Mari at the Finno-Ugric Winter School

The 2nd International Winter School of Finno-Ugrian Studies has come and gone.

Students at the Finno-Ugric Winter School

36 of the best and brightest young Finno-Ugric scholars gathered in Szeged, Hungary in the last two weeks of January to deepen and widen their skills and knowledge. Participants came from Austria (Vienna), Germany (Hamburg, Munich), Finland (Helsinki), Estonia (Tartu), and Hungary (Szeged). During the first week, the students got to take part in a crash course of Nenets, and got to see some gurus in action (see here). Week two was Mari week.

Mari Teachers

Team Mari: Yuliya Kuprina (Helsinki), Jeremy Bradley (Vienna), Tatyana Yefremova (Budapest)

Five days is hardly a lot of time if your aim is to teach a language. But, we worked under the assumption that our students would survive whatever breakneck speed we teach at, and as it turns out, we were right to do so.

Tanya introducting vowel harmony

Jeremy talking about verbal government

Some of our students came with a working knowledge of (Meadow) Mari. Advanced students had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with Hill Mari, the second Mari literary standard.

Yuliya talks about teaching Hill Mari for the first time (in Hill Mari)

On Wednesday, we got to organize a Mari evening, full of song, dance, and riddles.

Tanya and Yuliya sing a Hill Mari traditional (Hill Mari subtitles available!)

We had the good fortune to have Jürgen Dengo in our group – a student of Finno-Ugric languages from Estonia that, as it happens, is also a skilled accordion player.

Learning to dance

A circle dance

Tanya shows how it’s done

We encouraged our students to participate in the upcoming Summer School of Mari Language and Culture in Mari El and Bashkortostan. Logistics permitting, there will be delegations from Vienna and Helsinki travelling to Yoshkar-Ola and beyond. If you want to join us, it’s not too late – just get in touch with me, or one of my colleagues in Helsinki.

See you on the other side of the Volga!



8 thoughts on “Mari at the Finno-Ugric Winter School

  1. Perfrect! I’m proud that my native language, even one of the dialects as it has shown here (I mean Hill Mari), is taught abroad. Of course, it’s unbelievable))) But when you see such video extracts you understand that it’s not a dream) Unfortunately, there’s no video with full lesson teaching the language, there’s only the part of it. It’s interesting for me because I’m an English teacher. And I’m interested in the teaching process. Anyway, I enjoyed everything! Thank you!

    • It would have been nice to shoot more video material in class than we did, but I was too busy teaching to film – and I didn’t want to ask any of the students to film either, I wanted them to pay attention to their teachers. 🙂

    • I’m not exactly sure! I’m going to be coming to the Mari Summer School in June/July, which this year is going to be held in both Yoshkar-Ola and Bashkortostan .. but I do not yet know where in Bashkortostan. My work group will be releasing its Mari-English dictionary this summer, we’re planning to have a public presentation in Y-O … it would be great to have a chance to do something similar in Bashkortostan too!

  2. You can visit Mishkino, Birsk, for example, in Bashkortostan. There’s also Mari gymnasium in Churaevo, not far from Birsk. So, that’s my native village. There’s the University in Birsk and you can also make some presentation there to the students that study Mari language. Of course, you need to have some connections with them.

  3. Pingback: Soome-ugri talvekoolis õpitakse komi keelt | MariUver

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s