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(about karelian women by karelian woman)


About women in Karelia,
Karelian beliefs, Karelian tips for pregnant women,
Karelian tradition & customs,
Karelian brides & wives.


Karelian women

MILENA: the author of article "Karelian women". Her profile >>  

The Karelian spirit and Karelian women are united in their beauty, graciousness, northern reserve and self discipline.

“The measure of a nation's morality is dependent upon the respect that is given to its women.” This phrase, stated by German philosopher V. Humboldt, clearly defined the fundamental criteria for any civilised society. The tradition of being respectful towards women and honouring their authority within the family has deep historical roots. These qualities are referred to in the Kalevali runes (Karelian-Finnish national poetry). Even at the time that they were written, the woman's situation was shown in a better light than in developing Europe.

Thousands of years of Karelian wisdom has taught people to hold women in high regard and to value their maternal qualities. It is instilled in Karelian women to be attractive and to have excellent personal qualities. On witnessing the inhabitants of the northern region dressed in their splendid traditional costume, foreign guests have unanimously confirmed that such respect towards women cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Karelian qualities are almost poetic; like a fairytale. In Karelia there is a wonderful sense of kindness, refinement and a trusting attitude amongst the people. There is also a respectful, soft attitude towards women, a rejection of violence and a strong emphasis on marrying for love and having freedom of choice.

In traditional Karelian society family values were very important. It was believed that it should be a mutual decision to get married and, unlike the Russian tradition, it was very rare for couples to have a compulsory marriage. Men and women valued their parent's opinion and advice when the choosing a spouse. The reputation of the family and clan of the bride-to-be was also important. Everyone recognises the importance of a marriage union, and it has always been rare for people to marry at a young age.