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What Karelians want

90th annversary of the Republic of Karelia

Resolution of the VIth Congress of Karelians of the Republic of Karelia adopted on June 19, in Olonets, defines strategic purposes and tasks of development of the Karelian people. It stipulates actions on development of Karelian literary language, preservation of traditional culture, perfection of mechanisms of teaching children their native language.

The resolution of the Congress poits out positive changes occured within the period between congresses: adoption of regional target programs State Support of Karelian, Veppsian and Finnish Languages in the Republic of Karelia in 2006 — 2010 and Harmonization of National and Confessional Relations, Formation of Civil consent in the Republic of Karelia in 2007 — 2011 (Karelia — Territory of Harmony), creation of new public associations of Karelians in municipal formations of the republic.

The main concern of Karelians today is, first of all, reduction of the Karelian population. In the period between the two censuses the number of Karelians living in the Russian Federation has reduced by 30 thousand people in comparison with 1989 (from 120 thousand people to 90 thousand people).

Another actual problem of activity and life-support of the Karelian ethnos is progressing loss of their native language. Comparative data of censuses of the second half of the 20th century testify that the parameter of language assimilation of Karelians was and remains one of the highest among ethnoses of the Russian Federation. Data of the All-Russia population census of 2002 specify that 48% of representatives of the ethnos speak Karelian language.

Therefore, familiarization of children and young people with the language and original culture of the Karelian people is especially important. In the resolution of the Congress special attention is paid to realization of the Republican basic curriculum for general educational establishments of the Republic of Karelia with the ethnocultural component of the academic content, development of educational and methodological complexes in Karelian language for elementary and basic school, expansion of a network of municipal educational establishments, offering Karelian language learning.

There has been also mentioned professional training of personnel for the state municipal administration, experts in the field of pedagogics and psychology, agriculture, ecology, subsurface resources management, jurisprudence, culture, art, information technologies from among representatives of the Karelian people, the task is also actual today for Karelians of the republic.

The Authorized Karelian Council of the VIth Congress of Karelians of the Republic of Karelia including representatives of all municipal formations of the republic plans to hold the enlarged session of the Councli upon invitation of representatives of all operating public organizations of Karelians of of the Republic of Karelia, Tver and Leningrad areas, interested bodies of the government and local self-government, scientists and teachers concerning development of Karelian literary language, and to form working groups on development and realization of the information-educational project on popularization of studying Karelian language among children and parents.

Participants of the Congress have suggested to declare 2011 the year of Karelian language in the Republic of Karelia.

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Created: July 8, 2009. Last updated: July 8, 2009.
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