We Finns know well what Åland, Ahvenanmaa (or Aland in Flag Counter language) is or what it is not. It is many things, not least a beautiful island in Finnish archipelago between mainlands Finland and Sweden, but what it is NOT is a country of its own.
No matter what the locals or Flag Counter says;
Both the Åland people and Swedes have had plans to join it with Sweden, most likely the strongest plans during 1918 fairly short civil war in Finland. I can't blaim them - neither of them;
On this island of less than 30.000 inhabitants over 90% speak the 2nd official language of Finland: Swedish. Only 5% are Finnish speaking. I can tell you it is a bit difficult to get anything done on the island only in Finnish. For the stats and more details from Wikipedia.
Somehow they have managed to get Swedish to be the only official language, even though on the main land Finland we have somewhat the same %'s with the language split but vice versa. Here are these numbers.
Why is it like that?
As many other Finns I'm not quite sure. Naturally it is due to historical reasons and part of the fact is that the Finlands Svenska, Swedish speaking Finns, have for what ever reason had strong community and people in influencal positions. There is also a Swedish Party in the parliament and most of the time they have had a minister seat in the government.
I am happy to have Åland as part of Finland, as it is quite unique place with beautiful nature. It also gives me another place to keep up with my Swedish. Many Finns do not like the fact that we are obliged to study Swedish in the schools, since they would see it more beneficial to put the effort in some other "more beneficial" language. Believe it or not, many parents would like to have their kids to study Chinese...
I studies Swedish at school for about 8 years but it was only during one summer job that I got to a level of speaking it somewhat bravely: I worked for the ferryline operating between Finland and Sweden.
A piece of info for you: Åland - Ahvenanmaa is not a country, but a small region of Finland representing only 0.49% of its our area and 0.50% of our population.
PS Till mina Svänska vänner;
Jag har inte skrivit på Svenska för nästan alla av ni kan väl prata Engelska. Vi får nu se om många nya läsare kommer till detta blog - tack för detta skrivning. Om det händer, det är betyende för denna skrivning på Svenska.
PSS Kan ni vänligen ge mig en råd: Borde jag skriva Svenska eller svenska?
Tryck på "Comments" och berätta... Tackar o' bockar!
PSS We shall see if this brings new readers from Sweden. If that happens, it must be partly due to the short Swedish text. As I'm posting this, I've had 89 visitors from Sweden. If it increases a lot, it must be due to Google search. Would be first proof of such.
PSSS For the fools who still wonder where is Finland or Åland, here is a little helper...