There's actually a children's song in Finnish that says, "I'm an apple. I'm an apple. I'm a round apple. I'm an apple. I'm an apple. I'm a red apple." [Olen omena. Olen omena. Olen pyöreä omena. Olen omena. Olen omena. Olen punainen omena.]
So, you never know. Based on that it wouldn't be too far fetched to think you might eventually end up back to being an apple again. xD
https://youtu.be/Eb3CZoU9-i4 "Song About Fruits" - 1. round/red apple [pyöreä/punainen omena]; 2. oval/green pear [soikea/vihreä päärynä]; 3. sour/yellow lemon [hapan/keltainen sitruuna]
Well, Finnish and Karelian. At the time, Finnish folk stories, traditions etc. were considered too ordinary to collect and of very little importance whereas the Karelian ones seemed very exotic and a good base to lift nationalistic sensibilities. There has always been some overlap between the two, but in all honesty the stories that were used as the base for the Kalevala are Karelian stories, not Finnish. :)
It's mainly used of men, but a woman could be a "velho" as well.
"Noita" (witch) is mainly associated with women, but there are many examples of male witches in Finnish literature for example and so the word "noita", more easily than "velho", can refer to people of all genders.
There is also the word "tietäjä" (lit. "knower") that can be used instead of "velho".
Haha, thanks for the laugh, man! :D I guess this, together with the fact that Finland has for long been considered one of the most technologically advanced countries, just tells what a bunch of nerds we are... xD
Maybe the next sentence should be, "'Merlin, what level of a wizard are you?', asked Väinämöinen." [-"Merlin, minkä tason velho sinä olet?", kysyi Väinämöinen.]
Funnily enough, there is a similar colloquial usage for this word in Finnish. I see it especially often when someone has good IT skills (although technically it could be any skill) and someone might point this out by saying something along the lines of "Olet sinä aika velho tuossa hommassa" (You're quite the wizard in that business") :D
Interestingly enough, this nuance would usually be created by changing the word order! Finnish word order is much more flexible than in English (in terms of grammar), so changing things around can change the intended meaning.
Sinä olet velho = You are a wizard (the most neutral order) Velho olet sinä = You are the wizard (the meaning is close to "The wizard is you")
Bonus: Olet sinä velho = You ARE a wizard (even though you or someone else might be claiming otherwise)