Did You Know?

Why President Relander was called “Traveling Lauri”…and other Nicknames of Former Finnish Presidents

05/05/2022

Most of the former Finnish presidents have earned beloved nicknames from the people.
Do you know who was “Manu”, or why Relander was called “Traveling Lauri”?

Pehr Evind Svinhufvud was “Old Man Pehr”

P.E. Svinhufvud was the president of Finland from 1931 until 1937. He was very popular president and was known simply as “Ukko-Pekka” (Old Man Pehr).

Lauri Kristian Relander was “Traveling Lauri”

L.K. Relander was the president of Finland from 1925 until 1931. He made several state visits to neighboring countries and hosted many visits to Finland. As in those days tourism wasn’t as common as it is today, Finns were very interested to know about his trips. This earned him his nickname “Reissu-Lasse” (Traveling Lauri).

Urho Kaleva Kekkonen was “Urkki”

Urho Kaleva Kekkonen was the longest serving president of Finland from 1956 until 1982. He is often referred to by his initials UKK. Or remembered simply as “Urkki”.

Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim was “Marski”

C.G.E Mannerheim was most famous Finnish military leader and the president of Finland from 1944 until 1946. Everyone in Finland knows who is “Marski”.

Mauno Koivisto was “Manu”

Mauno Koivisto was the president of Finland from 1982 until 1994. He was known as “Manu”.

Image features president L.K. Relander in 1930s.
Photographer Aarne Pietinen. Image by Finnish Aviation Museum.