St. Olaf Summer International Service Learning
Ingria, Russia ~ June 2005
Dr. Paul Niemisto of the Music Department leave on May 31 with a group of 8 St. Olaf students on a Lilly
Foundation sponsored International Service Learning
Project to the Ingrian region of western Russia. The
group will complete its project by June 22.
There are about 70,000 ethnic Finns living in Karelian
Russia. They are known as Ingrians. Ingria
(Ingermanland) is that cultural region of Baltic
Russia where Peter the Great established the new city of St. Petersburg in the 1700's. Ingrians now live in
different parts of western Russia but mostly in the
area around the city of Petroskoi (Petrozsavosk), in
the environs of St. Petersburg, and in Estonia. During
the 1990s about 14,000 Ingrians emigrated to Finland
after the fall of the Soviet regime. Karelia is the
westernmost province of Russia, which borders on
Finland. The Karelian territory was in dispute during
Finno-Russian border conflicts in the 1930s. Millions
of acres of Finnish territory, where the Ingrians
lived, were ceded to the Soviet Union in a peace
Lutheranism has been a cultural force among the
Ingrians in Karelian Russia for many generations. The
Ingrian Church experienced a tremendous renaissance
after 1990 when a new law was passed in Russia
allowing freedom of religious expression. The old
existing churches suddenly filled with people and new
congregations were founded. While before Perestroika
there were two Finnish Lutheran congregations in
Ingria, by the end of 1995 there were 36 with a
membership of 15,000. Since then, there have been
several new congregations formed each year.
Follow the links below to read more about this trip:
Student Selection and Preparation
Finland's National Instrument - The Kantele
Ingria Pilgrims' Travel Itinerary
Russian Karelia - N. of St. Petersburg
Region around St. Petersburg, with Jukki and Keltto (two villages where the St. Olaf Ingria Pilgrims will be located)
Old, hand drawn map of the Ingria region, showing old villages and dialect groups from a century ago
Student Reading List
Ingria Travel Links
Ingria Pilgrim Preliminary Report
Ingria Student Participants
Katja Andresen ’08, from Farmington Minnesota, is a student of biology, plans to be a medical doctor, enjoys playing and coaching sports, is a musician (flute), and speaks Finnish.
Anne Balkany ’08, from St. Cloud, Minnesota, is a student of biology, plans to be a medical doctor, enjoys horseback riding, has worked in hippotherapy, has volunteered in Canadian wilderness. She has studied French and German.
Jonathan Bartz ’08, from Beloit, Wisconsin, is young composer and pianist. Has studied Spanish.
Rebecca Huncosky ’08, from Madison, Wisconsin, a student of biology, and also plans to be a medical doctor. She enjoys music (oboe), has extensive experience as a Lutheran volunteer. She speaks Spanish.
Erica Jaastad ’08, from Denver, Colorado, is planning to be a human rights lawyer. She has traveled to Korea. She has studied Spanish, French, Arabic.
David Mitchell ’08, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has major studies in business and Russian. He has lived in France and Germany and also speaks Russian.
Seija Rahkola ’08, from Birchwood, Minnesota, is a student of sciences, enjoys playing and coaching sports, is a musician (percussion), speaks Finnish.
Bria Schurke ’08, from Ely Minnesota, has extensive experience living in wilderness conditions, including Wrangel Island on northeast Russian coast, in Siberia, and Kamchatka. She speaks Russian.