URALIC Centre today announced the start of the competition for the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2024. Thematic focus of the year will be the future of Finno-Ugric cooperation and civic movement in the new geopolitical environment. Winner of the competition will be announced on April 14, 2023, in Otepää (Estonia).

Established in 2013, 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 ten villages or cities: Udmurtian village Bygy (2014), Seto village Obinitsa (2015), Hungarian village Iszkaszentgyörgy and City of Veszprém (2016), Karelian village Vuokkiniemi (2017), Mari village Shorunzha (2019), Mari-speaking village Mishkan in Bashkortostan (2020) Abja-Paluoja in Mulgimaa region of Estonia (2021), Udmurtian village Bayterek (2022) and the Finnish city Kuhmo (2023).

The title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture has helped raise the profile of title-holders both domestically and internationally, including through cultural tourism. Even more importantly, the status of a Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture has strengthened local communities and provided new opportunities for development. The Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture programme has also proven to be among the most resilient and sustainable international Finno-Ugric initiatives of the past decade.  

For the competition of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2023, 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 in the Russian Federation. The only country that is not eligible for the current competition is Finland, given that Kuhmo is the title-holder for 2023.

The special theme of the competition for 2023 is the future of international Finno-Ugric cooperation, cultural exchanges and civic movement in light of the dramatic geopolitical changes affecting all Finno-Ugric peoples as a result of the war in Ukraine. Secretariat of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture expects applicants to provide venues and opportunities for frank, thoughtful and mutually respectful exchanges on how the Finno-Ugric movement can develop and perhaps reinvent itself in the new international environment.

Application materials of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2024 competition are available on the programme’s website www.uralic.org/projects/capitals/downloads. The deadline for written applications is March 31, 2023, and the winner of the competition will be selected on April 14, 2023 in Otepää (Estonia)


Oliver Loode, Head of Secretariat, Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture

oliver.loode@uralic.org , Tel. +372 513 2992