The roots of the Savo Student Nation are in the Wiburgenses Nation of the Royal Academy of Turku, from which Savonian and Karelian students were separated as their own joint Savo-Karelian nation in 1833 after the univerity had moved to Helsinki. The two nations were in their turn amicably separated on October 1st in 1905, which marks the birthday of the modern Savo Nation.


Originally, the Savo Nation had its premises in the Old Student Building (Mannerheimintie 3). In 1910s the Nation moved to a new location on the 3rd floor of the New Student Building. In the 1920s, the number of student members grew, and the nation moved to larger premises on the 6th and 7th floors of the same building in 1931. Nowadays the Nation resides solely on the highest floor, and its premises are fondly and casually called 'Vinni' ('Attic' in the Savo dialect).

The operators of SavO

In 1905 the number of officials was limited compared to their number today. Among the officials of the day were counted, for instance, the Secretary, the Historian, Songmaster and Curator (Representative Director). The Curator received a salary for his (later: or hers) workload, and he also took care of the tasks of the present-day Managing Director and Financial Director. Soon after moving to its own premises, the Savo Nation founded the posts of Landlord/Clubmaster and Matron, and with the increase of its members even more posts were established. In 2010 there were 15 chief operators and 36 other officials in SavO. Of the boards existing today, the Disciplinary Board and the Anniversary Board have been around from the very beginning.


The membership of the student nations was compulsory for a long time, and expulsion from the nation also meant expulsion from the university. Obligatory membership was removed in 1937, but the nations continued to increase their popularity in spite of this. In 1960, at its peak, 1700 students belonged to the Savo Nation. Soon the numbers began to decline, however, and in 1975 the participation had dropped to seven hundred. At the present Savo Nation has ca. 280 student members, although many former members remain active participants in the nation's events after their graduation.


Many of SavO's parties and festivities have been celebrated since the founding of the Nation. Since 1914 the most important of these, the anniversary feast, has been celebrated on February 20th, nowadays on the closest Saturday. The background for the choice of the date is the official edict given on 20.2.1865 by the Russian Emperor (under whom Finland acted as an autonomy) that the Finnish language could be used as an official language in offices and courts. This has been valued in academic circles as one of the events that helped Finland grow into a nation of its own right.

The Talakkuna Feast - which is practically impossible to translate - has been celebrated in its present form since 1948, before which year it was celebrated with the Karelians. In the feast, a three-hour show consisting of a parodic sermon and music, both commenting on the events of the previous year, precede the eating of talakkuna and tirri, traditional Savonian foods.

Sarvijuhla ('Horn Feast') also has its roots in the 19th century. In addition to the bigger feasts, SavO has arranged weekly meetings, tea-parties and happenings, and the Nation also has many smaller societies and clubs, of which the oldest and most traditional is the choir, Savolaisen Osakunnan Laulajat (SOL).

(Source: Tuuhea oksa Savolaisuuden puussa, Jouko Kokkonen, 2004)