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The traditions of Karelian culture continue to have a strong presence. Lappeenranta and Imatra are cities of music and theatre and their new theatre houses have excellent premises for both the performers and the audience. The Lappeenranta City Theatre is located in a shopping centre that includes diverse department store, restaurant, and café services and movie theatres.

The history of Finnish theatre is closely associated with South Karelia. The first play in the Finnish language was written by Pietari Hannikainen in Ruokolahti, and it was first performed at Lappeenranta Town Hall in 1848.

For children and the youth, South Karelia offers diverse training in the arts. The excellent art schools in the region also have classes for adults. The diverse cultural selection is like the region’s food: interesting tastes are on offer everywhere and everyone can participate in their making.