Kshumantsian’ Pirguzh, a figure of Erzya national movement, who has served as Inyazor (Chief elder of Erzya people) in 1999-2019, appealed to Kaja Kallas, head of Estonian government.
In his appeal mr. Pirguzh informs about unsuccessful attempts of Erzya to create their own gymnasium in Saransk, where Erzya children would have an opportunity to get education in their native language. Finding it impossible to defend a legal right to education in one of official languages in Republic of Mordovia with Russian authorities, former Inyazor calls upon government of Estonia to help diplomatically and financially. It is a question of creation of the world’s first gymnasium with the complete educational cycle in Erzya language.
In particular, Kshumantsian’ Pirguzh asks Kaja Kallas to raise the question of such gymnasium in her next meeting with representatives of Russian government.
“Unfortunately, Erzya do not have their own national republic in order to support progress of Erzya people, as well as popularization and protection of both Erzya language and culture. Republic of Mordovia is a stepmother for us Erzya. There is a systematic violation of rights of Erzya people in the republic, every aspect of its national police is aimed to assimilation of non-Russian population, to elimination of our national identity. That’s why we must ask for support from our brothers and sisters, Estonians. If huge and powerful state, what sells oil and gas to the whole world and financially supports Syria and Venezuela, don’t have enough funds to establish and support one Erzya gymnasium – then I better ask little, but humane Estonia for it”, – Pirguzh explains.
It should be reminded that campaign for Erzya gymnasium in Saransk started in October, 2019, when Syres’ Boliayan’, newly elected Inyazor (Chief elder), filed such demand to government of Republic of Mordovia. In the same month Petr Tulaev, Saransk mayor, rejected the idea of the gymnasium and noted that “in schools of Saransk, especially in areas with large populations of Mordva, national languages are taught. Children in kindergartens study culture and languages of peoples of Mordovia” . Already in January 2020 dozens of Erzya families sent an address to Vladimir Volkov, head of Republic of Mordovia with a suggestion to create gymnasium in Saransk, “where Erzya language would not only be taught as a course but also obligatory courses would be taught in our native Erzya language”.
Kshumantsian’ Pirguzh is professor of mathematics, figure of Erzya national movement and human rights activist. Inyazor (Chief elder) of Erzya people (1999-2019). In February 2014 he was awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana (Fifth Class, №1108) by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia, for prominent merits in national revival of Erzya.