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Finland (Finnish: Suomi [suo̯mi] (About this sound listen); Swedish: Finland Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfɪnland]), officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta, Swedish: Republiken Finland) is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki.

Finland's population is 5.5 million (2017), and the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages; next come the Finland-Swedes (5.3%). Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, and one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP.

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Personent hodie in the 1582 edition of Piae Cantiones, image combined from two pages of the source text.

Personent hodie is a Christmas carol originally published in the 1582 Finnish song book Piae Cantiones, a volume of 74 Medieval songs with Latin texts collected by Jaakko Suomalainen, a Swedish Lutheran cleric, and published by T.P. Rutha. The song book had its origins in the libraries of cathedral song schools, whose repertory had strong links with medieval Prague, where clerical students from Finland and Sweden had studied for generations. A melody found in a 1360 manuscript from the nearby Bavarian city of Moosburg in Germany is highly similar, and it is from this manuscript that the song is usually dated.

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Lutheran Cathedral Helsinki.jpg
Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert
The Helsinki Cathedral is an Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki, located in the centre of Helsinki.

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Selected biography

Henri Toivonen (August 25, 1956 – May 2, 1986) was a Finnish rally driver born in Jyväskylä, the home of Rally Finland. His father, Pauli Toivonen, was the 1968 European Rally Champion for Porsche and his brother, Harri Toivonen, became a professional circuit racer.

Toivonen's first World Rally Championship victory came with a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus at the 1980 Lombard RAC Rally in Great Britain, just after his 24th birthday. He had the record of being the youngest driver ever to win a world rally until his countryman Jari-Matti Latvala won the 2008 Swedish Rally at the age of 22. Toivonen switched to driving for Lancia before finally signing up for a full WRC programme in 1985. Despite nearly ending up paralysed at a rally in Costa Smeralda early in 1985, he returned to rallying later that year. He won the last event of the season, the RAC Rally, as well as the 1986 season opener, the Monte Carlo Rally, which his father had won exactly 20 years earlier.

Toivonen, driving a Lancia Delta S4, died in an accident on May 2, 1986 while leading the Tour de Corse rally in Corsica. His American co-driver, Sergio Cresto, also died when the Lancia plunged down a ravine and exploded. The fatal accident had no close witnesses and the remains of the car were merely blackened spaceframe, making it impossible to determine the cause of the accident. Within hours of the accident, Jean-Marie Balestre, then President of the FISA, had banned the powerful Group B rally cars from competing the following season, ending rallying's popular supercar era. The annual Race of Champions, originally organised in Toivonen's memory, awards the winning individual driver the Henri Toivonen Memorial Trophy.

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Flag of Finland.svg You are invited to participate in Finland WikiProject, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Finland.

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View of Jyväskylä
Photo credit: commons:User:Mikael Korpela

Panoramic photo shot of Jyväskylä, Finland.

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