Students of Yugra State University took part in the International Finno-Ugric Student Forum.

May 14-16, Mari State University hosted the II International Finno-Ugric Student Forum «Diversity of Finno-Ugric Peoples» in Yoshkar-Ola, Republic of Mari El.

The forum has its purpose to establish cooperation between undergraduate and post-graduate students of Finno-Ugric subordinate entities of the Russian Federation and EU countries for scientific and cultural experience sharing as well as for research results exchange in Finno-Ugric studies.

Over 220 undergraduate and post-graduate students from 5 countries (Finland, Estonia, Hungary, Germany and Russia), 11 subordinate entities of Russia representing 22 higher educational institutions and 4 secondary educational institutions participated in the event.

The forum included the following sections:

-     - Linguistics, Literary studies, Theory and practice of translation and interpreting;

-     - Ethnography, Folklore studies, Traditions;

-     - Archaeology, History, Museum management studies;

-     - Arts and crafts of Finno-Ugric peoples;

-     - Modern training technologies, IT;

-     - Student government in Finno-Ugric universities: experience and ways of convergence;

      - Finno-Ugric youth initiatives: patriotism, volunteering, recreation and other projects.

Two students Valeria Kiveleva and Tatiana Bakhtiyarova were delegated to this forum from Yugra State University. They contributed to the «Ethnography, Folklore studies, Tradtitions» section. Tatiana delivered her report called «Language and traditions of Ivdel Mansi» while Valeria presented her paper on myths of the world creation in Mansi, Udmurt and Karelian-Finnish epic literature. The research tutor of the two students is Dina Gerasimova, the director of the Institute of the Northern Peoples at Yugra State University.

Tatiana’s presentation produced a tremendous impression on the audience since the Ob Ugrian culture has not been entirely studied yet. Being the indigenous Mansi representative she told about her family’s way of life demonstrating a video about Ivdel Mansi accompanied by the ethnic music. Apart from representatives from the Udmurt Republic, the Republic of Karelia, the Komi Republic, the Republic of Mari El and the Perm region students of University of Turku (Finland) contributed to this section as well and told about learning Mari language in their university.

Together with the Yugra State University delegation two other delegations from Khanty-Mansiysk College for Technician and Teacher Training and Surgut State University visited the event. All together they represented the whole entity, i.e. the Yugra region.

During the stay in Yoshkar-Ola our delegation headed by associate professor Nina Aivarova attended the Republican Puppet Theatre to see the debut performance of the student theatre, took an evening walk along Yoshkar-Ola streets and got familiar with the local folklore. The visitors could even witnessed the Alexander Pushkin’s poetic novel «Evgeny Onegin» performed in Mari language. They also took part in Finno-Ugric gaming, dancing, arts and crafts workshops and a workshop to play the Mari pipe «shialtysh». Being of an Ugric origin the students aroused interest in local mass media, they gave interviews to a Mari newspaper and the State TV channel «Mari El». Valeria attended the Student Association of Finno-Ugric universities who gathered to elect a new chairperson.

Tatiana Bakhtiyarova kindly shared her impressions: «I had lots of positive emotions after my trip. Yoshkar-Ola is a very magnificent city with mild climate, a place where it is just a pleasure to stay. Every day we came across something new, we were astonished at the beauty of the Mari Republic. We would like to thank volunteers of Mari State University and delegation attaches. These guys had lack of sleep, worked a lot and did their best to make our days here festive. This forum unveiled my potential. This was the first time I delivered my speech to such a large audience. For the first time I met so many people passionate for the past, the present and the future of the Finno-Ugric world. Hosting forums like this means a lot as the main goal for all of us at this moment is to consolidate the peoples, to find a binding thread that had given rise to the long and amazing history of the Finno-Ugric ethnicity».

The Yugra State University delegation was awarded with a letter of appreciation issued by the Ministry of  Culture, Press and Ethnic Affairs of the Republic of Mari El. Tatiana and Valeria in their turn were awarded with certificates of participation in the II International Finno-Ugric Student Forum «Diversity of Finno-Ugric Peoples».

The Yugra delegation would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Mari El, Mari State University and its rector Mikhail Shvetsov for high-standard hosting of such a wonderful forum, an opportunity for kindred peoples to meet, communicate, share experiences, learn new ideas, recollect the past and find a lot in common. There is no future without the past!