Resolution of the 12th Congress of MAFUN (the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric peoples)
Tartu, Estonia, 29.–31.7.2015
Delegates from 24 member organizations of MAFUN, including 3 newly elected organizations from the Russian Federation and Hungary,
On the basis of the work of the sections the Congress makes the following solutions and statements:
MAFUN finds that the media plays an exclusively important role in the lives of Finno-Ugric peoples nowadays and especially in the lives of the Finno-Ugric youth. Media today is the key channel of identity and cultural transmission, creation of common agenda for each Finno-Ugric nation in case of geographical dispersal and lack of official institutions. Media provides environment for language utilization for less used Finno-Ugric languages.
Considering the importance of media for Finno-Ugric youth,
- to develop Finno-Ugric medias and especially media in Uralic languages
- to improve the distribution channels for media in Uralic languages (especially via state post services for rural areas)
- to elaborate relevant formats for all the generations of Finno-Ugric peoples
- to use Finno-Ugric languages in media more widely
- to widen the scope of media in Uralic languages
- to encourage development of the new genres and new formats of journalism in Finno-Ugric media, especially in media in Uralic languages
- to use media as a platform for attracting new activists and new community members.
MAFUN claims following statements and solutions:
- to facilitate collaboration between Finno-Ugric media actors, including media, state and readers’ community
- to arrange seminars for Finno-Ugric media actors for sharing experiences and looking for new opportunities
- to support media for youth and children in Uralic languages
- to promote Finno-Ugric peoples in non-Finno-Ugric media
- to stimulate development of Finno-Ugric social media
- to establish a more active MAFUN presence in web and social media.
Language technologies and language infrastructure
MAFUN considers language projects and language technologies as the focus area for Finno-Ugric activism, as the key investment for the future of Finno-Ugric peoples. In a modern situation activists’ attempts should be focused on 4 key domains:
1) Creating an infrastructure and opportunities for learning Uralic languages at all stages of educational process (from family to kindergarten, proceeding to adult courses), keeping in mind that for the most Uralic languages there is no institutional support.
2) Creating language infrastructure and language market for native speakers: providing modern content in Uralic languages, creating applications and e-dictionaries for everyday use and so on.
3) Corpus planning: strengthening the very core of Uralic languages, enriching their sources for modern needs.
4) Status planning: raising social prestige of lesser used Uralic languages, acquiring official statuses for them and gaining state support.
Considering the fundamental role of language in maintaining the identities of Finno-Ugric peoples,
- to encourage and increase support for bilingualism in societies of Finno-Ugric peoples;
- to encourage the use of mother tongue in diaspora communities;
- to provide official recognition and state support for Uralic languages at their territories;
- to provide education in Finno-Ugric languages;
- to provide wide opportunities to study Finno-Ugric languages for both Finno-Ugric peoples and their cohabitants;
- to support creation of infrastructure for language use;
- to support creation of electronic infrastructure for Uralic languages;
- to motivate the use of Finno-Ugric languages in communities and families where language use is threatened or non-existent;
- to promote the possibility to write final school exams in their mother tongue.
MAFUN claims following statements and solutions:
- to collect statistical data on actual sociolinguistical situation of the Finno-Ugric minority languages;
- to encourage permanent analysis of the best practices in language teaching, corpus and status planning for Finno-Ugric languages;
- to encourage the member organizations to continue the exchange of ideas about language projects and initiatives, share the best practices, disseminate information;
- to encourage its member organizations to celebrate the use of their languages and work towards the visibility of Finno-Ugric languages in the linguistic landscape;
- devise the language development strategy for groups of Uralic languages with equal circumstances;
- promote the increased use and creation of modern language technologies: internet applications, websites, study materials.
Indigenous peoples movement
MAFUN sees the global indigenous peoples movement as a great opportunity for Finno-Ugric peoples to participate in global dialogue and to achieve their goals in preservation of their languages, identities and cultures.
- to encourage the Finno-Ugric peoples to identify themselves as indigenous peoples;
- to participate in indigenous peoples movement more effectively to fulfill their goals;
- to share experience and practices with indigenous peoples movement’s representatives.
- to promote increased awareness of the local linguistic and ethnic legislation within the community of Finno-Ugric youth;
- to promote the awareness of current difficulties and challenges threatening the survival of Finno-Ugric indigenous communities in the future;
- to actively represent Finno-Ugric peoples in international communication.
Popular culture and cultural heritage
MAFUN considers the cultural sphere as the key scene of modern changes. Culture is the key asset of Finno-Ugric peoples, both in preserving the heritage of the previous generations and in creating a ground for the future of our nations.
Being at the same time innovative and sustainable, continuous and a breakthrough, culture is the key area where identity is being formed and transmissed. In modern times we have multiple goals regarding cultural field: preservation of our traditional culture and its transmission and creation of the new modern and competitive forms for today and tomorrow.
Considering cultural field as the key focus of Finno-Ugric activism,
- to promote professional education in various fields for Finno-Ugric peoples to be able to create higher level cultural products;
- to promote the production of popular culture in the Finno-Ugric languages at the grassroot level and to support the spreading of this grassroot culture;
- to support continued production of popular film and television in Finno-Ugric languages for both Finno-Ugric and non-Finno-Ugric audience.
MAFUN claims following solutions:
- to facilitate cooperation between different actors in cultural field;
- to support young Finno-Ugric creative professionals;
- to support young Finno-Ugric creative professionals in their communication with non-Finno-Ugric actors;
- to promote contacts between the Finno-Ugric artists;
- to investigate better ways of distributing of Finno-Ugric culture in the Finno-Ugric world and beyond.
Entrepreneurship and start-ups
MAFUN considers entrepreneurship and start-ups as the pivotal activity for making Finno-Ugric movement more stable and sustainable. Entrepreneurial culture could change the mode of Finno-Ugric peoples giving them opportunity to gain higher social status.
- to create opportunities for Finno-Ugric youth to realize themselves as entrepreneurs.
MAFUN claims following solutions:
- to create a commission for business development to promote Finno-Ugric start-ups and spread entrepreneurial culture among Finno-Ugric youth;
- to facilitate different actors in the Finno-Ugric business field;
- to create an environment for ideas and practices’ exchange;
- to recommend MAFUN regional offices to use the possibilities and advantages of finstartup.com web resource and finpenguin.com web portal for selling Finno-Ugric products.
MAFUN considers activity on the international level as a key of its success. Outside of international cooperation Finno-Ugric activity will not be sustainable.
- to intensify contacts with United Nations and other international organization with the similar profile and goals;
- to actively take part in Finno-Ugric world movement;
- to actively participate in the pre work of the 7th World Congress of the Finno-Ugric peoples.
MAFUN sees its horizontal and branchy structure with coordinative centers in every region as big advantage and necessary condition for effective work for youth of all the Uralic peoples.
In order to make the organization stronger, more effective and more flexible MAFUN claims following solutions:
- MAFUN shall leverage internal communication and cooperation within the association;
- MAFUN shall strengthen its regional branches and establish contacts with unrepresented regions and peoples;
- MAFUN shall retain its right to act independently from governmental actors;
- being an international organization, MAFUN shall not register itself under the jurisdiction of one of the states.
The Congress has selected Izhevsk (Izhkar), the capital of Udmurt Republic, Russian Federation, as the venue of the 13th Congress in 2017.