North Karelia is the most eastern region of Finland. The population of North Karelia according to 2019 statics is app. 162 000.
76 000 of the people living in Joensuu, the capital city of the region.
The main industries in the region focus on forest, wood, provisions and tourism. You may recognize these North Karelian companies for example; Abloy Oy and John Deere.
North Karelia shares over 300 km of border line with Russia and therefore about one and a half million border crossings happens annually in Niirala.
On international level, these are some tiny facts that North Karelia is known for:
- Nurmes, the official city of Christmas carol of Europe
- Hattuvaara, Ilomantsi, the most eastern point of whole EU
- Joensuu, the location of European forest institute
Breaking the stereotype
Finnish people are often considered blonde, shy, introverted and even a little rude people.
In North Karelia the stereotype though is quite the opposite.
Kaarlo Hänninen wrote in 1929 that:
''Karelian is skinnier and taller. Eyes are darker, hair often brown and curly. By character Karelian is brisk, talkative and energetic. Karelian loves singing and playing''
One proof of that is the annual, one of the oldest, Finnish music festival Ilosaarirock. In 1971 when it was first held, it was located at Ilosaari – a tiny island next to the city center of Joensuu. Tickets were 3 markka (previous currency of Finland) and bands played on top of trucks. Nowadays Ilosaarirock is held on the other side of the city at Linnunlahti for larger venue. It has become one of the main summer events where people travel all over Finland. In 2018 Ilosaarirock hold 65 500 visitors!