Preserving the Culture of a Lost Karelia

Episode 37

Recorded in 2016, I speak to Marjo Matikainen-Källström, Satu Hallonberg and Markku Pulli about Karjalaisetkesäjuhlat; the commemoration of the evacuation of 430,000 people from Karelia after World War 2 and a celebration of continuing Karelian culture. I then speak to Satu (now Mrs Wiltshear) who shares some of her family’s memories as evacuees from Karjala.

Download an MP3 of Preserving the Culture of a Lost Karelia

Map of ‘Lost Karelia’ (Luovetettu Karjala).
Image courtesy of

Finnish Words in the Episode

  • Karjala – Eastern region of Finland (Karelia)
  • Karjalan liitto – Karelian Association
  • Karjalaiset – people from Karjala / Karelia
  • Winter War – Talvi sota (battle between Finland and USSR on Finnish territory, 30 November 1939 – 13 March 1940)
  • Etelä- Pohjanmaa – South Ostrobothnia
  • Äväjäisjuhlat – Opening party
  • Komia – ‘handsome’
  • Kuorot – choirs
  • Karjalan piiraka – Karelian pie (pastry filled with rice porridge)
  • Jaakkiman sanomat – Bi-monthly newspaper about Karjalan life and culture
  • Viborg/Viipuri – Former Finnish town, now in Russia near St Petersburg
  • Sortavala – Former Finnish town, now in Russia near St Petersburg
  • Terijoki – Former Finnish town, where Satu’s Grandparents lived, now known as Zelenogorsk
  • Suomenlahti – Baltic Sea
  • Pitsihuvila – decorative wooden villas
  • Ilya Repin – Russian painter


Next episode: Mark Wiltshear’s 12 Minute Conversation with Engel Jones

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