Staunton, April 21 – Activism among the Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian Federation – the Maris, the Mordvins, the Udmurts and others – has evolved over the last two decades from politics to culture, from streets to the Internet, and from attachment to this cultural and linguistic community as a whole to narrower groups, according to one Finno-Ugric blogger.
While his assessment is impressionistic rather than definitive and while it is certain to spark controversy among those who care about these three small nations and their related communities both inside Russia and beyond its borders, it represents a suggestive template for considering the evolution of these communities and perhaps others as well.
The blogger, with the screen name of Ortem, lists what he says are the basic characteristics of Finno-Ugric activism in the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s in a post picked up by the Uralistica.com portal which is dedicated to promoting discussion about the Finno-Ugric nations (uralistica.com/profiles/blogs/fu-movement-90-00-10
And at present, in the decade of the 2010s, the blogger conclude, activism in these Finno-Ugric nations has changed again and now displays the following characteristics:
1. The Internet increasingly dominates the movements with most of national life now taking place online rather than in the streets.
2. “A sense of the awakening of the Finno-Ugrics” among those who do take part in online discussions.
3. A sharp decline in the extent of initiatives: Putting up banners or stickers “is considered the height of achievement.”
4. An increasing split between what is taking place online and offline
5. Ever more “hints” of the need to cooperate with other small peoples of the Russian Federation.
6. A rise of rhetoric stressing the equality of the rights of all peoples within and among the republics.
7. The emergence of a kind of lazy activism in which people wear shirts with slogans but never take part in any public activity beyond that.
8. A focus on games and amusements rather than on political issues.
9. The typical venue is now the discotheque or a social network like VKontakte.
10. And a focus on love of culture rather than anything else.