Images from the Kalevala village of over 5000 inhabitants in Russian Karelia.
These parts of Russian Karelia have a special significance for Finns and a constant stream of Finnish – mainly male – tourists visit the area. These parts never politically belonged to Finland but they have a strong connection to the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Elias Lönnrot – collector of Finnish oral poetry best known for composing Kalevala found some of the best poem singers in this part of Karelia and in Uhtua – or as it has been called since 1961 – Kalevala. But this is probably not the main reason for the tourism today. More important is war history: Finnish troops got as far as the Kis-kis (previous posting) hill 18 km from Uhtua in the ‘Continuation War’ i.e. WW II. So the main interest are the traces of war history.
Before WW II Russian was not commonly spoken in this region but now it is the main language. Mainly the elderly still speak Karelian – a language close to Finnish – but it is still possible for a Finn to travel in the region without speaking Russian – you will always be able to find someone who speaks sufficient Finnish.
These three pictures are from Kalevala village (former Uhtua) lake Keski-Kuittijärvi.
Luomuvientirenkaan toukokuun kokous pidettiin rajan takana Kalevalassa. Alue ei tosin lähiaikoina tule olemaan luomuviennin kohdealuetta, mutta muuten monessakin mielessä mielenkiintoinen alue.