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Capitals of Culture

Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture

Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture is a flagship initiative of the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN) and URALIC Centre for Indigenous Peoples NGO which was established in 2013. Fenno-Ugria has been a cooperation partner of the Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture programme since its inception.

The programme of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture 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), Baiterek in Bashkortostan (2022) and Kuhmo in North Finland. 

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. The programme has been warmly received both in the Finno-Ugric world and beyond, and has been described as a good example of the promotion of indigenous peoples’ cultural rights by Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Further information:

Oliver Loode
Programme Manager
Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture