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The Anniversary of the Republic of Karelia was Celebrated with Style in Kostomuksha
The yearly celebrations of the Republic of Karelia take place every year in a different city around Karelia. On Saturday the June 11th 2016 it was time for our neighbouring town of Kostomuksha to arrange the 96 th anniversary. Events were hosted by the Head of Karelia, Mr Alexander Hudilainen. There were official guests from around the republic and also guests of high level from Moscow, for example the President of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev.
Large crowds of people had gathered in the city from all over Karelia. Also the Kainuu region had a strong presence in the celebrations. Official delegations arrived from the Regional Council of Kainuu, cities of Kajaani and Kuhmo in addition to municipalities of Sotkamo and Suomussalmi. Also the region of North Karelia and the city of Joensuu had sent official delegations, as well as the Regional State Administrative Agency of Northern Finland and the Regional Council of Northern Ostrobothnia.
Delegations took part in the official reception of Mr Hudilainen and presented their formal greetings. Language differences did not cause any difficulties, as the Head of the Republic of Karelia is fluent in Finnish. Plenty of people from Kainuu had also arrived on their own, prepared with a festive mood, and the region stood out in a positive way from among the crowd.
Besides the official celebrations there was a wide range of cultural program from early morning until late evening open for all the audience. All districts of the Republic of Karelia were presenting their strengths and products at the Kostomuksha Cultural Centre. A forward-looking and constructive spirit seems to prevail in the districts.
There was cultural program for all preferences on the four stages in different parts of the city. The Karelian and Russian top artists were performing classical music, traditional folk dance and folklore, rock music, theatre and exhibitions. Playful sports events took place, for example a football match arranged at a brand new sports field. The main stage at the Culture Hall Square brought together an audience of several thousand people. Programme numbers followed one another according to a minute schedule from morning to late evening. The festivities were indisputably the largest public event in the thirty years of Kostomuksha history.
As an exception compared to the previous anniversaries of the republic, this time there was also Finnish culture to be enjoyed in Kostomuksha, the programme numbers negotiated by the regional Council according to the hosts' request. The Kainuu Folk Music Association performed with various groups (Keiketys, Crystal Girls, accordions from Sotkamo and the Sommelo group), the Kostomuksha town-twin Kuhmo brought their brass band that offered a really impressive programme number. Also a youth choir from the Madetoja music high school from Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia, performed.
The Regional Council of Kainuu, together with the Northern Finland district of Finland-Russia Society and the Russian-speaking RestoRus student group of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, presented the region at a tent on the pedestrian street, in addition to making Kainuu known at a stand in the Culture Hall. The audience eagerly participated in the Kainuu lottery arranged, with prizes donated by local enterprises. Alto the virtual adventure to Kainuu tourism destinations using virtual glasses was really popular.
Next year the festivities will be held in Olonets, which is town-twinning Hyrynsalmi, Puolanka and Ristijärvi and in Kainuu since 1989. The town twinning, coordinated by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, is currently seeking new ways of working. The comprehensive town-twinning network in Kainuu has a long-term experience and lots of positive examples to share.
Regional Development Manager