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Komi-Permyak Literary Language Day celebrated with postcards and dictation

The Komi-Permyak Literary Language Day is celebrated on February 17 by decree of the Governor of Perm Krai since 2010. As has become customary, a number of events and activities are organised on the occasion to promote the Komi-Permyak language.

This year, any resident or visitor to the capital of the Komi-Permyak region, Kudymkar, could send a postcard in the Komi-Permyak language free of charge to any place in the Russian Federation. The event ‘Komi gižöt’ (‘Komi postcard’) was organised by the Komi-Permyak Cultural Centre. The staff of the centre also helped make the postcards in Komi-Permyak. Most of the postcards depicted semi-mythical characters and heroes of the Komi-Permyak people.

permikomi karu postkaart

The Komi-Permyak region’s local museum hosted the event ‘As gimnön goralö gögör komi kyv’ (‘Let the Komi language be heard everywhere as an anthem’) with tours in the Komi-Permyak language with theatrical elements, Komi-Permyak traditions, fairy tales and beliefs. There were also demonstration lessons in the Komi language ‘Ötik, kyk, kum’ (‘One, two, three).

On the occasion of the Komi-Permyak Literary Language Day, the Komi-Permyak National Drama Theatre, which is well known and respected in the Finno-Ugric theatre world, also performed the production ‘Cuck-oo, cuckoo’, which was part of the repertoire of the Golden Mask Theatre Festival. By some estimates, this production was one of the most remarkable productions of the Russian 2022/2023 season. The play tells the story of the eponymous folklore ensemble of the village of Kukushka in the northern part of the Komi-Permyak district, which has been active for over 40 years. The play looks at village life reflected in all its authenticity and folkloric naturalness through old Komi-Permyak folk songs.

Traditionally on this day, a translated recital in Komi-Permyak was held, and this time 63 different groups from almost all over the Komi-Permyak district, as well as from Moscow and Vyktyvkar, for example, had registered. In Kudymkar, on the other hand, those wishing to do so were able to join the recital groups at the National Library, the Centre for National Culture, the Pedagogical College and the Institute for Upgrading the Qualification of Educators.

The number of Komi-Permyaks was 55,786 in the 2021 census, compared to 94,456 in the 2010 census. That is a 41% decrease in their numbers. According to the last census, 41,447 people speak Komi-Permyak, while 38,564 people consider Komi-Permyak as their mother tongue. In 1989, 104,715 people still considered Komi-Permyak as their mother tongue, i.e., the number of native speakers of Komi-Permyak decreased by 66,151.