Haikola is a small, idyllic Viena Karelian village. It is renowned both for its ancient runo-singer masters and especially for the national author, Ortjo Stepanov who came from this village and wrote a major part of his works there.
There is an Ethno-Cultural Centre in Haikola, comprising Ortjo Stepanov’s home which is now a museum, an ethnological museum, exhibition premises in the main building and a concert hall, which serves also as an auditorium for seminars and lectures.
The concluding day of the Sommelo Ethno Music Festival always takes place in Haikola. The performances in Haikola are more than just concerts. The acoustic ambience of the village lends itself for creating soundscapes that will live on for years in the minds of those who experience them.
It is possible to hire a room in Haikola by reservation in advance also at times, when there are no organised events taking place.
The best known resident of Haikola in the present century is the national writer of Karelia, Ortjo Stepanov, or, in the Karelian fashion, Ortjo, son of Miihkali, who is son of Pekka, in turn son of Oleksei, in turn son of Vaske, in turn son of Kalaska, son of Jouhko. In 1872, Borenius recorded poems sung by Vaske Kalaska, the grandfather of Stepanov's grandfather, and Karppa's Moarie, the mother of Stepanov's maternal grandfather, and stated that Haikola was one of the last bardic areas in the east.