The long awaited railway

It was a time when roads were of bad condition and horses were used for the transportation of goods. Don’t forget that Rauma had the biggest sailing ship capacity in 1892-1898 in whole Finland! But what to ship if there was no connection to the factories?

Rauma asked government for the railway already in 1880s, but the heads of state refused to invest in such a small town. Rauma was a city of 4000 people, just like Uusikaupunki. But Pori, which received the railway connection, had over 10 000 inhabitants. Pori and Rauma have for long been competing with each other for the same projects.

Rauma’s old locomotive

Besides the funds of the road transportation, which were derived from taxing the alcohol consumption, were low those days.

As the long-awaited 47 kilometers of railroad was ready, the town’s people were in an overly festive mood hooraying on the streets of Rauma.

Rauma would not be such an important export harbor these days if the town council had not decided to take action then.

Also the training center for teachers was established in Rauma due to the positive developments in transport connections. It would otherwise have gone to Pori.

Railroad history

The first regular rail service started in the United States in 1830. The same year in England. In 1850’s in Finland.
The railway was considered expensive and not suitable for winter traffic. The government was thinking of creating a transport network through building inland river-channels instead!

Compared to horse transport, the railway was fast and efficient. The Emperor Alexander II announced that a railway had to be built from Helsinki to Hämeenlinna. So the first railway in the country was already 35 years before.

In 1868, the Riihimäe- St. Petersburg line was opened (in order to be able to bring food from Russia during the years of hunger).

Rauma was the only municipality to build its own railway

Stenius supported the construction

In 1895, Rauma received permission to build a railway and government promised to give half of the money if the town of 4000 people found the other half. That was 20 times the size of Rauma’s annual budget. It is 9.5 million euros in today’s currency.

Merchant J. L. Stenius inherited 145,000 marks in his will for the construction of the track. The city borrowed another 1 million marks in bonds. Construction went fast and the track was completed with a smaller budget due to the delay. The price of iron and steel had almost dropped by half and the interest rates on loans had also declined.

When Rauma got its 47.5 km long railway line from Rauma harbor to Kokemäe Peipohja in Pori, it started transporting both cargo and passengers. Different wagons were merged into one. Wagons were rented from the government.

Construction

There was a lack of carpenters and sometimes the work was interrupted by excessive drinking, but otherwise the work progressed quickly and great damage was avoided on site. At some point, there 1,500 employees (in the town of 4000 people!) and accommodation problems occurred. Fifty families were homeless before the winter arrived. They were accommodated in summer villas, at a cholera hospital on Syväraumankatu street and at restaurant Suoja at the harbor.

An interesting fact

For 3 years the Rauma Town Hall clock was 14 minutes behind the railway station’s clock. In 1899 the official time of Helsinki was introduced in the whole city to avoid misunderstandings. But who needs a clock anyway, haha. The first 100 years the town hall clock showed hours only.

Railway station

The Rauma railway station is as old as the railway, built in 1897. The drawings are similar to that of Oulu railway station.  
The appearance of the building is unchanged, but the interior has been changed during renovations. The city sold the building to private hands 20 years ago. The current owner is planning to build a restaurant in the old premises.

Refugee port during the war

At the beginning of the World War I in 1914, all Finnish harbors were closed except the one of Rauma! Refugees started to use this as an opportunity to escape from Russia to Western Europe and vice versa. The port in Pori, Mäntyluoto, was open for the traffic of goods only. Or was it?

I have seen pictures of nicely dressed ladies sitting on top of their hat boxes on the sandy dunes of Rauma pine forest. The first refugees were of an upper class and could pay for the housing and food to Rauma families, in money or jewelry. They travelled in VIP wagons of the train. The rest were not doing so well and helping became a burden to the citizens of Rauma.

Why the port of Rauma was not closed by the Russian decision makers? I made a quick research and came to these conclusions (you may correct):
1. It was a winter port. The sea was ice free.
2. Same railway track width as in Russia.
3. Rauma port was active in foreign trade.
4. Affordable position as a recipient of Gevle and Stockholm traffic

The shipping offices moved from Helsinki to Rauma (also the branch office of the famous butter producer Valio).

The goods for the Russian state arrived to Rauma in bad condition. It had been stored outside in Sweden and got wet on the way. It could have been an arbitrary behavior of frustrated people. Not everyone was on the Russian side. Different books give different approaches on being faithful to the Russian government and about the relationship to the German enemy. Sea marks were removed from near the port to confuse the German enemies.

In 1950 Rauma sold the railway to the state as it was economically difficult to maintain. Rauma city received 175 million marks from the sale that it used for the construction of Otankoulu schoolhouse in 1952 (the yellow building near the baseball field and the beach).

Passenger traffic

Passenger traffic on the track ended in 1988 and from then on people were taken to Kokemäe by bus. The Tampere – Pori train stops at Kokemäe.

Freight traffic is still very lively, and the track was electrified in 1997, 100 years after its establishment.

The Finnish government was recently offering four towns of Finland to participate in a short pilot project to test if there was a need for the passenger railway traffic. Rauma was unfortunately left out of the project as the research showed low interest in passenger traffic (70 000 -100 000 passengers per year would only be 10% of the full capacity; 14-20 passengers per train). The railway station would have been built somewhere close to Prisma or Citymarket, cause its old building is under private ownership and in a distant place.

Matti Vahe ja Mauri Rautavuori, the experts of the Rauma railway history, are of the opinion that the city council’s brave decision to build the railway on its own was as good as today’s city council’s decision to rescue the shipbuilding business by purchasing the premises of the shipbuilding company that closed its doors in Rauma 7 years ago. Rauma Marine Constructions has a bright future ahead with orders for about 1 billion euros for the coming 7-8 years!

So it is all connected to each other. Rauma started to flourish as it got its own railway connection! The population has grown from 4 000 to 40 000 people. Rauma is a successful industrial town.

I just wish we had more people visiting the town. A spa would be an opportunity to get people visit Rauma all year round. But it’s another topic. Enjoy the many beaches of the Rauma town while it’s still warm outside.

Rauma language

June 13 is a flag day in Rauma. Why? Did you see these men march in their sailor’s hats to the monument of Hj. Nortamo in front of the cafe Prassen?

Frans Hjalmar Nortamo (known as Hj. Nortamo, also known as Nordling) was born on June 13, 1860 in Rauma. He was a doctor and worked in many places besides Rauma. As he got older, he started missing his hometown and started to write about it.

Nortamo- Seor

Nortamo is best known for his series of ‘Raumlaissi jaarituksi’ (‘Yarns from Rauma’), which was also a name of a book published in 1920. It was written in the dialect of Rauma, and is regarded as the first Finnish language text that has been written in a dialect (during the times when dialects were out of fashion).

The dialect of Rauma has a lot of words from the old seafaring days from Swedish, English, Estonian, French, Russian and German languages. Rauma dialect is regarded as its own language (Rauman gial). It is hundreds of years old and it was best used in the 1800 century.

Nortamo’s writings have been crucial in saving the knowledge of the dialect for the current generations.

He died on November 30, 1931 in Pori.

Both Rauma and Pori have statues and street names dedicated to the famous writer.

Tauno Koskela, another writer from Rauma, continued his work as the savior of Rauman language. He was also head of the Nortamo club Nortamo-Seor that was created 1 year before the death of the famous writer.

Some words that remind me of my Estonian language are:

Word in Rauma language -> Finnish meaning -> English translation for you (with the correct Estonian version in brackets)

  • afäär – bisness, kauppa – business
  • ahter – perä, laivan peräpää – stern, the rear of the ship (also referring to a woman’s butt)
  • ankkur- ankkuri – anchor
  • eilä – eilinen – yesterday’s (eile)
  • evangeeljum – evankeliumi – Gospel
  • hilja- myöhään – late
  • hirvhammas – joker
  • jakk – pusero, lyhyt takki – jacket
  • jopi – homma, työ – job
  • just- tarkalleen, juuri niin – right so
  • kali – kalja – suds
  • kartiin- ikkunaverho – curtain
  • kaste- kastike- sauce
  • kastrull – varrellinen keittoastia – pan, sauce pan
  • kasöör- kassanhoitaja – cashier
  • katalook – puhelin- tai muu luettelo – catalogue
  • klimpp – kokkare – dumpling (in soup)
  • koer-koira- dog
  • kostyym -asu, puhu – costume
  • kraan – nosturi – crane
  • kraappi – raapia – scratch (in Estonian kraapima)
  • krapin- rapina (in Estonian krabin)- patter (noise)
  • kruus – savipullo (also a cup in Estonian) – clay bottle
  • kröhä -yskä – cough (in Estonian köha)
  • köökk – keittiö – kitchen
  • ladv- latva – topp (topp of a tree for example)
  • laev – laiva – ship
  • leip – leipä – bread (in Estonian leib)
  • liki – lähellä – close (in Estonian ligi)
  • limunaad- limonaati – lemonade (in Estonian limonaad)
  • lips- solmio, kravatti – tie
  • mamma- äiti, isoäiti – mother or grandmother
  • mamsel – neiti – miss, young lady
  • mandel – manteli – almond
  • maneer- tapa – manner
  • mansikas- mansikka- strawberry
  • masinist- koneenkäyttäjä – machinist
  • massöörskä – hierojatar – (in Estonian massöör) – masseur
  • matras – patja- mattress (in Estonian madrats)
  • matruus – ammattimerimies – professional sailor
  • meetter – metri- meter
  • metssika – mäyrä – badger  (but sounds like metssiga / wild boar in Estonian /villisika)
  • mukul – lapsi- child
  • mull – sonnivasikka – bull calf (mullikka)
  • muuttorpaatt – moottorivene – motorboat (in Estonian mootorpaat)
  • mööpel – huonekalu – furniture (in Estonian mööbel)
  • neli – neljä -four
  • nisu-vehnä – what (nisu in Estonian)
  • nokk – nokka, niemi, nenä – nose, cape
  • nolkk – nulikka, pätkä (keltanokka) – freshman (nolk – a young man who does something wrong)
  • olu – olut – beer (in Estonian õlu)
  • opplaine -aloittelija, uusi työntekijä – beginner
  • paatt- vene- boat (in Estonian paat)
  • pakane-pakkanen – frost, cold
  • pankkrott- konkurssi – bankrupcy
  • pap, pappa – isoisä, isä, vaari – dad, grandfather
  • paperos- savuke – cigarette
  • pasiseer- matkustaja – passenger (sounds like Russian „passazir“)
  • pits-pitsi – bobbing lace
  • plangett – lomake – paper form (in Estonian plankett)
  • pliitta – hellanlevy – the stove plate
  • pluus – takki, pusero – shirt
  • pott- astia, pullo – container, bottle
  • prilli – silmälasit- spectacles (in Estonian prillid)
  • pross-naisten rintakoru – women’s brooch
  • pruun-ruskea – brown
  • puolamari- puolukka – cowberry (pohl, pohlamari)
  • pukett- kukkakimppu – bouquet
  • pukseer- hinaaja – tug (to carry broken cars)
  • puljong- lihaliemi- broth
  • pyst -pienehko patsas, rintaveistos – byst
  • raad- raati – council
  • raam – kehys – frame
  • reis-reisi – thigh
  • reiss- matka – trip
  • remontt – korjaus, kunnostus -repair
  • ruum-lastitila laivassa – cargo space on board
  • ruuppar-sireeni, äänitorvi – horn
  • ränn – vesikouru – gutter
  • rästäs- räystäs – eaves
  • sinkk – kinkku – ham
  • svampp – pesusieni – sponge (švamm in Estonian)
  • syltt- hillo – jam, conserve (sült is meat jelly, not the sweat jam)
  • talrik, taltrik – lautanen – plate
  • tapplus- tappelu – fight
  • telefuun -puhelin – telephone (telefon in Estonian)
  • telekram – sähke – telegram
  • tikkerpäär – karviaismarja – gooseberry
  • tool- tuoli – chair
  • toopp – tuoppi – mug
  • toos-rasia, koppa
  • trapp – rappu, porras- stairs (trepp)
  • tross – touvi, paksu köysi – rope
  • trotuaar – jalkakäytävä – pavement
  • tuur – vuooro / onni – luck
  • täkk- sängynpeitto / laivan kansi – blanket (tekk)
  • täkst- teksti-text (tekst)
  • uus- uusi- new
  • vahdat- katsoa, tuijotta – stare (vahtima)
  • vahe – kahden rakennuksen väinen sopla, kapea, päättyvä kadunpätkä – area between something, street end
  • vahetta- vaihtaa- change (vahetama)
  • vahetuskaupp – vaihtokauppa- barter deal, swap
  • vaht – vahti / vaahto – guard / foam
  • vakstuuk – vahakangas – oilcloth (vakstu)
  • vale- valhe- lie
  • valehammas- tekohammas – artificial tooth
  • vare- kiviröykkiö- cairn
  • vares- varis – crow
  • värkk – läite, koje, tarvike -accessory
  • väärt- arvoinen – worth
  • yässeks -yöksi – (stay) for the night (ööseks)
  • äksaam – testi, koe, tutkinto – exam (eksam)
  • äppelssiin – appelsiini – orange
  • öli – öljy – oil

Nortamo painted this to the wall of his summer cottage in 1900. You can see the wall piece at the Rauma art museum.

You might also hear such Rauma words often:

  • Ehto – ilta tai illallinen – evening or supper
  • Fingerpori- sormustin – thimble
  • Hamin – satama – port
  • Hellambiitta – liesilevy -stove plate
  • Kippar- laivuri, kapteni – captain (e.g. Kipparinpuisto is a kids’ play area that refers to the captain’s garden)
  • Kitukränn – Suomen kapein katu (kapeimillaan 2,65m) – unofficially the narrowest street in Finland
  • Lapskous – Lapskoussi is a traditional food of Rauma that has come to the town with the seamen. The dish is also known in other European port cities. You can often buy one for lunch or to home at Ankkuri restaurant in the theatre building.
  • Lyst – huvi, hauskuus – fun
  • Mummu – äidinäiti, mummo – grandmother, mother’s mom
  • Nurangätine – vääränkätine, joskus vasenkätinen – „wrong handed“ referring to the left-handed
  • Onnipuss – linja-auto- bus
  • Paapuur – laivan vasen puoli perästä katsoen – the left side of the ship from the rear
  • Peti- sänky, vuode – bed
  • Petat – sijata vuode- make the bed
  • Potatt – peruna – potato
  • Pusk – pensas – bush
  • Puting- vanukas- pudding (puding)
  • Sylyvau – sylivauva (also name of the company in Rauma)- infant
  • Pyyrman – entisajan kaupungin virallinen tiedottaja, uudistenlukija, joka rummuttamalla kutsu väen koolle – An official „spokesman“ for the old city, a news reader. He calls the people by drumming.
  • Raum – salmi -strait
  • Saför – kuski, autonkuljettaja – driver (refers to Russian shafjor)
  • Styyrpuur- laivan oikea puoli perästä katsoen – right side of the ship from the rear (the sign you can see at the entrance of the old people’s house)
  • Suvilyst – kesäloma, piknik – summer holiday (suvi is summer in Estonian)
  • Terveksi – terveisiä  – greetings (write to your friends on a Christmas card – Oikke luanikast uutt vuatt ja terveksi Raumalt!)
  • Tua- tuo – that
  • Tupla- talven ajaksi asennettava sisäikkuna / kaksinkertainen – winter window / double
  • Tämne – tälläinen, tämmöinen – such, like that  („tämne mnää vaa ole“ -> „I am like this“)
  • Täsä- tässä – here

Source of Rauma words: “Raumlaine sanakiri. Rauma-suomi sanakirja. Raumankielisiä tervehdyksiä ja muita sanontoja.”

by Hannu Heino

The polite and modest Finns

The way people call each other sounds like they’ve been friends for ages. It’s a “you” with a small letter, not the “You” that you call your teacher, the strangers or the older people in your own country. So if you follow your friend in a town, seems he knows everyone. And if he comes to your country, seems like he is flirting with strangers.

The other politeness related issue is that Finns don’t say please as a word. They put ‘ko at the end of the verb and that’s it . ( Voitko antaa minulle .. = Can you give me).

A nice habit is to say “thank you” after each meal before getting up. Even the smallest kids say so, regardless of whether the hostess hears it or not.

Unlike Russians or Estonians, Finnish people do not have the habit of bringing flowers when visiting somebody. Even at the wedding you might end up having a flower girl stand empty handed (the little girl who is supposed to collect all the flowers guests bring).

Rauma vanha hautausmaa

But they do care about people on the “other side”. For me it seems that they take too expensive flowers to the graveyard and visit the graveyard every week of December. ..when instead I’d pay more attention to the ones alive. The graveyards are then full of candles.

Finnish people are very polite and modest to my mind. They speak few and seldom you hear them speak about someone behind the back. Avoid getting to the yoga class too early. You end up looking at your toes quietly for too long time and it’s a pain.

Finns are rather too early than late. Especially the church and the concerts, sometimes even half an hour early.

Ther eis a certain tradition with the funerals that you have to learn or see what others do or tell you.

At the birthdays and parties it is considered polite not to come to the table when a hostess calls people! It shows that you came with an empty stomach. Unlike me, don’t take too much cake. People take a queue for the cake and the coffee. At bigger events, people at the first table go first. Then second table and so on.

Unfortunately I have to say something sad too. Finnish party, if alcohol is offered, turns out into a zoo. A grayest mouse becomes a talkative brave bull. The events last too long, from 17 til 1 or 2 at midnight. Alcohol is consumed to become social. At the beginning hardly anyone speaks and it just doesn’t get started til people rescue themselves by smoking corners to avoid the restless situation or hide behind the beer cans. Alcohol is expensive in Finland. The winner gets to carry one home in his stomach.

The nice bad flower

I just wanted to write you what a nice colorful candle-like flower called lupine grows on the roadside.

As an outsider, you would notice it right away. But for the locals it is a rapidly spreading weed that should be destroyed. It is in the national list of harmful alien species that doesn’t enable local flowers to grow . Read more here.

sdr_HDRB

Finnish coffee

Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Was it 6 cups per day, I can’t remember. I try to manage with 4 and not drink coffee after 18 ‘clock.

Their is no gathering without a Finnish coffee and coffee bread.
Shops attract people by offering free coffee . Old coffeepots work well on advertisements. I have about five such pots to sell, if you want to. 15 eur?

Finnish coffee, either President or Kulta Katriina usually, tastes weird to a foreigner. But you get used to it and even addicted to it.

Coffees are of light and strong taste. Quite cheap. Sometimes 3 packages for a price of 10 euros.
The Kahvipulla is about 2.60 eur.

dav

The World’s Top Coffee Consuming Nations

  • Finland – 12kg per capita per year.
  • Norway – 9.9.
  • Iceland – 9.
  • Denmark – 8.7.
  • Netherlands – 8.4.
  • Sweden – 8.2.
  • Switzerland – 7.9.
  • Belgium – 6.8.

history of FINLAND

People have lived in the region of Finland since the Ice Age, circa 8800 BCE. Habitation first settled along water routes, and since then busy trading traffic has always passed through the region. The name of Finland’s oldest city, Turku, means ‘place of trade’.

The first written sources that mention Finland date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Around that time, crusades brought Finland into the sphere of power of the Roman Pope and the medieval network of Hansa traders.

The Catholic Church spread to the region of Finland from Sweden, while the Orthodox Church did the same from Novgorod, currently Russia, in the East. The struggle for control of the region between Sweden and Novgorod ended with the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323. With the treaty, the Catholic faith was established in western Finland and the Orthodox faith in eastern Finland. This religious boundary still exists, although the Reformation replaced Catholicism with Lutheranism.

Easternmost part of Sweden 1323–1809

After the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323, most of Finland was a part of Sweden. For about 500 years, Finnish history is Swedish history. The region of Finland was Sweden’s buffer against the East, and the borders shifted many times in various wars.

Finns consider themselves Western Europeans because the time as a part of the Kingdom of Sweden strongly tied Finns to the Western cultural heritage. For example, Finns fought in the Thirty Years’ War with Swedish troops in Central Europe. At the same time, however, there were also connections to eastern trade centres and the Orthodox Church.

Important events

1523 Gustav I becomes King of Sweden and withdraws Sweden from the medieval union of the Nordic countries

1543 The first ABC book written in Finnish is published in Finland

1550 Helsinki is founded to compete with Tallinn for Baltic Sea trade

1640 The first university in Finland is established in Turku

Finland as a part of the Russian Empire 1809–1917

Russia captured the region of Finland from Sweden in 1808–1809. The Emperor of Russia, Alexander I gave Finland the status of a Grand Duchy. Most of the laws from the time of the Swedish rule remained in force. During the Russian rule, Finland became a special region developed by order of the Emperor. For example, Helsinki city centre was built during Russian rule.

Starting from 1899, Russia tightened its grip on the Grand Duchy of Finland. Finland did not take part in World War I, but nationalism also had an influence on the region of Finland. Finland was granted its own parliament in 1906, and the first elections were held in 1907. Finland declared independence on 6 December 1917, and the Bolshevik government that seized power in the October Revolution in Russia recognised Finnish independence on 31 December 1917.

Important events

1812 Helsinki becomes the capital

1827 The old capital Turku is destroyed in a fire, emphasising Helsinki’s standing

1860 Finland adopts its own currency, the markka

1906 Universal and equal right to vote, also for women

6 December 1917 Finland declares independence

Early years of independence 1917–1945

In the early years of independence, Finland’s position was fragile. Soon after independence, a bloody civil war broke out in Finland. The war was fought between the Reds or labour movement and the Whites or government troops. The Whites received support from Germany and the Reds from Russia. The war ended in the Whites’ victory.

Finland was strongly in the German sphere of influence because the Soviet Union became the biggest threat to the security of the state. In the 1930s, many right-wing and far-right movements were popular in Finland, as in other parts of Europe.

In August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed that Finland belonged in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence. During World War II, Finland fought on two occasions against the Soviet Union on the German side. Finland lost both wars, but the Soviet Union never occupied Finland.

Because Finland was able to defend its territory in wars soon after gaining independence, Finland’s wars in the 20th century have been considered as a time where the independence of the State of Finland became established.

Important events

1918 Civil War between the Reds and Whites

1921 Act on compulsory education makes it mandatory to attend six years of elementary school

1939–1940 Finland is thrust into World War II when the Winter War breaks out between Finland and the Soviet Union

1941–1944 World War II continues as Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union

Rebuilding, industrialisation and the Cold War 1945–1991

As a defeated party, Finland had to pay the Soviet Union heavy war reparations in the form of goods. The war reparations included, for example, trains, ships and raw materials. Finland financed the building of the goods with loans and aid. The production of the war reparations helped Finland evolve from an agrarian country into an industrialised country. The industrialisation started a migration from the countryside into the cities.

In 1948, Finland and the Soviet Union signed an Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, where the countries promised to defend each other against external treats. In practice, Finland was in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence throughout the Cold War, and the country’s foreign and domestic policy were guided by fear of the Soviet Union.

Important events

1948 Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between Finland and the Soviet Union

1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki

1968 Finnish comprehensive school institution founded

Part of Europe 1991 onwards

The collapse of the Soviet Union and loan-based economic growth in the 1980s caused a recession in Finland in the 1990s. The worst time of the recession was in the early 1990s; many Finnish people were unemployed, companies went bankrupt and the state had little money.

In about 1995, the Finnish economy started to grow, the most important company being mobile phone company Nokia. Finland joined the EU in 1995 and was one of the first countries to adopt the euro as its currency.

Important events

1991 Worst economic crisis in Finnish history

1995 Finland joins the European Union

2000 Finland takes 1st place in children’s literacy in PISA studies

2002 The euro is adopted as the cash currency in Finland

2007 Nokia sells 40% of all mobile phones worldwide

Source: infoFinland.fi: Finnish history

Finnish population and religion

The population of Finland is approximately 5.5 million. More than a million people live in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Finnish and Swedish are Finland’s national languages. Swedish is the native language of just under 300,000 people. Russian, Estonian, English, Somali and Arabic are quite common.

Most Finns are Christians. The largest religious community in Finland is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (Suomen evankelis-luterilainen kirkko), to which about 70% of the population belongs. The Orthodox Church of Finland is the second largest religious community. Slightly over 1% of the population belongs to the Orthodox Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church enjoy a special status in Finland. They are entitled to levy taxes, for example.

The roots of many Finnish holidays lie in Christianity. Read about the Finnish holidays here.

Read about Finnish customs in here.

Top 10 taxpayers of Rauma

You were hoping to see the list of rich people, but I show you which companies paid the most income tax to Rauma budget instead.

The salaries and incomes (dividends, sale of real estate, inheritance etc) of people are public in Finland! So maybe I just bring out one name to give respect for the support he has given to the town in taxes. One of the owners of Oras, Pertti Paasikivi, made 48 times the average Rauma income. He paid 39% of his revenues to the city budget in 2017.

In Rauma, as many as eight companies paid over € 1 million in corporate taxes in 2017. The largest, Länsi-Suomen Osuuspankki, paid 5 million euros taxes. ( 3.8 mEUR a year earlier).

Rauma’s corporate income tax is 20%. It is the difference between taxable income and deductible expenses. In 2017, companies in Rauma paid 31.1 million EUR in corporate income tax. Here is the list of 10 biggest Rauma companies in terms of taxes paid.

The first one: Länsi- Suomen Osuuspankki

OP Länsi-Suomi (officially known as Länsi-Suomen Osuuspankki) is one of OP Financial Group’s largest banks and the leading bank in its business area. The bank has 6 offices and 5 meeting places in four cities and six municipalities, as well as network, mobile and telephone services. The bank has more than 142,000 customers, half of which are owner-customers. More than 200 employees.

2. Rolls-Royce OY AB / new name is KONGSBERG!

The Rauma propeller equipment business is now done under the name of Kongsberg Maritime Finland.

British Rolls-Royce sold its loss-making shipping business to Kongsberg, a Norwegian defense equipment company, for £ 500 million. Read about the merger here.

In Finland, Rolls-Royce’s shipping business includes a factory that manufactures ship propellers in Rauma, which employs some 470 people. There are also activities in Turku and Kokkola. The company employs approximately 500 people in Finland.

The business to be sold includes engines and supplies for the oil refining industry. According to the Kongsberg press release, the deal did not include Bergen engines or Rolls-Royce fleet products.

In the future, the Rolls-Royce group will focus on three sectors: civil aviation technology, defense equipment industry and energy equipment and nuclear technology. The reason for the abandonment of the Rauma mill is the poor profitability of marine technology, which is the result of a decrease in oil and gas prices. Investments in search and production vessels have also decreased. The investment in Rauma’s production facilities is nearly 60 mEUR (Kauppalehti).

In 2011, Rolls Royce brought more than half (n 16.4 mEUR) of Rauma’s corporate taxes. “The city of Rauma can thank the propeller manufacturer Rolls Royce as a true benefactor,” wrote newspaper Länsi- Suomi. Other good corporate tax payers in 2011 were Länsi-Suomen Osuuspankki, Alfa Laval Aalborg, Raumaster, Steerprop and Osuuskauppa Keula.

3. Raumaster OY

Approximately 70 per cent of Raumaster’s net sales for industrial conveyor systems come from exports. The company was founded in 1984.

Talouselämä magazine’s traditional 500 largest companies in Finland listed 8 companies from the Rauma region in 2018. Of these only one company received the perfect 10 points – the Raumaster Group. The company made EUR 8 million net profit with a turnover of EUR 115 million.

4. Forchem OY

In 2017, Forchem, a tall oil refinery in Rauma, paid a corporation tax of nearly 1.8 mEUR, a million more the previous year. The company’s net sales in 2015 were 135 mEUR and the number of employees was 45. Forchem is one of Rauma’s largest companies in terms of turnover.

5. Oras OY

Oras Group, which manufactures kitchen and bathroom fittings and valves, employs 1443 people in 20 countries. Oras Group is owned by the family company Oras Invest.

The Group has two strong brands, Oras and Hansa. The group’s headquarters are in Rauma and factories in Rauma, Burglengenfeld in Germany, Kralovice in the Czech Republic and Olesno in Poland.

The factory in Burglengenfeld in Germany will be closed soon and its production will be shifted to the Polish plant. The role of Rauma will be stronger as the production is shifted to the rest of the factories. There are about 500 employees in Finland.

Oras Group’s net sales for 2018 were 228 mEUR and operating profit was 7 mEUR. Net sales decreased by 7%. In the Nordic countries, Oras faucet products were well traded, but sales in the Hansa brand in Central Europe declined. “We lost market shares in cheaper price groups. In advanced tap products, the market share remained good in Central Europe. Demand for Oras Touchless taps is growing in Europe.”

6. LähiTapiolan Lännen Keskinäinen Vakuutusyhtiö

LähiTapiola Lännen operates in South and Central Satakunta and Vakka-Finland as a leading and financially sound insurer in home, farm and corporate insurance.

The company has 61,000 customers and 95 employees. In 2018, non-life insurance indemnities were paid to customers in the amount of EUR 724 million, an increase of 11 percent compared to the previous year. The company is the market leader in car insurance.

7. Kivikylän Kotipalvaamo OY

The turnover of Kivikylä Kotipalvaamo increased by 13% in 2017 to EUR 64 million. It was a good result in the meat business, where competition is tight. “The company was not even doing the discounts and campaigns.” In 2017, the company employed 285 people.

Since 2010, the company has been the name sponsor for the Lukko ice hall. Co-operation has given Kivikylä its national visibility.

8. Alfa Laval Aalborg OY

Alfa Laval Aalborg operates in designing and manufacturing of oil-fired boilers and exhaust gas economizers for ships as well as heat recovery systems for land-based industrial power plants but also waste heat recovery solutions for process industry.

Turnover for 2018 was 50 million euros. Rauma employs a total of 65 people.

Alfa Laval Aalborg is part of the Swedish Alfa Laval Group, but the company’s history dates back to 1964, when Uusikaupunki’s Shipyard started manufacturing boilers in Uusikaupunki. Subsequently, as a result of the acquisition, the company became the owner of the then docking company Finnyards, becoming part of Pipemasters Oy. In 1994, the product range also included heat recovery systems for power plants. The Danish company Aalborg Industries A / S acquired Pipemasters Oy in 1997. The company changed its name to Aalborg Industries Oy. As a result of the acquisition in 2011, the entire Aalborg Industries Group was transferred to Alfa Laval and thus formed the current Alfa Laval Aalborg Oy.

9. Osuuskauppa Keula

Osuuskauppa Keula runs a number of shops in Rauma. The company is owned by its 30,000 customers.

Keula’s net sales for the past year (2018) were 152 mEUR, of which operating profit was 4 mEUR. The company employs 500 people.

The company’s business areas are supermarket and specialty goods, ABC business and restaurant business. In Rauma they have one Prisma, 7 S-market shops, 9 Sale shops, Kortela ABC gas station-shop, service station Talliketo, 6 ABC-automatic gas stations, Emotion cosmetics shop, hair salon Rauman HiusPrisma, Amarillo bar-restaurant, 2 Presso cafes, PizzaBuffa, Laitilan Tupa restaurant at the Laitila gas station and Hesburger burger sales points at Prisma supermarket, ABC Kortela gas station and Laitila Business Center.

Keula’s market share in Rauma’s food trade is about 52% (2019). Rauma Prisma supermarket area will be expanded by 3000 m2. The renovation costs 10mEUR. The current Prisma of about 13,000 square meters was opened in 2007. The investment proved to be very profitable and the last long-term bank loan was disbursed in January 2019.

Keula was established 115 years ago. In 1903, Otto Palen, a man from Rauma, invited 30 craftsmen and professionals gathered at the temperance society (the association of sober people) on Kalatori market in Rauma. As a result of this unanimous meeting, the Rauma cooperative society was established. Three years later they bought on Kauppakatu the city’s most beautiful house. In 1913, the Rauma Cooperative had already 9 stores.

10. RTK Palvelu OY

RTK-Palvelu Oy is a Finnish specialist in real estate services, employing over 3,000 professionals in over 30 locations. Turnover is n 115 mEUR.
RTK Service is part of the Finnish Contineo Group, which provides nationwide cleaning, real estate and industrial services and customer-oriented personnel services. Contineo also offers sporting entertainment and a variety of restaurant and event services. The Group includes RTK-Palvelu Oy, RTK-Henkilöstöpalvelu Oy, Rauman Lukko Oy and Helmiranta Wellness and Experience Center.

The top taxpaying companies. The taxable income and the taxes they paid to Rauma city in 2017.

Rauma’s own ice hockey team

Rauma, although a small town, has its own professional ice hockey team called Lukko (“lock” in English)!

You ask what Rauma men do on Wednesdays or Saturdays? They go watch the game or take their kids to play ice hockey.

What do women do? Well, every 7th Rauma person participates at the art and handicraft courses of the local Adult Education Center Rauman Kansalaisopisto. Most of the fans of the fine arts are women.

Lukko plays in the Finnish Liiga, the top tier of Finnish ice hockey.

The club was founded in 1936 as the Rauma Wood saw mill’s league. The home icehall is Kivikylä Areena, which has a capacity of 4700 spectators.

Lukko has won the Finnish championship once, in 1963.

Since 2011, Lukko has had a team in the Women’s Baseball Championship League (Superpesis).

Lukko shop

The calender of Lukko icehockey games

Rauma port

Rauma is known as Finland’s largest export port for paper. The port area belongs to the town of Rauma, but it is operated by an international port operator Euroports.

The latter employees 550 people in Rauma.

Rauma port in a nutshell:

  • Finland’s largest paper exporting port
  • Western Finland’s largest container port
  • The most important articles: Chemical and mechanical forestry industrial products, containers, project transportation and bulk goods
  • Exports and imports of about 6 million tons
  • Channel depth 12 meters!

Vessel traffic in 2018 according to the port of Rauma:

In 2018, the total traffic at the Port of Rauma was 5.84 (-1.9 %) million tons and 263 000 TEU’s (-5.5 %):
– 4.14 million tons (-1.2 %) of export goods,
-1.60 million tons (-6.4 %) of import goods
-domestic traffic of 0.09 million tons

1 158 vessels visited the port in a year ( 9 vessels less than in 2017).

Positive increases in volumes in export could be seen especially in paper and general cargo. Approximately 1/3 of Finnish paper is exported via port of Rauma. Shipments of sawn goods were less than expected, thus halting a positive growth. The most significant growth in import was in round wood.  A decrease in the export of liquids and grain and in the import of oil products, general cargo and grain could be seen.

According to Tanja Angelova, the administrative director of Port of Rauma, the overall traffic volumes and container volumes have decreased a bit in 2018. Larger vessels have though been able to enter the port thanks to the deepening of the berth.

 “Even though we are behind in volumes compared to 2017, we do believe that we can increase the amounts again in 2019. We already have all the operating conditions for this,” she wrote in a press release.

“The completion of the expansion of the container terminal was the most significant event of the year 2018 together with the start of the construction of a new expansion area.”

An old picture of the harbor from 1890 lent from the internet site vanhatkuvat.fi.

Check here which vessels are at the deck right now

Kirsti house museum

This is the most lovely house museum in the Old Rauma and it is open in summer only.
It has been in the ownership of the same family for 200 years until the city bought it in 1970ies .
Each room is decorated in a certain area- from 1920ies .. up to 1960ies.

You can see where a family of 4 lived in the same room and grandma in the back room (lace making equipment on a table).
You can see the room from 1920ies from when there was no electricity, but an oil lamp on the wall.
You can see the part of the house from 1960ies, where kitchen was modernized. The heating stove was thrown out to make space for the in- the- house- toilet. Kitchen had a running water and an electric stove. TV also came in the 60ies and had the central location in the room.

Some interesting facts from the past!
Electricity came in 1900, but first it was used at the town entities and later it was sold to the households.
Houses were connected to the city’s drinking and sewage water system in 1930ies.
First cars in Finland in 1900, but mainly used by rich Russian travelers or Swedish companies that transported their products through Finland to Russia. They had cattle as well til the 1950ies.
Television came in the early 1960ies.

Visit the website of Kirsti museum

Read the history of Rauma or ask me for a tour