The House of the Karelian Language

The House of the Karelian Language NGO

Modern environment to practice the language

The House of the Karelian Language is not a museum, an ethnical culture centre, or a community club. It is a modern environment that encourages speaking and learning the native language — Karelian — through educational and social activities. Here Karelian is the official working language. The House invites everyone, regardless of residence and ethnicity, to participate in the House’s life and welcomes all kind of financial, physical and intellectual contribution to its operation and maintenance. The House is open to the public and appreciates suggestions for its development.

The House of the Karelian Language is a project of an eponymous NGO registered in 2013.

The House of the Karelian Language is a multifunctional centre, located in a 2,000-people settlement. It was launched by an NGO, using funds raised through public donations. Karelian-language revitalization, preservation and promotion are both its aims and means. The project is a response to the emerging needs to revive the traditional knowledge, which almost faded away together with the senior generation of Karelians, keep the regional history, strengthen the Karelian identity, and test new forms of social interaction. These trends find more and more support in the local community and drive the interest to the House in guests and tourists.

Demand defines supply

The House of the Karelian Language plans its activities based on the public requests and its objectives as an NGO. The staff of the House consists of settlement residents and invited experts from Russia and abroad.

The House of the Karelian Language

The House has an extensive Karelian-language library, event equipment, computers, Internet access, and household appliances; this enables organization of all types of events: seminars, courses, workshops, language camps, contests, festivals, celebrations, and concerts. The premises are used for the House’s activities as well as rented to individuals and companies. The only condition is: the language of an event shall be Karelian.

The House’s budget comprises approximately 70% of private donations, coming from the organizers, visitors, friends and other individuals, and 30% of funds raised through various grant programs. The House is actively involved in volunteer and charity projects.

The House offers a wide range of educational programs suitable for people of different ages, professions and interests. There are Karelian-language courses of different levels for groups and individuals, a computer literacy class, a Karelian song club Singing Together, an amateur theatre Randaine, a theatre for children and teenagers Kokkelit, a conversation club Interlocutor, and a women’s physical exercise club Naizientervehys. The House also runs initiatives designed specifically for the preschool children: a Karelian language nest Kielipezä, the only one existing in Russia, and a Karelian literacy club Kirjah!. The school students are invited to attend a robotics class, which is a unique case for a Russian rural area. Besides, there are various programs for tourists, such as, for example, a workshop in traditional Karelian cuisine.

The House of the Karelian Language

Together with that, the House raises public awareness on the language situation through printed publications, social networks and other mass media. The House is actively involved into Karelian-language preservation and promotion projects, especially those aimed at the transfer of Karelian to the young generation, and is interested in the best national and international practices and advanced technologies.