Karelian culture used to be strongly intertwined with Finnish culture as, for example, most of the national epic, the Kalevala, was collected in Karelia.

Since then, Karelian culture has been influenced by Russian culture. This can be seen in aspects such as religion, with Eastern Orthodoxy currently likely to be the most commonly practised religion in Karelia.

Periodical publications are available in Karelia in Karelian, Veps and Finnish. TV and radio programmes are also produced not only in Karelian, but also in Finnish and Veps. In principle, there is also a Finnish-speaking theatre in Karelia, but its programme is currently mostly in Russian.

Laments are mournful poems performed at rite-of-passage events such as weddings and funerals of Finnic peoples, among others. Lamenters express both their personal as well as communal concerns and grief. In the early 1900s, lamenting (“crying with words” as it is referred to in White (Viena) Karelia) became less common, but today the tradition is being revived by various organisations and lamenting courses are organised. Contemporary people can also get comfort and support when sharing their emotions through laments. Listen to a lament. Listen to a lament.