«I love nothing more dearly than Kalevala,
no forests and rivers are more beautiful then hers;
if you have been here at least once,
your heart will remain here forever.
The crisp clean air makes you dizzy;
you are lured by the river fish;
each home welcomes you with tea;
the traditions are faithfully guarded here.
This land, where our ancestors sang rune songs,
holds the melody of the native tongue;
the sounds of kantele abound;
and I wish that it would remain so forever.«
The Kalevala Region is one of the most picturesque places in northern Karelia. This is the native land of a renowned epic, the Kalevala. The territory of the current Kalevala Region with its historic villages is the same location where the ancient, content rich Karelian runes were recorded. Through the Kalevala, the whole world learned of the ancient epic poetry of the Karelians and Finns. Many names of ordinary peasants rune singers are known throughout the world.
Ethnocultural Centre KALEVALATALO
The ethnic centre Kalevalatalo offers an open door to the world of rune singing, the beautiful sounds of the kantele, and the ancient Karelian game Kyuyukkya!
In the Museum of the Rune Singers, located in the house of the famous national narratress Maria Remshu, you can become acquainted with the rune singing tradition of the northern Karelians.
Visit the Printing House Museum and become an expert on the printing process of the 1950 ’s. All the printing machinery is operational.
Kalevalatalo carefully protects the tradition of playing the kantele. At musical events, you can hear children playing the five-stringed kantele or listen to a orchestra of kantele players who are famous in this region. Soon, the Kalevala Museum will host an exhibition dedicated to the kantele of Ontrei Malinen, an instrument that dates back to 1833. Elias Lönnrot himself listened to the sound of this kantele.