Armed with needles and a yarn of wool, Natalia from Russia competes on stage in the heavy metal knitting world championship, Thursday, Jul. 11, 2019 in Joensuu, Finland. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
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The competition took place in a packed square in the small town of Joensuu close to the Russian border. An eclectic group of around 200 people watched the performances, from families with young children and elderly to the less conspicuous heavy metal fans donning leather-jackets and swirling their long hair to the fast-paced rhythm of the music.Today, Finland has the highest number of heavy metal bands per capita in the world with over 50 bands per 100,000 people.While combining heavy metal music with knitting might not seem an obvious match, the organizers say it's similar to other unusual events in Finland, such as world championships in air guitar, swamp soccer, and wife carrying -- Finnish ways of goofing around and making the most of the long summer nights in these northern latitudes.
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