The mayor of Veszprém, and the mayor of Iszkaszentgyörgy has been introduced the programs of Finno-Ugric Cultural Capital of 2016 in the castle of Iszkaszentgyörgy. Attila Gáll, the mayor of Iszkaszentgyörgy underlined that next year several programs – including the St. George Day – will be transformed into Finno-Ugric festival. A village which is lived nearly by 2000 inhabitants will held specialized monthly programs as follows: January - Hungarian culture, February - Finnish culture, March - Water, April - Earth, May - Peace, June – Fire, July – Estonian culture, August – Finno-Ugric nations living in Russia, September – Air, October – Finno-Ugric nations, November – Youths, and December will be the month of the Hope.  

The mayor added that most of their programs will be held in the beautiful Amadé-Bajzáth-Pappenheim castle, where in 1944, during the bomb attacks of the Second World War the Finnish embassy operated and its employees were able to find a safe shelter here. Attila Gáll added that they plan to organise events in the protestant church and in the chatolic church of Iszkaszentgyörgy.

Gyula Porga, the mayor of Veszprém highlighted that the city where lives approximetaly 63 000 people is proud for its four-year-decades Finnish and Estonian relations, which is supported  by a very active civil organisation, called VEMAFI. Gyula Porga said that in their application of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2016 they put emphasis into the children and youth relations. They plan also to involve cities and towns from over the state border of Hungary, including the Hungarian minorities. The mayor of Veszprém together with the University of Pannon will organise conferences, and in the Bakony Expo they also plan to introduce the gastronomy of Finno-Ugric nations. Gyula Porga has also said that Veszprém plans to apply for the European Capital of Culture in 2023, for what it is a great chance to organise a smaller Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture program year of the event.

Peter Aranyi, the communication consultant of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture Programme Bureau has underlined that the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture initiative has been accepted in 2012 in the Finno-Ugric World Congress in Siófok with the aim introducing in a wider level the various culture of Finno-Ugric nations.

The current holder of the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture, Obinitsa has sent a delegation for the Pre-Opening Event of Veszprém and Iszkaszentgyörgy. The head of the Estonian delegation, Annela Laaneots said that it was a great pleasure to be the capital of 25 million Finno-Ugric community for a year. She also said that the setu community stands from 12 500 people, while in Estonia 2000 people speak this small Finno-Ugric language. After the welcoming speech Annalea Laaneots has given the flag of Finno-Ugric Capital to the mayor of Iszkaszentgyörgy and the mayor of Veszprém. The evening was continued by the ball which was held for the 98th anniversary of independency of the Finnish Republic.

Translation was made following the text of Hungarian News Agency (MTI).

Here we can see a great video from the delegation of Obinitsa about the visit:


First-ever Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture was Udmurtian village Bygy (www.bygy.info) in 2014 and the current holder of this title is Seto village Obinitsa – Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2015 (www.obinitsa.net).   Finno-Ugric Capitals of Culture is an initiative of MAFUN – Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples – with the objectives to strengthen common identity of kindred Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic peoples, to raise awareness of Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic peoples and languages and the Uralic language family, and to stimulate cultural, economic and civic development on a local level.