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Kesseli project
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The project wanted to produce generally educating, culturally comparative learning material for the needs of education and teaching, which would improve the cross-border communication and mutual understanding between Finns and Russians. It also wanted to develop new teaching material for the teaching of both Finnish and Russian as foreign languages.

Main activities

• Production of new teaching material at seminars with participants from both countries, • Organisation of five educational trip to the Republic of Karelia, • Establishment of an information point regarding Russia to the Main Library of Suomussalmi and an information point regarding Finland to the National Library of Petrozavodsk.


In accordance with the plan, learning material was produced in work seminars with participants from both countries. The material produced a Finnish and Russian book ”Kulttuurit kasvokkain” (Cultures Face-to-Face), a network learning course "Finland and Russia" and an audio book. A learning package of the Russian language was also produced, which is based on general European language learning methods and a teaching framework which takes into account the requirements of language degrees and new kinds of learning units in the web and in newspapers. Five learning excursions to the Republic of Karelia were organised for teachers and students, which presented the Finnish culture aimed at institutions teaching the Finnish language. Young people also participated in collecting and producing the material and produced, among other things, a learning video about the history of Kainuu and some experiences of exchange students in the region. The project had a positive impact on the attitudes of the young Finnish participants about Russia and the Russians, but it did not succeed in increasing the number of students of Russian language in Kainuu. The book ´Kulttuurit kasvokkain´ has had a positive reception, and the learning material of the Finnish and Russian languages produced in the project has also been in popular demand. The materials will be used for teaching Finnish and Russian, and it can also be used as the basis for creating more products. The project encouraged the participating teachers to produce more learning material. The cooperation network created during the project is a foundation for further cooperation. As planned, an information centre called ”Venäjä tänään” (Russia Today) was implemented at the Main Library of Suomussalmi, with a similar information centre called ”Suomi tänään” (Finland Today) at the National Library of Petrozavodsk. The information centres contain up-to-date information about the neighbouring country, and they are clearly sign-posted and available for all user of the libraries.

Basic information