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Kalevala is the Finnish national epic. This means it is a book that is very important to Finnish people.

Kalevala has many stories in it. Stories of Kalevala are poems that are very old. Long ago people sang these poems. The poems have unique metre that is not known outside Finnic languages. There are many themes in these stories from different times in the past. The oldest themes are from stone age. Many poems are collected from Karelia and areas nearby.

Heroes have adventures in these stories. The most important heroes are Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen, Lemminkäinen and Kullervo. The enemies of heroes are Louhi and Joukahainen. Many stories in Kalevala are about two countries fighting each other. These countries are the land of Kalevala and land of Pohjola. Land of Kalevala is the land of Heroes. Pohjola is the land of enemy. Pohjola is evil and cold place somewhere at very north.

Elias Lönnrot was a man who collected these poems and made a book of them. Kalevala is changed to many languages. There is also English Kalevala.

"Aino-Taru" (The Aino Story) by Akseli Gallen-Kallela 1891
"Aino-Taru" (The Aino Story) by Akseli Gallen-Kallela 1891

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