Ethnocultural Centre Elämä
The Karelians know that before you tell guests long stories or teach them wisdom, you should first feed them well. We uphold the commandment of our ancestors. All our master classes are combined with tea-drinking (we also have delicious and aromatic coffee) and Karelian baked goods.
These are our master classes for you:
Crafting of the traditional doll
Rag dolls have a place of honour among the traditional dolls. First and foremost, rag dolls are connected with honouring Mother and with the fertility cult and are a symbol of the hearth. In our master class, we offer you an opportunity to craft a Karelian Rvanka, Vepsian Doll, or Northern Bereginya. The Karelian Rvanka doll was a talisman, but at the same time, also a toy. The Vepsian Doll also was a talisman, representing both the image of a married woman as well as a mother’s care and emotional warmth. The impressive chest of the doll was a sign of fertility and the ability of a woman to bear children. A doll such as this was given to bring prosperity and happiness. The Northern Bereginya doll was a talisman of the house.It was placed in the northern corner of the cottage opposite the entrance in order to meet all those coming in and keep evil powers out of the house.It protected the home and gave it prosperity.
Baking of kalitki
The baking of this traditional Karelian, Finnish, and Vepsian dish is an art, requiring special skills and practice. These pies may be prepared to any taste with various fillings such as potatoes, rice, grain, fish, barley, pearl barley porridge, cottage cheese, cheese, mushrooms, carrots, berries, etc. Kalitki can take various forms: round, oval, four-cornered,five-cornered, or six-cornered. The dish received its name, sipainiekku, rypitetty, from the very important and not-so-easy process of crimping the edges.
Introduction to textile printing technique
We invite you to delve into the ancient art of colourisation by textile pattern printing.It is a type of design and applied art, a manual method of printing coloured patterns on fabric, shawls, etc.by using chiselled templates. The printing templates are flat, carved wooden boards, printing blocks, typeset copper, or brass plates. The patterns are taken from the ornamental motifs of Karelian, Russian, and Finnish embroidery. You will be able to print patterns on a kerchief, bag, or t-shirt and take them with you.
Introduction to traditional Karelian musical instruments
Since times immemorial, Balto-Finnic musicians have played stringed, wind, clay, and birch bark instruments. Many similar instruments are currently used by famous Karelian folk-bands. The director of the currently popular ensemble Meijӓn Pajo will tell you of the origin, making, and use of musical instruments as well as the peculiarities of their sound and how they can be played in harmony. You will hear traditional performances on kantele, flute, saaripukki, spoons, and other musical instruments.
Introduction to animated films in Karelian
A very exciting way to be introduced to the Karelian language and culture is watching animated films. We offer you animated films in Karelian made by the children of Pryazha. These are the only Karelian animated films in the world.
The animated film Visiting Grandma tells the story of a day in the life of a girl who comes to the village to visit her grandma. The animated film Karelian Childhood has been created based on three musical plays by the Karelian composer Anastasia Salo and her album The Karelian Childhood. The film includes Russian subtitles.
Introduction to medicinal plants of Karelia
The plant life of Karelia is diverse. There are more than 1,100 kinds of plants. Which of these are medicinal and what are their properties, how they may be used, where and when collected — these and many other topics will be covered in our master class.
We offer not only master classes, but also an excursion to the exhibition The Golden Thread of Pryazha or Tulmozerye, a performance by the original song ensemble Meijӓn Pajo, or a game program with the same performers. You can also lease a hall. We have all the necessary conference equipment and free wi-fi.
If you become extremely hungry after gaining all this knowledge, we will organise meals for you. The Karelians have never let their guests leave hungry.
Welcome to the Ethnocultural Centre Elämä!