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Finnish Fantasy and Fun
By Elaine Lillback, FHM reporter
February's snowy day was honored with a special night of Finnish Fantasy on WFHM Entertainment Tonight. Taking a TV style format, with microphones and a large screen monitor in the background, Lasse Hiltunen and his wife Jovette presented a program which traced the origins and progression of
Finnish fantasy through time.
The logical start of course is the Kaleva, which is first mentioned in 1641 in the Leyen Spiegel by Heinrich Stahl. The Kalevala is fundamentally a story of a sacred object which has power, and thepursuit of the mythogenic heroes who seek that power, to find a way of understanding what thepower means. The bearer of the Sampo is given great wealth, but he becomes greedy. For the good of everyone, the Sampo must be destroyed.
The stories themselves are runes, traditional oral tales of mythology. These tales would have died a natural death, with the passing of the tellers. Fortunately, Elias Lonrott travelled the back
country, listened to the stories and committed them to the page. Interestingly, Lonrott's first edition in 1835 was the turning point in Finnish language. Finland had been a grand duchy in Russia, and Swedish had been its official language.