Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/16

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sociated with the glories of the Hanseatic League, and to this day it impresses one as distinctly German in appearance.

Further to the north still, along the shores of the Gulf of Finland are the Finns, subjects of Sweden for many years, but conquered by Russia in 1809. Their culture is distinctly Teutonic and on coming from Russia to Finland one is at once struck by the absence of the Russian or Byzantine architecture in the churches; similarly the ubiquitous uniform of Petersburg is also absent. Altogether it is a world non-Russian, despite the fact that it has formed a part of the Russian empire for 105 years. The Finns are a non-European stock, Mongolian in origin, and physically differ considerably from the Russians. They are taller and belong to the long-headed type and the eyes are almost uniformly blue. They have had a constant struggle with a poor soil, an adverse climate and an overpowerful neighbor. Yet in Finland all can read, and very few are to be found who can not write also. One can not but be impressed with the industry and pluck of this valiant little people, and feel in sympathy with the Finnish economists who see in the geographic location and the magnificent water power of their country the basis for a great development in the future.

The Finns appear further as the principal people over the entire area of northern Russia, excepting the stunted and wandering Lapps with their reindeer, and the Samoyads—a heathen fisher folk of the northeast. Indeed this region was theirs till the Great Russian conquered it. Petersburg itself is set down in the midst of a Finnish country; a land of marsh and forest occupied by Finnish peasants, Teutonic in culture. Indeed from the ethnic standpoint the old name of the Russian capital is more in accord with historic and even actual conditions than its present one of Petrograd, which is of course the Russian instead of German for the city of Peter. The conquest of northern Russia by the Muscovites did not bring with it any war of annihilation or wholesale migration. Slav and Finn have existed side by side for generations, the latter being subjected to a gradual process of absorption by the Great Russian. The Finns in their little villages hold out stubbornly against it, women being particularly tenacious in retaining the old customs.

MacKenzie Wallace says.

On the other hand, like women in general when they do begin to change, they change more rapidly. The men adopt the Russian costume gradually; women adopt it at once. As soon as a single woman gets a gaudy dress every other woman in the village feels envious and impatient till she has one likewise.

He tells of having tried in vain to buy a female tribal costume in several villages and finally going on to another expecting the same difficulty. Accordingly he had his inn-keeper make known his quest and the very liberal terms he was ready to offer. This time the result was startingly different. To give his own words: