On March 6, Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN), Sukukansojen Ystävät ry and U-Turn NGO announced in Helsinki the start of the competition for the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015. Detailed documentation for applicants is available at the programme website  www.uralic.org

„Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture“ is an international cultural, civic and economic development programme initiated and administered by Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN). Modelled after the European Capitals of Culture programme, it aims to raise awareness of Finno-Ugric peoples and languages, strengthen common Finno-Ugric identity and stimulate development in selected Finno-Ugric towns and villages.

Current and first-ever holder of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture title is the village of Bygy, located in Sharkan Region of Udmurtian Republic (Russian Federation) that was selected from 8 candidates representing 6 Finno-Ugric regions from Russia and Estonia.  As a Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2014, Bygy will hold over 20 events, among them cultural festivals, educational programmes and rural tourism seminars. Flagship event of the year is the festival of Finno-Ugric cuisine on July 18-19, 2014.

Competition for the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015 title will aim to broaden the geographic reach of the programme and build on the experiences of Bygy-2014.  As before, the competition consists of two rounds: 1) submission of written applications, 2) live presentations of top 3 candidates. Winner will be selected by a 5-member jury that consists of Sampsa Holopainen (Finland), Nina Belyayeva (Udmurtia), Mart Meri (Estonia), Ville Ropponen (Finland), and Peter Aranyi (Hungary). Deadline for the submission of applications is May 31, 2014. The winner will be announced in August and the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015  will be handed over on October 18 (Day of Kindred Finno-Ugric Peoples) in Bygy.  

Programme bureau of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture is welcoming applications from all Finno-Ugric cities, towns, villages), except 1) administrative capitals of states and federal subjects (in case of Russian Federation) and 2) (consistently with the geographic rotation principle) the „South-Eastern“ region that includes Udmurtia, Mari El and Mordovia.  

Detailed documentation about the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015 competition (including programme Statutes and application form) is available at the programme website www.uralic.org in English and Russian.

Further information:

Oliver Loode

Head of Programme Bureau, Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture

Tel. +372 513 2992