The 5th annual reading marathon of The Kalevala will kick off at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 28, and will continue until the last rune has been read. Led by Finlandia University’s Finnish & Nordic Studies professor Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen, patrons can attend the event in person, via Zoom or by livestream.
“Often people think of epic poetry as difficult, hard to understand, and maybe even boring to read. The Kalevala Reading Marathon, Kalevalathon, lets people around the world work together to share in the epic, get a sense for the stories it contains, and hear or read the stories together,” Virtanen said.
The Kalevala, Finland’s national epic, was compiled and shaped by Elias Lönnrot, a 19th-century folklorist who adapted traditional Finnish-Karelian oral poems to create this work. Kalevala Day is celebrated annually in Finland on February 28 and is simultaneously the Day of Finnish Culture.
This year, the epic will be read from start to finish, including all 50 poems. Materials and instructions will be provided to patrons attending in person or by registering in advance for those attending online. As in previous years, patrons are invited to join the event for free and for as long or short as they’d like.
“During the pandemic, offering the Kalevalathon online brought us participants from across the country and even around the world, and so this year, we are making it so people can either join in-person or online,” Virtanen said. “I look forward to seeing how it all works out and particularly, if we are able to read the whole thing!”
Those interested in attending via Zoom are asked to register via the link below. Due to the graphic nature of some of the poems, listener discretion is advised.
Join in person: Jutila Center | Keranen Room 323 | Address: 200 Michigan Street, Hancock, MI 49930
Join via Zoom by registering here: https://forms.gle/TeU121CETK4qXVj66
Watch the Livestream: Available on February 28 at www.finlandia.edu/kalevalathon2023
For more information, contact Hilary Virtanen at firstname.lastname@example.org.Tags: Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen, Finnish & Nordic Studies, Finnish Studies, Kalevala, Kalevala Day, kalevalathon