The Kalevala Tales of Magic and Adventure is the first epic I read after a long break that I could not really remember. I heard this Finnish epic while researching something about J.R.R Tolkien and was very curious. After reading the book, I guess it would not be wrong to think that Tolkien may have been a little inspired by this exquisite epic while writing The Lord of the Rings. This epic, which is of great importance in creating the national consciousness of Finland, actually takes place in our lives in one way or another.
I think reading The Kalevala Tales of Magic and Adventure as a children’s book was an excellent chance for me because otherwise, I would get bored and let go of this beautiful epic. However, I read it with great pleasure, thanks to the wonderful language and beautiful pictures in this book. The pleasant Kalevala consists of stories that are intriguing in themselves.
Though you may not understand what Sampo is, and you may not believe most of the spells out of bewilderment, the stories in the book will stay with you. If you want to learn something about Finland, I would say you should definitely read this epic. You can create a small reading club for your family and read the book together, as it contains items that will definitely attract the attention of both children and adults. Enjoy!
The Kalevala Tales of Magic and Adventure
The national Finnish epic, The Kalevala, is one of the most important works of Finnish literature. It was originally compiled by Elias Lonnröt in the 19th century from ancient oral poetry. Since then, it has been translated into over 45 languages. This English translation captures the magic and beauty for children and adults alike. Beginning with the world’s creation, it follows the stories of Väinämöinen, a shamanistic hero of song and story; his young rival, Joukahainen; and the handsome but arrogant Lemminkäinen. Their quests for love, revenge, truth, and the mysterious Sampo, the ultimate source of prosperity, have thrilled and inspired generations of readers. This vibrant translation, with shimmering illustrations by Pirkko-liisa Surojegin, is sure to attract even more fans.
Kirsti Mäkinen is a Division Head at the National Board of Education of Finland. She is Master of Finnish Language and Literature at the Co-educational Finnish Secondary School in Helsinki.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: