Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
Press release 12 August 2005
Press releases by the Estonian Institute for Human Rights:
ESTONIAN DELEGATION TO THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF FINNO-UGRIC STUDIES SMALLER THAN EXPECTED
The 10th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies "Congressus Decimus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum" will open on 15 August in Yoshkar-Ola, capital city of the Republic of Mari El in the Russian Federation. The congress will discuss problems of philology, ethnology, folklore studies, archaeology and ethnic history of Finno-Ugric and Samoyed peoples.
According to the head of Estonian delegation and Chairman of the Estonian Committee for Finno-Ugric Studies Ass. Prof. Tõnu Seilenthal, the number of Estonian participants will be smaller than at the previous congresses.
The number of registered participants from Estonia had been over fifty but dropped to just twenty by now. Beside the usual reasons like illnesses etc., the reports of infringement on the rights of the Mari people and assaults on public figures and people of culture in the Mari Republic were pointed at. Many decided to stay because of the feeling of insecurity. On the other hand, some explained their decision to participate by their desire to demonstrate solidarity with the Mari people and to render moral support to the Maris.
It was reported from Hungary that, according to Prof. László Keresztes from the Debrecen University, the Hungarian delegation will be smaller than ever in number. Together with Hungarians from abroad it will have 30 members only.
The plenary report on the Role of Estonian academician Paul Ariste in Russian Finno-Ugric Studies will be delivered by T. Seilenthal.
At the same time with the congress, Estonian Social Democrat MP Mrs. Katrin Saks will be visiting Mari El with the mission of drawing an official report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the situation of Finno-Ugric peoples.
During the congress, Estonia, Finland and Hungary will give a joint reception for participants. The hosts will be Minister of Education and Research of Estonia Mailis Reps, the Estonian embassy in Russia, the Finnish ambassador, and the Hungarian embassy in Moscow.
The travel of the Estonian delegation is supported by the Ministry of Education and Research.
The first congress of Finno-Ugric studies was held in 1960 in Budapest. Since then, congresses are convened each fifth year successively in each of the Finno-Ugric states (up to the 1990s Hungary, Finland and USSR, and today Hungary, Finland, Estonia and Russia). The previous congress took place in 2000 in the Estonian city of Tartu. This will be the second congress hosted by Russia. The 6th congress in 1985 was held in Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic of the Russian Federation.