Modern Finnish Americans
Minnesotans today with Finnish heritage keep their traditions and culture alive by celebrating at cultural festivals like FinnFest USA. FinnFest USA began in Minnesota in 1983 and has taken place annually since then. Arnold Alanen shares in Finns in Minnesota that this festival was modeled after Finnish summer festivals once celebrated in other North American communities, and it now brings modern Finland together with historic and contemporary America. Another venue where you can see Finnish culture exhibited is at the International Institute of Minnesota’s Festival of Nations.
The Finnish language is kept alive in Minnesota by such programs as the Salolampi Finnish Language Village on Turtle River Lake near Bemidji, Minnesota, which is partnered with the Concordia Language Villages. And, at the University of Minnesota, undergraduate students can major in Finnish.
The Immigration History Research Center Archives has many collections that document modern American Finnish heritage. Some examples from the periodical collection include Siirtokansan Kalenteri (Immigrants' Calendar), Minnesota Finnish American Historical Society, Finnish Americana, Finnish American Cultural Activities, and The Finnish American Heritage. We document the Finnish immigrant experience to help ensure Minnesota's Finnish heritage is available to persons who want to learn more. The Timo Riippa Fund for Finnish American Studies at the University of Minnesota provides financial support for scholars and researchers who want to learn more about the Finnish immigrant experience.