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4th annual Kalevalathon to be held on Feb. 24

February 15, 2022

Kalevalathon 2022

Kalevalathon is back again for the fourth year. Join the Finlandia community to celebrate Kalevala Day on Thursday, February 24, from 9 a.m. to approximately 7 p.m. Eastern time via Zoom as they read the Finnish epic poem, the Kalevala.

“February 28 is Kalevala Day in Finland, and locally, for years Kalevala has been celebrated with February’s annual Art of the Kalevala exhibition at the Copper Country Community Arts Center and since 2019, with the Finnish & Nordic Studies Kalevalathon,” said Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen, Assistant Professor of Finnish & Nordic Studies. “Last year, we held the reading over Zoom and attracted participants from Seattle to Finland and points in between, so it is only natural that we will do the marathon reading like this again. The more, the merrier!”

The free event is open to the public, and people can come and go as they please using a Zoom link or by watching the event over YouTube at Hilary-Joy Virtanen’s YouTube channel. The goal is to get through all 50 runes, which Dr. Virtanen estimates could take as many as 10-12 hours to complete. Where previous years sought to read as many runes as possible, the goal is to read the entire epic this year. “Last year, participants were saddened the closer we got to the end of our time, so this year, we’re going to do the whole thing–and we will need a global community to help us!”

Participants can feel free to watch the proceedings or even volunteer to read a rune over Zoom— while a complimentary link to an online copy of the epic poem and instructions for volunteering are provided. Participants are welcome to read a rune from any version of the Kalevala they may have, including in other languages, from Finnish to Esperanto to Japanese.

Enter the Zoom link for as little or as long as you like, or be like Dr. Virtanen and stay for the whole day. The event will stream over YouTube for the duration of the event. For more information or help preparing to join a Zoom meeting, contact Dr. Virtanen directly at hilary.virtanen@finlandia.edu.

Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87025387595

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