PetrSU trains specialists in Karelian and Vepsian languages
Petrozavodsk State University trains specialists in the Karelian and Vepsian languages within the framework of the bachelor’s degree profiles “Finnish language and literature, Karelian language” and “Finnish language and literature, Vepsian language”.
In addition, the Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology of PetrSU trains primary school teachers with knowledge of the Karelian and Vepsian languages.
If three years ago about 30 students studied at Petrozavodsk State University in these areas, now there are about 80 students.
Petrozavodsk State University is the only higher educational institution in Russia which trains specialists in the Karelian language, as well as in the Karelian, Vepsian and Finnish languages at the same time. The University acts as a guide for the preservation and enhancement of the cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples of Karelia, which is important for future generations and which also plays a huge role in the tourist attractiveness of the region,
– notes the head of the Department of Baltic-Finnish Philology of PetrSU, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor Tatyana Pashkova.
Karelian and Vepsian languages are the languages of indigenous peoples living in the Republic of Karelia, Leningrad, Vologda and Tver regions of the Russian Federation. Both languages are under the protection of UNESCO. PetrSU students studying Karelian and Vepsian languages take an active part in the life of the Finno-Ugric world. They not only immerse themselves in the national linguistic environment from the first year in the classroom, but also take part in the creative activities of the Toive folklore ensemble , known far beyond the borders of Karelia. The ensemble’s repertoire includes music, songs and dances from Zaonezhie, Karelians, Sami, Ingrian Finns, Izhora, Mari, Udmurts, Mordovians, etc. The members of the ensemble speak and perform works in national languages, play national instruments.
Students of these areas receive additional scholarships , can participate in the competition for literary gifted students and postgraduates named after Yaakko Rugoev. Nominal scholarships to them. Jaakko Rugoeva was established in 1996 for undergraduate and graduate students of higher professional education writing in Finnish, Vepsian and Karelian languages. Scholarships are appointed by the Head of the Republic of Karelia on the basis of the decision of the Expert Council and on the 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 Ethnodom . The exhibits date back to the 19th – first half of the 20th century. Among them are birch bark products, items of blacksmithing and carpentry, textiles, clothing, dishes, and cult accessories. The visitors of the exhibition get acquainted with the way of life, traditional crafts of the inhabitants of Karelia, and the peculiarities of spiritual culture. Teachers and students of the Department of Baltic-Finnish Philology translate the Museum’s exhibits into the national languages of Karelia.
Ethnodom – reconstruction of a village hut created by the staff and students of PetrSU within the framework of the project “Ethnocultural Baltic-Finnish Mosaic” with the support of the Karjalan Sivistysseura Karelian educational society .
In a cozy, homely atmosphere of the Ethnodom, classes in national languages, lectures and seminars on folk topics are held, they receive guests – representatives of the Finno-Ugric world, including foreign ones.
In recent years, the competition for these educational programs has grown significantly. This cannot but rejoice and speaks of the growing interest of young people in their native (national) languages and culture. The University has always supported and supports educational programs for the study of the Karelian and Vepsian languages, rightfully considering them to be unique programs and realizing that here we are dealing with the preservation of the identity of our republic, its richest history and culture, and also contribute to the preservation and development of Finno -Ugric peoples and their linguistic diversity,
– emphasized the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of PetrSU, Candidate of Philological Sciences Konstantin Tarasov.
Specialists with knowledge of national languages and culture are in demand in Karelia. PetrSU graduates are employed in translation and tourism, broadcast in national languages on Karelian radio and television, work in schools, language centers, etc.