II World Congress of the Finno-Ugric Peoples
Budapest (Hungary) August 17–19, 1996


Brief information








Section of Culture

The Section of Culture had 130 to 140 participants at its morning session and 80 to 100 participants at its afternoon session. As expected, it was the largest section of the World Congress. Thirty-two speeches and reports were presented, three of them by guests speakers. Twenty speakers participated in the subsequent discussions, some of them taking the floor more than once.
In the reports, speeches and discussions, the following four problems were treated most extensively:

1. development and preservation of Finno-Ugric peoples as independent ethnic entities, as well as development and preservation of their languages and expansion of the sphere of use and social functions of their literary languages, particularly among peoples who have neither a state nor a literary language of their own;

2. preparation of textbooks and training appliances for all ages and levels of education from pre?school institutions to high and comprehensive schools and to institutes of vocational and higher education with instruction in the vernacular. The problems were strongly voiced of fund-raising for this task, as well as for publishing activities by and large, and of launching the international exchange of information on Finno-Ugric issues;

3. education of specialists in the Finno-Ugric republics of the Russian Federation, as well as in Finland, Hungary and Estonia; grants must be established and the exchange of students, post-graduates and teachers organised;

4. the issue of founding an international Finno-Ugric centre to promote cultural and other co?operation, including in the spheres of economics and art.

Ivan Vasilyevitch Tarakanov
Chairman of the Section

Resolution of the Section of Culture

1. Every people has the right to preserve itself, its language, religion and culture. To effectuate these rights, every country must establish detailed legal, moral, material and organisational guarantees.

2. To ensure that the native languages of indigenous peoples endure and develop, the importance of these languages must be recognised and it must be secured that they are practiced in the family, among both rural and urban population (including intellecuals), in the educational process, in all spheres of national culture, and as official languages used by the mass media and the administration.

3. If some peoples do not enjoy these rights, the Section finds it necessary:

a) to ensure that a native language is taught in pre?school institutions, at the primary, secondary and higher levels of education, and in vocational schools,

b) to create the conditions for a native language to gradually become the language of instruction for all subjects at all educational levels,

c) to ensure the supply of textbooks,

d) to solve the problem of professional education, considering it advisable to expand the opportunities for Finno-Ugric students from the Russian Federation to continue training in Finland, Estonia and Hungary,

e) to create the conditions for mutual bilingualism in the territories where the indigenous population constitutes the majority.

4. To promote the preservation of cultural heritage and the development of modern culture based on tradition.

5. To promote the preservation of traditional culture by making use of modern technology (audio and video recording, filming, etc.) and by establishing databanks.

6. To ensure the access for researchers to the archives containing documents on their peoples.

7. To promote the inclusion of elements of traditional culture into modern professional and amateur culture.

8. To widely propagandize the genuine cultural heritage.

9. To promote historical, ethno-cultural, ethno-psychological, ethno-pedagogical, ethno-sociological etc. researches in Finno-Ugric peoples. To prepare publication of comprehensive works on history and culture of these peoples.

10. To expand co-operation in the areas of education, culture and science (including translation between Finno-Ugric languages, regular publication of information materials, organisation of joint conferences, seminars, exhibitions and cultural events).

11. To promote development of cultural contacts of Finno-Ugrians with other peoples. To make the achievements of modern culture accessible to all Finno-Ugric peoples and to disseminate the achievements of Finno-Ugric cultures all over the world.

12. The World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples should apply to the governments of Estonia, Finland, Hungary and the Russian Federation with the request to jointly take co-ordinated steps to attain that the research, preservation and development of the cultures of Finno-Ugric peoples are covered in the programmes of the UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other international and intergovernmental organisations.

Source: 2nd World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples.
Budapest, 1996 [Debrecen, 1999], pp. 212–214

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I - Syktyvkar, 1992
III - Helsinki, 2000
IV - Tallinn, 2004