Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:24
Zombies take over Oulu
Text: Jussi Kotila Photos: Pekka Kallasaari
In an autumn evening, odd things are happening on the Rotuaari pedestrian street. Even though it is not Halloween, the streets are invaded by a horde of the living dead. There is no need for panic, though. It is only the Zombie Walk event, which gathers live role players and friends of horror culture together.
Zombie Walk has been arranged four times before. The route is agreed beforehand, and takes the zombies around the city. The imposingly dressed zombies scuffle and growl through the streets surely to wake the interest of passersby.
One of the organisers, Karoliina Kemppainen, who is studying information technology at Oulu University of Applied Sciences, tells that the event tries to bring life to the street scene of Oulu.
- Our event tries to shake people out of their daily lives by offering a permission to act foolishly. We also want to bring the action to the streets for the people to have other things to do in the city other than sit in a café or a bar.
Model from America
The living and dead celebrities are the theme for this year. Before the parade starts, you can see a deathly pale Elvis and a bloody Super Mario on a red carpet near the centre square of Rotuaari.
According to Kemppainen, Zombie Walk events first started in the United States in the beginning of the 21th century, and then quickly landed to Helsinki.
- We heard there was an event like this in Helsinki. However, Helsinki is quite far from Oulu. So we thought that perhaps Oulu would be a big enough city for zombies, and arranged our own walk, Karoliina thinks back to the first Zombie Walk.
The first event proved out to be a success. The organizers expected to get 20 participants, but a total of 120 zombies turned out for the parade started. As there seemed to be a demand for this type of an event, the organizers decided to continue it.
- Our event tries to shake people out of their daily lives by offering a permission to act foolishly.
A first time zombie, Mika Kinnunen tells that he got excited about the event after seeing videos from YouTube about the previous Zombie Walks.
- The best thing about the event is that you can get away from the daily life and spend time with other people interested in the horror scene, Mika, one of the youngest zombies ponders.
Gathering people with like minds is also an important part of Zombie Walk for Karoliina Kemppainen. Karoliina advises people, who are interested in the event, to visit the Oulu Zombie Walk Facebook network, where you can discuss, for example, about the upcoming events.
If you are more interested in live role-playing, you should visit the web site of Oulun Interaktiiviset Eläytyjät (roughly translating into Oulu’s Interactive Empathizers) or OIEI in short. Karoliina, who is also a member of the organization, welcomes new people to their meetings.
- Age unrestricted S dates take place on Mondays at the Tuira youth house at 6 pm, and meetings for people over 18 in the Graali pub every second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm, Karoliina says.
More than just a job
Ice, sunshine, smiles and a couple of fish
Zombies take over Oulu
Big city girl, small town dreams
See the wood for the trees
Small town full of ethnic restaurants
What is the most Finnish thing in Finland?
Energy from the snow
Don't let Finland surprise you