Articles / Swedes


Subject / Ethnic culture/Ethnic communities
Subject / Ethnic culture//

Swedes (their native name is Svenskar) is an ethnic community. The Swedish language is related to the Germanic group of the Indo-European language family. The religious Swedes are Lutherans. At present they live mainly in Sweden (7,75 million people) and Finland (300 thousand people have small areas of settlement). In Rus of the 9th - 11th centuries people come from Scandinavia were a part of the population of Ladoga, Scandinavian armed forces (Vikings, in Russian tradition - Varyags (the Varangians) were very important in the political life. In the 13th century Sweden subordinated main territories of Finland. It was accompanied with Christianization of the region. Swedes were settling compactly on the Turku archipelago, some areas of the Baltic Sea coast up to the Kyumi River in the east (the Åland Islands were already settled by Swedes in the 6th century). Vyborg became the centre of Swedish culture on the territory of the present Leningrsd Oblast. The attempts of Sweden to widen its possessions till the Neva River in the beginning of the 14th century failured. In the 17th Swedish authorities gave out the land in Ingermanlandia to nobles for the possession, but the owners usually managed their estates without moving to them. After the Great Northern War Sweden lost its possessions in Prinevye and on the Karelian Isthmus. In the 18th century in Vyborg, which belonged to Russia since 1710, the German language became administrative, but after annexation of the Vyborg Gubernia to the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1811 the Swedish language became the administrative one again. In Finland the Swedes (or the Swedish speaking population) were the privileged strata of the society (including the creative intelligentsia), the most skilled craftmen. The rise of Finnish national movement was accompanied with replacing Swedish identity with Finnish one. It was sometimes expressed in translating surnames. In 1863 the Finnish language officially got equal rights together with the Swedish one, and in 1922 the law proclaimed the Finnish and Swedish languages as the state languages of Finland was issued. The Swedish speaking population were in Vyborg till the Soviet Finnish War when they were evacuated deep into Finland.

Chistyakov, Anton Yuryevich

Neighbouring Territories/Finland
Historical Toponyms/Ingermanlandia (Ingria)
Topographical landmarks/Karelian Isthmus, the
Historical Toponyms/Ladoga
Topographical landmarks/Neva River, the
Topographical landmarks/Prinevye
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vyborg District/Vyborg Town

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