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As Microsoft buys Nokia, Finns mourn their claim to fame.

The central object in Finland’s national epic poem the Kalevala is the Sampo, a magical machine that produces money, flour and salt. The device is stolen and taken away over the sea, but along the way falls into the water and is lost.

For Finns contemplating the final indignity for its modern-day magical machine Nokia, the analogy is as unavoidable. From humble beginnings as a paper mill set up 150 years ago in the small town of Nokia in southern Finland, the company became the country’s global claim to fame before subsiding under a withering assault from Apple and others. Finally this week, its mobile phone business was sold to Microsoft.


Wif Stenger in Espoo
The Guardian, Friday 6 September 2013 08.27 EDT

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