in english


The Finnish Folklore Association (Suomalaisen Kansantanssin Ystävät in Finnish) was founded in 1901 by the initiative of teachers and students of the University of Helsinki. It is the oldest and only organization in the world specialised in traditional Finnish folk dancing and music.

It is a national, non-governmental organisation which functions mainly through voluntary work.  The goal of the organisation is to value and preserve traditional Folklore:  Finnish folk dances, plays, costumes, traditions and folk music etc. It wants to increase the knowledge and grow awareness towards the Finnish culture and traditions. In addition, the Finnish Folklore Association wants to promote international cooperation.

The organisation has two associate partner organisations, who also act in the national level.  Pelimannikilta ry was founded in 1965 and it is presenting the folk music tradition.  The Finnish Youth Folklore Association (Kansantanssinuorten Liitto in Finnish) presents the adolescents and children. It was founded in 1982.

The Finnish Folklore Association consists of 41 member associations which sum up to 2500 members. Furthermore, organisation has 20 member associations outside Finland. These are folk dance associations valuing Finnish culture and folklore in e.g. Australia, South- and North-America and in Europe. The Finnish Youth Folklore Assiciation has 20 member associations of which most are common with the adult organisation.

The Finnish Folklore Association has been active in the folk dance teacher training for three decades. Last year started a new jointly organised education, which is organised with other Finnish organisations in the folk dancing field.  It secures that there will also in the future will be qualified folk dance teachers.  There are several courses organised during the year which have different themes.

Traditional costumes have an important role in the tradition and Finnish Folklore Association has an impressive collection of Finnish traditional folk costumes.


In order to preserve the traditions the Finnish Folklore and Youth Associations have published several books and CDs. Unfortunately, the list on "Julkaisut" page, and mainly the material, are only in Finnish, but please do not hesitate to ask for advice if you are interested in the Finnish folklore.


Finnish Folklore Association is actively taking part in the Nordic cooperation e.g. being one of the organizers of NORDLEK 2009 Festival in Lahti, Finland. The Youth Association as well takes part in Nordic cooperation by participating BARNLEK, children and youth festivals. Both associations are members of Folklore Suomi Finland and through it a members of CIOFF (Conseil International des Organisations de Festivals de Folklore et d´Arts Traditionnels ) and IOV ( Internationale Organisation für Volkskunst ) Organisations.

Secretary of the International Affairs Liisa Aho
Email: ulkosuom (at)


Finnish Folklore Association
Döbelninkatu 5 B 21
Tel/fax +358 (0) 9 441 803 / +358 (0) 45-2777 283
Email: suom (at)