‘Orvokki’ Hobby School of the Pärnu Ingrian-Finn Cultural Association

‘Orvokki’ Hobby School of the Pärnu Ingrian-Finn Cultural Association

This school was founded in 2015. It is run by the NPO Pärnu Ingrian-Finn Cultural Association, whose chairman is Hillar Talvik.

The school’s priorities are to preserve Ingrianness, to reinforce the bond between generations and to promote Ingrian heritage culture – folk music (songs, dances and playing the zither), folklore and traditional art and handicrafts – to a wider audience. Knowing your own family history contributes to a sense of belonging.

The members of the association have a wide range of interests and skills and plenty of knowledge and experience to pass on to younger generations. Teacher Raija Pedak is well versed in folklore and handicrafts and also has experience of Ingrian heritage in Finland. Under her guidance both teachers and parents can learn and gain experience. Mummot, a group for older members of the community, flies the flag of folklore and sets an invaluable example.

Leading specialists teach Finnish language and heritage culture. Parents and grandparents are also welcome to attend lectures on and take part in activities related to Ingrian cultural history. In addition to its own teachers, the school invites visitors with Ingrian roots to share their knowledge.

The basis of teaching activities is the folk calendar and its special days: Ingrian Day, All Souls, the anniversary of the Republic of Finland, Advent and Christmas, Kalevala Day, Pancake Day, the Day of Grief and Hope, Palm Sunday, Easter and Mothers Day.

Finnish and Estonian are the languages of instruction. The school is primarily designed for Ingrian-Finn children and those with Finnish heritage, although any youngsters from the ages of 3-18 with an interest in Ingrian and Finnish culture are welcome.

In addition to lessons, the school organises study days, hikes and folklore days. Concerts and exhibitions are arranged and attended and the students are given the opportunity to be in a Finnish-speaking environment. The children also take part in the Ingrian-Finn Song and Dance Festival in summer.