Board chair of Fenno-Ugria since 2015, board member since 2005. He works as an associate professor of humanities at the University of Tartu, researching the religion and folklore of Finnic peoples. For fifteen years, he has organised expeditions to the Veps and other Finnic peoples. President of the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions and member of many scientific organisations.
Etymologist, scholar of Estonian, Nenets and Mari languages. Board member of the Estonian Hungary Society. At the moment, he is working as a senior research fellow at the Institute of the Estonian Language. Expert member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2020–2022. “I have been interested in foreign languages and nations ever since my childhood. To know that some nations aren’t so foreign and on closer inspection are even rather close and similar warms my heart. At the same it is sad that many of these nations and languages are in danger of extinction. I have strived to contribute to the preservation of these nations and languages. My everyday work is the study of Finno-Ugric languages, but I also contribute to the development of the Estonian-language Wikipedia.”
An ethnic Udmurt, Elena came to study social policy and social work at the University of Tartu in 1998 (graduating in 2005, equivalent to a master’s degree). Societally active, she has coordinated the voluntary work of Fenno-Ugria for years. For her, preserving the Udmurt heritage is essential and she is happy to introduce her nation and customs. Since the end of 2020, she has been the chair of the Udmurt Society Oshmes.
“I grew up in Udmurtia and my home language was Udmurt, although education had to be acquired in Russian in the local school. Another occasion to adjust to a foreign environment was coming to the university in Estonia and beginning to learn Estonian. From an early age, I have realised what it means to integrate oneself somewhere, and I also know, which steps have been successful.”
Anti is a museum teacher at the Estonian National Museum and one of the leading figures of the Finno-Ugric youth organisation Hõimulõimed. Although, in addition to all this, he is also a dedicated musician.
Working as a nature tourism entrepreneur are the Soomaa National Park, Aivar has graduated from the department of nature tourism at the Estonian University of Life Sciences, where he defended his master’s thesis in 2011.
He has participated in many Finno-Ugric World Congresses and he has been involved in the Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture initiative, introducing sustainable tourism to kindred peoples. In cooperation with Fenno-Ugria, he published a calendar introducing Finno-Ugric national dishes in 2016.
“Of all my connections with kindred peoples, I regard the strongest to be the fact that for over a dozen years of my life I have spent time daily in the Udmurt language sphere, because my Udmurt wife Lyudmila speaks in her native language with our daughters. My interest towards dugout canoes has taken me on travels to the Veps and Mari, where the construction and use of dugouts is a living cultural phenomenon up to this day. I would gladly organise more trips to Finno-Ugric villages. I see, how such kindred tourism is enriching to both the guests and hosts.”
Docent emeritus of the University of Tartu. Having previously worked as a lecturer of Estonian at the Universities of Jyväskylä and Helsinki, director of the Institute of Language and Literature at the Estonian Academy of Sciences, and docent of Uralic languages and Hungarology in the department of Uralic languages at the University of Tartu. Main research interests are the historical morphology of Uralic languages, Khanty, Hungarian, Hungarology and the contrastive study of Estonian and Hungarian.
Marika Arendi Elita von Wolsky (Ritso) Madis Arukask Natalia Ermakov Anu-Reet Hausenberg Andres Heinapuu Madis Järv Indrek Jääts Aivar Jürgenson Kaido Kama Väino Klaus Ago Künnap Anti Lillak Ado Lintrop Oliver Loode Mai Luht (Võsu) Tõnis Lukas Aet Maatee Mart Meri Ingrid Rüütel
Jaak Prozes Kadi Raudalainen Kristiina Ross Kirsti Ruul Heigo Sahk Tõnu Seilenthal Rein Sikk Toivo Sikka (1962–2015) Sven-Erik Soosaar Piret Suurväli Eda-Riin Tuuling (Leego) Igor Tõnurist (1947–2021) Halliki Uibu Arvo Valton Raul Veede Mihkel Veiderma (1929–2018) Kadri Viires Anna Kuznetsova
In October, Estonia celebrated its Finno-Ugric identity throughout the month. The celebration culminated in and centred around the Finno-Ugric Day, also known as Kindred Peoples' Day, on the third Saturday of the month, this year on 21 October. The celebration was held in the Estonian National Museum and attended by the President of Estonia, Alar Karis. His speech is translated into English below.