish are the aboriginals in the eastern shores of the Gulf of Bothnia. Please stick to this theme.

User talk:194.157.191.37

I reverted you because your argumentation consisted of referring to the antiquity the CCC culture which is bogus, in respect to the earlier date of the Finnish language in Finland. I do not disagree with removal anticipating references.--Wiglaf 15:17, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Now that you have removed my editing, could you please also remove my reference (the only visible reference in this article) Nationalencyklopedin. I dare not touch the article. Thank you.

This ethnically charged matter really seems to upset you. There is no need to remove correct information, such as a reference to Nationalencyklopedin.--Wiglaf 15:23, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

ok, if you say so. Meanwhile, let's try and write a tuthful article with the right references. Ok?

User talk:194.157.191.37 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I reverted you, since your addition confused the modern Finnish language with what may have been a Proto-Finno-Ugric language before ca 2000 BC. It was consequently both uninformed and POV.--Wiglaf 14:05, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

If you continue to add bogus information, you may be blocked.--Wiglaf 14:12, 28 July 2005 (UTC) (please do not remove this, let others see it too in the name of openness.)

Not at all, let everybody see it. My hard policy on bogus information is well-known at Wikipedia and I stand for it :).--Wiglaf 15:39, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

ok, so I'm now allowed to remove the reference which I took my bogus information from, i.e. Nationalencyclopedin, without being blocked for good? (I was also the one who added the header 'References' to the article. May I now remove that part?)

Now, you're overreacting. The bogus part of your reference was the claim that the CCC said anything about the age relationship between the modern Finnish language and the Swedish language. Do not worry about being blocked as far as you do not try to twist the article by claiming that Finnish is older than Swedish in the coastlands, because there was a culture the language of which may have been distantly related to modern Finnish. This is not much better than Hungarians claiming to be Sumerians--Wiglaf 15:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

um, where in my addition did I mention Finnish? (Could it be that I didn't, and that you just assumed I was speaking about Finnish?) In my addition I was simply offering a alternative hypothesis (with some references too) to the article's previous claim: "Swedish speakers are the aboriginals of the coastal areas of Finland." I didn't even remove the non-referred earlier claim but offered an alternative. Now, because this alternative has been removed I wish to remove my references, i.e. Nationalencyklopedin. May I?

Ok, I'm removing my reference. I'm sorry if this means that I will be blocked. I'm sorry if I have offended someone.

Don't be silly. I'd only block someone for vandalism, such as adding bogus information. You're most welcome to edit in Wikipedia as long as your edits respect the policy of NPOV.--Wiglaf 20:07, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Identity of Swedish speakers in Finland?

Sorry to be digging up this old conflict again, however, I'm not satisfied with how the text is worded today with regards to the Swedish speaking minority in Finland:

::"Swedish-speaking Finns in mainland Finland have however not considered themselves to be ethnic Swedes for a very long time and should therefore not be classified as Swedes"

I'm no expert by my belief was during the time Finland was a part of Sweden, the Swedish speakers in Finland did consider themselves as Swedes and that the identity as Finlanders was a more 'recent' (if you can call it that) phenomenon. Am I right?KarlXII 15:26, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know, but You address a point that we may need to investigate. In my personal opinion: if a Swedish-speaking Suom(alain)en (Finn it is in English, but I prefer Suomen) in Finland, consider him/her-self Swedish, then by my private definition, he/she is a Swede – a Swede is a person who:
  1. speaks Swedish fluently, or/and
  2. speaks Swedish and consider him/her-self Swedish, or/and
  3. have an important Swedish heritage, or/and
  4. have Swedish citizenship, END.
This is my private definition/moral, so it can't be used except as a motivation for investigations. I think (tycker) it's reasonable to investigate those Swedish-speaking Suomen, that according to text "doesn't consider themselves Swedes" , but according to reality may consider themselves "Swedish Finnlandians" or "Finnlandians" or some such. Rursus declamavi; 09:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Skåneland is not NPOV

Please note that the concept of "Skåneland" and its equation with Scania is very POV:ed. It is not in official use in Sweden, and the idea that Skåne, Blekinge and Halland are a unit is one that is held mostly by a minority of regionalists.

Peter Isotalo 12:16, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

It's still more accurate, because there are people of Danish ancestry not only in Skåne, but also in Blekinge and Halland. Would it be better to say southern Sweden? --Khoikhoi 18:27, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
The Danish ancestry is pretty dubious, since it's impossible to say exactly when Skåne, Blekinge and Halland stopped being Danish and became Swedish. Those who support the notion of Skåneland tend to think that Skåneland is, has and shall ever be Danish and that any other option is really just Stockholm-Swedish chauvinism. Needless to say, they're only a minority. But if anything, southern Swedes do have a sense of being somewhat unique, but I'd say it's not much different to the attitudes of many Gothenburgers.
Peter Isotalo 19:27, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Skåneland is essentially short for Skånelandskapen, which historically included Bornholm and Anholt, but today is understood to encompass only the former Danish provinces located on the Scandinavian peninsula (not including Båhuslen, Herjedalen or Jemtland, which were never actually part of Denmark herself, although ruled from Denmark during the Middle Ages). Skånelandskapen became an integral part of Sweden proper by law in the mid-18th, a century after its conquest. Through assimilation and migration, the last group of people who identified as ethnically Scanian/East Danish probably died out in the mid-19th century. However a conscious minority has revived a sense of strong regional identity — or a Swedish "sub-ethnicity" — based on geneology, dialect, folklore and regional allegiance and historical awareness. Even though there is a tiny separatist movement, they hardly expect their advocacy for sovereignty to be taken literally - or even seriously. It might be more apt and helpful to regard this group as an expression of political protest (anti-authoritarianism and non-conformism) or as a statement of local pride and a celebration of cultural uniqueness. //Big Adamsky 20:09, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
But the thing is, the Scanians don't only live in Skåne, but also the two surrounding provinces as well, which is why I think Skåneland is correct. --Khoikhoi 20:20, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Again, that's the view of the small minority of regionalists, Khoikhoi. The vast majaority of Swedes (and Scanians) do not recognize the idea of Skåneland as a "Greater Scania" and differentiate between someone from the three provinces. Calling someone a halläning or bleking is very common. Saying that someone is a skåning means that they're from Skåne specifically, not just the region, (disregarding generalizing based on ignorance of course). If you'd want the same geographical meaning as you're suggesting the alternative would be sydsvensk ("South Swede").
Adamsky, the concept of "Skåneland" was invented by a Swedish historian in the late 19th century and didn't really exist as a political entity before that. You're free to call the regionalist views anything you like, but "local pride and celebration of cultural uniqueness" is usually defined as nationalism in any other context. Talk of anti-authoritarianism would've been well-founded back in the 17th century, but it's really out of place to suggest such motives today, especially since Skåne/Blekinge/Halland have long been a well-integrated part of Sweden and are not suffering more than expatriot Danes or Norwegians. There were no "ethnic" Scanians in the 17th century that are relevant moreso than ethnic Gotlanders or Upplanders, since the conflict was whether to pledge alliegence to the king of Sweden or Denmark, not to a sovereign ruler of a province.
Peter Isotalo 15:03, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Alright, I see what you're saying now. You can change it back any time. I have a different question, however. Since you're Swedish, you probably would know this: what's the situation right now with the Sami people of Sweden? Are there any ethnic Swedish settlers migrating to Lapland? Are the Sami simply being absorbed into Swedish mainstream life or are there programs for them to retain their languages culture? --Khoikhoi 06:20, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
See talk:Sami people for reply.
Peter Isotalo 13:49, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Finland-Swedes

Den fjättrande ankan: i have never heard that Finland-Swedes would call themselves East-Swedes or even Swedes an i live in Finland! I know one Finland-Swede who always corrects that he is not a Swede but a Finn, when someone calls him such. Finland-Swedes do not consider themselves Swedes nor are they such and it is ignorant and stupid to call them Swedes.

A couple of comments on the Finland-Swedes discussion:

  • I always though Finland Swedes called themselves Finlanders (ie nationality) and Swedes (ethnicity/culture/language). There's an interesting book I can recommend [4].
  • East-Swedes (Östsvenskar) is the common name for Swedish speakers in Finland, Estonia and the Ukraine (to the extent there are any left).
  • The whole ethnicity issue is kind of ludicrous as there is no way it can be verified. To me, there are two kinds of "Swedes" that we can discuss: (a) those who are citizens of Sweden and (b) those who speak Swedish as their mother tongue. Note that these two don't need to overlap.

Osli73 09:37, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

The Swedish People

I changed the title "The Swedsih People or Swedes.." because there are meny Swedish People that are not Ethnic Swedes. For more than 30 years, people from Iran and more recently the Balkans have emigrated to Sweden and many had children born there, and they are Swedes (at least is what their passport says).

But that means you are not talking about ethnic Swedes! 'Swedish people' is a separate concept. I want to read about genetically real Swedes with mainly blond hair, blue eyes, etc. Your change is too political. Too 'PC'.

Finland-Swedes not Swedes

Again, Finland-Swedes are NOT ethnically Swedes. They are mostly simply Finns, whose families at some point in history changed thei language to Swedish, which back then helped them climb the social latter: how in thw world does this make them ethnically Swedes??? Ask pretty much any Finland-Swede and he/she will tell yoy that he/she is a Finn. Language does not change ethnicity or nationality...

The thing is, that the Finland-Swedes are simply Swedish speaking Finns and not ethnically Swedes. Thus it is absurd to classify them as Swedes. I am a Finn myself, so i know how they think: they consider themselves Finns. In fact, most of them are simply from families that in some point in history just changed their language from Finnish to Swedish, this helped them climb the social latter in those days, because Swedish was the language of the rulig class and the language used in the state offices. Changing language doesn't make you a member of a different people! I can't see how Wikipedia could be considered a good encyclopedia, if it has absurdities like this. Therefore, the mention of Finland-Swedes included in the people "Swedes" must be edited off, if you want to keep this an accurate source of information.

Who says that?? In general, I reject is-not:s and mustn't-think:s, since they're generally hiding an emotional bias and possibly mind-control traps. Why that opinion? Why is it absurd to classify them as Swedes? "Absurd" signals: you mustn't-think. Why? Is that slanderous? Then the objective fact is about this: (at least) some Swedish speaking Finlandians, reject classifying themselves as Swedes (or as Finland-Swedes). That's the objective statement. Rursus declamavi; 09:16, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
The language changing part is surely very debatable, especially since most Finnland-Swedes also have Swedish surnames. But regardless of the details, they should also be included on the List of Swedes, purely on the basis of their language - since that makes them Swedish - which btw doesn't exclude them from being Finnish also ! Travelbird 11:41, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I bet the people here who claim that Finland-Swedes are ethnically Swedes have never even talked to one. I am a Finn so I know them and they consider them selves Finns and in Finnish call them selves "suomalaiset" (Finns) the same way the Finnish speaking do. They NEVER call themselves "ruotsalaiset" (Swedes). Calling them Swedes is simply just Swedish nationalism by nationalist Swedes... And false. How does cahnging language change one's people?! It doesn't.

Here is proof: http://debatt.passagen.se/show.fcgi?category=3500000000000014&conference=10500000000000687&posting=19500000003362951 If a Finland-Swede is reading what kind of nonsense you are claiming here, he/she would laugh... They consider themselves Finns and are Finns. If Wikipedia claims that they are Swedes, no-one can't trust Wikipedia anymore. In Finnish you might call Wikipedia "hevosten tietotoimisto".

Your link is interesting, but that's not exactly a proof, but a biased enquiry where each opinion directly affects the next opinion. So: hereby I declare an inquiry: we need an expert opinion, where the expert is some sociologist, anthropologist or similar, who have produced a formal report (opinion) containing a general opinion on the subjective nationality identity that Swedish-speaking Finlanders identify themselves with. Rursus declamavi; 09:48, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Or actually its "hevosmiesten tietotoimisto"... Meaning literally news office of horse men and meaning actually a source that no one trusts. That's what these Swedish nationalistic lies are turning Wikipedia into.

Hmm, please calm down! OK, I'm an ethnical Swede. There's aspects of Sweden-swedishness that are to be put in doubts (for lack-of-longlived-success reasons), but in order to maintain a factual and descriptive attitude here in this forum, we need to avoid biased prescriptive comments, such as it's absurd to believe, it's proper to, what kind of nonsense, how in the world, etc.. Among ethnical Sweden-Swedes, this is considered provocations, and then you accuse the emotions evoked to be nationalistic, which also evokes negative emotions among Swedes. This is an escalation of arguments, it's impractical behavior – fun maybe – but childish! Please don't consider counterarguments being nationalist – in Sweden-swedish that's a grave insult. Rursus declamavi; 10:37, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
This line, "I am a Finn myself, so i know how they think: they consider themselves Finns" is a NOR violation. A good encyclopedia doesn't base its content on original research and individual testimonies, but on vefifiable sources. /Magore 11:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Trevelbird, you wrote: "The language changing part is surely very debatable, especially since most Finnland-Swedes also have Swedish surnames. But regardless of the details, they should also be included on the List of Swedes, purely on the basis of their language - since that makes them Swedish - which btw doesn't exclude them from being Finnish also !"

They changed their names too, to blend in to the Swedish speaking aristocracy. Another thing abouut the names is, that in the time of the Swedish reign in Finland (-1809) and partly in the age of Finnish autonomy (1809-1917) the officers in the Finnish army were Swedish speaking and they gave the Finnish recruitees Swedish names, since they had troubles pronauncing the Finnish ones. It is also notable that many FINNISH speaking Finns have also Swedish names, although they speak Finnish. It is because of of Finlands history, until the 20th century a Swedish speakers hadhegemony in Finland although they were a minority, in fact it wasn't until the late 1800s before Finnish became an official language in Finland, even though about 90% of Finns were Finnish speakers!

Then, you wrote: "they should also be included on the List of Swedes, purely on the basis of their language - since that makes them Swedish". With that logic all Americans should be classified as English: the language is same!

(Sorry, but I don't know how to answer below your answer, so I wrote here.)

Amercians are diffenent, since they are not an ethnic group. (at least in the tranditional view). Europeans are a mix of many diffenent ethnic groups as well, so the only real way to distinguish is to take either language of (passport) nationality.

Btw, please sign your edits, so I know who I am talking to. Travelbird 12:07, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

"This line, "I am a Finn myself, so i know how they think: they consider themselves Finns" is a NOR violation. A good encyclopedia doesn't base its content on original research and individual testimonies, but on vefifiable sources. /Magore 11:51, 12 May 2006 (UTC)"

Don't you think that the people living in Finland know more about Finland an its people than those who haven't even been to Finland? Besides, it isn't just my testimony, come to Finland and ask 100 people on the street do they classify Finland's Swedish speakers ethnically Swedes, the people on the western shore of the Bothnic gulf... I can already imagine their amusement to the question.

I don't think I quite understand you last point fully. Just as a matter of interest, since you keep bringing up the point : Are you are Swedish-speaking or Finnish-speaking Finn ? Travelbird 12:14, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

"Amercians are diffenent, since they are not an ethnic group. (at least in the tranditional view). Europeans are a mix of many diffenent ethnic groups as well, so the only real way to distinguish is to take either language of (passport) nationality."

Fine, then let's use the Irish as an example: are they English in your mind just because they speak English? Ethically the Finland-Swedes are Finns, since most of the families originate from Finland and have just changed their language. A smaller portion originally came from Sweden and other countries too, but even those families whose ancestors came from Sweden have since then mixed with the other people in Finland and thus it is wrong to say that they would be ethnically Swedes. I know one Finland-Swede who always when he is called a Swede, corrects that he is not a Swede but a Finn. Also, look at the link to the Swedish Passagen forum, that I gave. If you don't speak Swedish, it is a Finland-Swede who says that he is Finn and that they are not Swedes. You could ask some Swede to verify this if you think I'm lying... - Jaakko Sivonen

First of all, sign your messages, you can use four tildes (~~~~). Second, read more about the policies and guidelines for what Wikipedia is, and what Wikipedia is not. It appears that you haven't. /Magore 12:19, 12 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think you're lying. I just think you are taking a very strong POV, which is not something Wikipedia is about (seee above). Travelbird 12:23, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

"Are you are Swedish-speaking or Finnish-speaking Finn"

I am a Finnish speaker, but I have talked to Swedish speakers on the subject. Of course there are exeptions as always, but most of the circa 250,000 Swedish speakers consider themselves Finns, not Swedes. In Swedish they call themselves "finlandssvenskar" (Finland-Swedes) or "finländare" ((Swedish speaking)Finns) and in Finnish "suomenruotsalaiset" (Finland-Swedes) or "suomalaiset" (Finns, the same term for all Finns). I have never heard them call themselves just "ruotsalaiset" (Swedes).

I think you are misunderstanding what the article is trying to state. "Finland-Swedes" is exactly the point. That includes them both in the (larger) groups of Swedes (due to their language) and Finns (due to their citizenship). I.e. they have to be included in both lists ! Travelbird 12:33, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

There is an article about Finland-Swedes here on Wikipedia, that is quite accurate. And it corresponds with the definition of Swedes in this very article. For the record, I'm swedish myself, and have either socialized or worked with Finns of various types and flavours. To some, it's very important that you distinguish between the Finlanders, Finns and Finland-Swedes. To others, it doesn't matter at all. But that's neither here nor there, since Wikipedia is not a discussion board or a publisher of original thought. Therefore we should stick to the official definition of Finland-Swedes in this matter. /Magore 12:37, 12 May 2006 (UTC)


Oh c'mon people, wake up, there are no 300,000 Swedes in Finland. That is just misleading, and this article and whole Wikipedia loses its realiability immediately, which is kinda sad. If you state anything else, you just don't know what are you talking about, as rude as it sounds.

There are no ethnic differences between Finns and Finland-Swedes. They are fully Finnish. Some Finland-Swedes even says, that it is racistic to categorize them as Swedes.

I'm not sure is there any statistics about how many Swedes there really are in Finland, but as I said, 0,3 million is way too big number. It should be removed. --213.186.252.84 13:52, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


Dear all, I have been involved in discussing this issue before. From this perspective and after reading this discussion (well, most of it) I have a couple of comments which all come down to how you define "Swedes" and "Finns".

  1. based on ethnicity it's a grey zone, since ethnicity is a cultural definition, of which a separate languge is seen as the most important qualifiers.
  2. based on genetics it's also a grey zone, since most people have mixed over time. However, it seems that geneticall, Swedish speaking Finns are more alike the Finnish speaking Finns than Sweden Swedes.[5] [6]
  3. in general I think the Swedish speaking populations outside Sweden (of which the vast majority in Finland) should classified as something other than "Swedish". Perhaps "Swedish speaking populations outside Sweden" or some similar description. This would avoid all discussion of wether or not they are "Swedish" or not.

Regards Osli73 11:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

'Swedes' in North America and Germany

The article claims that there are 4,5 m Swedes in North America and something like 16,000 in Germany. To begin with, the Swedes in N. America probably see themselves as Americans or Canadians of Swedish origin. Which is something quite different from being Swedish. Are there 4,5 m people in NA who speak Swedish? Also, who are these Swedes in Germany?

I basically (unscientifically) identify being an ethnic Swede as having Swedish as your first language/mother tongue. So, immigrants in Sweden and people of Swedish ancestry in NA aren't ethnic Swedes. On the other hand, Finlanders who have Swedish as their mother tongue as well as any people in Estonia or the Ukraine who still have Swedish as their mother tongue are ethnic Swedes.

Except that they don't consider themselves Swedes nowadays: http://www.yleradio1.fi/pakollinenheinakuu/suomenruotsalaisuussanasanalta/id6595.shtml "Aloitetaan alusta. Suomenruotsalaiset ovat suomalaisia. Eivät suomenkielisiä, mutta suomalaisia."

Not being an ethnic Swede doesn't preclude being a Swedish citizen, and vice versa.

Anyone against my going ahead and changing the article on this point? Osli73 15:07, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Got to agree with this. The 'Swedish Americans' are just people who have Swedish ancestors. They shouldn't be identified as Swedish in this article any more than those Americans with roots in Britain should be counted in the UK article. 172.216.213.115 (talk) 21:20, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Related languages

Isn't Swedish supposed to have more in common with English (or at least pre-Norman English) than with German? If so, this should be updated in the language box.Osli73 15:09, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Well... That's kind of a tricky question. Swedish of today has many english loan words, and English is arguably the one language that has influenced Swedish the most, at least in recent times. Earlier in history, languages such as French and German have had more influence, as they were spoken by the nobility and other "learned" citizens. But aside from the more or less "artificial" changes that have been brought to Swedish through the influence by other nations/languages, it is more closely related to German than to English. Swedish and German are both germanic (which probably goes without saying for German) languages. German is categorized as West Germanic, while Swedish belongs in the group called North Germanic). And as far as I know, English belongs to the same group as German, ie West Germanic. But Swedish is a lot more closely related to German than to English, while English is a lot closer related to German than to Swedish. German is the language that is most closely related to Old Germanic, which is the language that all germanic languages are derived from. Or, German might be considered the language that links English to Swedish. An example: With Swedish as your natural language, you do have a basic understanding of other Germanic languages, such as Dutch and German. But those (with Swedish as their mother tongue) who speak no foreign language at all, usually find it a lot easier to understand German than English. But since children in Sweden start learning English when they're nine or ten years old, it might be easy to draw the conclusion that Swedish is closer to English than to German, simply because so many Swedes of today understand and (believe they know how to) speak English.
I'm not really sure if this was helpful, or if I only added to the confusion. This is what I once learned in school, and I have never had any reason to doubt what my old school teachers told me. Finding sources for what I've written can be a bit tricky, though.
And before I forget - We should also remember another language have influenced English (along with many other european languages) a great deal - Latin. Roman conquests, occupation, and so on have added a few "latin touches" to many european languages. But since Scandinavia was considered to be the *ss-end of nowhere during the days of the Roman empire, and the Germanic tribes were considered too barbaric to conquer and assimilate, the language(s) spoken here (Norse) and there (Germanic) were never that much influenced by Latin. Latin didn't enter scholary (and never common) use in Sweden until about a thousand years ago, when Christianity were starting to gain ground. Which is a great contrast to many countries in central and western Europe, that were christian for centuries before it was even heard about in Scandinavia.
Or, if you prefer the short version: No. /Magore 16:46, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Ooops! I want to contribute with a short technical version, considerably longer than no. Swedish is a North Germanic language. Both German and English are West Germanic languages.
  1. The West Germanic separated from North Germanic, presumably by reducing away endings that were kept in North Germanic. North Germanic kept being archaic until the Viking age, when the "Viking's decided to speak faster, less elaborate" kind of. Thereafter Norse (Viking language) reduced and evolved farther from the West Germanic than before.
  2. The Old English spoke a mixture of Anglic (WG), Saxon (WG), in some unconceivable (?) way nearly related to the Frisians;
  3. Now the Danish and Norwegian Vikings invaded England, the Norse influencing the Anglo-Saxon immensely [feel the drama here!!].
  4. Then the nasty Vikings (no irony!) were pacified by christianity, and calmed down, trying to organize kingdoms in continental fashion. All Norse (former vikings) now traded very much with Low Germans, many Low Germans settling in the towns and cities of all Norden (the lands of Norses), organizing the barbarians and writing law and trade documentation. The Low German influencing more than immensely [feel the hysteric attack coming!!!!].
So which is nearest related to Swedish, English or German? The question is almost impossibly hard to answer. The borrowings even touches the central vocabulary: English uses take while proper West Germanics uses nehmen/neman/niman or some such. Swedish uses sådan (such) when the proper North Germanic language would use þoliken/tocken. The later borrowings from Low German to Swedish and from English to Swedish makes the question virtually undeterminable. Rursus declamavi; 11:58, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Dear Magore, thank you for the long answer. I was thinking more in the sense that old English (ie after the Angles and Saxons but before the Normans) was a Germanic language originating from old Norse (AFAIK).

I just heard the statement somewhere (I think it was in one of those books about Facts and Myths of Sweden, stating that Swedish was not "like German" but actually had more in common with old English. Though I'm not sure how well researched that was.

Again, thank you for your answer.Osli73 09:48, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

"Facts and myths of Sweden" do sound a bit familiar to me. I wouldn't go as far as to claim that what's written in that book is incorrect, but rather that it represents one point of view, while I am more familiar with another. It's a matter of definitions, exactly what is to be considered Norse, Old Swedish and Modern Swedish? The same question can be asked about English - Changes such as those don't come overnight, but gradually during a fairly long timespan. As a matter of fact, the article about the Swedish language here on Wikipedia seem to be fairly accurate. Have a look at the section about Old Swedish. It also points out the distinction between Old Swedish and Norse.
Another notable fact is that there is a difference between Old Swedish and Norse - We didn't go straight from Norse to Modern Swedish, although there is a more or less common belief that such is the case. One reason for that is that many consider Old and Modern Swedish to be variations of the same language, since all languages change and evolve as they are being used. For example, the written Swedish of today is quite different to what it was like only a century ago, although it hasn't changed much in the way it is spoken. /Magore 10:35, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
"the written Swedish of today is quite different to what it was like only a century ago, although it hasn't changed much in the way it is spoken." Huh? I'd say the opposite is just as true. For instance "bröd" (bread) is nowdays pronounced with a "d" in the end, just as it's written, but earlier it was pronounced "brö". Also words like "honom" (him) is no longer pronounced as it's written. // Liftarn
Well, no. That is one of the greatest differences between Swedish of today, and older versions of the language. Today, we more or less write in the same way as we speak, so to say, and words are spelled about the same way as they sound/are pronounced. And we should not forget that the dialects of the language have changed. In some parts of the country they still say "brö" instead of "bröd". (Or rather "bröna" instead of "bröden".) In other dialects they add vowels to some words when they are pronounced, although they are written in a different way. Like in Skåne, where they would say for example "sillasup" instead of "sillsup", that would be more by the book. Or "hönsena" instead of "hönsen" in (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) Södermanland. /Magore 18:31, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Magore, thank you for the links and clarification. I wasn't meaning to challenge that Swedish was a Germanic language, only the notion that it is a development of/from the German language.Osli73 10:43, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't see this as a challenge. It's rather a matter of theories and opinions, since all languages involved have affected each other in many different ways since when they started to evolve, and much has happened in that time. Migrations, wars, and so on. It is also a matter of what you compare (single words, grammatics, pronounciation, etc), and at which point in time you do it. And of course, it's a matter of local opinion in some cases, a question of the identity for those who speak a certain language or dialect. But what we can ascertain is the spreading of a language by geographical measures, same thing goes for outside influence. (Icelandic is closest to Old Norse, since Iceland is an isolated island, while Norway comes in second place, so to say, since Sweden and Denmark have acted as a buffer zone of sorts. Consequently, Danish is the language that have changed the most since Old Norse was spoken, since Denmark is closest to the european continent of the scandinavian countries.) /Magore 18:31, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Talk page vandalism

Some anonymous IPs edited out the entire conversation "Finland-Swedes not Swedes".

Shouldn't this section have a disambiguation for Swede the vegetable?

I would make it myself but i'm rubbish on Wikipedia

It doesn't belong in this article. The dab page is here. --Tkynerd (talk) 02:19, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Religion

"87% of Sweden is composed of Lutherans" - where did that number come from exactly? To quote the Sweden article:

"Today about 78% of Swedes belong to the Church of Sweden, but the number is decreasing by about one percent every year, and Church of Sweden services are sparsely attended (hovering in the single digit percentages of the population)[10]. Some 275,000 Swedes are today members of various free churches (where congregation attendance is much higher), and, in addition, immigration has meant that there are now some 92,000 Roman Catholics and 100,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians living in Sweden [11]. Also of significance are the 200,000 to 400,000 Muslims in Sweden.[12]."

"According to the most recent Eurostat "Eurobarometer" poll, in 2005 [13], only 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force". This, according to the survey, would make Swedes the third least spiritual people in the 25-member European Union."

I A) don't see where the 87% comes from (Church of Sweden membership + lutheran free churches?) and B) those numbers are quite misleading considering how membership to the official church was handled in the past and also what the Eurostat poll showed. Can we show where the 87% comes from and also add a footnote describing the situation. --Bomkia 13:55, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

And I of course noticed there was a small section on this under "National character". Still doesn't explain the 87% though. Maybe I'm just missing something :) --Bomkia 14:00, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I think that it definitely should be noted that there are a lot of Swedes that are agnostic or atheist, and that membership in Svenska Kyrkan does not mean that one is christian, many people don't even know that they are members of it... Aszev 11:27, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

This just is not true. Many Swedes are in fact practicing Lutherans. However, they do not attend church. This does not mean that they are not Christians. I think that you are adding information that is misleading as to how many atheists the country does have. It certainly is more that the US,but it is no where close to the number of atheists in the Czech Republik. In fact, the Swedes have a state church tax that most opt to pay in order to preserve the Church of Sweden. That could never happen in the US.

Go take it up with the eurostat barometer. I'll requote what was written just a few paragraphs up.
""According to the most recent Eurostat "Eurobarometer" poll, in 2005 [13], only 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force". This, according to the survey, would make Swedes the third least spiritual people in the 25-member European Union.""
That's 23% that answered they believe there is a GOD. Of thoose 23% I'LL PERSONALLY wager, very few are actually avid practicioners. 213.141.89.20 (talk) 16:09, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Changing the name of the "Ethnic Swedes" section

How about changing the "Ethnic Swedes" section to something along the lines of "What is a Swede" or "Definitions of being Swedish" since that is what the section discusses?Osli73 12:45, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Finns and Swedes particularly ethnically related groups?

Does this mean that also Austrians and Hungarians are particularly ethnically related? Clarifer 06:56, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

No, the Austrians and Hungarians are from Mars and Venus really. However, the Finns and Swedes count their ancestry from Väinä-Oden-Möynen-Thor the nasty scizophreniac self-mutilator. Or: gchlerrrck! Rursus declamavi; 12:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, that wasn't for You. I just lost my temper on all those trying to alienate the Suomen from the Swedes. Hope, I, didn't offend – sorry, pardon, I beg for forgiveness! Rursus declamavi; 12:42, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, Krohn's proposition is strongly disputed and he hasn't answered in a while either: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Finnish_people#Swedes_an_ethnically_related_group.3F 80.186.100.180 15:14, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

...And still refuses to discuss the matter. 80.186.100.180 20:23, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Finland-Swedes are ethnic Swedes?

I am not a Finland-Swede myself, but I have met many, loved some, and - if a cliché is allowed -some of my best friends actually are Finland-Swedes. I think it is blatant contradiction against the self-identification of many Finland-Swedes to label them as "ethnic Swedes". I do not believe that a single Finland-Swede I know would accept that labeling.

I know some other Finland-Swedes would happily adopt the ethnic Swedish identity, but I do not believe this is the majority attitude among them. Some of my Finland-Swedish friends and collegues call themselves as "Finns", some of them are vaguely uncomfortable about being Finns and try to present Finland-Swedishness as a distinct ethnicity. But even the representants of the later group do not really like to being called Swedes. I think it is very biased to say that "not all Finland-Swedes consider themselves as ethnic Swedes", because that clearly implies that the majority consider themselves as ethnic Swedes - a very questionable claim and definitely not NPOV. Unless my English semantics are totally wrong, the word I used, "often", does not imply whether it is a minority or majority feeling.

"East-Swedes (Östsvenskar) is the common name for Swedish speakers in Finland, Estonia and the Ukraine (to the extent there are any left)." I think only relatively few Finland-Swedes have called themselves as östsvenskar since the early 20th century heyday of Svecoman nationalism. Nowadays the Finland-Swedish identity is strongly molded by the slogan One Nation - Two Languages.

Now, jumping in here a little untimely – terms are terms, words are words. Is East-Swedes a linguist or anthropologist term (or both)? (This in a bold try to calm down the unreasonably hot debate here). We must distinguish:
  1. scientific terms of different subsciences, f.ex. anthropology, history, linguistics, etc.,
  2. judicial terms, such as nationality and minority status,
  3. cultural identity.
Scientists term things for their own practicality, persons label themselves according to personal identity. Rursus declamavi; 12:53, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

"Therefore we should stick to the official definition of Finland-Swedes in this matter". I doubt there is an official definition of a Finland-Swede. How could there be? Ethnicity is rarely about official definitions, its about self-identity, discourse, practice etc. The only official thing is the fact that Swedish is an official language in Finland, and some Finnish citizens speak Swedish as their first language. That does not tell anything of their ethnicity.

If Finland, which is the more likely part (not Sweden), defines a Finland-Swede to be a Swedish speaking Finlandian, then we have an official definition. It's not too far-fetched to imagine such a legal construction to guarantee minority rights. This in order to illustrate that ethnicity might very well be official. Rursus declamavi; 12:55, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, poor Finland-Swedes sometimes seem to be torn between Finnish and Swedish nationalism - both POVs are present on this talk page too. Of course, members of the small Finland-Swedish ethnonationalist movement sometimes declaim "sure as hell we're not FINNS", but that view is often angrily countered by other Finland-Swedes. Couple of years ago, a leading figure in the ethnonationalist movement was called as "the worst enemy of all Finland-Swedes" by the President of the Swedish People´s Party. Obviously the Finland-Swedish identity politics are much more complicated than the simplistic "Finns or Swedes" dichotomy allows.--217.112.242.181 09:58, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

The person s/he is referring to is Ida Asplund. --Jaakko Sivonen 19:02, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Aren't we here confusing Finns with Finlandians/Finlanders? Finns are Finnish-speaking Finlanders. Finlandians are Finland citizens. Finland-Swedes are Swedish-speaking Finlanders. Saying "Finland-Swedes are Finns" is like saying "Non-Finnish-speaking Finlanders speaks Finnish". That's just logical rubbish, like saying "the Sun is yellow, but it's not yellow". (50% of all verbal disputes arise from confusion). Rursus declamavi; 13:02, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

"descent IS obviously one of the main pillars associated with ethnic identifiction and those traits associated with such)". Now this is getting strange. Of course, most Finland-Swedes have some Swedish ancestry; most of them have some Finnish ancestry as well. Many ethnic Finns have some Swedish ancestry (including me), and many ethnic Swedes in Sweden have some Finnish ancestry. There is no uniform descent defining anybody´s ethnicity in Finland. Intermarriages and language adoption processes moving back and forth for centuries have made that certain.

Ethnicity is obviously based on subjective self-identification and acceptance: who are the people you want to identify yourself with, and will they accept you as one of their own. Finland-Swedes OFTEN consider themselves as ethnically Finnish or "Finland-Swedish". --217.112.242.181 10:08, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

A Huge Contradiction

This article claims, that the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland are Swedes. The article concerning Finnish people claims, that the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland are Finns.

Is en.wikipedia really this incapable to solve things like this? If not, then do something! --213.186.239.15 13:16, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

This is conflict based on nationalism. Same as whether or not Bosnian Serbs are Serbs or just Bosnians? I'd say that most Swedes today define only ethnic Swedes or people who have Swedish as their mother tongue AND live in Sweden to be Swedes. But, this is of course a matter of opinion. KarlXII 00:36, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

I'd say that most Swedes today define only ethnic Swedes or people who have Swedish as their mother tongue OR live in Sweden to be Swedes ... OR are Swedish citizens. I'd say that Your restrictive/egoistic variant is less common than mine generous variant - a generous human gets more friends. Rursus declamavi; 13:09, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
No, you can't compare Serbs and Bosnians to the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland. They're just as Finns as other Finns, they just have Swedish as their mother tongue. And there are no unclarity about that in Finland, it's all clear there. So I can't stand why these is a problem here in en.wikipedia. --213.186.254.14 12:18, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Finland Swedes are not Finns, they are Swedes living in Finland that are citizens of Finland. For example, check this webpage by a Finland Swede, you could hardly argue that he consider himself being a Finn. Den fjättrade ankan 19:22, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
That is the national-chauvinistic point of view. It is definitely not shared by all Swedish-speakers in Finland, and hopefully not by all Swedes either.--217.112.249.156 13:21, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd say that distinguishing Finlandians (Finnish citizens), from Finns and Finland-Swedes, is an anti-chauvinistic tolerance attitude, thereby allowing both Finns, Finland-Swedes, Sami and Karelians to be properly regarded as good Finlandians. I'm a Sweden-Swede, so this is a source for my foreign admiration. Rursus declamavi; 13:14, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

A couple of things which I think we all could agree on:

  1. everyone should be able to agree that this is obviously a controversial topic where no clear-cut answer exists
  2. biologically, Swedish and Finnish speaking groups in Finland have become mixed
  3. culturally, there clearly are differences, as language is an important aspect of culture
  4. during the late middle ages, there was considerable settlement of groups from Sweden proper on the coast of Finland
  5. some Finland-Swedes consider themselves to be a separate ethnic group from Finnish speaking Finlanders while others don't
  6. Finland-Swedes, as a linguistic group, have some constitutionally enshrined rights
  7. in Swedish (also in 'Finland-Swedish') there is a difference between being a Finn (sv. "finne") and being a 'Finlander' ("Finländare), with the former only including Finnish speaking Finns and the latter also including Finland-Swedes. A bit like Bosnians includes all ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina while Bosniak only includes Bosnian-muslims.

Based on the above, I'm definately leaning towards Finland-Swedes being a different ethnic group (with ethnicity defined as different culture, in this case, language).KarlXII 09:01, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, but to clarify: Finns are those blonder Swedes speaking funnily (the Quenya related Old Language of Sweden). Rursus declamavi; 13:17, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

swedes in sweden

where have some one found that there are 7.9 million ethnic swedes living in sweden, sweden don't allow statistics about ethnical background. The population is 9 million today and 20 % of the population is first or second generation imigrants...then we have 7.2 million left. please give me a source of how many ethinc swedes living in sweden. (Plyriz 2006-10-07 CET)

Epf cannot provide a reference even to his own claim: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Swedish_people&diff=80369069&oldid=79934900 =0 --Jaakko Sivonen 19:36, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

New Assessment Criteria for Ethnic Groups articles

Hello,

WikiProject Ethnic groups has added new assessment criteria for Ethnic Groups articles.

Your article has automatically been given class=stub and reassess=yes ratings. [corrected text: --Ling.Nut 23:00, 16 October 2006 (UTC)] Don't feel slighted if the article is actually far more than a stub -- at least in the beginning, all unassessed articles are being automatically assigned to these values.

-->How to assess articles

Revisions of assessment ratings can be made by assigning an appropriate value via the class parameter in the WikiProject Ethnic groups project banner {{Ethnic groups}} that is currently placed at the top of Ethnic groups articles' talk pages. Quality assessment guidelines are at the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team's assessment system page.

Please see the Project's article rating and assessment scheme for more information and the details and criteria for each rating value. A brief version can be found at Template talk:Ethnic groups. You can also enquire at the Ethnic groups Project's main discussion board for assistance.

Another way to help out that could be an enjoyable pastime is to visit Category:WikiProject Ethnic groups, find an interesting-looking article to read, and carefully assess it following those guidelines.

Thanks!
--Ling.Nut 20:01, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

New Swedes

To begin with I find the entire classification of "New Swedes" as slightly ridiculous. Yes, someone has coined such a term in Swedish, but that doesn't mean it needs to be dragged into Wikipedia. As for the second paragraph of this section:

Especially in school yards, Swedes typically refer to "ethnic Swedes" in contrast to pupils who identify themselves as immigrants or of immigrant heritage. Many second- and third-generation immigrants have experienced how being born in Sweden is not sufficient to escape discrimination. A family name (Such as a foreign name) or physical looks (Such as black hair & dark complexion) that hint at low-status immigrant ancestry can be a critical disadvantage. Swedish-speaking Finns who are immigrants in Sweden have also experienced how they are first and foremost perceived as immigrants from Finland and not as "Swedes" by the authorities, neighbours, and colleagues.

This is completely unsourced and unreferenced and as such is complete original research, or just plain personal opinion. As such I'm taking it out. Any objections? KarlXII 00:33, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, as no-one has objected, I will take out the New Swedes section. If anyone is upset, please communicate why on the Talk page.KarlXII 14:13, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


FSG, a couple of comments

  1. if you oppose the change, why didn't you comment on the Talk page? I gave everyone ample time to react.
  2. as for your argument that "not everything needs sources" - this is not correct in this case. You're right, obvious statements don't need sources (eg "Sweden is a country in northern Europe"). However, statements like "Especially in school yards, Swedes typically refer to "ethnic Swedes" in contrast to pupils who identify themselves as immigrants or of immigrant heritage. Many second- and third-generation immigrants have experienced how being born in Sweden is not sufficient to escape discrimination" do need to be backed up by sources.
  3. that you are of Swedish nationality and therefore "Know this to be true" is completely irrelevant. I'm also of Swedish nationality and that doesn't mean a thing here. Wikipedia is not about original research (ie your opinion or what someone says) but about the common understanding of the topic.
  4. my main argument against the "New Swedes" section is that the article is about "Swedish people" as an ethnic group. Why then have a section about non-ethnic Swedes? It would be like including an article about Albanians in the article about the Serbian people just because there are Albanians living in Serbia. See my point?

So, I'm taking the section out. You are welcome to try to have it included in the demographics of Sweden article or create a new article if you want.KarlXII 09:16, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


FSG, you might also have noticed the comment placed in the "New Swedes" section (by whom I don't know):

(Should be integrated into the text or dropped.)Classifications with regard to ethnicity and ethnic groups are chiefly relevant only in the context of conflicting interests between groups who recognize their ethnicity as different. By its nature, this makes virtually all such notions controversial, one way or another.

This is precisely what I am doing.KarlXII 09:18, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

National character

Although not bad, the National character section suffers from a lack of sources. Also, its choice of which 'national characteristics' it chooses to focus is open to debate. I suggest reworking the section based on some of the published material on Swedish national character which is available, most notably the Swedish professor of European ethnology Åke Daun. Here are some souces:

  1. Sweden.se - the official gateway to Sweden
  2. Nordicway.com
  3. The essence of Nordishness - an article (not by Åke Daun) on 'Nordic mentality'. Though I'm not sure what this article is based on

Any thoughts?KarlXII 09:18, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I used a lot of material from Den svenska koden (ISBN 91-88783-39-1). // Liftarn

Liftarn, thanks for the reply. I'm not saying I disagree with the content. Just that I feel it would be good to have some available sources on such a potentially 'controversial' (or at least difficult) topic as "national character." It might also be good to say that "according to nn, professor of xx at yy, Swedish national character is characterized by: xxxxx." Did you have a chance to take a look at the sources I suggested, especially Åke Daun, who appears to be the most often cited on this topic? KarlXII 10:28, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I skimmed them and they look usefull. Much of it is already in the article already. // Liftarn


Hi I'm back (previously KarlXII, due to harassment, but that's a long story). I still don't like this section. Instead of the current mix of factors and sources I propose that the section base its text on research on the work of Åke Daun, Professor of Etnology at the University of Stockholm, apparently the leading expert on this field (he's used here on the official Swedish website [7]). What do you think about that? Cheers Osli73 00:00, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi. I agree that we should rephrase this section along the lines of "Professor Åke Daun argues that the Swedish national character..." because this isn't fact that is set in stone. I find the idea of national character a bit odd anyway, since in all societies there is a huge diversity of characters. I don't think we should be suggesting that what is stated here is somehow fact. Cordless Larry 11:19, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


The entire first paragraph is generalisation. I'm a Swede and I barely recognise the traits described here. "Many Swedes have rather reserved personalities compared to other cultures, which has led to the stereotype of quiet, cold, unfriendly Swedes. However, in spite of the common shyness, Swedes are generally nice, friendly people, just typically less outgoing than many other cultures." This entire sentence is complete bullshit. The Swedes I know generally like to party and the "nice" part depends completely on the person. I guarantee you, the jackasses are as numerous as the nice guys. "As such, Swedes tend to be somewhat wary around unknown people, and it can be difficult for foreigners and immigrants to assimilate in Sweden." This part makes no sense to me. I see immigrants all the time and they don't seem to have many problems socialising. "At the same time, Swedes are well known for their tolerance and appreciation of other cultures." This is a half-truth. While applies to us with sense there is currently a party known as "Sverigedemokraterna" who are known to be anti-immigrant (even though they say they aren't) who have recently gotten a disturbingly large amount of votes, almost getting enough (4%) to enter the Riksdag. There are some here too who are racist. "Many people have noticed a dramatic difference between winter Swedes and summer Swedes, because people's moods tend to be affected by the cold, dark winters." This doesn't make any sense whatsoever. People have a blast during the "cold, dark winters" when they can go skiing and snowboarding and generally have fun. "One misconception is that Sweden and the Swedes are overly[citation needed] permissive regarding sex and nudism. This misconception may be due to Sweden's early legalization of pornography and early implementation of sex education in school.[citation needed] These days, Sweden is not very tolerant of the sex industry.[citation needed] Paying for a sex worker's services is illegal and pornography is seen as oppressive and degrading, particularly to women[citation needed], by most leading politicians.[citation needed]" This part I'm not sure of. We do indeed have early sex ED (and high quality in my opinion) and I hear very little about pornography unless it's about the horrors of child pornography. Other than that I hear little (bad or positive) about the porn industry. Though I found that sex/masturbation and to a lesser extent porn was discussed widely when I had sex ED, and not in a negative light either. Just that we were supposed to practice safe sex and such. What this article needs is better sources. Such as statements from Swedish politicians and news sources (see what people vote for and why), or generally Swedish stuff. Not random books or articles. The second large paragraph is also a rather poor generalisation. Many here have great ambitions and shoot for the stars too.83.254.128.123 00:33, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Structure of the article

The current article spends most of it's time talking about who is and who isn't Swedish (especially wether or not Sweden Finns are Swedes or not). While not unimportant, I think there could be some improvements. Here's my suggestion:

  1. Intro (short on who is Swedish)
  2. Etymology
  3. Identity
  4. Swedish speakers outside Sweden (incl discussion about Swedish speakers in Finland and other groups of Swedish ancestry outside Sweden)
  5. History
  6. Culture and national character
  7. Famous Swedes
  8. See also
  9. External links

Good "peoples" pages from which we might draw inspiration are: Finnish people, Dutch people, Japanese people and French people

How about it?

Perfect! (I'll pilfer that list to my private collection of wisdoms). That's what an article of a national group should contain! Rursus declamavi; 16:35, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Would You please name Yourself, so I can set a proper title in my private list of wisdoms, such as if Your name would be Perseus, I may write Perseus'es Wisdom? Rursus declamavi; 16:38, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


I believe that would be me. However, I would like to change point 4 to "Swedish speakers outside Sweden" to avoid presupposing who is a Swede and who might just have Swedish ancestry. Regards Osli73 19:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Swedes a Germanic people?

This article is included in the category Germanic peoples along with other modern national groups, although no source is given for the claims. I nominated the category for deletion - see its entry here - because it includes modern groups under a historical term (Roman period to mediaeval). The category is being used for a political agenda, to promote the idea that ethnic groups and nations in north-west Europe are "Germanic". That claim is typically associated with neo-nazi groups, for the association of the term Germanic peoples with Nazism, see Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Lebensraum, and for instance Hitler salute. The issue here is also whether Swedes describe themselves as a "Germanic people".Paul111 20:52, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the Swedes describe themselves as a germanic people. Among other things. Please keep Wikipedia free of politically motivated rubbish like this. /M.O (u) (t) 21:33, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

You do not have to place the exact same message on every talkpage which falls into the Germanic peoples category Paul111. 1 is enough.Rex 21:47, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I have unfortunaltely engaged this person in discussion of this topic at Talk:Norwegian people. Paul has placed a disputed tag on the article itself because he disputes the Norwegians being a Germanic people. Are the Swedes, Danes and Norwegians Germanic peoples? If not what are they? Any contribution is helpfull.Inge 13:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Very simply: +ic. Listen to the difference: German vs. Germanic. My dad confused that too, and resented being "Germanic", but what does he know about languages and ethnicity?
the democracy have gone into the Swedes' blood! – scornfull comment from Himmler (?) about the Swedes.
Giggering evilly! Rursus declamavi; 10:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, Swedes speak a Germanic language. That is not controversial. Whether or not they are a Germanic people should not be take for granted. However, since no large immigrations have taken place since the Germanic peoples did arrive in Sweden sometime BC, there is no reason not to call them a Germanic people. As for the Nazi associations, that's in the eye of the beholder and shouldn't affect this article.KarlXII 13:28, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, we are Germanics, of course – genetically and linguistically, but we are not racists in attitude regarding "race" and "nationality". Germanics and racists are quite different things – it's not like "comparing pears and apples", it's like "comparing a delicious breakfast, with the cancer that your aunt died from last year". Rursus declamavi; 10:12, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Neither are we Germs, in the normal sense of Germ. Rursus declamavi; 14:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Rursus speaks garbage again – who did the connection Swedes ~ Germs?! Shame on You Rursus! Rursus declamavi; 16:25, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Liberal Politically Motivated Garbage Article

I read this article about 2 months ago and it was tidy, readable, and only factual. Since then this article has become biased, opinionated, poorly-cited, and unusable for any real research. Please neaten up this article. I know many Swedes that would disagree with alot of what is in here. User:Bjarne Mikkelsen

Bjarne! When did you write that? When signing, please write a ~~~~ (dating the comment) so that I can see if your note is still valid. Rursus declamavi; 10:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Besides: an encyclopedia is an encyclopedia, cleaning and NPOVing is a matter of honor, glory and positive prestige. Bjarne's and other's criticisms against bias should be heeded by everybody. Rursus declamavi; 10:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Rursus, I'm definately up for helping to edit/restore/improve this article. I think the best way forward would probably be to get some benchmarks - how are the best 'peoples' articles structured? Regards Osli73 11:12, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that's how I regard Your edits, Your're in good faith, and I consider Your position serious. No, someone above, felt himself insulted by being classified as a Swede. That's OK, with me. Then the debate swelled out about Finland-Swedes, and I tried to calm down it by dissecting weasel formulations. I believe the debate above is motivated by confusion, not by antagonism. I cannot see any reason for Swedes and Finns be antagonistic - last time we dealt in war, it was by Swedes sending material and volunteers when Finland was in war with Soviet Union... About the Swedish Finlanders and Finnish Swedes, they're another glue. Rursus declamavi; 14:12, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Another confusion is about the Swedish Empire and the current Sweden. The Swedish Empire was an aggressive conqueror power created by the Vasas, initially designed to be peaceful and in economical balance, but successively developing to a situation where huge armies had to be maintained by ravaging and plundering. Shameful. That empire died step by step, starting with Charles XII, and ending with Gustav IV. It doesn't exist anymore. Finland and Sweden were the two major parts of the Swedish Empire, but since the Sweden part gave the name to that Empire, Finland is faultily regarded as a former province of current Sweden, when it actually was the eastern main land. The current Sweden is in essence the creation of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte (Charles XIV John), that reverted the Swedes from some imperialist nostalgic dreams to the practicalities of how to make peace, develop trade and improve the conditions for the people. Rursus declamavi; 15:29, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I hope that off-topic brotherhood talk calmed the feelings a little, but now, back to the factual accuracies of the article ... sorry for all inconveniences, don't hesitate, but be calm, be NPOV, be cool!! Rursus declamavi; 15:43, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Again on "Swedish-speaking Finns"

IP has added this information http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Swedish_people&diff=114044607&oldid=113951427.

"A large proportion of Finland Swedes consider themeselves ethnic Swedes (over 50% live in areas settled by Swedes in the 15th and 16th centuries that still have a Swedish majority" Consider themselves Swedes? Probably consider themselves finlandssvensk, but I haven't heard many saying they are Swedes. Most have said they're as much Finns as Finnish speaking Finns are. In your second edit note you claim all, 290 000 Swedish speaking minority is descentant from the Swedish colonists. You better remember Finns who changed their language, foreign immigrants and so on. The article Finns also have the exact same minority listed. But if all of them indeed consider themselves to be Swedes, I guess the slogan Suomi suomalaisille has a whole new meaning.. --Pudeo (Talk) 12:10, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia and not a forum to express particular nationalist political views ("Suomi suomalaisille"="Finland to the Finns"). You need to be able to distinguish between the Finnish national identity and the Finnish ethnical identity. Most Finland Swedes consider themselves Finns in the national sense (finländare) but not in the ethnical one (finnar). Although some Finland Swedes in upper social classes belong to families that entered Finland as immigrants from other countries when Swedish was the only official language of the country (until 1902) and families from ethnically Finnish backgrounds that changed their language during the same period to furher their own careers, most (>90%) are decendants of Swedish colonists that settled the core Swedish areas of Finland in the 15-17th centuries (the coastal areas of Åboland, Nyland and Österbotten). These areas were until 50years ago totally Swedish. Even today over 50% of Finland Swedes live in municipalities where Swedish is the majority language. As people in rural Finland before modern times mostly married within their own region due to problems with communications, and linguistics added to the difficulties when it came to marriages over the language barrier, it is stretching it to state that Finns somehow would belong to the same ethnic group. There should be nothing wrong or controversial with accepting this truth in our modern day and age. We dont have to construct a common ethnical identity to share one nation. The need to get past this linkage between nationality and ethnicity is made even more important by all "new Finns" (immigrants from all over the world) that need to feel integrated into our country. Shame on you for expressing you xenophobic views on international fora like Wikipedia. You are not doing our international image any favours.

I didn't say that "slogan" represents my views in any way. Neither it was an important issue in my message. I am just saying Finland swedish does not equal to Swedes. My point is, I don't believe 100% of Swedish speaking minority say they are Swedes. I think this was a clear result from some poll or research. PS. Finnish was made the official language of Grand Duchy of Finland in 1883, not 1902. Is there really need to classify the 290,000 people minority in Finns, Swedes and Finland-Swedes?
Since 1900s Swedishness and Finland Swedishness have been considered to be different. Most Swedish speaking people in Finland see a clear difference between Finland-Swedish and Swedish indentity. Or how many use 'Östsvenskar'`?--Pudeo (Talk) 19:49, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

You really did not respond to my point at all. To repeat the point it was to learn to distinguish between national and ethnic identity.

PS! For you information the Finnish language was not decleared as one of Finland's official languages until the 1902 Language Decree ("kieliasetus"). The 1883 Language Decree to which you are refering only made Finnish a requirement for some Government officials. Since you obviously know your Finnish you can read more in the Finnish Wikipedia at http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_kielipolitiikka.Wishing you the best of luck in your studies.

Thanks, but I'm afraid your credibility is close to zero. I do know the difference between a Finn and a Finnish citizen, but I also know the difference between a Swede and a Swedish-speaking Finn/Finlandswede.
Get what I am talking about? Same 290,000 are listed everywhere.--Pudeo(Talk) 22:01, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

So what if I have a day-job? You should get one. Once you have you might notice that you should do your homework thoroughly before doing the real thing (like writing on history or other people's identity). I know Wikipedia is maintained by volounteers and I much appriciate all the hard work done. To maintain quality and objectivity it is however essential that it is an open forum so that new contributors can join in as well (e.g. on a particular topic they know well). You don't want the place dominted by an "in-crowd" with too much time and too little knowledge.

If you go to the discussion and history pages of the topics you give above you will se that the issue is not uncontroversial. Whose edit is on top at the moment says nothing about the facts (for that you need to analyze the sources). Start discussing facts or go to bed.

    • I am a "Finlandssvensk", and I do not consider myself a Swede - no way! My nationality is Finnish, but my mother's tongue is Swedish. This discussion has been held before (summer of 2005 IIRC), and then I interviewed several (about a dozen) Swedish-speaking Finns from different regions (all over southernn Finland, and Ostrobothnia). No-one of them considered themselves to be of Swedish ethnicity - not even the Ålanders, they are proud to be just that - Ålanders. Greetings, --Janke | Talk 08:26, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


If you truly are a Finland Swede you must be aware of the distinction we have in Swedish between "finländare" (Finnish national identity) and "finne" (Finnish ethnical identity). Most Finland Swedes, like myself, consider themself "finländare" but not "finnar". We are finlandsvenskar (Finland Swedes).

The fact that most of us consider ourselves a separate people comes out very clearly from our institutions. For instance our major political party is called the Swedish People's Party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_People's_Party_(Finland)). We also have our own parliament The Swedish Assembly of Finland (http://www.folktinget.fi/en/index.html) collecting Finland Swedes from accross the political spectrum to represent all of us in a legitimate manner. If you want to know more about where we live and how we are distributed throughout the country please read this leaflet published by the Assembly (http://www.folktinget.fi/pdf/publikationer/SwedishInF.pdf). There are some facts that might be a bit Swedish nationalistic (did most of us really arrive as early as 1000 to 1250 AD? Doubtfull as e.g. Österbotten and Nyland were most of us live were settled later) but most are OK. Especially the current statistics at the end are interesting.

As this is supposed to be an encyclopedia Janke's undocumented interview of some friends should not carry much weight (none?).

Then why we have to discuss Swedish-speaking Finns in Swedes and Finns? You deny the difference between terms svenskar and finlandssvenskar? "Ethnicity" is only a matter of self-recognicition. As Janke concluded, most Swedish-speaking don't call themselves svenskar or ostsvenskar. --Pudeo (Talk) 16:52, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course I don't deny the difference between "svenskar" (Swedes) and "finlandsvenskar" (Finland Swedes). "Finlandsvenskar" are a distinct sub-group of Swedes in its ethnical connotation. As it is a very long time since 1809, when Finland was partitioned from Sweden to become its own autonomous Grand Dutchy within the Russian empire, the identity of ethnic Swedes in Finland has changed a lot from the identity of Sweden Swedes. For example the national identification would be totally different with Finland Swedes being as strong Finnish patriots as the ethnical Finns. The ethnic Swedish identity is still however very strong. Just refer to the institutions above or pick up any copy of the leading Swedish language daily in Finland Hufvudstadsbladet (www.hbl.fi). From them you will quickly find that the terms Swedes (svenskar) and Swedish (svensk) when used in a domestic Finnish context refer to Finland Swedes without any reference to Sweden. It is thus completly bogus to do as you do and say that we don't call ourselves Swedes (svenskar). If you still are confused just click on the links I have given you.

Why this is being discussed under Swedes is that Finland Swedes are ethnic Swedes and thus should be included under an Wikipedia article dealing with Swedes. You can be an ethnic Swede and identify strongly as such even if Sweden were to say fall into a black hole. For further reference there are e.g. Kurds even if there is no souvereign nation called Kurdistan and many nations have ethnic minorities with ethnic identities within their borders (Hungarians in Romania, Germans in Denmark, Chinese in Malaysia etc.).

Do you have some hidden agenda or why dont you just get it? One could ask why you as an ethnic Finn with no particular speciality in the topic in question get involved in a discussion about who is a Swede? Why do you care about our deffinition of ourselves? Could the answer be hidden in your racist remarks in the beginning of this thread? Checking your Wikipedia credentials reveals that you state as your main badge of honour is that you are a Finnish nationalist. I would also consider myself a Finnish nationalist but obviously in a very different meaning than you do (not involving ethnicity).

How about WP:AGF? I have made over 3,000 edits in Wikimedia projects, not that all those subjects interest me. This has issue has been discussed several times here in Wikipedia, firstly in Talk:Swedish-speaking Finns starting from 2005. You can check this talk page earlier posts. It was concluded that Swedish-speaking Finns don't identify themselves as Swedes. I find it ridiculous to say "Tässä meillä on ihan ruotsalainen Helsingistä/Here we have a Swede from Helsinki" when referring to a Swedish-speaking person. Swedish-speaking Finns were added to this article by an anomunous IP User:213.113.53.21 in this edit. It was his first edit on Wikipedia, no edit notes either. It earlier was concluded several times again in edit notes: "Swedes often fail to realize that the so-called Finland-Swedes usually do not have Swedish identity. "evert: this is not about ancestry but self-identification, and Finland-Swedes rarely consider themselves as ethnic Swedes." etc. etc. You can be a Swede for all we care. However, as Janke himself as a Swedish-speaker said most don't feel to be ethnic Swedes. This is what has been agreed to several times here on Wikipedia talk pages. Surely people like Ida Asplund agree with you but most do not. Maybe it's better to keep the numbers out of the article and say they might be considered Swedes or then not, depends on their self-indentification. However, most do not.--Pudeo (Talk) 12:56, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

For a statement like "most do not" you need to be able to provide some credible source. I have tried to support my point with references. Why dont you try the same. As for your statement "it was concluded" I would, based on the talk page you refer to, say that the Finland Swede "Den fjättrade ankan" who tried to make a similar point to mine previously just got tired of carrying on a discussion with people with a set agenda who try to distort the truth to their own ends.

In case I at some point feel inspired I could add a few lines on the Swedishness discussion among Finland Swedes during the past 100 years and the difference between "kultursvenskar"(the cultural elite in Helsinki) and "byggdesvenskar" (the large majority that live in the Finland Swede countryside). However, I think that would be a complete waste of my time and energy ("som att kasta pärlor åt svinen") as well as Wikipedia's discussion-space. All necessary information for the discussion on the topics "Swedes" and "Swedish people" can be found above.

In a 2005 survey by Svenska Finlands Folkting carried out among the Swedish speakers, when asked about the meaning of their identity, 83% of the respondents answered: "Both to belong to an own culture but also to be Finnish amongst the rest." (Fi: "Kuulumista omaan kulttuuriin, mutta myös suomalaisena olemista muiden joukossa.")[8]
"Itsesiassa on silmiinpistävän selkeää, miten voimakkaasti suomenruotsalaiset kokevat olevansa suomalaisia, seikka, joka myöhemmin käy ilmi suhteessa ruotsinmaalaiseen kulttuuriin." - Same report
"Suomenruotsalaisesta identiteetistä puhuttaessa suomenruotsalaiset pitävät itseään selkeästi suomalaisina, mikä oli myöskin Allardtin lähtökohtana hänen tutkimuksessaan"- Same report
"Kun tarkastellaan suomenruotsalaisten suhdetta suomenkieliseen kulttuuriin ja ruotsinmaalaiseen kulttuuriin käy selvästi ilmi, että suomenruotsalaisilla on omasta mielestään oma kulttuuri,mutta samalla korostetaan, että se on osa suomalaista kulttuuria." Swedish-speaking Finns believe they have their own culture, distinct from Finnish and Swedish (Sweden), but at the same time stressing the fact it is part of the Finnish culture. -Same report!
Tell me, what's your sources for the claim all 290,000 Swedish-speaking Finns identify themselves as ethnic Swedes? 8) Your self-identication as a Swede does not matter much. By the way, we haven't reached conset, yet you reform whole articles as Swedish-speaking Finns --Pudeo (Talk) 19:14, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


You are absolutely right when it comes to the survey! As I write several times above Finland Swedes have a strong identity as Finns in the sense of having a stong Finnish national identity ("finländare"). They however do not consider themselves ethnic finns ("finnar"). The survey to which you are refering was done in Swedish and your quote is a translation from the original Swedish text that can be found in the same publication (p.21). The Swedish text reads "Både att höra till en egen kultur, men också att vara en finländare bland alla andra". You might notice that the word "finländare" is used. Not the word "finnar".

My source is thus actually your source! The only difference is that since you can't read Swedish (?) you don't understand it.

As I was hoping you might have understood already a few days ago, a major source of confusion comes from the fact that English and Finnish dont use separate words for national and ethnic Finnish identity. Only in Swedish does this distinction exist. The words finne (ethnic identity) and finländare (national identity) both translate into Finn in English and Suomalainen in Finnish. The people writing on Finns (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_people) are a bit more clever than you and have put the issue quite eloquently in today's version of the article. Perhaps your reading comprehension from their text is better?

According to that very same report, Swedish-speaking Finns say they have distinct culture from Swedish (Sweden's, as well as "ethnic finn culture".) They may have never been to Sweden, don't have it's nationality and haven't been born there. Then the fact "A few studies have shown that Swedish-speaking Finns are today genetically indistinguishable from Finns but distinguishable from Swedes" [9]. Therefore I'd like to hear a real Swedes' opinions do they consider Swedish-speaking Finns as the very same ethnic Swedes they are themselves. Unfortunately we aren't really getting comments here, and this is quite frustrating. But you see, we get all kind of vandals and POV-pushers from anonymous IPs. So it raises few questions. This has been discussed before and consets have been made. All of your edits are of changing Swedish-speaking Finns to ethnic Swedes (or Swedish in Finland). What are you upto? --Pudeo (Talk) 21:41, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Did I not already yesterday write that the culture of Finland Swedes by all accounts has changed significantly since 1809 and thus today is quite different from that of Sweden Swedes and ethnic Finns? What's your point? As for your source on genetics, could you please state which page you are referencing, as I have not been able to find the test results you are refering to. The only interesting quote I found from your references was one stating that Finland Swedes are an ethnical minority of Finland (http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/16/1/55?ijkey=b9d0b99256fc6429f5f8c9a7119a5e4a9c7072da&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha). This however, I am sure, is not what you were thinking of.

As for your rant on POV-pushing etc., it is very interesting to read your talk page. Seems you have been pushing a Finnish nationalist agenda in Russia related articles also. I'm the first to admit that I only became interested in editing Wikipedia a couple of days ago after I saw what vandalism has been done to for me important topics such as Finland, Finland Swedes and Swedes. It got me to realize how much damage can be done by fanatics in a fora like this and got me motivated to do my small part to correct the damage (my edits have mostly been limited to removing POV bullshit added to originally quite well written and focused articles).

Table Format

Are Americans and Canadians and etc... with only a fraction of Swedish ancestry, no knowledge of Sweden and (mostly) no knowledge of Swedish culture, ethnic Swedes? Are they as ethnic Swede as Swedes with full or mostly Swedish ancestry and Swedish as a mother tongue and who have lived in Sweden for the most or all part of their lives? Observe the format in Norwegian people article, it may be more suitable? Lukas19 17:42, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Arigato1's removal of information

Arigato1 has removed information about Swedes on this page and on this page. To avoid any misunderstandings about his erroneous reason for removing the text, I cite the source here:

In fact the [...] data indicate Germans and a few other Central European populations as being the closest to the Norwegians. When we compare our results with those based on different polymorphic systems,9,17 we can infer that these conclusions are also valid for Swedish, while Finns and Saami had a quite different genetic history with a great impact of Uralic Finno-Ugric speaking population.[10]

The reason Arigato1 cited for removing the text is disturbingly wrong.--The trollfighter 12:33, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The Swedophones of Finland

Sorry to bring up this once again but here goes. There seems to be a conflict of information between the articles Swedish-speaking Finns and this one. Whereas the former states that the Swedish-speaking Finns constitute an ethnic group of their own, they are counted as Swedes here. Does the approach presented by this article also mean that the German-speaking Swiss are in fact Germans and that the Dutch-speaking Belgians are in fact Dutch and that the English-speaking Irishmen are in fact English? Just a question. Clarifer 08:19, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Language and ethnicity dont necessarily link. The Irish for example I think mostly were Celtic Gaelic-speakers who were coersed into changing their language to English. You find this in Africa also with Anglophone countries and Francophone countries. For Swiss Germans and Finland Swedes I think this does not apply. The Swiss Germans are decendents of Germans who happened to live in areas that decided to join Swizerland and the Finland Swedes are decendants of Swedes that happened to be east of the border when Sweden surrendered Finland to Russia in 1809.(194.252.5.66 13:57, 14 May 2007 (UTC))

Well, that is exactly my point. What is the real analogy for the case of the Finnish Swedophone population and who should define it? No-one in Switzerland designates himself/herself German even though they speak German as their mother tongue. It would also probably be strange for most of the German-speaking Swiss to hear a German person designate them "German". Wouldn't self-designation be the best approach here? In a survey by the Swedish Assembly of Finland when the Finnish Swedophones were asked about their opinion of Sweden and the culture there, 59% of the respondents answered "interesting but distant" and 9% answered "totally uninteresting" while less that a third (31%) answered "an important part of life." [11] If less than a third of this group is inclined towards the Swedish culture, isn't it highly simplistic (even suspicious) to designate the Swedophone population "Swedes"? Indeed, the descent of a people is not the same as the descent of a language. The surveys tend to show that with regard to the Swedish-speakers in Finland their first and foremost identity is "finlandssvensk" and the second identity in the hierarchy seems to be "Finnish" (also in the same publication): "Both to belong to an own culture but also to be Finnish amongst the rest" (83%). So I wonder if including the Swedophones of Finland to the number of Swedes really follows majority opinion in any of the involved groups of people. Clarifer 15:13, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Isnt this survey discussed at length above? I think the conclusion was that ethnic and national identity are different concepts. Finland Swedes have a clear national identity as Finns and an ethnic identity as Swedes (Finland Swedes). Why is it the concept of a multi-ethnic nation, where everyone is a proud Finn as well as proud of their heritage (Finnish, Swedish, Sami, Russian, Somali, Vietnamese etc.), difficult to understand? Romantic nationalism, the great gift of the 19th century, seems to be hard to get rid of even in today's integrating Europe and globalizing world. (194.252.5.66 06:07, 15 May 2007 (UTC))

Huh? I find it funny that you see your own interpretation of the situation as something other than Romantic Nationalism. Heh. Multi-Ethnic nations are not at all difficult to understand but it seems that they evoke all sorts of (mis)interpretations. It also seems that people are very ready to make certain assumptions when discussing these issues. And yes, ethnicity needs not to coincide with a national identity. I wonder if you are right on your interpretation of the situation since according to the survey - and other surveys - the majority of the Finnish Swedophones seem to have a national identity as Finnish and also an (ethnic?) identity as Finland Swedes NOT Swedes (compare e.g.: Germans and German-Speaking Swiss) while issues Swedish (i.e. relating to Sweden and its culture) seem distant. Even if every single Finnish Swedophone of today were a direct descendant of the original Norse settlers to Finland and later a direct descendant of a Swede (which seems far from the case according to genealogy), I would still put the claim that the Swedophone population living in Finland TODAY could simply be designated Swedes. This simply doesn't seem a very accurate statement of the current situation. In fact, it seems equally naive as thinking that the current English-speaking inhabitants of the U.S.A are simply Englishmen. Genes, parish registers, toponymy... I dunno if these traditional parametres of language shift play a significant role really, I suppose it comes down to the self definition. Clarifer 19:03, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Interesting points you try to make. I agree it all comes down to the deffinition of ethnicity and since that can not be established with any certainty (all groups intermary regardless of borders) to self-deffinition. As stated in the thread above Finland Swedes have a distinct cultural identity from both Finns and Sweden Swedes. As a Finland Swede I however see my group as a distinct sub-group of ethnic Swedes (considering most of my ancestors came from Sweden and I speak Swedish as my mother tongue). As you can read in above threads I am in no way alone in this (ref. Swedish Peoples Party etc.). Note e.g. that the adjective for Finland Swede in a strictly domestic Finnish context is Swede (svensk).

As for my jibe about national romanticism it stems from the fact that this discussion mostly has Finland Swedes arguing that they are ethnic Swedes (and proud Finnish nationals) and ethnic Finns trying to argue counterwise, denying their right to self identification. I dont quite understand the reasons for my compatriots of the other language group doing this, but it might be part of a nationalistic movement trying to deassociate the Finland Swedes more strongly from Sweden (Finnish history is unusually well populated by Finland Swedes, e.g. the National Poet Runeberg, the symbol of national independence president Mannerheim, major authors Topelius and Jansson etc.). Finns tend to have a strong feeling of inferiority to Swedes based on the fact that Finland's ruling class used to be Swedish, Finland's most prosperous areas are Finland Swedish and after WWII Sweden was much richer than Finland and up to 400000 Finns moved there as economic refugees (since the 1980s GDP/capita in Finland has however usually been higher than in Sweden). There is thus among Finnish nationalists often a need to prove themselves especially towards Swedes, often lashing out at things perceived as too Swedish in Finland.(194.252.5.66 09:13, 16 May 2007 (UTC))

Anonymous, you write that "since the 1980s GDP/capita in Finland has however usually been higher than in Sweden". According to the IMF data, Sweden is no. 10 and Finland no. 12 in terms of GDP per capita. CheersOsli73 12:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


Hmm.. well, it seems that the ethnic/national feelings among the Finland Swedes are not uniform, which is a normal state of matters in any group of people. However, when looking at the surveys, it appears fairly clear that those mainland Finnish Swedophones that emphasize a Swedishness and the importance of Sweden to them are in the minority. To my knowledge, a Swedophone population has lived in Finland since ca the 13th century if not a century earlier. Such a time span seems more than enough for a unique ethnogenesis. Also, it seems that my own experiences are very different from yours: the Finland Swedes I'm familiar with consider themselves Finnish (even in the ethnic sense) right after being "finlandssvensk". Some have even stayed in Sweden for a while only to realise that they do not belong there. I wouldn't place too much weight on personal experiences, however, it is better to quote some of the surveys made. You list a few notable Finns. Yes, their mother tongue was Swedish. How could it have been otherwise in a province/duchy whose de facto official language was a language other than the language the commoners (the majority) spoke? It is the same with regard to Ireland, Belgium and many other current countries. What was perhaps more remarkable than the (at least judicially) priviledged Swedophones taking an important role in the society was that during the 19th early 20th century some of these same priviledged Swedophone Finns felt important to change the status quo and joined the Finnish nationalistic movement that ultimately lead to an independent country where the priviledged class nolonger comprised of mostly Swedophones. Conflicts and bad blood doesn't necessarily only arise from a difference in material well-being but also from a feeling of discrepancy between the official laws and conducts and the existing realities. Clarifer 06:59, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Oh and about the adjective "svensk". Since the Swedish language doesn't, to my understanding, differentiate between a language and a nationality (ethnicity previously?), at least in the standard and traditional (older) writing, it may lead to misinterpretations on both sides and in both ways. Clarifer 07:12, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
So anyway, my suggestion with regard to this article is: we place a new category of "Swedophone populations in..." in the table and add the Finland Swedes there with the explanation that this figure might include various ethnic identities? (I now see that someone removed Finland altogether from the list yesterday. Such an approach seems equally unrealistic I suppose). Clarifer 07:35, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

As you have not been able to substantiate your claims with regard to the self-identification of Finland Swedes (and are just repeating arguments repudiated earlier), my suggestion is that the article is left as is. Inventing some kind of new totally separate Finland Swede ethnic group is not supported by any evidence or any surveys. Although Finland Swedes have been in Finland for a very long time Finland was only separated from Sweden in 1809 and contacts between Finland and Sweden have remained close also since. More on the language issue and different ways of looking at Finland's history can be found in Wikipedia under "Finland's language strife" (194.252.5.66 10:04, 17 May 2007 (UTC))

1. the earlier quoted survey suggests identity affinities fairly clearly. 2. Have you yourself provided material that would counter-argue the survey quoted? I believe You have the burden of proof currently. 3. Finland's language strife describes a situation in the 19th early 20th century and though it's a related issue, the contemporary debate cannot be based too much on a previous (very different) political situation. My suggestion with regard to the table remains. Please do not change the original title of this paragraph I wrote as it may be regarded a bit hostile and it's not very customary to edit other people's entries on a talk page. Clarifer 12:13, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Your heading is a POV position statement under which I do not wish to debate. With regard to the survey I do not carry the burden of proof, as the survey allready previously has been noted as supporting my position. To repeat quoting from another discussant: "The survey to which you are refering was done in Swedish and your quote is a translation from the original Swedish text that can be found in the same publication (p.21). The Swedish text reads "Både att höra till en egen kultur, men också att vara en finländare bland alla andra". You might notice that the word "finländare" is used. Not the word "finnar"."

As also stated previously, "finländare" refers to the national identity of all Finns. The word "finne", refering to ethnic Finnish identity, is not used. In the other parts the survey makes no reference to a distinction between Finland Swedish and Swedish ethnicity in general. It just backs the well know fact that Swedish culture and Finland Swedish culture are seen to have differences (just as Swiss German and North German culture I am sure can vary quite a bit).

Although Finland Swedes are a clearly different ethnic group within Finland, fulfilling the criteria of a separate ethnic group namely: (i) self-identification of ethnicity, (ii) language, (iii) social structure AND (iv) ancestry versus the ethnic Finns, this does not hold true in comparison to other ethnic Swedes. As this debate proves (i) does not hold, (ii) is the same between groups, (iii) is a questionmark and (iv) is similar between groups (allowing for more outside migrants entering Finland Swedish areas than Sweden).

I have been short in my answers to you because I don't want to repeat discussions that have taken place on this page before (although some people are just to lazy to read through them). In case you dont have anything new to come with, please refrain from trying to alter the page. I will just revert. (194.252.5.66 15:55, 17 May 2007 (UTC))

If you let yourself be provoked by a title on a talk page and wish not to debate, then simply stop. This title was chosen by me in the talk page (NOT IN THE ARTICLE), again, please do not edit it. It shouldn't represent a POV position, because it's an English translation of "la Finlande suédophone" used by e.g. Folktinget [12]. It's an attempt to address a group of people neutrally since "Swedish-speaking Finns" and "Finland Swedes" seem too charged on occasions. Yes, 'finländare' is an interesting term. To my knowledge, it came into being in late 19th century and seems only to exist in Finland-Swedish where it forms the only duality concerning the vocabulary related to nations or people. It seems to have no equivalent in e.g. English, so, yes, it's a bit of a hard one to discuss. In what way does using this term in the survey make things any different really? (Or is your interpretation of the vocabulary still valid or has it changed since the 19th century?) The survey still suggests that: a) Finland Swedes are Finland Swedes and that b) they are Finnish (finländare) and that c) most of them perceive issues related to Sweden and its culture distant. Though our sources appear limited, I'm not sure if the fulfilling criteria for a single ethnicity comprising Swedes and Swedophones living in Finland (still) hold: i) according to the survey ca. 31% of Finland's Swedish speakers find things related to Sweden's culture "an important part of life" while for the rest it appears distant (59%) or uninteresting (9%). If this is the case, how can one claim that most Finland Swedes "identify" themselves with the Swedish culture (which seems one of the basic elements in a common ethnic identity). ii) holds true, iii) no closer resemblance over other involved groups, iv) does it then come down to the question of either mostly settlers or mostly language-shift? iv) cannot probably ever be fully deciphered though genetics perhaps bring new light into this (would it change anything anyway?). I have so far not edited the article itself, you seem to have made a mistake there. Please try and find sources that clearly back up your claim. Clarifer 16:54, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

As most people don't get the difference in nuance from calling the Finland Swedes "svedophones of Finland" (ref. anglophones and francophones in Africa) I think I might hold of my emotional response of editing it out as POV (which it is). A short response to your arguments: (i) we are talking about ethnicity not culture, which, as stated an incredible amount of times before, is in part different in Finland. A separate national identity from Sweden Swedes and physcial proximity to the Finnish speaking areas have had an influence since 1809. Most Finland Swedes follow Finland Swedish newspapers and television and not Sweden's and so on(although regional variations exist, e.g. on the Aland islands and in parts of Swedish Ostrobothnia news-paper stands sell the Swedish tabloids "Expressen" and "Aftonbladet" and not the Finnish tabloids "Ilta-Sanomat" and "Iltalehti"). From having evolved a Finland Swedish culture distinguishable from Sweden's does not however follow that a similar ethinic identity has evolved (our institution's are still very "Swedish", e.g. one of Finland's three governing parties is called "The Swedish People's Party" not "The Finland-Swedes Party"), (ii) Written Swedish in Finland and in Sweden are identical (official Government Policy and School practise in Finland). Spoken Swedish has a difference of intonation. Standard Swedish prenounciation in Finland is called "högsvenska" (High Swedish) and is based on the Helsingfors (Helsinki) dialect, whereas standard Swedish prenounciation in Sweden is called "riksvenska" (National Swedish) and is based on the Mälaren area dialect. The main difference is that "High Swedish" is monotone whereas "National Swedish" usually has an increasing tone at the end. Both countries have a ridiculous amount of regional Swedish dialects (Swedish is a very dialectal language), (iii) how do you say that social structure varies? Your arguments were not very clear. (iv) The fact still is that the Finland Swedish areas were settled from Sweden by Swedes and these areas even to this day are well deffined (over 50% of Finland Swedes live in areas were Swedish is the majority language and large part of the rest live in areas that only changed their majority recently due to economic migration from the ethnicly Finnish interrior, e.g. Vasa/Vaasa, Borgå/Porvoo and Helsingfors/Helsinki). Before the last 50 years migration was not very wide-spread, as people lived most of their lives inside their own village. Also, before compulsory education was introduced the language barrier was quite steep (Finnish and Swedish are totally unrelated languages and thus quite difficult for the other language group to learn). In any case, I think the deffinition is that all four differences have to exist for a separate ethnic identity (the word and is used). You are having problems proving even one difference...

Not withstanding our interesting debate, I think the user Pudeo has come up witha good compromise: labeling Finland in the country table with a link to Finland Swedes (for those that are interested in learning more about us and our identity). Being as informative as possible should be the goal here, right? (194.252.5.66 07:06, 21 May 2007 (UTC))

Thank you for remaining civil with me even though we seem to disagree a bit here. A few points. 1. On the consept of ethnicity. Please read what an ethnicity is. Today, after everything that has been learned from the dynamics of genetic markers and the phenomenon of language-shift and evolution, 'a mutual culture' seems one of the last remaining accepted aspects of the idea of "self identification and mutual recognition" that we call an "ethnicity". There are just too many examples of groups of people speaking the same mother tongue who don't mutually recognize each other as representative of the same ethnicity that basing the consept of ethnicity just on language seems very naive. I'm not sure if most mainland Swedes recognize Finland Swedes as sharing their culture (would seem a bit colonial) nor am I sure that most Finland Swedes recognize mainland Swedes as sharing their culture (would seem a coarse exaggeration of the situation). Please compare this e.g. with the case of Germans and Germanophone Swiss who, by the way, have chosen just the same approach for their standard language (i.e. Swiss German bases itself on German German 1:1). 2. As for the social structure. The social structure of all the involved groups Finns, Finland Swedes and Swedes is more of less identical so this particular "ethnic parameter" seems to have no significance in this case. 3. Heretage is different from descent. To my knowledge, the few studies that have compared the genetic markers between the language groups in Finland have demonstrated a surprising similarity across the languages. There are a few family lines that clearly originate from outside of Finland (Scandinavia, Middle/Western Europe, Russia etc.etc.) and consider themselves Finland Swedes but in most instances it seems that the genetic markers don't vary very much between the groups. E.g. most of the Ostrobothnian Swedish speaking families (ironically, the ones that nowadays have remained most isolated from Finnish language influence) seem to share their genetic markers with the surrounding Finnish speakers indicative of language shift (also visible in place naming). Families in the Uusimaa area and around Turku have somewhat more often markers in common with the Swedes, indicative of a more significant settler fraction there (also visible in the place naming). But: the same holds true the other way around (i.e. someone who considers himself a true Finnish speaker for endless past generations might carry a genetic marker linking him/her to Scandinavia, Western-Europe or Russia). However, these studies are still very small and more is required (or is this necessary really?) for any certain deductions. It is not surprising that Finns started to speak Swedish since it was the only official language around for about 600 years, nor is it surprising that Swedes relocated within the Sweden of the past. Perhaps the point I'm trying to make, at last, is this really: let bygones be bygones (in more than one sense). Clarifer 16:59, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Interesting these Genetic studies you keep refering to. Would you happen to have a source? I notice that the same claims have been brought forward previously by Finns who seriously seem to believe >90% of an area's population just shifted language at one point in time (while neighbouring villages stayed >90% Finnish speaking; the language barrier is remarkably clear in large parts of Ostrobothnia even today). When challenged as to the claims autenthicity there has however been a striking silence. Might be that the persons in question don't know how to read or interpret the studies and know it or that the studies don't exist (?). In any case they would be interesting to read.

In general it can be noted that genetic markers are from a period incompassing thousends of years and probobly dozens of migrations forward and back in pre-historic times. The last 1000 years are but a blip. I am sure you know that for the "ethnic" Finnish population over 50% of the genetic markers are in fact Germanic although the Finno-Hungarian languages originate from the Altaic language group, with no relation to Indo-European, let alone Germanic languages.

Talking about placenames I feel places like Dalkarby (village of people from Dalarna, a province of Sweden) in Pargas (Finland) are quite descriptive also. Given that genetic studies don't really tell us so much of what a population has been up to during the past millennium alone and that Russia has ensured periodic destruction of Finnish church records (important for tracing individual family histories), I think the most relevant information we have is that we know Swedish settlement in Finland took place in a large scale after Sweden integrated Finland in it's Kingdom in the 13th century and that some areas have remained strikingly monolingually Swedish ever since (with >50% of Finland Swedes still living in areas of Finland where Swedish is the majority language).

As for culture Finland Swedish culture is still very similar to the one in Sweden. We dance around midsummer-poles singing silly songs every midsummer and celebrate Lucia in December, just to name a few traditions in common not shared by Finnish speakers. We also have much stronger social networks than Finnish speakers and therefore lower suicide-rates, lower amounts of social exclusion (=>fewer alcoholic bums) and lower levels of domestic violence. This difference is in fact a favorite of social scientists and might have interesting implications for the "Swedish caracter" section of this artice.

A link to an article on the subject published in Health Promotion International printed by Oxford University Press can be found here: http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/16/1/55. It is also quite interesting to note that the article refers to Finland Swedes as an ethnic minority.

I did recognize that there might be some cultural difference previously in this thread, as the people in Sweden seem a bit more concensus oriented and less direct than Finland Swedes, but the difference is not very large. Perhaps comparable to the cultural differences between Skane and Norrbotten? (194.252.5.66 17:41, 3 June 2007 (UTC))


Surely there must be some polls taken among Swedish speakers in Finland about whether or not they identify themselves as ethnic Swedes, ethnic Finns or something else/in-between? In the end, it's how the Swedish spekers in Finland see themselves which matters, not what other people consider. Remember, Wikipedia is not about Original Research.Osli73 12:00, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Some institution should make one. The only identity survey that I am aware of (http://www.folktinget.fi/pdf/publikationer/Folktinget_low.pdf in Swedish and translated to Finnish) had Finland Swedes choosing to identify as having their own culural identity as well as having a Finnish national identity. The survey also finds 91% of Finland Swedes wanting to work actively to maintain Swedish culture and Swedish language in Finland.

There was no question on "ethnic" identity. Perhaps because ethnicity is hard to deffine or because it is not considered politically correct. Generally the ethnic relationship between Finland Swedes, Sweden Swedes and Finns is not something Finland Swedes spend a lot of time thinking about (our society has moved beyond that?).

For general information on Finland Swedes the same institution who did the survey (The Swedish Assembly of Finland, a semi-official political body representing Finland Swedes accross the political spectrum) has also published this booklet:(http://www.folktinget.fi/pdf/publikationer/Svifin.pdf in Swedish). It clearly states (p. 10) that the concensus in research today is that Finland Swedes are decendant of Swedes immigrating to what today is Swedish Finland (where Swedish is the majority language) after the 12th century. It also mentions the low level of population mobility since up until the modern age (when transport improved considerably and thus mobility between language areas).

A short translation of the latter exists in English, but unfortunately the whole ancestry part has been left out of that one. For those that can read Finnish a translation of the whole text can be found behid this link: http://www.folktinget.fi/pdf/publikationer/svefifi.pdf. (194.252.5.66 14:09, 11 June 2007 (UTC))

Well, you are right in that the research into the genetics of the Finnish people is far from extensive. A few indirect studies seem to exist, e.g. this one on multiple sclerosis I quickly found [13] suggesting that certain areas in Finland (i.e. above Turku, eastern Uusimaa and Southern Ostrobothnia) may have higher insidence of MS because of genetic waves from Scandinavia. The Finland DNA project site is currently gathering data on genetic markers and so far they have produced e.g. this map [14] (which shows a difference between the mainland and Aland but no clear sub groups in the mainland. Yes, the project is still very small). The thing is: no-one knows exactly about the genetic past of the people living anywhere on this planet for sure. While the following might seem nitpicking, it is important to keep things clear: It is wrong to say that the Finns' genes are 50% "Germanic". Genes are not Germanic or Indo-European or Finnic, Finno-Ugric or Uralic (which you probably mean by Finno-Hungarian?). All of these parameters are LINGUISTIC. A proper way to describe the situation would be: "50% of the genetic markers (or genes) found in Finnish speakers are shared with those of Germanic language speakers." No-one knows what language(s) the original genetic population speaking these languages today might have originally spoken. Another thing I'd like to inform you about: the majority of contemporary linguists maintain that there's no evidence of any relationship between the Uralic and the Altaic languages though this used to be a widely propagated hypothesis, especially in the 19th century. St. Lucia day seems to have spread to Sweden in 1746, to Aland in the early 20th century and a few decades later to mainland Finland. In it's relative novelty, it's not a very good example of shared culture. The midsummer pole would be a much deeper and an older tradition probably going back into early Celtic-> Germanic traditions (which on the other hand makes the tradition not a unique representative of "Swedishness" or being a "Swede"). As to some of the social parameters you mention: there may be a statistically significant difference between Finland's language groups BUT it is not altogether clear where it results from. Some of it might represent statistical deviations as Swedish speakers live on the country side more often than Finnish speakers + there are other simultanous variables involved + the solidarity effect in minorities etc. etc. But sure, the cultures do differ between Finnish and Swedish speaking Finns, no-one argues about that! The argument is only against the idea that the Swedish speaking Finns are Swedes. You may be right on Dalkarby, I'm not familiar with the toponymy of it. However, all around the Ostrobothnian heartlands there are place names suggestive of an older layer of Finno-Ugric place names such as Maxmo (Maksamaa), Malax (Maalahti), Oravais (Oravainen), Kärklax (Kärkilahti), Kvimo (Kivimaa) etc. etc also lots of old hydronyms that have been Swedicised during the centuries all over areas that today are almost unilingually Swedish. I am sure that there were transformations in both directions. People from today's Sweden probably DID relocate into more vacant areas in the coastal regions to establish small communities among the earlear inhabitants (some of these settlers may have started to use the already established toponyms while some may have invented new ones in more vacant areas?). Later, however, whatever the original proportions of language speakers may have been, it appears that the Ostrobothnians living side by side chose to communicate in Swedish with each other as Finland was more and more integrated into the monarchy. Anyhow, as I said before, even if the story told by the genetics or the toponymy went one way, the story told and accepted by the people themselves might go a different way. In issues ethnic, the latter is what should count. However, I'm still not convinced that MOST Swedish speakers of Finland would go towards being Swedes as radically as you suggest. Again, the foremost identity seems to be 'Finland Swedes' or 'Swedish-speaking Finns' (whichever is the acceptable term) and the second in the row seems to be Finnish (and the third to my experience is: Nordic (nordisk). I'm not sure where 'being a Swede' comes in (for most of the people). Clarifer 17:44, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the nitpicking on the genetics language. The phrase "50% of the genetic markers found in Finnish speakers are shared with those of Germanic language speakers" would be much better. The paranthesis "or genes" I however don't think is fitting, as humans share >90% of their genes with other mamals and the sentence thus becomes meaningless. As a non-native speaker its good to be corrected in order to improve the accuracy of ones language. The fact however still remains that the genetic studies, due to the long time-spans involved and the small samples of the studies available, don't really tell you much that would be usefull for this debate.

As all agree, what is important is the self-perception and there is ample evidence above to suggest that Finland Swedes think of themselves as decendents of Swedes living in Swedish and with a Swedish culture in Finland (see e.g. the Swedish Assembly of Finland pamphlets). If one goes by self-perception alone this should be enough to settle the dispute.

You however seem to dispute this, so the debate might need to move onwards to the criteria for ethnicity as deffined in litterature, based on the research available (just to convince you and reach a concensus). The cultural perception, as mentined above, is that Finland Swedes have a Swedish culture that they cherish. The language spoken by Finland Swedes is Swedish, the social structure is Swedish (how does it differ?) and the ancestry is Swedish (see Swedish Assembly pamphlets). I have argued the same points with more background before in this thread (based on the academia also informing the information pamphlets), but as Osli73 quite correctly points out, this is not the place for original research.

You have tried to refute these facts with your own, sometimes quite half-baked, opinions. I could go into discussing the history of the Lucia tradition going back to pagan traditions before christianity or dvelve on the fact that midsummer-poles today only are raised in the Swedish cultural area (not even in Denmark or Norway), but to me its just pointless. You have a clear wish to push your own agenda and as allways, if you look hard enough, it is possible to find some research somewhere that you think "proves" your broad theories. Not that you allways feel a need even for that, as in some cases your arguments are just plain nutty (e.g. mideval farming communities just "choosing" between widely different languages).

Still on Altaic languages. The origin of the Uralic languages is disputed and you might find different opinions if you talk to Turkish linguists. I am however not a linguist specialized in the area myself so I prefer to leave this open-ended debate up to those academics that are (and in particular of this talk-page on Swedes). (194.252.5.66 09:44, 22 June 2007 (UTC))

1. If there's ample evidence for the claim "most Finnish Swedophones consider themselves Swedes", please present the sources and we'll all be happy. So far, the only sources even remotely addressing the issue speak against this claim. (See above). 2. The Finland Swedes have a Finland Swedish culture that they cherish. While it is true that being part of the same language sphere with Sweden does have a significant effect on issues Finland Swedish, it does not necesserily mean that MOST consider themselves Swedes (some do, it's now clear). The social structure is Nordic, it is the same among Finns and Swedes so this has no significance here (as told before). The ancestry is far from resolved and in all likelihood highly varied as pointed out before. 3. It is a bit frustriating that you dismiss my arguments that I back up with (albeit few) sources as opinions while you yourself have so far not added a single source to back your own claims (see the discussion above). 4. Please do try and provide info and sources, please try and clarify your thoughts - if not here, then in your own mind at least - on St. sv:Lucia and the maypole (sv:majstång, the equivalent of which is likely to be the German tradition of the de:maibaum) and perhaps this dialogue will amount to something and you'll see that not everything is as black and white as you seem to think, nor as it may have been told earlier. 5. by choosing I meant the slow process of language-shift (who's nitpicking now?) of which there are loads and loads of examples everywhere in the world and where the relatedness of the languages in question plays no role whatsoever. Sigh. Clarifer 15:45, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh and about genetics... here's a Swedish paper on the genetic markers found in Sweden. Ostrobothnia in Finland is taken as a comparison. The Swedish populations seem to cluster together fairly closely (Västerbotten and Swedish Sami being a bit outside) while the people in Ostrobothnia are far from even the Swedish Sami. [15] Clarifer 09:53, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Eh, you did notice that the population studied in Ostrobothnia is not the Swedish one but the whole (p.964)? I am sure you are also aware that the majority population when considering all of Ostrobothnia is Finn. No-one has tried to argue that genetic markers dont vary between Finns and Swedes.

What we are interested in is the Finland Swedes.

On Lucia, I don't get your point. The article you reference states that the modern Lucia celebration is a uniqely Swedish tradition only celebrated among Swedes and Finland Swedes. The article also speculates on the traditions before the modern tradition, mentioning the fact that the night of St. Lucia day according to the previously used Julian calender is the longest of the year (which was of special importance to agrarian society).

As for the midsummer pole please note that we are talking about a MIDSUMMER pole and not a maypole. As you will notice from the Wikipedia article you referenced, the Swedes are the only ones raising a pole in June. This includes Finland Swedes (which is the point, as we are arguing over cultural similarity).

On another note, I still consider your slow language-shift theory nutty in relation to, over centuries and still today, totally linguistically separate neighbouring communities (something you find along the Swedish-Finnish language border throughout the country). Why dont you give us an example of how this might have happened? I know we are not supposed to do original research and exposing your ideas might make you look like a fool, but I think you should consider making the sacrifice in the interest of Wikipedia's accuracy. You might even get constructive feedback, improving your skills in logic!

With regard to sources, I gave you plenty. You dont get rid of them by claiming (wishing?) they dont exist! Just check above and read! (194.252.5.66 08:20, 4 July 2007 (UTC))

1. Admittedly speculative but I was thinking that if the researchers had found two subpopulations in terms of genetic markers that would have corresponded with the language distribution in Ostrobothnia, they would have reported this in the paper. Yes, again, the sample from Ostrobothnia was desperately small (n=40). 2. St. Lucia: the celebration is relatively new in Sweden (the first account is from the 18th century). It seems to base on a middle European tradition. "Traditionen tros komma från Tyskland, där en flicka kläddes upp för att vara "Christkindlein", med tända ljus i håret som föreställde en gloria." This neo-Swedish tradition then spread to Finland in an era when the Finland Swedish identity was forming (i.e. early 20th century). It hardly represents a tradition or "common culture" that the original settlers may have brought with them from Scandinavia. 3. Maypole, maibaum and majstang seem all to have the same origins (possibly in fertility rites). Although the Swedish majstang has evolved into today's midsommarstang, the former name is still in use. This tradition is thought to have arrived in Sweden in the 14-15th centuries again from Germany (midsummer was not the only occasion to raise a pole, it was done also on birthdays etc.). Again, the midsummer pole seems much younger in Aland (first mentions in the 19th century) and in mainland Finland. I suppose if one uses "common culture" as proof of a direct descent from some parent population, one can only use cultural examples that were already present in that particular parent population and not such that represent later cultural spreading. 4. On language shift: just read the history of Ireland [16]. Four million people (the clear majority) still spoke Irish in the early part of the 19th century. Within a century the language had become almost extinct and replaced by English. In fact, Ireland seems a good analogy for Finland in many ways. 5. Out of the 4 references you gave 3 are from the same source, 2 of the references represent translations of the same body of text. Clarifer 17:27, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

A couple of points

The sources I use are texts by the Swedish Assembly of Finland. The reasons I use these are twofold: (i) The Assembly is the semi-official representative of the Finland Swedes and its opinions represent the Finland Swede official position and (ii) the text is based on the body of current reasearch. To put it differently, the text speaks to the self identification of Finland Swedes ("we are decendants of Swedish settlers") and to the factual research on the subject ("current research shows Finland Swedes are decendant of Swedish settlers").

If you pick some random piece of individual research that you dont understand (ref. my critique above) and start speculating wildly based on it, you can not be surprised if I don't respect it as a source. Not only is the source out of context, it does not even support your speculative position!

The cultural argument is separate from ancestry (remember that ethnicity in the article is deffined as sharing language, ancestry and culture?). Ancestry is delt with more comprehensively through wider historical reserach, like the research referenced by the Assembly. The Lucia and Midsummerpole discussions offer proofs of the current cultural similarity of the populations (remember that you were trying to argue that Finland Swedes have broken of from other Swedes to form their own ethnicity with a significantly distinct culture?).

As for language shift, I did not ask you to give an analogy to another country. The Irish situation is very different to ours. As you like to speculate, why dont you try speculating how a language shift would have taken place in Finland? (194.252.5.66 07:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC))

1. I know what your second source (of the total two sources) is. The fact remains that the more sources and the more diverse the sources, the more credible the claim. (Not just here but generally). Here's e.g. what an information site from Finland's foreign ministry states (Finland's foreign ministry being an authority representing the majority of Finnish people?): "As language is actually the basic or even the only criterion that distinguishes these two groups from each other, it is more correct to speak of Finnish- speakers and Swedish-speakers in Finland instead of Finns and Finland Swedes. Nowadays the most common English term denoting the latter group is ‘the Swedish-speaking Finns’." [17]. I suppose this bit of info has just as much credibility as the info from the Swedish Assembly? 2. If you read your own references as closely as you do mine, you'll notice that the leaflet "svenskt i Finland" doesn't actually claim that everyone of today's Finnish Swedophones is a direct descendant of the original immigrants from Sweden. It states that a) an immigration from Sweden took place 1100-1300 and that b) the Swedish speaking areas have since remained fairly constant. In fact, the text tells how a language shift may have taken place bit by bit: "I de flesta trakter uppkom en språkgräns genom att den lokala majoritetens språk TOG ÖVERHANDEN; svenska till exempel i Pargas, finska i Bjärnå och Sagu." If a significant population speaks another language AND this language happens to enjoy benefits over the other language, it is not surprising that little by little families surrounding the original community adopt the new language. In Ireland the situation was such that the Irish speaking upper class was wiped out during the 17th century and this left the Irish language to be a language of the peasantry, the illiterate and the commoners. In Finland, there probably never was a Finnish speaking upper class because prior to Christianization, Finns possibly never developed extensive centralised tructures and the hierarchies that follow (at least there's no clear evidence of such yet). The end effect was similar: Both the Irish and the Finnish languages had a much lower status in terms of jurisdiction, politics and social life than did the English and the Swedish languages. The result of this in Ireland was an almost 100% language shift even though the number of actual settlers from England was minute. The Irish example not only shows how extensive such an event can be, it also tells us that such a transition can take place very fast - in only a few generations. A similar mechanism in today's Swedish-speaking areas of Finland may have well taken place: Little by little areas adjacent to "a core settlement from Sweden" switched from Finnish into Swedish (via marriages as well) because of the higher status of Swedish. These Swedish speaking "islands" then merged and started to widen until they reached areas more densely vacated by Finnish speaking communities. Though of course there's no way of tracing back the scenario for sure as no records remain. But we do know that this has happened elsewhere so why wouldn't it have happened partially in Finland too? Interestingly, the same leaflet states by the way: "Man får också komma ihåg att språkgränsen var en bosättningsgräns, den var alltså vare sig administrativt eller kulturellt någon verklig gräns." No cultural border whatever this is supposed to mean. 3. I'm not sure if we understand each other correctly with regard to culture anyway. Earlier you took "a common culture" as indicative of a common ancestry. I tried to show you that the examples you offered (st.lucia and midsummerpole) represent in fact recent cultural diffusion and NOT evidence of a common heritage going back for centuries. Of course people within the same language sphere adopt each others manners easier, just look at the anglo-american world! This, however, has nothing to do with being of the same ETHNICITY! Clarifer 17:10, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I understand that a long thread like this can make you confused but, as mentioned before, the traditions were mentioned in passing as a reference to common Swedish culture today (one of the ethnicity criteria). The fact that they perhaps build on earlier pagan traditions, very likely common within the whole Germanic area, is merely interesting.

As for my source, I would still say that self identification based on research is much more legitimate than anything you can come up with. Quoting one sentence from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Webbpage, based on some junior civil servants (webb-editors?) personal opinion, is not more legitimate than your previous creative interpretation of a Swedish medical study (which actually does'nt support your claim).

Selective quoting out of context in fact seems to be your speciality, regardless of the source. In the paper by the Swedish Assembly, besides the portion of text you quote regarding a small area of Swedish Finland, you did notice the bold text that forms the summary of the text? "Det svenska området omfattar Nyland, Åboland, Åland och Österbotten. Området är i stora drag oförändrat sedan 1100- och 1200-talet, då högmedeltidens stora bebyggelsevåg förde svenska nybyggare till de obebodda kusttrakterna i Finland" (The Swedish area incompasses Nyland, Åboland, Åland och Österbotten. The area is generally unchanged since the great middle-age migration that carried Swedish settlers to the uninhabited coastal areas of Finland).

As for the paragraph on movemement that you quote a part of, it concludes with: "Flyttning över den (språkgränsen) har förekommit i alla tider, men har blivit en företeelse i stor skala först i vår tid" (Movement over the language-border has taken place in all times, but has become a large scale phonomenon only in our time).

Your comparison to Ireland is interesting and in your mind perhaps even relevant. The Irish situation is however different, e.g. the English occupation actively surpressed the Irish language, culture and heritage. Something similar did not take place in Finland. In fact the Finnish language was actively developed and promoted by Finland Swedes (initially due to academic interest and in the 19th century as a bulwark against Russification). (194.252.5.66 07:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC))

I don't know if there's a problem of understanding English involved but it seems that you constantly (choose to?) misinterpret my writing. Two can play the game of childish exaggerations and putting words into the opponent's mouth. Let me have a go at it: Are you now suggesting that anyone committed to the St. Lucia day or the midsummer pole can be considered a Swede? Or are you perhaps saying that Swedes are Germans because they today follow originally German traditions? Just look around, go to Switzerland, Austria and Germany to see if a common language sphere (and traditions) necessitates a common ethnicity. Go to Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Autralia, the US, even India etc. See if the Walloons consider themseves French by ethnicity or if the Flemish regard themselves Dutch. See if the Norwegians consider themselves Swedes even though strictly linguistically their two national languages just about fulfill the criteria of mere dialectal differences with regard to each other. Repetition: fairly recent cultural diffusion doesn't define ethnicities. Perhaps you could give more examples? To go over the survey by the Swedish Assembly again: it has demonstrated that only ca. 30% of the Swedish speakers regard Sweden and issues Swedish important, that is all we know. 70% think that such things are distant or uninteresting. Here's another text in German on the sociolinguistics of Finland.[18] I'm not sure if it's worthy of you. "Die Identität der schwedischen Minderheit ist jedoch eindeutig finnisch (Allardt 1997:110). Ihre Identität ist aber doppelt: sie sind sowohl Finnlandschweden als auch Finnen (Ivars 1987)." Perhaps we should look into Allard and Ivars. Are you now again diverting the conversation into irrelevancies to start a fight about which source is more credible, the Swedish Assembly or the Finnish Foreign Ministry? To be absolutely clear on this: what I wrote above means in simpler words that I myself view both sources equally critically. I did read the leaflet by Folktinget and repeat: it doesn't say that every Swedish speaker in Finland is a direct descendant of a settler from the 12-13th centuries. The text states that there was an influx of settlers from Sweden at that time and since those times, the established language distribution has remained fairly unchanged. Compare: the whole of Ireland - some 4 million people - switched into English in only about a century so the narrow coastal area in Finland - with a population size of probably only about a few tens of thousands - had plenty of time to switch languages during the Middle Ages given the right conditions. Furthermore, the leaflet constantly talks about language groups instead of ethnical or cultural groups. Understandably, the leaflet has to use vague wordings since, and I repeat, no-one knows yet for sure. You are correct in that Ireland is not Finland. A language that had absolutely no status in the first place didn't need suppression, it could just be ignored. (Until, of course, the 19th century when Stockholm changed into St. Petersburg.) Anyways, I'm growing a little tired of this conversation. Clarifer 15:54, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

As you must realize (I have written it repeatidly), I argued on Lucia and Midsummer pole traditions based on the ethnicity criteria of the article (shared culture beeing one).

Refering to your German citation and your ranting on different groups worldwide, it is well known that national and ethnical identities often differ. As you must have realized some time ago, I argue Finland Swedes have a Finnish national identity and a Swedish ethnic identity. Just as say a Swiss German has a Swiss national identity and a German ethnic identity.

In fact you are so tiresomly forgetfull of previous discussion and disorganized and repetitive in your writing that perhaps the correct deffinition of you is a troll? Or you are just very dense.

In any case, I think it prudent to discontinue the conversation from my side. As it is developing, it is not bringing any new information to the article (in fact it ceased to allready some time ago)(194.252.5.66 11:09, 20 July 2007 (UTC))

I think that you argue for a non-sensical point of view. The only meaningful way to define ethnicity is the subjective self-identification. Objective criteria of ethnicity simply do not exist, as many social scientists and historians assure us. Even "shared cultural heritage" is not an objective sign of ethnicity, and often it is half-imaginary anyway. Saint Lucia and Midsommer poles as objective ethnic signs, my ass...There is absolutely nothing to suggest that most of the Swedish-speaking Finlanders would identify and define themselves as "ethnically Swedish". That is just a fantasy of chauvinistic Swedish ultra-nationalists (some of them having roots in Finland). On the other hand, I do not believe that all Swedish-speakers in Finland would define themselves as "ethnically Finnish" either. Probably many of them consider themselves to be ethnically finlandssvensk above anything else.--130.234.75.229 14:33, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

"related groups" info removed from infobox

For dedicated editors of this page: The "Related Groups" info was removed from all {{Infobox Ethnic group}} infoboxes. Comments may be left on the Ethnic groups talk page. Ling.Nut 23:37, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


4,500,000

Should it really list 4,500,000 Swedes in the united states ? The article starts mentioning that "Swedes are defined as an ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common Swedish culture, speaking the Swedish language as a mother tongue and being of Swedish descent". But I believe the big figure for Swedes in the united states is purely based on ancestry. So the two statements are not in sync. /Cygnus78 18:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I removed the part I mentioned in the comment above and let the 4,500,000 million number stand. I guess this is correct. /Cygnus78 12:21, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
This article badly needs a sensible definition. That is the only route to stopping disputes regarding the number of Swedes/"Swedes" in US or Finland. I think we must be honest and show that the article is based on a possibly incorrect premise, rather than hiding that premise. Samulili 16:38, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, i added "disputed" until there is no inconsistancy between the definition and the actual facts. Better make it visible that the article contains definition and facts that simply do not match each other. /Cygnus78 12:26, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree. That was a good move. Samulili 19:23, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

I think the only workable definition is going by self-definition: "Swedish people are people who regard themselves as Swedish". /Pieter Kuiper 06:53, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Samilili still asks for a source, efter I edited the definition to be rather wide and flexible. Societal definitions probably differ in the US and in Finland. Self-definition is the only way. The number of Swedes in country X is the number of people crossing "Swedish" when asked about ethnicity. That is the way the US census counts ethnicity: Ancestry: 2000. /Pieter Kuiper 18:02, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the definition is wide and flexible, but is it "the correct" definition? Or is it a definition used somewhere else (no original research). Where? By whom?
I also agree that what you say about the US census applies for the US census. Where does that leave us with 300,000 "Swedes" in Canada, 290,000 in Finland and 230,000 in Brazil? Should we remove those figures as those numbers probably aren't based on the definiton of Swedes in the article. Samulili 07:37, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
It would probably be hard to find a literature definition of 'Swedes' that applies globally. Of course there is loads of literature on ethnicity in general, and I feel confident that a wide and flexible definition based on self-reporting can be found there in authoritative works. /Pieter Kuiper 07:49, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Are the Swedish royals Swedes?

Are crown princess Victoria of Sweden and her relatives Swedes? Is this an encyclopedic article? /Pieter Kuiper 13:44, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Depends on how you see it, they are like the eight generation, but their ancestor Karl XIV Johan was first a french general, i think his name was Baptiste Bernadotte before he took a more "swedish" name. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.226.63.100 (talk) 11:18, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
When I first asked the question, the definition in the lead was more in termed of genetics and of Blut. Since then the lead of the article has improved, but there is still stuff like:In Sweden the connotation of Swede when used without qualifications often means a person who is: a citizen of Sweden; born and living in Sweden; and whose parents are both Swedish. The royals are only eighth generation in part, because they have always married foreigners. Queen Silvia was born Brazilian-German. /Pieter Kuiper 19:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Deletion review discussion

Please see the deletion review discussion here. Badagnani 18:38, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Removal of rasistic term

I removed a term which I found rasistic. Besides, as a Swede, I can't remember that I've ever heard it. If you want it reinserted, please provide a reference as well. Mikael Häggström (talk) 12:07, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Removed "National character". Wikipedia is supposed to be objective!

I have removed "National character" (Because it is full of stereotypes and generalizations). Wikipedia is supposed to be objective, not political and not "politically correct." and not full of subjective generalizations and stereotypes of a certain ethnic group (the Swedish people in this case. Would you write stereotypes about another ethnic group, like Arabs for example? It is just stupid to do so!). I think the Swedish people themselves don't like to have all these stereotypes thrown at them in this Wikipedia page. Wikipedia is supposed to be an objective source, so lets keep it that way. Most other ethnic groups on Wikipedia have no stereotypes and generaliations. It is OK with links to stereotypes about Swedish people. But it is not appropriate in the article. The links to stereotypes is enough. Disagree? Write here why we should keep these stereotypes about a certain ethnic group. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TheOpen (talkcontribs) 16:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

All the content is (as far as I know) sourced so I don't see the problem. // Liftarn (talk)

Sources to peoples' personalities? I have seen Wikipedia articles of other ethnic groups, and they don't mention "personality, traits, behavior" or other stereotypes and generalizations. It is just ridiculous to have this in the article. Can you say why Swedish people should have this in the article, but not other ethnic groups? Compare Norwegian_people, Danish_people and English_people for example and you won't see this in those articles. We need no stereotypes of ethnic groups. Either there are stereotypes in all ethnic groups articles or in none. Do you see the stereotype about French people liking baguettes in the French_people article? No. It should be removed! TheOpen (talk)

Relax. What is it that you find offensive about it? Is it something in the text or is it since other ethnic groups doesn't have general characteristics in their articles? --Krm500 (talk) 17:51, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't find it offensive, and that doesn't really matter. Wikipedia is supposed to be an objective and neutral information source. I think no articles about ethnic groups should have stereotypes in them (because they are very subjective), and the authors of the other ethnic groups articles seem to understand that. As I said, it is OK to have links to stereotypes and generalizations in the bottom of the article, but they don't belong in the article. Just this sentence "However, in spite of the common shyness, Swedes are generally nice, friendly people, just typically less outgoing than many other cultures. As such, Swedes tend to be somewhat wary around unknown people, and it can be difficult for foreigners and immigrants to assimilate in Sweden" is full of subjective generalizations and stereotypes. Are the links not enough? Ethnic groups articles should follow the same framework, and this article doesn't. TheOpen (talk)

Please see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. "The nature of Wikipedia means that you cannot make a convincing argument based on what other articles do or do not exist; because there is nothing stopping anyone from creating any article." // Liftarn (talk)

I just said that For Your Information. It should still be objective and it should still be changed even though the other entries would have stereotypes. Lets keep Wikipedia free from stupid stereotypes and generalizations OK? Please write a good reason WHY to keep it. Because there is no good reason to keep it! The links are enough! Stereotypes and generelizations don't belong on Wikipedia. It is now removed from the article. Don't revert it. Keep this page to Wikipedia's standards.TheOpen (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 20:55, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy says: There's no such thing as objectivity and read also about Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. As Liftarn and Krm500, I support keeping the section. It is well sourced and describes stereotypes as they are viewed by others. / Fred-J 21:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

The links to the stereotypes are enough. Do you think people go and look at the "Swedish people" article to look for stereotypes and generalizations made by a few people? Sorry that won't make it. No, people go there to look up facts, the origins of Swedish people, how many there are etc. And yes comparing it to other ethnic group articles is necessary, since they are the same type of articles, as are articles about countries. There is really no reason for it to be there. Just see this "Swedish people" article in other languages and they won't have any stereotypes or generalizations. I do understand that some Swedish people like to have stereotypes about themselves on this article because some people cares too much what other people thinks about them. But lets ask another "Wikipedian" who don't edit this article and maybe edit other articles about ethnic groups, what we should do? Besides, lets add the number of ethnic Swedes in Sweden in the article. Internationally someone with no Swedish ancestry at all, is not really considered Swedish except by Swedish law. But we don't edit articles by Swedish law or do we? There should be no political correctness here. TheOpen (talk)

Why are you against the article describing how Swedes are? // Liftarn (talk)
No political correctness here. Exactly! And that's why we can, and should have stereotypes in this article. Remember that Wikipedia is not censored. --Krm500 (talk) 01:32, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
So technically if I become a professor and write this article, we should include it?

"The british are a bunch of druglords, with a long history of selling drugs to THOUSANDS of people around the world"

It's true except it's a generalisation. SOME bris did provide opium for thousands of people (chinese). It doesn't make all brit's druglords. In fact, maybe I should go write an article about the british people and just include this statement? IT IS A FACT, that some british people were "druglords". So why not call all british druglords?

Idiotic.

How's this for swedish timidness and lagomhet? FUCK OFF. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.141.89.53 (talk) 17:49, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Ethnic swedes nonsense

What's this nonsense about ethnic swedes? Swedes are people who are of Swedish nationality, or descent. Period. Henrik Larsson, Selma Lagerlöf, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Queen Silvia of Sweden (and her children) are all Swedes. There is only one official governmental standpoint on this issue, everyone who holds a Swedish passport are Swedes. No discrimination whatsoever. The article should reflect that so I'm removing the ethnic Swede nonsense.

I also removed the link to the New Swedes corporativist nationalist movement (that supported the nazis during WW2) because it has nothing to do with the article. Masken (talk) 21:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

You are mostly right, but completely missed the scope of the article: Many people living in Finland are Swedish people but don't have a Swedish passport — they are ethnic Swedes. Not to mention tonnes of other problems that might be lurking here.
/ Mats Halldin (talk) 21:36, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The article says "Also by people who regard themselves as Swedes or are identified as Swedish, this may be due to inclusion in Swedish culture, speaking the Swedish language, or being of Swedish descent." I think that it sufficiently encompasses those living in Finland. Masken (talk) 22:37, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I am an ethnic Swede and I think it's insulting/xenophobic to say that someone's ethnicity is "nonsense". Would you dare say the same thing about the Sami people for instance? Aaker (talk) 20:19, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree fully with you Aaker. I'm also an ethnic swede. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.65.124.128 (talk) 13:02, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I also agree fully with Aaker. Epf (talk) 02:26, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

A suggestion

I suggest that the Swedish people -page should be a protected one as it seems that some people keep vandalizing the amount of Swedes in Finland page... just a moment ago, before I fixed the amount to 9 000, it claimed there lived 900 000 Swedes in Finland. I have not seen 900 000 Swedes around, has anyone else? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.148.100.50 (talk) 11:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

National Character

National Character should be renamed "Potential stereotypes as generalized/mispercieved by foreigners almost 20 years ago (1989 vs 2008) and probably gathered during a peroid before that possibly making theese stereotypes even older"

  • selfcensored* embarrasing to have "sourced" stereotypes in an encyclopedia and having them called "national character" instead of what they are. Racist stereotypes. OLD racist stereotypes.

Brits have all got bad teeth right? RIGHT? That is the stereotype.

I'm gonna go check if there's a british people page riiiiiiiiiight now...


213.141.89.53 (talk) 18:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Finland 9000 Swedes?

What a joke, there are more than 200 000 ethnic Swedes in Finland. Aaker (talk) 23:34, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Got a source? // Liftarn (talk)
Anyone can claim any number between 0 and 6,6*10^9 as long as there is no definition of an "ethnic swede". Samulili (talk) 09:40, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
True, so why not mention several definitions like the present article does? Aaker (talk) 20:21, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Ann-Margret a swede?

How come the American actress (among other things) Ann-Margret is given as an example of a swede? (1) She's been living in USA since six years of age and (2) she's was born in the ethnically Norwegian area of Jämtland, a couple of kilometers from the Norwegian border. If anything, she's a Jamtlandic-American, but definitely not a swede. In any case, she shouldn't be used as a prominent example of a swede. // Jens Persson (213.67.64.22 (talk) 20:27, 2 March 2008 (UTC))

Totally agreed. That's more Swedish American or American of Swedish descent. Someone should put another person there. TheOpen (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 23:39, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Finns and Swedes

Are Finns (finnar) and Swedes (svenskar) related ethnic groups? It's known for sure that the languages aren't related but language and ethnicity are not the same thing. Thousand years (or even more?) of cohabitation would do something, wouldn't it? Actually I think these peoples have a quite strong feeling of belonging. Aaker (talk) 23:15, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

How do you define "related ethnic groups". Peoples and languages can be related because two peoples can have common genetic ancestors and two languages can originate from the same proto-language, but what do ethnicities have? What you can say, is that Finns and Swedes (and Danes and Norwegians) are generally grouped together in cultural classification schemes. That, however, doesn't mean that there aren't differences, too. Samulili (talk) 16:19, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
Many other wiki-articles on ethnicities have already removed such a vague concept as "related ethnic groups" as this is even more arbitrary than the concept of an ethnicity itself. I believe a more acute problem is the continuous conflict concerning the ethnicity of the "Swedish-speaking Finns" (or "Finland Swedes") as manifested in the articles Swedes, Finns and Swedish-speaking Finns. I believe this matter cannot be decided upon - neither by right of self-designation (see many disagreeing discussions BY the Finland-Swedes themselves in the archives) nor from outside the group. Therefore the only even remotely plausible characterisation seems to be "ethnicity debated" which I added to the info table. Clarifer (talk) 14:54, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Most ethnic group articles retain the related ethnic groups section while some have removed it. This article was originally about and is still about ethnic Swedes, a Germanic people indigenous to Sweden for over 2,500 years at the least. Scandinavia is the birthplace of Germanic culture and civilization so I agree with Aaker when you claim that it's insulting or "xenophobic" (read the definition) to be speaking about ethnic Swedes (as it would be insulting to any ethnic group), who are a fairly homogenous people. In terms of who is related, there are various diacritics of ethnic identification used for it: common ancestral/genaological (which would include both cultural and biological aspects), cultural, religious or linguistic traits. Clearly, in all of these factors, the Swedes are most related to the other Germanic Nordic ethnic groups: Danes, Norwegians, Icelanders and Faroese. These obviously merit inclusion. Other groups are less straightforward, such as the other Germanic peoples and Finns. Epf (talk) 06:59, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Sweden and Finland have a 700 years common history, there has always been significant migration between the countries, and as a consequence Swedish and Finnish culture are very similar (and also the biology if we should consider it). Swedish is an official language in Finland and Finnish is the largest minority language in Sweden (therefore it's even hard to define who's a Swede and who's Finn). Both countries/peoples also share a strong Nordic identity. Aaker (talk) 00:30, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree Aaker that Finns should be included since they are closely related in most aspects. Epf (talk) 00:46, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree, Finns and Swedes are very similar in behaviour for example, the Swedish identity is much more similar to the Finnish identity than for example the Danish identity. Also, a lot of Finns have Swedish ancestry and vica versa so I agree to 100% to count them in as a related ethnic group.
Whilst thinking that on many occasions these groupings of people(s) together in different ways is quite arbitrary and can be argued and counter-argued in every which way I believe an ethnic relatedness can be defined in no way other than including a mutual sentiment. I'm not sure that this is the case between most Finns and Swedes. Well, Finns towards the Swedes anyway? If you look at the history of Finland and the legacy of the Finnish national awakening of the 19th century you can see an emphasis and a struggle for the right of a unique identity, culture and past. E.g. when an exhibition featuring Scandinavian industry was held in Stockholm in 1866 many Finns protested against Finnish participation claiming that Finns have nothing to do with this culture sphere (to what some of the Swedish speaking Finns counter argued simply that if Finns were not part of the Scandinavian culture sphere then they wouldn't be part of ANY culture sphere!). It may well be that culturally Swedes are closer to Finns than they are to Danes. However, I believe that if random Danes and a Swedes were asked about an ETHNIC relatedness between the two most would probably agree without hesitation. If Finns were asked about such a relatedness between Swedes and Finns, I think one wouldn't get as many straightforward answers or many people agreeing. But, again, I suppose one can argue every which way on this. Anyway, it's good to see that people can see ethnic relationships regardless of such petty restrictions as language. ;) Clarifer (talk) 09:35, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Sweden before 1809

I'm confused as to the intended meaning of the first sentence of the paragraph, beginning with: "Before 1809, the kingdom of Sweden also included Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy and France..." What is it meant here? Shouldn't we rather say just that the kingdom included parts of Finland, Northern-Germany (Vorpommern etc), and Norway-Denmark? It actually may have included areas which are today in western Poland, but "Spain, Italy, and France..."? Please advise.Nordisk varg (talk) 16:33, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Finland-Swedes are etnic-Swedes

Dear, all

I decided to add a new section since I felt several chapters of the discussion site was hijacked by people with intellectully dishonoust arguments based on dubious foundations, (eg. "Trust me I am a Finn -so I know")without single reference to academic sources.

1) Swedish minority in Finland represents Swedish population extension to Sweden.

2) Finland-Swedes and Finns differ genetically significantly, atleast in Northern European perspective. In a first ever genome-wide SNP scan which compared Swedish and Finnish populations, Finland-Swedes formed a genetic cluster, in terms of autosomal genotypes, with mainland Swedes, not with Finns (Hannelius, 2008).

3) Finland-Swedish culture is Swedish culture, the language of Finland-Swedish is Swedish. So, in terms of genetics, linguistic and cultural standpoint Finland-Swedes are Swedes, what more does it require? In case we want to go strictly by nationality, most Swedes in mainland Finland do not have Swedish passports. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Podomi (talkcontribs) 10:08, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

You ask what more is needed. To quote Ethnic group: "An ethnic group is a group of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of preferential endogamy and/or a presumed or real common ancestry. Ethnic identity is further marked by the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioral or biological traits, real or presumed, as indicators of contrast to other groups." I have marked the required landmarks of a single ethnic group with bold letters. Samulili (talk) 19:16, 22 September 2008 (UTC)


Yes, and what is it you try to enunciate?

Traditionally the history of Finland-Swedes has been the history of Sweden. It´s a clear that a Finland-Swede, who shares Northern Germanic dialect along with etnic affiliation with other Scandinavians feel stronger affinity with Swedes than Finns, the fact that the groups (Swedes and Finns) reside the same country (Finland) hardly changes ethno-cultural foundations of a person.

Podomi (talk) 15:41, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

It is not clear in any sense. No one here is interested of your personal opinions and fantasies, so please present us sociological sources that support your astonishing suggestion that "Finland-Swedes" identify themselves as Swedes (genetic studies have absolutely no relevance here). I know Swedish-speakers who would be deeply offended by the insensitive, ideologically motivated generalization you just presented. Please realize that ethnicity does not reside in the genes, but in the sense of identity. Fanatical national chauvinists, racists and Nazis might disagree, but few Swedish-speakers in Finland belong to those groups. As far as I know, the Swedish-speakers in Finland tend to perceive themselves as a distinct group separate of both Swedes and Finnish-speaking Finns. Presumably some of them feel differently, but they do not define the ethnic identity of all Swedish-speakers in Finland.
And why do you keep misspelling "ethnic"? Don't you have a H letter in your keyboard?--130.234.5.137 (talk) 15:07, 6 October 2008 (UTC)?
People who speak Swedish, lives a Swedish culture and cluster genetically with Swedes are referred as Swedes. No matter where they live. The article of this is "Swedish ethnic group". There´s nothing controversial to refer Finland-Swedes as Swedes. They are Finland-Swedish by culturally which is just culture and dialect group among of Swedish people. Please refrain yourself from using any "My buddies don´t agree with you" -arguments.

I didn´t make the term "Swedes in Finnish mainland" just out of reference. In fact it was used by population genetics (Eriksson et al).

ABH secretion polymorphism in Icelanders, Aland Islanders, Finns, Finnish Lapps, Komi and Greenland Eskimos: a review and new data.

"Among Alanders and Swedes on the Finnish mainland the frequency (around 20%) was comparable to Swedish values but considerably higher than among Finns (13-14%)". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Podomi (talkcontribs) 12:37, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

BTW The Swedes in Estonia´s archipelago ceased to exist in the 40´s when the last remnants of them were shipped back to Sweded followed by the Soviet invasion to Estonia.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by Podomi (talkcontribs) 12:41, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
People who speak Swedish, lives a Swedish culture and cluster genetically with Swedes are referred as Swedes. No matter where they live. Who says so? You? Yours is a biased, aggressive and bullying opinion, quite controversial and definitely not neutral. You do not have presented any sources to confirm your view-point, so the opinion my dear Swedish-speaking buddies is equally good than yours. Actually it is better, as my buddies are Finland-Swedes, not aggressive Swedish nationalists trying dictate how the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland should identify themselves.--212.146.44.208 (talk) 14:30, 7 October 2008 (UTC) BTW At least 1500 Estonian Swedes were left behind around 1945, and nowadays the Estonian Swedish identity is being rebuilt. Learn facts.


Here´s a source from a scientific study. (Eastern) Swedes are referred as "Swedes on the Finnish mainland".

"Among Alanders and Swedes on the Finnish mainland the frequency (around 20%) was comparable to Swedish values but considerably higher than among Finns (13-14%)".

Finland-Swedish, or rather Eastern-Swedish linguistican and scholar Leif Höckerstedt view Swedes in Finland as nothing but Swedish population extension to Finland, an Eastern Swedish nationality among the greater ethnic Swedish or Northern Germanic family. Read the title of the article, "Swedish ethnic group". Your views are rather chauvinistic and xenophobic. Why do you try to deny the right of Swedes in Finland to their ethnic Swedish identity? No one is Sweden is denying the right for a Finn to feel ethnic Finnish. Podomi (talk) 15:31, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Characteristically you try to distort and mispresent my view-point in a very clumsy way. I am not trying to deny the Swedish-speakers right to identify themselves just as they like. I am only denying your right to declare your aggressive POV as the indisbutable truth about the Finland-Swedish identity. Yes, I am aware that there are various views on this this issue among Finland-Swedes themselves. Yes, I am aware that some studies extend the concept "Swede" to cover all traditionally Swedish-speaking groups - these studies are not discussing present-day ethnic identities, but historical or linguistic connections. The point is still that not all Finland-Swedes consider themselves as ethnic Swedes, and some of them hate the concept East Swedes. The issue is very, very complicated, and it cannot be reduced to simplistic declarations reeking of authoritarian nationalism! F**k Finnish nationalist bullies trying to deny the Finland-Swedish right for a separate language and identity. F**k Svecomans and their "you are an ethnic Swede whether you like it or not" fascism. Respect the the right of individuals to define their ethnic identity as they wish.--130.234.5.136 (talk) 15:48, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Please, refrain yourself from obscene language. Finland-Swedish linguistic and scholar from teh university of Helsinki, Leif Höckerstedt address that Swedes in Finland are just a Swedish population extension to Finland. Here´s a a citat from the chapter "Finlandssvenskarna och riksvenskarna hör samman".
  "Det är naturligt att betona Sverige-kontakten då man gör en  
   analys av finlandssvenskarnas språk, kommunikation och   
   historia. Ideologiskt kommer det att närma sig Axel Olof 
   Freudenthals bygdessvenskhet och Sverige närheten kring 
   sekelsskiftet. Finlandssvenskarna är ju helt enkelt svenskar, 
   närmare bestämt östsvenskar".

Östsvenskar is rather natural term considering that the dialect of Finland-Swedes is referred as "Östsvenska mål" by Scandinavian linguistics.

This is very important idea of Leif Höckerstedts book.

   "Med finnarna har finlandssvenskarna åter en viktigt politisk 
    gemenskap, men detta innebär inte en etnisk gemensam 
    grupptillhörighet".

That is, Swedes and Finns in Finland are binded together by common interest in the political level, in terms of language, ethnicity and culture, there´s no common ground.

I not only naive but simple stupid to start extract Finland-Swedes as some sort of seperate entity of their own. Ofcourse regional cultural variations exist but talking about Finland-Swedes as seperate is equivalent to start addressing "Västerbotten-Swedes" as some sort of distinct group. Finland-Swedes are just regional sub-group of the greater Swedish family. The bi-lingual folk who has been born to half-Swedish, half-Finnish paternage most likely feel themselves also as part of finnish people. Since friends view seem to be important in this article, I may add that my Half-Maroccoan and Half-Finnish friend also feels dual alighment. However, we should not treat multi-linguistic folk as reference group when discussion ethnic identity.

Podomi (talk) 08:36, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Blah-blah-blah. You just keep repeating those offensive and completely meaningless national-chauvinistic rants like an automaton. You have no fucking right to declare to anyone that his or her identity is "naive" and "stupid". That is a very disgusting form of authoritarianism. People have a right build their separate identities, and that is what people do all the time. The amount of ethnographically documented cultural variation has essentially no meaning in this process. All ethnic identities are more or less artificial constructs without stable "objective" grounds. A separate ethnic identity comes into existence when a group of people start to think themselves as a separate ethnicity. Fascists who cannot accept this simple truth have a problem. Let them suffer from it.
Your comment regarding the lack of common cultural ground between Finns and Finland-Swedes is quite aston~ishing, and factually it is nothing but total xenophobic nonsense. Finns and Finland-Swedes have their traditional differences, but they have more similarities. And in any case, this is quite irrelevant for thie current discussion. The separation between Finland-Swedes and Finns does not mean that Finland-Swedes are ethnic Swedes, unless they start to think themselves as such. --130.234.68.223 (talk) 16:38, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Too Much Original Research

This article contains way too much original research, with some authors trying to construct their own criteria based on scraps and pieces found in various sources. Unless somebody can refer to a recognized outside line of work defining the concept "ethnic Swede", I suggest the article simply state this, that there is no generally agreed upon definition of the concept. The same goes for how to count the number of Swedes worldwide; Wikipedia is not meant for conducting original research. References to the US Census use of the term should take into account that it is very flexible and based on self-identification: "Ancestry refers to a person’s ethnic origin or descent, "roots," or heritage, or the place of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States.", "Some people identify their ancestry as American. This could be because their ancestors have been in United States for so long or they have such mixed backgrounds that they do not identify with any particular group. Some foreign born or children of the foreign born may report American to show that they are part of American society. There are many reasons people may report their ancestors as American, and the growth in this response has been substantial." Census FAQ: [19]

Nuclear genetic study

WTF is this?

"Another detailed nuclear genetic study has also implied that Swedes largely share genetics with Finns."

Nuclear genetic studies, ie. blood-group analysis, has not been used for populationgenetics since the late 80´s early 90´s. This is grossly outdated method as population genetics has turned to DNA genomewide sampling and haplogroups. And based on the most recent studies, we already know that Finns are furthest away from Swedes of all Northern Europeans, and this includes Poles and Checz(Lao, 2008) And speaking of ancestry, in fact we already know that the biggest Y-STR variation gap within i given national border is in Finland between Finland-Swedes in Larsmo (Swedish speaking reference popula in the study) and Finns in rest of the country.(Palo et al. 2008) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Podomi (talkcontribs) 14:12, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

"English texts"

I removed the section "English texts":

English texts

In English texts, the concept of ethnic Swedes may or may not be used for the following:

  • People of Swedish heritage in Sweden or elsewhere, typically immigrants to the Americas (usually called 'Swedish Americans' or 'sv svenskamerikaner')
  • Swedish speakers outside Sweden

.... since there are no sources in this section. Where this information comes from is unclear. The use of including information that "may or may not be used for the following" is not obvious at all. I suggest this is excluded for now.

Remove some ahistorical statements

I removed a couple of statements which are ahistorical:

  • The comparison with the United States is ridicululous, Scandinavia has no tradition for "classifying" people in Scandinavia by "race" as there were traditionally only one race in the entire Scandinavia.
  • For the reason mentioned above, Sweden doesn't classify its inhabitants by ethnicity, but using that to argue that an agreed upon definition of Swedes does not exist is dishonest and incorrect. As the topic of the article is "Swedish ethnic group", clearly an agreed upon definition exists, similar to the situation for the other Scandinavian peoples. Swedes are the state people of Sweden or its descendants, i.e. descendants of the norsemen, a Germanic people, and part of the larger Scandinavian ethnic group. They share an ethnic origin, language and culture, and have both founded and given their countries their names.

I'd also like to point out in advance: The discussion of whether immigrants are Swedes (of course they may be referred to as such, but in a different sense) is not relevant to this article as the article deals with Swedes only as an ethnic group. Lindatavlov (talk) 05:41, 14 March 2009 (UTC)


"Sweden doesn't classify its inhabitants by ethnicity, but using that to argue that an agreed upon definition of Swedes does not exist is dishonest and incorrect. As the topic of the article is "Swedish ethnic group", clearly an agreed upon definition exists, similar to the situation for the other Scandinavian peoples."

This statement is correct, there has never been a distinction between races within Scandinavia. This should perhaps be mentioned in a section shared with the Danish/Norwegian People articles? --Red w (talk) 18:27, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

There has indeed been a tradition of classification, to separate the "germanic" Scandinavians from the Sami.
Andejons (talk) 09:00, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps, but the Sami (and the Finns, eventhough Finland is not a part of Scandinavia) would be the only exception. --Red w (talk) 17:22, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Nope. There has been other undesireables as well, such as Travellers and gypsies. And I think there has been some who have liked to claim that Swedes was the "purest" germanic people, even if that only meant that the "noble blood" had been less "diluted".
Andejons (talk) 07:12, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I think you are missing my point. Swedes, Norwegians and Danes are generally considered to be the same people in Scandinavia. Gypsies and other minorities are from totally different ethnic groups and should therefore be excluded. --Red w (talk) 01:14, 28 A