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02-17-2010, 02:03 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mannahatta
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Originally Posted by HackandLube View Post
This is a very good thread!

So we have discovered why Sweden seemed to get ahead of the pack and develop a hockey culture why Norway didn't. I'm curious now as well as to why Finland also developed a very strong hockey culture. How did that happen? Was it the proximity to Russia?
There are others who could answer this question better than I could, but I believe that the Finnish government made a conscious decision to spend money on hockey infrastructure in the 50's and 60's, which led to a boom in the game's popularity.

More recently, the government has been spending money on indoor multi-sport facilities, with the result that tennis and football are becoming more and more popular. I'm not sure how much of this comes at the expense of hockey.

Other Finns out there can tell me if I'm wrong about any of that!

Swedes and Norwegians often ask me how strong an influence Russian culture has on Finland and are surprised to hear that the cultural influence of Russia is really not very strong. I'm not saying anything good or bad about Russian culture, just that Finnish culture is much more influenced by its neighbours to the west than by those to the east. That's a big tangent, though, which can be brought to the lounge if anyone wants my opinion on why that is...

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