Wednesday May 22, 2024

Living epic Kalevala receives European Heritage Label

Published : 12 Apr 2024, 00:39

  DF Report
Photo: Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Kalevala, the national epic of Finland, was awarded the European Commission’s European Heritage Label on Thursday, said the Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release.

The European Heritage Label is granted to sites, monuments, documents or events that have a particular significance for European history, culture and integration. The label was granted to seven applicants.

The Kalevala is one of the few pieces of intangible cultural heritage to receive the European Heritage Label.

The label was awarded to the Kalevala as a living epic that changes with the times and continues to be a source of new scientific, artistic and cultural interpretations.

Written in 1849 by Elias Lönnrot, who drew inspiration from Karelian and Finnish folk poetry, the Kalevala is part of the European ideological current and epic tradition.

The work has been translated into more than 60 languages.

“The Kalevala is a part of our common European heritage that demonstrates the power of culture and its ability to evolve. For many generations, the Kalevala has been a source of inspiration to artists when creating new music, visual arts and literature. The Kalevala also inspires discussion about the meaning of living cultural heritage and cultural diversity in our society,” said Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala.

The Epic Kaleidoscope project, which explores Finnish and Karelian cultural heritage from today’s point of view, is being organised in connection with the label. The project is a joint effort led by the Finnish Literature Society together with the Kalevala Society Foundation, the Gallen-Kallela Museum, the Juminkeko Foundation, Parppeinvaara Rune Singer’s Village and an extensive network of partners.

The European Heritage Label is part of the EU's Creative Europe programme. Since 2013, the label has been granted to 67 sites connected to built heritage, documents, the cultural environment and intangible cultural heritage. The aim of the label is to raise awareness among Europeans about the history of Europe, the building of the Union and our common, diverse cultural heritage. Finland’s first European Heritage Label was awarded to the University of Jyväskylä Seminaarinmäki campus and Equality in Education in 2022.

The European Heritage Label is coordinated by the Finnish Heritage Agency. The next national application round will take place in May-June 2024.