Infobox Ethnic group
group = Karelias
population = 504,000
region1 = RUS
pop1 = c 140,000 [official Russian records, see Minahan pp. 369]
region2 = FIN
pop2 = c 140,000 [Finnish records of people born in Karelia, the areas ceded to the USSR after WWII, John Benjamins pp. 122]
languages = Karelian (Ludic Olonets), Finnish, Russian
Finns, Ingrian Finns, Veps, Votes, Estonians, Livonians, Setos
Over the centuries Karelians have become dispersed in several distinct subgroups. The largest groups are North Karelians living in
Republic of Kareliaand the South Karelians in the Tver, Novgorod and in the Leningrad Oblastof Russian federation. The subgroups of South Karelians, the Tikhvin Karels and Valdai Karels numbered between 90,000-100,000 are considered assimilated and speak Russian as their first language.
The North Kareians include the Olonets and the Ludes , speakers of
Olonets Karelian languageand Ludic languagelive in the Republic of Karelia . [cite book |title=Language Death and Language Maintenance |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=2000 |publisher=John Benjamins Publishing Company |location= |isbn=9789027247520 |pages= |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=JdzVePSApMgC&pg=PA121 ]
The modern Karelian
literary languageis identical in its written form to Finnish language and has maintained the Latin alphabet used in the Russian Federation.
The Karelians are mostly Russian Orthodox, while the related Finns and
Ingrian Finnsto the west are Protestant Lutherans.
Since the 13th century the Karelians have lived in the tension between the East and the West, between
Eastern Orthodoxyand Western Catholicism, later Lutheranism. Some Karelians were Christianized and subdued by Sweden, others by Novgorodor Russia. Thus Karelia was split into two different and often hostile groups. The Kingdom of Sweden held Western Karelia and Karelian Isthmus but Central, Northern and Eastern Karelia were under the Russian rule. In the 17th century the tension between the Lutheran Swedish government and Orthodox Karelians triggered a mass migration from Swedish Karelia into the region of Tverin Russia, forming the Tver-Karelianminority. People from Savoniamoved to Karelia in large numbers.
By 19th century the cultural and lingual differences between Finns and Karelians were so thin that several linguists including
Elias Lönrotwent of Central and Eastern Karelia to gather folklore that Finns seemed to have partially lost by that time. Since that time however the differences seem to have grown as Finns boosted their identity whereas the East Karelians were struggling to preserve their cultural and lingual heritage.
When Finland gained its independence in 1917 only a small fraction of the Orthodox Karelians lived in the
Finnish Karelia. The lands were mainly populated by Finnish Karelians of Lutheran background. Finland lost most of this area to the Soviet Union in World War II, when over 400,000 people were evacuated over Finland's new border from the Karelian Isthmus, Ladoga Kareliaand, to a lesser degree, from the main part of East Kareliathat had been held by Finland 1941–1944.
The Finnish Karelians are
Finns. The main dialectical division among the Finns, that between the East Finnishand West Finnishdialects, defines the Savonians and the Finnish Karelians as "East Finnish."
The Russian Karelians, living in the Republic of Karelia, are nowadays rapidly being absorbed into the Russian population. This process began several decades ago. For example, it has been estimated that even between the 1959 and 1970 Soviet censuses, nearly 30 percent of those who were enumerated as Karelian by self-identification in 1959 changed their self-identification to Russian 11 years later. [Barbara A. Anderson and Brian D. Silver, "Estimating Russification of Ethnic Identity among Non-Russians in the USSR," "Demography" 20 (November, 1983): 461-489.]
Many of the evacuees have emigrated, mainly to
Sweden, to Australiaand to North America. A large share of the over 70,000 Finnish war childrenthat were evacuated from Finland, chiefly to Sweden and Denmark, came from Karelian families that had lost their homes due to the Winter War. A fifth of these children remained abroad and many more re-emigrated later.
Karelian languageis closely related to the Finnish language, and particularly by Finnish linguists seen as a dialectof Finnish, although the variety spoken in East Karelia is usually seen as a proper language. [http://www.kotus.fi/verkkojulkaisut/julk129/karjalat_kartta1.shtml]
The dialect spoken in the
South Karelian region of Finland belongs to the South Eastern dialects of the Finnish language. The dialect spoken in the Karelian Isthmusbefore World War IIand the Ingrian dialect were also part of this dialect group. [http://www.internetix.ofw.fi/opinnot/opintojaksot/8kieletkirjallisuus/aidinkieli/murteet/kaakkois.html] The dialect that is spoken in North Kareliais considered to be one of the Savonian dialects. [http://www.internetix.ofw.fi/opinnot/opintojaksot/8kieletkirjallisuus/aidinkieli/murteet/savolais.html]
The Russian Karelians are
Eastern Orthodox Christians. Most Finnish Karelians are Lutherans.
Significant enclaves of Karelians exist in the
Tver oblastof Russia, resettled after Russia's defeat in 1617 against Sweden— in order to escape the peril of forced conversion to Lutheranismin Swedish Kareliaand because the Russians promised tax deductions the Orthodox Karelians mass migrated there. Olonets (Anus) is the only city in Russia where the Karelians form a majority (60% of the population).
The Karelian culture and language was a major inspiration for the
Fennomanmovement, and the unification of East Kareliawith independent Finland ( Greater Finland) was a major political issue in 20th century Finland.
* [http://www.eki.ee/books/redbook/karelians.shtml Russian Karelians] (The Peoples of the Red Book)
* [http://virtual.finland.fi/finfo/english/karjala.html Many Karelias] (Official Virtual Finland page)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Karelians — Ethnic group. The Karelians or Karjalaiset live in the borderlands of southeastern Finland and northwestern Russia, and are the titular minority of Kareliya. In their home republic, they account for less than a 10th of the region’s population; … Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation
Kvenland — This article is about ancient Kvens and Kvenland. For contemporary ethnic group in Norway, see Kven people. Kvenland, known as Cwenland, Kænland or similar in sources, is an ancient name for an area in Fennoscandia. Kvenland is only known from an … Wikipedia
Soviet–Finnish conflict 1921–1922 and East Karelian Uprising — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=East Karelian Uprising campaign= caption= partof=Heimosodat date=December 12, 1939 place=East Karelia result= combatant1=Karelians and Finns combatant2= commander1= commander2= strength1=2,500 Karelians + 500… … Wikipedia
Uralic languages — Family of more than 30 languages spoken by some 25 million people in central and northern Eurasia. A primary division is between the Finno Ugric languages, which account for most of the languages and speakers, and the Samoyedic languages. The… … Universalium
History of Finland — ImageSize = width:260 height:350PlotArea = width: 25 height:330 left:50 bottom:10DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:700 till:2008TimeAxis = orientation:verticalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:100 start:1100PlotData= color:blue width:25… … Wikipedia
Karelia (historical province of Finland) — Karelia (historically also Swedish Karelia ) is a historical province of Finland. It refers to the Western Karelia that during the second millennium have been under western dominance, religiously and politically. Western, i.e. Finnish Karelia is… … Wikipedia
Military history of Finland — Contents 1 Prehistory 2 Early Middle Ages 3 Finland as a part of Sweden 4 Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland … Wikipedia
Finno-Ugric religion — Pre Christian belief systems of the Finno Ugric peoples, who lived in northern Scandinavia, Siberia, the Baltic region, and central Europe. Surviving Finno Ugric groups include the Sami (Lapps), Finns, Estonians, and Magyars. The geographic and… … Universalium
Republic of Karelia — Республика Карелия (Russian) Republic … Wikipedia
Finnic peoples — (Fennic) are a historical linguistic group of peoples: Baltic Finns who are native speakers of Baltic Finnic languages and Volga Finns, speakers of Volga Finnic languages. [Finnic peoples speaking one or moreof the variety of Balto Finnic and… … Wikipedia