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The verses in the Kalevala originate mainly from Karelia and Ingria.
In 1721, the Nystad Peace Treaty was signed ending Swedish dominance in the Baltic region. From 1809 to 1917, Finland was a Grand Duchy with the Russian Czar as the constitutional monarch.
 Karelia, where most of the Russo-Swedish conflicts occurred, was influenced by both cultures though mostly it remained peripheral to both epicentres of power.
Minorities, some of which have a status recognised by the state, such as the Sami, Swedish-speaking Finns, Romani, Jews, and Tatar, maintain their own cultural characteristics.
Many Finns are emotionally connected to the countryside and nature, as large-scale urbanisation is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Following the recession of the Scandinavian ice sheet, which covered most of northern Europe, from Great Britain to Moscow, around 8000 BC, peoples began arriving in what is today Finland presumably mainly from the south and east although recent archaeological finds reveal a presence of the north-western Komsa culture in Finnish north equally old to the earliest finds on the Norwegian coast.