PetrSU Trains Specialists in the Karelian and Veps Languages
PetrSU trains specialists in the Karelian and Veps languages with in Bachelor’s programs «Finnish Language and Literature, Karelian Language» and «Finnish Language and Literature, Veps Language».
Besides, the Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology trains primary school teachers with competence in the Karelian and Veps languages.
If PetrSU had about 30 students in these programs 3 years before,there are currently around 80 students.
"Petrozavodsk State University is the only university in Russia that trains specialists in the Karelian language as well as in the Karelian, Veps and Finnish languages simultaneously. The University provides the maintenance and strengthening of indigenous peoples’ cultural traditions in Karelia, which is important for future generations and which also plays a significant role in the region’s tourism attractiveness",- notes Tatiana Pashkova, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of the Baltic and Finnish Philology at PetrSU.
The Karelian and Veps languages are the languages of the indigenous minorities living in the Republic of Karelia, Leningrad, Vologda and Tver regions of the Russian Federation. Both languages are protectedby UNESCO. PetrSU students studying Karelian and Veps languages are actively involved in the Finno-Ugric life. They not only plunge into national linguistic environment since freshman year, but also participate in the creative activities of the Toive folk music ensemble known far beyond the borders of Karelia. The ensemble's repertoire contains music, songs and dances of Zaonezhie, Karelians, Sami, Ingrian Finns, Izhorians, Mari, Udmurts, Mordovians, etc. The ensemble’s members speak and sing songs in native languages, play national instruments.
Students major in this field receive further scholarships, can participate in the competition named after Jaakko Rugoevfor literary talented undergraduate and graduate students. Jaakko Rugoev Scholarships were established in 1996 for higher education undergraduate and graduate students writing in Finnish, Veps and Karelian. Scholarships are awarded by the Head of the Republic of Karelia by decision of the Expert Council and by proposal of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia.
The university has a permanent ethnographic exhibition of the Museum of the History of PetrSU and the Ethnographic House [Ethnodom]. The exhibits date back to the 19th - first half of the 20th century. There are birchbark products, products of blacksmithing and carpentry, textiles, clothes, dishes, and ceremonial accessories among them. The visitors to the exhibition get acquainted with the household, traditional forms of craft of the residents of Karelia and the characteristics of spiritual culture. Teachers and students of the Department of the Baltic and Finnish Philology translate the ancient writing into the native languages of Karelia.
The Ethnographic House [Ethnodom]is a reconstruction of a Karelian village house [izba], which was created by PetrSU employees and students within the project "Ethnocultural Baltic-Finnish Mosaic" with the support of Karelian educational association "KarjalanSivistysseura".
Classes in national languages, lectures and seminars devoted to traditional themes are held in a cozy, homely atmosphere of the Ethnographic House. They convene representatives of the Finno-Ugric world as guests, including foreigners.
"In recent years, the competition for these educational programs has grown significantly. That cannot but rejoice and highlights the growing interest of young people in their native languages and culture. The University has always supported the educational programs on the Karelian and Veps languages,considering them for a reason to be unique programs and understanding that we deal with the maintenance ofthe republic identity, its richest history and culture, and also contribute to the preservation and development of Finno-Ugric peoples and their language diversity",
- emphasized Konstantin Tarasov, the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of PetrSU, Candidate of Philological Sciences.
Specialistsin native languages and culture are in demand in Karelia. PetrSU graduates are employed in the areas of translation and tourism, Karelian radio and television broadcasting in native languages, work at schools, language centers, etc.