Students in field

Who loves the Kalevala? We love the Kalevala! Kalevalathon comes to Finlandia February 28

February 14, 2019

Join students and faculty in celebration of Kalevala Day, also known as the Day of Finnish Culture, for the inaugural Kalevalathon on Thursday, February 28 from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center. The participants from Finlandia University’s Finnish & Nordic Studies Program will be performing a 5.5-hour marathon reading of Kalevala.

“The Kalevala is an enduring symbol of Finnishness that is present around us, even in the Copper Country,” said Dr. Hilary-Joy Virtanen, Assistant Professor of Finnish & Nordic Studies. “Many local residents have their own copy of the epic, characters from the Kalevala are key figures in the annual Heikinpäivä parade as well as the annual Art from the Kalevala exhibit at the Copper Country Community Arts Center.”

How many of the 50 runos will they get through? Will their voices fail? How many languages can they use to read Kalevala? These questions and more will all be answered on February 28.

Interested in getting involved? Pop in and read a rune or just listen as students, faculty and visitors read the stories. If you are interested in reading a rune in a particular language other than English or Finnish, please contact Dr. Virtanen by February 21 at hilary.virtanen@finlandia.edu.

“The Kalevalathon is a chance for us to come together in celebration of Finnish culture and to participate in the epic in our own way,” said Dr. Virtanen.

This event is free and open to the public. Come for your lunch break (bring your lunch), come between classes, come with your classes, or be like Dr. Virtanen and stay for the whole day.

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