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Implementation of the international project ECHO was summarized in Karelia

Results of the two year international project ECHO (Network of Ethnocultural and Heritage Organizations) were summed up in the capital of the Republic of Karelia.

Presentation of results of the project took place in Petrozavodsk on December, 5 when its participants have also attended the Wanderlust exhibition prepared by participants of the network of ethnocultural and heritage organizations from regions of Karelia.

Later, heads of the ECHO project Markku Nieminen, Chairman of the Board of the Juminkeko Foundation, and Varvara Lebedeva, Deputy Head of the Cultural Policy Department of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia, have presented results of one of the largest investment projects implemented within the Karelia program of cross-border cooperation in 2007-2013.

The podium discussion on the subject of Ethnocultural centers: from a trend to a brand has aroused a keen interest both in guests and among the ECHO project participants. Alexey Lesonen, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Karelia; Tatyana Kordyukova, Deputy Director of the Centre of National Culture and Folk Arts of the Republic of Karelia; Alexey Tsykarev, member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Vera Ustinova, Director of Korela travel bureau have presented their expert analysis. Along with Svetlava Kolchurina, moderator and Director of the Association of Ethnocultural and Heritage Organizations, experts have stated their opinion that the network of ethnocultural centers has all preconditions to switch from a trend to the brand of the Republic of Karelia.

Exhibition and discussion of the film Kieläpierväl (the language nest in Inari-Lappish language) prepared using the funds of the ECHO project has also taken place on the first day in a series of concluding events. The film shows the efforts of local activists in preservation of Inari-Lappish language that has almost disappeared about 20 years ago through the help of the language nest. The documentary film is very useful for ethnocultural centers run within the territory which is the traditional place of inhabitance of minorities of the Republic of Karelia, namely Karelians, Veppsians and Ingermaland Finns, where the initiative of preservation of the mother tongue is supported.

On December, 6 participants of the network of ethnocultural and heritage organizations have visited the Ryurik Lonin Veppsian ethnographic museum of Sheltozero, have taken a tour on it and have visited the traditional Veppsian barn built within the scope of the ECHO project. Heads and employees of ethnocultural centers of Karelia also spoke about results of implementation of the project, have evolved a plan of cooperation for the short-term within the established Network of Ethnocultural and Heritage Organizations.

The ceremony of the project closing took place in the afternoon, when Elena Bogdanova, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Karelia, has come to congratulate the project participants and to award certificates, letters of thanks and souvenirs.

On the last day, December 7, a tutorial for directors and employees of ethnocultural centers was organized at the Centre of National Culture and Folk Arts of the Republic of Karelia.

Let us remind that the project was aimed at creation of an international network of cultural institutions including institutions of culture and extended education, public museums and organizations developing ethnocultural activities based on the culture and languages of indigenous peoples of the Republic of Karelia, namely Karelians, Veppsians, and Russians. The project has funded repairs of premises and purchase of presentation equipment. Over the past two years directors and employees of ethnocultural centers have improved their professional skills within the project ECHO

The project of establishing of a Network of Ethnocultural and Heritage Organizations was supported within the Karelia European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument program of cross-border cooperation and implemented by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia, the Centre of National Culture and Folk Arts of the Republic of Karelia, the Ethnocultural Initiative Support and Development Foundation, and the Juminkeko Foundation, Finland.

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Created: December 9, 2014. Last updated: December 11, 2014.
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