The All-Russian Conference of Finno-Ugric Writers with International Participation opened in Khanty-Mansiysk. The event is held under the auspices of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO and the International Organisation of Regions "Northern Forum" with the support of the Federal Agency for Nationalities.


The conference is attended by about 200 people - representatives of Finno-Ugric territories of the Russian Federation, as well as Hungary, Belarus, Moldova: writers, translators, publishers, representatives of science in the field of literary studies, linguistics, ethnography, employees of libraries and educational institutions.


"Researchers together with writers developing native languages and culture will discuss issues of linguistics, ethnography, book publishing on the margins of the conference. At the centre of the discussions is the phenomenon of Finno-Ugric literature and culture. Its humanitarian value for the world is that it contains a recipe for sustainable development of regions, goal-setting for harmonisation with nature, generally accepted human values", - said Natalia Komarova, Governor of Ugra, welcoming the conference participants.


The head of the region emphasised that language is the foundation of national culture, literature, and a vector of development, which is the basis of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages of the World. According to Natalia Komarova, Ugra in partnership with UNESCO systematically implements projects to preserve native languages. Particular attention is paid to novice authors whose work in native languages transmits knowledge and traditions of indigenous peoples to the world. Thus, starting from this year a new nomination - "Young Author" - has been introduced in the annual award of the Governor of the Autonomous Okrug in the field of literature; it is open to authors, including beginners, up to and including 35 years of age.


"The results of your work at the conference are an invaluable contribution to the sustainable development of Finno-Ugric peoples, indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation," Natalia Komarova emphasised.


In a video message to the participants of the event, Tatyana Dovgalenko, Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, expressed her confidence that the All-Russian Conference of Finno-Ugric Writers with international participation would become an outstanding event of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages announced by the UN General Assembly.


"This ambitious initiative aims, among other things, to promote literature as the highest form of language organisation. It aims to build capacity to preserve the living heritage of indigenous peoples through their history, languages, oral traditions, philosophy, writing and literature. The government of Ugra makes a great contribution to this endeavour. In June, Khanty-Mansiysk successfully hosted for the fifth time the conference "Information and Communication in the Digital Age" on multilingualism in cyberspace. In August, the capital of Ugra widely celebrated the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. Important projects are being implemented by the ethnographic open-air museum "Torum Maa", which was created with the participation of the famous Khanty prose writer, our contemporary Yeremey Aipin," Tatiana Dovgalenko pointed out.


Yeremey Aipin, Chairman of the Assembly of Representatives of Indigenous Minorities of the North of the Duma of Ugra, said that in August this year, with the support of the Government and Governor of Ugra, a new organisation - the Association of Finno-Ugric Writers - was registered. Its goal is to implement mechanisms of influence on the Finno-Ugric literary process, to create conditions for effective creative activity, to promote the development of initiative and creativity in the sphere of organising meaningful leisure time as a means of upbringing and increasing the spiritual culture of citizens. Yeremey Aipin was unanimously elected president of the newly established organisation.


"On the one hand our task is to work systematically with Finno-Ugric literature on the territory of the Russian Federation, on the other hand we would like to take an active part in international events of the Finno-Ugric movement. The conference participants represent the great Finno-Ugric civilisation from the Danube to the Ob. We hope that all of you will participate in the creation of the council of our association", - Yeremey Aipin expressed his hope.


According to Vladimir Vasilyev, executive director of the Northern Forum international organisation of regions, the large Finno-Ugric family unites many regions of Siberia, north-west Russia and Scandinavia, and is an authoritative association.


"Writers at all times have played a huge role in the formation of public consciousness, in the development of cultural, spiritual and moral values, patriotism. Therefore, the importance of writers is undeniable. The conference programme is very rich and diverse. We will be glad to receive the results and disseminate them to all regions for use in our daily work," emphasised Vladimir Vasiliev. He noted that Ugra serves as an example for other subjects of the Russian Federation in supporting indigenous peoples, preserving their culture and traditions.


At the end of the conference opening ceremony the awards ceremony of the International Organisation of Regions "Northern Forum" and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug took place.


Yeremey Aipin, Chairman of the Assembly of Representatives of Indigenous Peoples of the North of the Ugra Duma, was awarded the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Prize "For the Development of the Culture of Indigenous Peoples of the North" for his significant contribution to research activities, revival of the culture and art of the indigenous minorities of the North.


For preserving the traditions and heritage of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic and the North, a special prize of the Northern Forum, an international organisation of northern regions, was awarded to Maria Voldina, an honorary citizen of Ugra and a member of the Russian Writers' Union.