Report: Heavy Metal Bands Spur Interest In Learning Finnish

Hot Flashes

Posted on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at 07:56:54 EST

According to, interest in studying Finnish abroad has risen since Finland joined the European Union in 1995. It has also blossomed through the popularity of Finnish artists.

When students at the University of Vienna were asked why they chose to study Finnish, their primary answer surprised their teachers.

“For 97 percent of them, the primary target of interest was heavy metal music. This somewhat surprised us,” says Marjut Vehkanen, Secretary General of the Helsinki-based Centre for International Mobility (CIMO).

Finnish hard rock groups such as HIM, NIGHTWISH, STRATOVARIUS, LORDI and CHILDREN OF BODOM have particularly fervid followings in Central Europe.

Students’ interest in Finland’s culture and thereby its language may also be piqued by architecture or films such as those of the Kaurismäki brothers.