The Finno-Ugrian Days 2019 are dedicated to the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken around the world, 2,680 are in danger of disappearing. The fact that most of these are indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk. In addition, indigenous peoples are often isolated both politically and socially in the countries they live in; by the geographical location of their communities, their separate histories, cultures, languages, and traditions.
As most Finno-Ugric languages are also endangered or even disappearing, the purpose of Finno-Ugrian Days is to highlight the importance of those unique languages and cultures, and to remind everyone of our collective responsibility to protect, nurture, and foster them.
This year’s Finno-Ugrian Days start on the 9th of October at 16 with the opening of exhibition “The sacred groves of Uralic peoples” at Tallinn Botanical Gardens.
The first big event of this year´s Finno-Ugric days is the conference “Indigenous peoples and languages in the globalized world. Challenges, opportunities and threats” that takes place on the 11th of October in the Institute of the Estonian Language (Roosikrantsi 6, Tallinn). The conference will focus on the prestige, multilingualism and digitalization issues of languages. The conference is being organized by NGO Fenno-Ugria in cooperation with researchers of both Tallinn University and the Institute of Estonian Language. The main aim of the event is to share best practices for protecting and retaining disappearing languages.
There are also musical performances during the 2019 Finno-Ugrian Days. The main concerts take place on the 19th of October at Estonian National Museum in Tartu and on the 20th of October at Vaba Lava in Tallinn. One can expect authentic folk groups from many Finno-Ugric areas, such as ensembles from Komi and Mari republic. The Udmurts will be represented by a talented instrumentalist Pavel Aleksandrov from Tatarstan. After a long break, the beloved Erzya woman’s collective Merema will also come to Estonia, and the renowned band Magos will present Hungarian music.