Welcome to the Competition of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2019!

On behalf of the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN) and URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples we are proud to announce the competition for the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2019 and to invite all eligible Finno-Ugric villages, towns and cities to participate in this competition.  

The programme of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture is a flagship initiative of MAFUN and URALIC Centre that aims to raise awareness of Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic peoples as well as Uralic languages, to strengthen collective Finno-Ugric identity and to stimulate sustainable local development in different corners of the Finno-Ugric world. 

To date, the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture has been awarded to five villages or cities: Udmurtian village of Bygy (2014), Seto village of Obinitsa (2015), Hungarian village Iszkaszentgyörgy and City of Veszprém (2016) and Karelian village of Vuokkiniemi (2017). In all cases, the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture has helped raise the profile of the title-holder both domestically and internationally, including via cultural tourism. Perhaps even more importantly, being a Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture has strengthened local communities and provided them with new opportunities for development. One of the best aspects of being a Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture is in the many new Finno-Ugric collaborations and personal friendships that it has led to, and that have sustained beyond the duration of the cultural capital year.       

After making minor changes to the programme, MAFUN and URALIC Centre are now announcing a new 4-year cycle (2019-2022) for the Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture programme, starting with the competition for the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2019. For this competition, villages, towns and cities from any Finno-Ugric country or region are welcome to apply, except national capitals (in the case of Estonia, Finland and Hungary) or regional capitals (Russian Federation). The only region that is excluded from the new competition is Karelia, given that the Karelian village of Vuokkiniemi is the most recent title-holder (Karelian applicants will be again eligible for the 2020 title). Under mandate of MAFUN, URALIC Centre will perform the role of the Programme Bureau of Finno-Ugric Capitals during the next 4-year cycle of the programme.  

We encourage you to acquaint yourself with application materials of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2019 competition in the Downloads section of the programme’s website and to learn more about the experiences of past title-holders, including on the programme’s Facebook page. If you are interested in applying for the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2019, we look forward to receiving your completed applications by March 1. This could be the start of an exciting journey for all of us, and for the entire Finno-Ugric world! 

With best regards,

Käbi Suvi, President of MAFUN
Oliver Loode, Managing Director of URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples