T1718EN CAPS

Welcome to Rotary Finland
- a briefing for visitors 

 Heijastuksia    

Photo: PP Kristel Sarlin, Helsinki City West RC

Ullanlinna ilmasta 

      Photo: PP Kristel Sarlin, Helsinki City West RC

Auringonlasku

Photo: PP Kristel Sarlin, Helsinki City West RC

Rotary at home in the Land of the Midnight Sun


Rotary, established in Chicago in 1905, came to Finland in 1926. The 1920s in Finland were marked by the building up of the newly established Republic of Finland that had torn itself away from the position as a Grand Duchy under a Governor General of the Russian empire. Finland´s moment came in 1917 during the Russian revolution and in the aftermath of WWI. When WWII broke out there were eight clubs in Finland and 270 rotarians.

Cooperation with Germany during the actual fighting of the war and the uneasy peace concluded with the Soviet Union after the war left little leeway. Neither of the two totalitarian countries looked too kindly upon the Anglo-American influenced Rotary. The general trend in the post-war years, when the country sought a closer orientation towards the Western world, brought about a boom in the establishment of Rotary Clubs in all parts of the country. A social order for rotary had emerged. Similar trends in the other Nordic countries took all to the top ten league in rotary density per capita in the world. Today Finland has a 288 rotary clubs and 10.500 Rotarians in a population of 5,4 million.

Finnish Rotary clubs are divided into six Districts, with District 1420 being responsible for the administration of the Rotary clubs in Estonia.

Accessing clubs in Finland

English is spoken widely throughout Finland.  Most clubs use Finnish at their club meetings but there are also several clubs where Swedish is the language-of-use at club meetings. Estonia belongs to the district 1420 and they use mainly Estonian at the club meetings, ofcourse.
In Finland there are at the moment four international clubs, Oulu  International, Tampere International, Turku International, Helsinki International and in Estonia Tallinn International Rotary Club. These clubs are speaking English at their club meetings.
There are invariably Rotarians at all club meetings with the ability to communicate quite easily in English. Club presentations are mostly given in Finnish, in Swedish in the Swedish-speaking regions, but occasionally also in English and in Estonia they use mainly Estonian.
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A well-networked whole

Cooperation between Finnish Rotary Districts is carried out through a multi-district organisation, Suomen Rotary - Finlands Rotary. Webpages of Suomen Rotary - Finlands Rotary include general information about Rotary in Finland and many useful links.

Estonian Rotary clubs are included within District 1420 of Rotary Finland. Links between Rotary in Finland and Estonia have always been close since the sponsor club for Estonia’s first Rotary club was Helsinki-Helsingfors RC. This was in 1929. Rotary was banned in Estonia with effect from August 6, 1940 until the end of the Soviet occupation. Upon regaining independence in 1991, Rotary was re-established in Estonia. Today 18 Estonian clubs are actively pursuing a normal Rotary agenda.