Kauhajoki (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈkɑu̯hɑˌjoki]; lit.Scoop River”) is a town and municipality of Finland. It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southern Ostrobothnia region, 59 kilometres (37 mi) southwest of the city of Seinäjoki. The population of Kauhajoki is 12,618 (31 December 2023)[2] and the municipality covers an area of 1,298.98 km2 (501.54 sq mi) of which 16.46 km2 (6.36 sq mi) is inland water (1 January 2018).[1] The population density is 9.71/km2 (25.1/sq mi). The town is unilingually Finnish.

Kauhajoen kaupunki
Kauhajoki stad
Kauhajoki Town Hall
Kauhajoki Town Hall
Coat of arms of Kauhajoki
Location of Kauhajoki in Finland
Location of Kauhajoki in Finland
Coordinates: 62°25′55″N 22°10′46″E / 62.43194°N 22.17944°E / 62.43194; 22.17944
Country Finland
RegionSouthern Ostrobothnia
Sub-regionSuupohja sub-region
Town privileges2001
 • Town managerNiku Latva-Pukkila
 • Total1,315.54 km2 (507.93 sq mi)
 • Land1,298.98 km2 (501.54 sq mi)
 • Water16.46 km2 (6.36 sq mi)
 • Rank55th largest in Finland
 • Total12,618
 • Rank80th largest in Finland
 • Density9.71/km2 (25.1/sq mi)
 • Demonym
Kauhajokinen (Finnish)
Population by native language
 • Finnish96.1% (official)
 • Swedish0.4%
 • Others3.5%
Population by age
 • 0 to 1415.1%
 • 15 to 6457%
 • 65 or older27.9%
Time zoneUTC+02:00 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+03:00 (EEST)

The neighboring municipalities of Kauhajoki are Isojoki in the southwest, Kankaanpää in the south, Karijoki in the west, Karvia in the southeast, Kurikka in the north and Teuva in the west.[5] Kauhajoki is the center of the Suupohja sub-region.[6]

Geography edit

Most of Kauhajoki is located north of the Suomenselkä's watershed. Most of the municipal area is a gently sloping plains to the west and north.[7] On the border of the Kauhajoki and Isojoki is Lauhanvuori, one of the highest points in Western Finland, which rises 231 meters above sea level. However, the highest point of Lauhanvuori is on the Isojoki side, a few tens of meters from the Kauhajoki border.[8] Lauhanvuori national park and an other national park located in Kauhajoki, Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas, belong to a Unesco Global Geopark Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas.

History edit

Permanent settlement in the Kauhajoki area began in the 16th century and in 1584 chapel was built in Kauhajoki.

When the Soviet Union attacked Finland in the Winter War, in early December 1939 Parliament was evacuated and the legislature temporarily relocated to Kauhajoki, a town in western Finland far away from the frontline.[9] The parliament held 34 plenary sessions in Kauhajoki, with the last on 12 February 1940.[10]

2008 vocational college shooting edit

On 23 September 2008, a school shooting at a vocational college in the city left 11 dead, including the gunman, and another woman wounded. The incident was the second school shooting in less than a year in Finland, the other being the Jokela school shooting in November 2007, in which nine people including the gunman died. Before that, only one other school shooting had taken place in the country's history, in Rauma in 1989, leaving two people dead.[11]

Demographics edit

Kauhajoki has the highest proportion of Finnish Kale in Finland, with an estimated 5% of the population being Finnish Kale.[12] The town is linguistically homogenous, with 97% speaking Finnish. Kauhajoki has the highest proportion of Hungarians in Finland, with 0.6% of the population speaking Hungarian.[13]

Culture edit

Kauhajoki church
A small Kauhajoki Baptist Church in the village of Kainasto

Food edit

In the 1980s, the traditional parish dished of Kauhajoki was named sinsalla (a local name of rosolli) and charred Baltic herrings.[14]

Sports edit

Today sports in Kauhajoki is mostly famous for the basketball team Karhu Basket. Karhu Basket has been the most successful team in Finland for years winning the national league in 2018, 2019 and 2022. In the season 2020-21 Karhu Basket was second and in the season 2019-20 the season was interrupted because of the Covid-19 pandemic. On season 2023–24 Karhu Basket plays also in the FIBA Europe Cup. The home venue of Karhu Basket is the IKH Areena. IKH Areena can hold 3500 spectators, which is more than a quarter of the inhabitants of Kauhajoki.

Some internationally successful Kauhajokian sports figures include:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Area of Finnish Municipalities 1.1.2018" (PDF). National Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Population growth biggest in nearly 70 years". Population structure. Statistics Finland. 26 April 2024. ISSN 1797-5395. Retrieved 29 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Population according to age (1-year) and sex by area and the regional division of each statistical reference year, 2003–2020". StatFin. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Luettelo kuntien ja seurakuntien tuloveroprosenteista vuonna 2023". Tax Administration of Finland. 14 November 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Kauhajoki · Kauhajoki, Suomi". Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Kauhajoki - Yritykset ja työnantajat - Finder.fi". Finder.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  7. ^ Matti Porkkala & V. J. Marttila (1963). Kauhajoki (in Finnish). Kauhajoki-Seura ry. p. 3.
  8. ^ Liisa Ruismäki (1987). Kauhajoen historia: esihistoriasta vuoteen 1918 (in Finnish). Jyväskylä: Kauhajoen kunta ja seurakunta. pp. 41–42. ISBN 951-99888-2-3.
  9. ^ "Eduskunnan viettää muistojuhlaa Kauhajoella 2.–3.12.2006" (in Finnish). Eduskunta. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2021.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Parliament to recreate Winter War evacuation". Yle Uutiset. 30 November 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  11. ^ "School Shootings Rare in Finland". YLE. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
  12. ^ "Romanit hajautuneet kuten valtaväestökin – Kauhajoki on Suomen suurin romanipitäjä". yle.fi (in Finnish). 8 April 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Language according to sex by municipality, 1990-2021". stat.fi. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  14. ^ Jaakko Kolmonen (1988). Kotomaamme ruoka-aitta: Suomen, Karjalan ja Petsamon pitäjäruoat (in Finnish). Helsinki: Patakolmonen. p. 148. ISBN 951-96047-3-1.

External links edit

  Media related to Kauhajoki at Wikimedia Commons