Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Estonia to the south, and north-eastern Norway to the north. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Oulu, Turku, Jyväskylä, Lahti and Kuopio.
Finland's population is 5.52 million as of July 2019, the majority of whom live in the central and south of the country and speak Finnish, a Finnic language from the Uralic language family, unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. It is a parliamentary republic of 310 municipalities, and includes an 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. Swedish is the second official language of Finland, which is mainly spoken in certain coastal areas and on Åland.
Ukko, the god of sky and thunder, is arguably the most revered deity in Finnish mythology and folklore. Ancient Finns would pray to the old man of the skies for good weather or rain for the crops. Ukko was both respected and feared, as the god of the skies could easily turn the life-giving rain into a thunderstorm (Finnish: ukkonen), had he not been appeased.
With your permission Riku, many thanks.
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