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  • Greetings from Finland

    Traditions of a millennial connection between “relatives” were evoked by the three-day conference that commenced with an “open day” and an exhibition of books on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the independence of Finland, hosted by the University of Debrecen.

    The special significance of the fact that our languages are closely related could be best demonstrated by how, as early as in the very first academic year in the history of Debreceni Magyar Királyi Tudományegyetem [verbatim: Royal Hungarian University of Debrecen] in 1914, the Faculty of Humanities offered a course on the Finnish language to those interested.

    At the special open day, held on November 8, students and faculty joined forces to present the past, present, and future of Finland. Their presentations covered parts of the history of Finland as well as the sports-related, cultural, musical, and even gastronomical traditions of this Scandinavian country, while they also provided information concerning the most recently available chances to apply for scholarship opportunities to study and do research in Finland.

    The University and National Library of UD hosted an exhibition of books connected to the centennial celebrations under the title “100 könyv Finnországból” [100 Books from Finland] in the vestibule of the check-out counter of the Library, comprising books that are also available in Hungarian.

    “These 100 books represent the past 10 years and the work of 30 publishing houses and 30 literary translators. The collection of works of Finnish prose fiction and kids’ literature has been compiled by Petőfi Irodalmi Múzeum [Petőfi Literary Museum], the Finnish Embassy, and the institute called Finnagora,” said  Sándor Maticsák, the Head of the Department of Finno-Ugric Linguistics, about the peculiarities of the current temporary exhibition. 

    “Apart from belonging to the same family of languages, the Finns and the Hungarians have been connected for more than a thousand years by similarities and even by differences. By similarities in language use and by differences, for example, in literature, the best known piece of which in Hungary is the epic titled Kalevala,” said academician László Imre in his address delivered at the opening ceremony. Professor Imre, a Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Hungarian Literature and Culture, used to be a guest professor for a number of years at the University of Helsinki.

    As a continuation of the memorial series of events, the Department of Finno-Ugric Linguistics hosted an international conference on the 8th and 9th of November in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland in Budapest.






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