The Syamozero region is known for its legends, songs, and epic folk tales, and it is famous for its ancient narrators and kantele players. Villages around Lake Syamozero and in nearby areas have a rich history and native Karelian inhabitants. Here you can hear the real Karelian language.
Recent years have seen an increase of interest in Karelian culture. The Karelian and Finnish languages are taught in secondary school. The kindergarten has a Karelian language classroom where kindergarten teachers who know the language speak with children in their native dialect. In fact, not only children can learn. The Livvik centre, Livvin keskus, in the culture house offers courses in the Karelian language for adults.
It is not surprising that a real literature and festival movement has sprung up recently in Essoila. The festivals of Karelian poetry, the competitions of readers in Karelian, the concerts — all these are entertaining both for the locals and visitors who travel the world to hear rare languages and learn to speak them a little. Of course, no one could perform examples of oral traditional art better than the children’s folklore ensemble Rodnichok, for example, whose repertoire contains songs in Karelian, national dances, and rituals. The folk song ensemble Syamozerye, however, not only dances and sings, but also performs theatre in Karelian.
The multicultural studio in the Ethnocultural Centre of Essoila is doubtlessly an innovation. Children create animated films themselves and develop computer games in Karelian. Visitors also view it as a Karelian miracle, in a way. Those who enjoy cultural and educational tourism can become a part of a Karelian village and apply their talents.
Ethnocultural Centre Kielen kirju
Ethnocultural Centre Kielen kirju, whose name when translated means Language Pattern, is a place where the Karelian language lives. Here, children and drop-in guests learn to speak in Karelian; here, songs, animated films, and everyday conversations in the rare and beautiful Livvik dialect become a part of everyday life.
The native inhabitants of the rural settlement of Essoila are Livvik Karelians. The main goal of the Centre’s work is to preserve the Karelian language in various ways: from conversational traditions to the creation of animated films in Karelian.
The work of the Ethnocultural Centre offers opportunities to learn interactively and remember Karelian words, to hear and sing Karelian songs, to play Karelian games, to taste Karelian baked goods and to learn to bake Karelian pies, and to see animated films in Karelian and to take part in their creation process.