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Culture and Creativity

The Kalevala - Living Epic Heritage (Finland)

A guided tour in theartist’s studio at the Gallen-Kallela Museum

The Kalevala is one of the most influential epics of 19th century, it is based on Karelian and Finnish vernacular tradition and influenced the nation building in Finland.

The publication of the Kalevala was part of the transnational movement of National Romanticism, which led to the search for specific mythologies for all European nations.

Today, the Kalevala is a source of inspiration for contemporary European culture, including popular forms of youth culture (metal music, fantasy literature, tattoos). While the Kalevala is highly respected as heritage of Finland, it also showcases the interchange and multi-layered nature of European cultures and identities.