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Despite these distinctions, most citizens strongly believe that they share a common culture and heritage. Finland is bordered on the east by Russia, on the south by the Gulf of Finland and Estonia, on the west by the Gulf of Bothnia and Sweden, and on the north and northwest by Norway.
A quarter of its territory is north of the Arctic Circle.
Citizens throughout the country fly the national flag, a blue cross on a white background, during the celebration of Midsummer.
The national coat of arms, a crowned lion standing on a red field with silver roses, derives from Swedish heraldic crests of the sixteenth century and appears on a variety of postage stamps, banknotes and coins, and official seals.
Finns constitute the majority of the citizens of the Republic of Finland, which has a Swedish-speaking minority as well as Saami (Lapp) and Rom (Gypsy) minorities.
This district lies north and east of the coastal plain toward the Russian border.It frequently refers to other aspects of Finnish culture that have become significant symbols of identity, such as the savusauna (smoke sauna) and the ancient stringed instrument the kantele .Another mid-nineteenth century artistic achievement, the composition Vårt land or Maamme ("Our Land"), with words by Johan Ludvig Runeberg and music by Fredrik Pacius became the national anthem.Substantial Finnish populations live in Russia, the United States, Canada, and Sweden, and smaller numbers reside in Australia, South Africa, and Latin America. Finnish belongs to the family of Finno-Ugric languages in northeastern Europe, Russia, and western Siberia, a group that includes Saami (Lapp) and Hungarian.The most closely related languages are Estonian, Votish, Livonian, Vepsian, and the closely allied Karelian dialects of the Balto-Finnic branch.