See also: Scandinavian (homonymy)
The expression Scandinavian countries indicates the Norway, the Sweden, the Denmark, the Finland and the Iceland, like their associated states: Åland, the Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Féoré islands and Greenland belong to Denmark while Åland is an autonomous territory attached to Finland. The concept is close to that of Northern Europe.
Etymology and terminologyThe expression " Country nordiques" comes from the term Norden , used in Denmark, in Norway and Sweden, and which means " Nord". It indicates this area precisely. The Finns speak them about Pohjola , which has the same direction, and the Icelanders of Norðurlönd , precisely meaning " country nordiques".
In French, the term Scandinavia is sometimes used like synonym of " Country nordiques" , whereas Scandinavia does not understand, in a strict sense, that Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The article devoted to with the Scandinavia more largely continues this discussion.
Let us note finally that before the 19th century, the Norden term was rather used to indicate Northern Europe in the broad sense (including Russia, Baltic States and even, sometimes, British Isles).
The Scandinavian countries are states relatively little populated, having a generally low density. Denmark, with 5,5 million inhabitants, with the strongest density (128 hab. /km ²); follow the Faroe Islands (0,04 million inhabitants, for a density of 33 hab. /km ²), Sweden (9,1 million inhabitants, for a density of 22 hab. /km ²), Finland (5,2 million inhabitants, for a density of 17 hab. /km ²), the Islands Aaland (0,02 million inhabitants, for a density of 17 hab. /km ²), Norway (4,6 million inhabitants, for a density of 14 hab. /km ²), and Iceland (0,2 million inhabitants, for a density of 2 hab. /km ²). Greenland, with its 55 ' 000 inhabitants, has a density even lower: 0,02 hab./km². If the densities are thus rather low, the variations inside even of the countries are extremely strong, as shows it the following chart.
PolicyThese countries have very different political statutes: Sweden, Norway and Denmark are monarchies, whereas Iceland and Finland are republics. In addition, if Denmark, Finland and Sweden adhered to the European Union, it is the case neither of Norway, nor of Iceland. Lastly, Norway, Iceland and Denmark are members of NATO, which is the case neither of Sweden, nor of Finland.
They have on the other hand a common institution, the Scandinavian Conseil and ratified before the Convention of Schengen, as of end of the year 50, the Scandinavian Union of the passports allowing freedom of movement of their citizens without frontier check.
FlagsAll the Scandinavian countries, including the autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands, have the same diagram for their flag, based on the Danneborg, the Danish flag. It is about a decentred cross, named Scandinavian Croix.
Close areas culturally and historicallySeveral European areas have of a history or a culture largely shared with those of the Scandinavian Countries. The bonds between these areas and the Countries Scandinavian are briefly evoked here.
Shetland Islands and the OrkneysThe islands of the North of the Scotland - the the Orkneys and the the Shetland - have a Scandinavian identity of long time. These islands were indeed of the Norwegian colonies during more than 500 years, but were yielded to Scotland in 1472, following nonthe payment of the dowry of marriage of Marguerite of Denmark, wife of the king d' Écosse Jacques III.
Moreover, during the second world war, these islands were important bases for the Norwegian armed forces in exile. The " Bus of Shetland" was charged to ensure the connection between the allies and resistant Norwegian.
A genetic study in addition showed that 60% of the male population of the Orkneys and the Shetland have Norwegian genes.
Lastly, the flags of these islands take again the Scandinavian cross.
EstoniaSince it regained its independence, in 1991, the Estonia showed signs of interest to be identified itself like a Scandinavian country, because of its historical links, cultural and linguistic with Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
At the linguistic level, the Estonian is very close to Finnish. Historically, Estonia belonged to the Swedish empires and Danish during several centuries. One thus generally thinks that the name of the Estonian capital, Tallinn, comes from the Estonian taani flax , meaning " danoise" city;.
Moreover, one important part of the north-western coasts and islands of Estonia were populated by Swedes called " Swede of Côtes". The majority of these Swedes of Estonia regained however Sweden in 1944, reducing in front of the projection of the Soviet troops.
Economically, three quarters of the overseas investments in Estonia come from the Scandinavian country, whereas it made there 58% of its exports. On the other hand, its extremely liberal economic policy moves away it from Scandinavian countries very marked by social democracy.
Lastly, some acts symbolic systems took place these last years. In 1999, the Estonian Minister for the foreign affairs, Toomas Hendrik Ilves gave a speech entitled " Estonia like country nordique" at the Swedish Institute of the international businesses. In 2003, the same Ministry for Foreign Affairs was the host of an exposure on the subject. In 2005 finally, Estonia announced its interest to adhere to the Scandinavian council.
SchleswigThe Schleswig, area of the north of Germany, belonged to Denmark during centuries, until it is attached to Germany with the nineteenth century. The Scandinavian character of this area was reduced much in a little more than one century. A minority danophone still lives however in this area.
- right to nature (specificity of the Scandinavian countries)
- the Scandinavian Council
- Photographs and gate of the Scandinavian countries
Simple: Nordic countries Zh-min-nan: Pak-kok
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