Where is Scandinavia?
Scandinavia is often used to refer to Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. However, this is actually in error, as it truly refers only to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. According to historians, the name Scandinavia was adopted in the 18th century. Its development led to the early literacy and linguistic Scandinavism. Before this period, the word Scandinavia was only used by scholars and historians through Pliny the Elder's writing. It was used as a vague term in the southern part of the peninsula and Scania.
In politics, the term Scandinavism was first employed in the 1830's by a student. The term was later used as a unifying term for Sweden, Denmark, and Norway in the 19th century through poems such as "I am Scandinavian" by Hand Christian Andersen in 1939. Andersen became a major campaigner for Scadinavism after a visit to Sweden.
The region is located in northern Europe and the inhabitants possess similar culture, languages, and heritage to the ancient Germanic tribe. They are descendants of the original occupants of the region. Scandinavia is used to refer to the three northern European kingdoms which are independent nations today. The countries are Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The islands of Salvabard and Jan Mayne which are part of the republic of Norway are not included to be a part of Scandinavia. However, the Faroe Island and Danish overseas territories are considered to be a part of Scandinavia because of their historical associations with the Scandinavian countries. The English definition of Scandinavia is "A geographical region which is sometimes referred to as Scandinavian Peninsula." Scandinavia can also be considered a subset of the Nordic region which is Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and their associated territories.
The inhabitants of the Scandinavian region are the descendants of the Germanic tribe who first inhabited the southern parts of Scandinavia. They spoke a Germanic language which changed to the Old Norse after its evolution. Faroese and Icelanders were the descendants of the Norse language and are considered Scandinavian. The Finn's populate Finland with the largest percentage but the Swedish are a minority, making up only 5 percent of Finland's population. A small percentage of Sami people live in the far north of the Scandinavian region. Therefore, the three primary languages (Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish) intermingled to form a standard dialect continuum called Scandinavian languages. The three languages are said to be mutually intelligible with one another. The Icelandic and Faroese languages are also known as insular Scandinavian languages.
Southern Scandinavia is the most populous region of Scandinavia. The region has a temperate climate which is conductive for human habitation. The Scandinavian area also has an extension in the Arctic Circle, the region which has a small percentage of occupancy because of its relatively mild weather per latitude. The warm weather results from the Gulf Stream in the area. Most of the mountains in the Scandinavian region have a Alpine tundra climate and the region also has many lakes and marines. It also holds the legacy of the last glacial period which took place 1000 years ago.
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