The Association of Friends of Russian Karelia (AFRA) in Finland - trips to Karelia and co-operation.

We will organize bus tours to Karelia every summer. The trip in 2004 took place 30.6.-4.7. 2004 starting from Kajaani Finland. The route will be Kajaani - Kostamus - Jyskyjärvi - Paanajarvi - Kalevala - Jyskyjärvi - Kostamus -Kajaani. The price included accomodation in families in the villages of Jyskyjärvi , Kalevala and Paanajärvi These excursion will be a memorable dive into the landscape where the best verses of Finnish national epos Kalevala were sung and collected. You will be amazed to hear echoes from bygone times in remoted old Karelian villages, where surviving runesinger babuschkas are waiting for an opportunity us to sing for us real Kalevalametric poetry. You will be amazed by the wildernesses of Karelia too. The price (290 euros for Finns/ different prices for visas for foreigners) includes visas, accomodation in families, lunch, breakfast and dinner while in Karelia, and bustransportation.Additional excursions to more remote places are not includedexcursions to more remote places. Contact Petri Niikko for further information. We can promise you a safe, rich in expieriences holiday in the vanishing world of mythic Karelia. We can also plan for you an special expedition to Russian Karelia (or to other parts of Russia) e-mail to Petri Niikko Our travel agency is

The organization of AFRA is founded to create co-operation between Finns and the Karelian villages to help Karelian preserve their old culture and language in modern world and in Russia. We think a civilized tourism in the villages is most rewarding for both sides - for the tourists and the people. During the travels we assist e.g. local day-nurserys and the poorest families in the Villages. If you are interested in our actions please contact Petri Niikko

We also teach the travellers to write poetry by the age-old Kalevala meter in modern themes such as the experiences during the trips! You can read examples of such poetry here.
You will find latest views from the villages in our homepage

P.S. Look at the end of this page and you will find one modern Kalevala poem translated in English...

Back to English Back to the frontpage More photographs
Maps of Russian Karelia

Petri Niikko
Ugric ramble 11.-12.12.2001
Tours to Karelia
Tatarstan, Russia
Kalevalametric poetry in Finnish
Exhibition in Arktikum 23.2.-5.4.1999
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Doom to the network,
the devil take the PC,
hellfire scanners,
gunfire hardware!

Like a madman, waking,
working day and night,
I became creator of a file
that quicker than the lightest
summer cloud
just vanished.
Or did a virus take it?

All struggles, wriggles - damn it!
I am leaving for the backwoods,
going for the woodlands,
taking paper and pencil.
Free to use my mind
I leave machines and their logic,
all terrible terminals,
that mega-giga wasteland.

©Petri Niikko
Translated, from Finnish by Fred Björksten.
(Originally in Finnish by age-old kalevalameter.)