I have done some research on the history of wife carrying event. It has long roots and has a huge impact on residents of Sonkajärvi. Now I try to list a few of these things, that increase well-being of municipality.

  1. Money, money… MONEY!

Money, money… MONEY! Picture: Kimmo Tirri.

Of course, first thing, that comes in mind is money. It runs everything and usually it is only thing that counts, when you estimate, if event is successfull. In Sonkajärvi, the main event, is not profitable financially, but it brings thousand of tourist and participants, who buys services from local entrepreneurs. The event itself has nowdays +/- 0 profit. If municipality wants to increase profits, they need to develop the event. That means, that they have to invest money on it and that increases the risk of losing money. One interesting thing about wife carrying is, that China would be interested in hosting the event. In China, there is thousands of sports enthusiasts and probably they could have the support of goverment behind it. It probably means, that China could pay big money for the rights to the event. If every other year, the event would be in China, Sonkajärvi could have good compensation and organizes a qualifying race only. The prize, for the winners, could be a trip to the Chinese Games.

2. Identity of municipality

If Sonkajärvi did not have this event, would it be in the media every year? Not a chance! Journalists from all over the world are coming to do the story, about the event. It determines what kind of image people will get from Sonkajärvi. It has a great story behind it and the residents of Sonkajärvi are very proud of the event. Sure, a municipality is much more than a home to wife carrying, but quite a few things would put the municipality in the same spotlight.

Photo: https://eukonkanto.fi/gallery/folder/eukonkanto-2019/)


3. Togetherness

Every year, residents and entrepreneurs put together a great event. Country fair, karaoke contest, Tonkkumi-competition and other additional spices from the past, have made the event.

”We can do it”-spirit has helped cope with setbacks. But reality is, that the event has been done with the same formula for 25 years and needs renewal. When time past, changes are taking place in the organization, so a new perspective is available.

Associations also contribute to the event and are vital to the success of the event.

Photo: https://eukonkanto.fi/gallery/folder/eukonkanto-2019/)

4. Something to do and wait for.

One big wellbeing contributor is the event itself. It is the place, where everyone, regardless of age, gather around to have fun and meet friends, maybe the only time in the whole year. It has been around, for so long,that many younger people, do not remember the time, when the best weekend of the summer, was not in place. It has build memories and many people have found love in the event. It has offered a chance to meet the love of your life or maybe just a summer romance. But I don’t know better a better way to increase well-being than finding love, even short-term.

Photo: https://eukonkanto.fi/gallery/folder/eukonkanto-2014


This blogipost is part of the welfare coordinator students (Master Degree Studies) study module Working and Stydying in International Environment. The focus of this stydy module is that the students can strengthen their communicative skills and professional experience in an international learning environment and learn effectively as a team member in another cultural environment. You can read more www.savonia.fi.


Kimmo Tirri, TYKO18SY

Riitta Turjamaa, Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Pirjo Turunen, Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

How does, a world championship of wife carrying, effects on small municipalitys well-being.


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