Bad news from the "Finno-Ugric World"

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at
Sun Oct 14 11:40:43 UTC 2001

Dear Uralists,

"Angela Marcantonio" <angela.marcantonio at> wrote:

> Dear Johanna,
> Thanks for your message.
> Briefly, I think that it might not harm if we, as academics, exercise a
> gentle pressure, in the appropriate manner, over Russia (that is at the
> moment rather friendly to the west), for it to respect and protect the
> minority cultures and languages. I personally would also be prepared to
> donate some money toward support and reconstruction. Doing something is
> better than nothing
> Regards,
> Angela Marcantonio

Personally, I warmly agree with Angela's last statement. (Addresses for donations and other practical help can be obtained from SURI, But, as for the "gentle pressure", does anybody have any inside information or well-founded opinion as to which form would be appropriate? Do letters where we, as private persons and researchers of Russia's indigenous languages and cultures, politely express our concern for the future of the national minorities, end up in a waste-paper basket before reaching anybody whose opinion counts? Will attempts at a pressure, however gentle, rather breed suspicion and embittered resistance towards this "intervention" of naive foreigners?

Further contributions to the discussion are welcome!



(johanna.laakso at

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