”Miulla on vahva perintö Karjalasta”
Nykyitkijöiden suhde karjalaisuuteen Suomessa
“I have a strong heritage from Karelia.” A lamenter’s relationship to Karelianness and Ingrianness in modern Finland
In this article, I shall examine the meanings that folk musicians performing and teaching laments in Finland today give to their Karelian background. In a single interview, being Ingrian also came up, but as this remained clearly in the minority in the material, this example is now discussed in the text under the Karelian theme without a broader scrutiny of Ingrianness.
In other words, the article examines what kind of ideas contemporary lamenters have about their relationship with Karelian. This theme emerges through the following questions: For what reasons is a musician or an actor once interested in laments? Has Karelianness played a role in this process? The research material for this article is based on interviews with ten actors who perform and teach lament songs. The material is mirrored in the way the interviewees talk about Karelianness and its importance for their emergence of interest in laments. In this paper, I shall try to show that the dirge serves as a tool for rebuilding lost connections to Karelia or Karelianness in today’s Finland. Thus, for some respondents, the lament serves as a way to explore and strengthen ties to lost Karelia or Karelianism, while other respondents emphasize the dirge as part of their own wide-ranging professional expertise as musicians and artists.