16.01.2020 16:57

Karelia reconstructed by high school students in Finland

Karelia reconstructed by high school students in Finland

My thesis describes the reconstruction of Karelia by high school students In Finland. Karelia has been really hard location to dicribe, partly because it has never been a nation of it's own. Ethnically the area is harder to describe, because the people have varied inside of it through history. Also there are Karelian people in Karelia of Tver and Ingria. In Finnish history there has been two Karelia: the area before and after the Second World War. Russian naming starts at the beginning of Karelian Republic. After Second World War Finland ceded the County Vyborg to Soviet Union. This is what we call in Finland "the lost Karelia". Both Finnish and Russian researchers have definition of their own of Karelia as an area. This means, that the researchers in Finland and in Russia are using totally different words to discribe the same area. To add even more, there are two areas in Finland that are identified as Karelian: the Northern Karelia and Soutern Karelia.

Because the area of Karelia is not to be discribed exactly, I'll use the term "imagined area". Usually this kind of imagined area, as Karelia, is representated through coulture. This means symbols, images, myths, beliefs and stereotypes. In the example, representations of Karelia are usually confound by emotions and memories upon that area. Once the area is representated, the people in that area is given a representation of their own. This "regional counciousness" or "regional identity" is the connective matter between the people and the area - some kind of mutual cultural, psychological and habitat base. This illustrates also how stereotypes are born: when everyone behaves accodningly in their own regional identity, and expect others to do that also.

Sended a questionare to three high schools in Finland, the number of participants was 27 from Mikkeli and 20 from Joensuu. In Mikkeli settled large number of evacuated people after the Second World War, and Joensuu have a Karelian identity in Finland. The questionare focused on geography, culture, religion and linguistics. My target was to collect reconstruction of Karelia in the minds of high school students. Here I illustrate the findings of a map task in the questionare, which narrates how the students locate Karelia. They were asked to draw their definition of Karelia on the map.

Students in Mikkeli saw Karelia mostly inside the Russian boarder and were hesitant to draw Karelia in Finland. The ones, who saw Karelia as a part of Finland, placed Karelia quite high, to the shores of the White Sea. Students in Joensuu placed Karelia firmly, but were shy to place it in Russia. Most students in Mikkeli were limited by the White Sea Canal, common was also to draw Karelia all the way from Lake Ladoga to the Arctic sea. Some even arounded the Lake Onega, but that was rather unusual.

Students in Joensuu were more aware of the Karelia that they were describing. The areas that they draw in Finland, were precise, but were unable to locate Karelia in Russia. Lake Ladoga was a cruicial point to the students of Joensuu, they didn't draw Karelia furher than that.

The students in Finland don't have a precise image of the location of Karelia. As one student wrote "there is the Finnish Karelia and the Russian Karelia". The high school students in Finland are polarized about the image if Karelia, and can't see them together or define them further more from one big area, that they call Karelia.

Eeva Pekkala

Karelia reconstructed by high school students in Finland

Опубликовано 16.01.2020 16:57 | Просмотров: 36 | Блог » RSS


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