The youth leadership of the National Coalition Party wants to adopt a new national anthem - the Finlandia Hymn, a section of the epic patriotic composition "Finlandia" by renowned Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.
Youth chapters of the Ostrobothnia and Tampere region party groups have pitched the idea for a new national anthem to be considered by delegates at the annual congress in June. The party leadership will recommend that delegates approve the initiative.
The NCP’s Ostrobothnia youth chapter has proposed replacing the current national anthem, Our Land (Maamme) , lyrics written by the national Swedish-Finnish poet J.L. Runeberg, with the Finlandia Hymn, lyrics by Finnish poet V.A. Koskiniemi. They have argued that Koskiniemi’s lyrics reflect Finns’ steadfastness and patriotism.
For its part the Tampere region youth arm said that Sibelius’ piece represents Finnishness and is a tribute to Finnish cultural history.
"For a national anthem Finland deserves a national song that is historically related to gaining independence," the Tampere group said, referencing the importance of Sibelius’ work as part of the Finnish national struggle to resist efforts to increase Russian influence.
It’s not the first time that a proposal has been floated to replace the current national anthem with Sibelius’ work, as others have from time to time suggested making the change.
Finnish law makes no formal mention of a national anthem, unlike the national coat of arms and flag, which are legally defined.
Instead, the anthem’s position as the national song became established by the end of the 19th century through usage and convention. The melody was composed by German immigrant Fredrik Pacius, and is exactly the same melody used in the Estonian national anthem.