I Love the Khanty Language

Kasum Yoh centre for culture and history

Bear games and sacred songs bring back the interest in the native language

The implemented umbrella project embraced several educational and social initiatives, aimed at promoting the Khanty language. An established folklore school is one of the examples. The school is a platform for design and testing of new programs for the Khanty-language study through songs and games. Master of ancient rituals Andrey Ernykhov organizes Bear Games, children’s workshops on sacred Khanty songs singing. Another example is a Khanty-language theatre studio.

The language learning has also been driven with a photo-postcard contest I Love the Khanty Language which welcomed photos and drawings with Khanty inscriptions and their Russian translations. The settlement school has launched a program named To School, Wearing the Khanty Clothes and Speaking the Khanty Language. The program includes: the Khanty-language conversational practices for teachers and students, poetic readings over the school radio during the breaks, and workshops on video production.

During big celebrations, three traditional reindeer-hide tents treated guests with the ethnical cuisine. The languages of communication were: Khanty, Nenets, and Komi; short phrase-books were provided. The Numsang Yoh nomad camp for children hosted The Summer School of Communications which immersed children into the native-language environment. Among its activities, there were classes on production of native-language short films.

The locals got faith in the indigenous language

The project authors say that the project has achieved its main goal: it has drawn attention of the community to the indigenous language. Along with the launched initiatives, other proposals have emerged. For example, the Council on the Native Language Preservation together with the settlement people called for the installation of street signs and plates in Khanty; the idea was implemented in one graphic style. A case of a kindergarten is also worth mentioning: the tutors of the native-language group have opened the School of The Traditional Khanty Family, which offers, for instance, a Khanty-language course for the young mothers.