The city of Abja-Paluoja in Mulgimaa, Republic of Estonia, will become the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2021

Abja-Paluoja will become the official Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture in the Mulgimaa region of the Republic of Estonia in 2021 and will take over the title from the village of Miškan in Bashkortostan on February 13.

The opening ceremony taking place in Abja-Paluoja where the President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, the Minister of Culture Anneli Ott, the Patron and President of Mulgimaa Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and the former Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture, the village of Miškan in Bashkortostan will say their welcoming words will reach 25 million Finno-Ugric people around the world via a live broadcast.

“The Year of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture once again brings the issue of cultural diversity to the center of attention. The program values heritage and helps the cultures of kinfolks to develop in today’s world,” said Ave Grenberg, director of the Institute of Mulgi Culture and leader of the Capital of Culture program.

The aim of this year’s program is to introduce all the reasons why it is exciting to travel in Mulgimaa, as one of Estonia’s unique areas of dialect, traditional culture, and natural heritage, through unique Mulgi patterns. “The pervasive line running through our cultural program will be Mulgi handicrafts, an archaic Mulgi pattern on folk costumes, modern consumer goods, and public space,” Grenberg added.

At the opening event, the symbolic bird of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture, the tsirk, will be solemnly placed on the window of the Abja-Paluoja bookstore. There will be a concert of kindred people’s music. It will be possible to partake in the entire event via live broadcast, which can be accessed by all those interested on the Facebook page dedicated to the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2021

During the year, events uniting the Finno-Ugric peoples and contributing to the transmission of the traditions of the kindred peoples and the preservation of the heritage will be organized in Estonia, in the Mulgimaa region. An accurate and always updated schedule of events can be found HERE!

According to Grenberg, the backbone of the sustainability of all the Finno-Ugric people is a good and supportive network of friends around the world, which unites almost 25 million representatives of the Finno-Ugric through primordial words and patterns. There are more than twenty Finno-Ugric or Uralic peoples, and there are currently about 25 million people speaking different Finno-Ugric languages in the world.

Abja-Paluoja is the ancient capital of Mulgimaa, located in Mulgi municipality, Estonia, and was awarded the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture in 2021. Mulgimaa consists of three Estonian rural municipalities, Mulgi Parish, Tõrva Parish, and Viljandi Parish, which are located in Southern Estonia.

The heyday of Mulgimaa was in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The Mulks of that time were the first peasants in Estonia who started purchasing farms. The wealth of the Mulks is considered to be based on flax cultivation, and the growth of wealth was shown manifested both by majestic mansions and the fact that children could be sent to better and more expensive schools to study. According to the 2012 census, nearly 10,000 people speak the Mulgi dialect. It is mainly spoken as a vernacular language in rural areas.
Finno-Ugric peoples are peoples speaking Finno-Ugric languages. In today’s world, there are the following Finno-Ugric peoples: Hungarians, Khanty, Mansi, Sámi, Finns, Karelians, Estonians (including Mulgi and Seto), Livonians, Isurians, Votians, Veps, Ers and Mokshas, Maris, Udmurts, and Komi.

The Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2021 program has been implemented with the support of the LEADER measure.


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