On 7th of May one of the current titleholders, Iszkaszentgyörgy held and Udmurt day. The town with approximately 2000 residents hosted an Udmurt delegation. The special weekend had started already on 6th of May with Transylvanian programs, and next day - first time ever - Iszkaszentgyörgy organised an Udmurt fashion show. As a part of the Udmurt day a photo exhibition was also opened in the castle from the pictures of Miklós Demeter, who visited Udmurtia previously. Besides, on 7th of May Iszkaszentgyörgy organised a forum about the experience of Bygy, which was first Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture in 2014.
At 3pm only few people gathered front of the IKSZT, in Iszkaszentgyörgy, because most of the people were inside the community house, where Udmurts prepared an excellent fair and exhibition of handmade souvenirs and gifts. The informal meeting later became a very important attraction for the local residents. Everyone was interested in the delegation of Bygy.
On the forum Udmurts were represented by the following people: Zhanna Ermolaeva (Ермолаева Жанна Михайловна), the head of the National Udmurt Cultural Centre from Bygy, Alena Saveleva (Савельева Алёна Николаевна) the choreographer of the National Udmurt Cultural Centre, Natalia Yuferova (Юферова Наталия Петровна) the teacher, actress and Nikolai Nesmelov ( Несмелов Николай Иванович) Udmurt musician. The informal meeting were driven by Mr. Attila Gáll the mayor of Iszkaszentgyörgy, the Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture Programme Bureau was presented by its head, Peter Aranyi, Mr. Daniel Waliduda the project coordinator of Iszkaszentgyörgy also participated.
"It was worth to apply in 2013 and we were very happy by winning the title of Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture 2014. It is very hard to answer that what we would do differently with our year if we could do it again" - noted Ermolaeva. She added: probably they would do the same programs, because they were the first Finno-Ugric Capital of Culture so there wouldn’t be anything which could be named as good or bad. They just did what they could do from their heart and passion.
"We have a very active community here, but i admire how professional and talented delegation Bygy could set up for today, considering the fact the Udmurt town has only-180-200 residents" - said Mr. Attila Gáll. For a journalist question he said that representing Finno-Ugric manners today in Hungary does not get positive reactions at all. "Linguistics very often need to protect themselves and their opinion about the Finno-Ugric origin of the Hungarian language. Although I’m not a linguist and I don't have right to say anything in this, but a lot of people don't see how many friends we can get from these Finno-Ugric relations. Although this is what really matters" - emphasised.
Maria Vekshina (Мария Векшина), Udmurt journalist and Finno-Ugric activist asked in what kind of programs young Hungarians are interested. Peter Aranyi said that mainly music festivals are that type of programs in Hungary which can expect high-number of visitors. Maria added that during the summer in Udmurtia a special music festival will be organized. The 22-year old journalist also introduced for the audience Udmurt Dunne, the Udmurt newspaper which exists since 1915.
The informal meeting was two hours long and for the end at least 20 people were listening the forum. The audience was asking the delegation of Bygy as well. Most of the people wanted to know are the Udmurts believers, do they have folk dancing movements, and in what situation is right now the Udmurt language.
In the end patch workers of Iszkaszentgyörgy gave handmade presents to the members of the Udmurt delegation. The Udmurt day continued with Udmurt screening, dances and cuisine. On 8th of May (Sunday) the Udmurt delegation visited Veszprém, where they represented the Udmurt culture and Bygy during a two-hour program as a part of the Gisella-days.
Photo credit: Peter Aranyi