Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Organisations, activities and projects which contribute to the city’s intercultural dynamic

NGOs of Udmurt, Tatar, Russian, German, Jew, Bashkir, Mari and other cultures organize a great number of activities aimed at preservation and development of the ethnic cultures in the city: Days of Friendship, folklore festivals, meetings with poets and writers, contests, exchange concerts, recitals and readings, which enrich the palette of cultural life of the city.

Izhevsk is a multi-confessional city. Beside the Russian Orthodox Church (which is the leading Christian religion in Russia), there is Islam, reformed Faith, Judaism and some other confessions in the city. Totally, there are 59 religious organizations in Izhevsk. They take an active part in the city events and actions, especially in the recent years.

In a number of the Russian-language publications, there are thematic columns on inter-cultural issues. For example, the newspaper “The Udmurt Republic Izvestiya” regularly publishes materials devoted to national cultures, e.g. there is a column “My first ABC” (a joint project with the Ministry of the Nationalities Policy). The project of “The Udmurtskaya Pravda” newspaper called “Tomorrow’s Language” discussing the languages of the nationalities living on the territory of the Udmurt Republic, has been among the 15 winners of the contest held by the Ministry of the Nationalities Policy of Udmurt Republic held among the mass media in 2007. This newspaper also contains a column called “A National Palette”. Izhevsk TV-radio company “Udmurtia” broadcasts an ethnographic project “I’m an Udmurt”, programmes in Tatar language, news in Udmurt language, etc. The staff of TV-radio company “My Udmurtiya” broadcasts the programmes “We are Neighbours”, “Earth’s Gravitation”, “Walks Around Izhevsk”, “Udmurt Lessons”, etc.

The “Red-Haired People Festival” is aimed at creation of the new positive image of the city based on the culture interaction and partnership development between the communities in the city. The project refers to the scientific fact that there are a great amount of the red-haired people among the Udmurts. The festival consists of different actions and contests.

The national “Gerber” festival, which takes place in the Birch grove (the cult place for the Udmurts) includes “The First Furrow Festival” with the traditional national cuisine (featuring such dishes as porridge cooked on fire and “kumishka”, national low-alcohol drink). The national peculiarity of the festival is “podvorye” (celebration organized at the territory around the house).

“Sabantuy” is a national Tatar feast, an ancient and new festival at the same time. It is the festival of labour when the beautiful customs, ceremonies, songs and folk dancing of the nation join together. The name has its origin in the Turkic words “saban” which means a plough and “tuy” – festival. For all the agricultural nations, the periods of sowing and harvesting are highly important and their beginning and successful ending have been celebrated with the festivals at all times. Today this festival has become an international one. People of different nationalities and cultures, such as Tatar, Bashkir, Russian, Udmurt and many others take part in it.

The project “In the Neighbourhood we Live” is a calling card of “My Udmurtia” TV-channel. It is one of our favorite projects, we are really proud of it. During three years of the broadcast the audience of the channel could see four different projects under this rubric. They all showed common people put in the circumstances unusual for them. The characters of the programmes were the people living in different parts of the Republic. The authors of the project may send graduated students, true city dwellers, to a far-away village, or, the other way round, they may send old country women to the whirl of city passions.

The project “Intercultural Families TV Club” is realized in Izhevsk now. Its goal consists in studying the intercultural families. There are monthly programs for the families in which a husband and a wife belong to different ethnic groups. What does it mean to be a husband or a wife of a person of different nationality? In what way is it reflected in routine life? What discoveries and when have you made about each other? These and some other questions are asked to the families ready to take part in the program.