FINNO-UGRIC CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2015

Opening ceremony of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture to be held on January 7, 2015

The opening ceremony of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture will be held in Obinitsa, Setomaa on the 7th of January starting at 15:30. In 2015, Setomaa will be the centre of Finno-Ugric nations and the capital of culture for 25 million people. The programme includes 35 cultural events.

On August 11 2014 in Helsinki, a four-member international jury selected Obinitsa, a village on the Estonian side of Setomaa, as the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015. The other two finalists of the competition were the city of Veszprém (Hungary) and the village of Vuokkiniemi (Karelia).

Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015 was selected on August 11 at the Uusi Ylioppilastalo (New Student House) in Helsinki by a four-member international jury consisting of Ms. Nina Beliaeva (Mayor of Bygy, Udmurtia), Mr. Mart Meri (Member of Parliament, Estonia), Mr. Péter Aranyi (journalist and PR consultant, Hungary) and Mr. Sampsa Holopainen (President of MAFUN, Finland).

Jury’s choice of the winner – Obinitsa – reflected an appreciation of Obinitsa’s cultural and civic resources, systematic collaboration with Finno-Ugric peoples during the past two decades and a comprehensive programme of the capital of culture year that featured several projects with a broader Finno-Ugric dimension. Lead theme for Obinitsa’s programme will be „strengthening ancestral cultural heritage in the modern environment“.

Flagship event of the capital of culture year will be „Week of Finno-Ugric Culture – from Master to Master“ to be held during the first week of August and culminating on the traditional Day of Seto Kingdom. Key priority of Obinitsa’s programme is engagement of Seto people living on both sides of the Estonia-Russia border. According to Mr. Rein Järvelill, Mayor of Meremäe Rural Municipality (where Obinitsa is located): „All of Setomaa will participate in the programme of Obinitsa – Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015. This is a win for the entire Seto people.“

The programme of Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture is a civic initiative of the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples (MAFUN). Key objectives of the programme include strengthening common Finno-Ugric identity, raising awareness of Finno-Ugric peoples and languages, and stimulating local cultural, economic and social development. The Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture programme was established in 2013 for a four-year cycle (2014-2017), ensuring geographic rotation of title-holders to represent the cultural diversity of the Finno-Ugric world that ranges from Central Europe to Siberia.

Setomaa is located in the South-East corner of Estonia adjacent to Võro habitat, Latvia, Russia, and Lake Pihkva. Today, Setomaa belongs to the administrative territory of Võru and Põlva County and the Russian Petseri District.
Seto singing has been entered into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

More info about Setomaa: http://www.visitsetomaa.ee/en

The Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture official web-page is: www.obinitsa.net.
The Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture Facebook site in estonian/seto: https://www.facebook.com/obinitsa
The Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture Facebook site in russian: Обиница-культурная столица финно-угорского мира 2015

The Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture Facebook site in english: https://www.facebook.com/FinnoUgricCapitalsOfCulture