Congressus XIV Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum

On the history of CIFU

Congressus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum (CIFU) is the most important international academic event for research on the Finno-Ugric (Uralic) languages, the cultures and history of their speakers. Since 1960, the Congresses have been organized every five years. The 14th congress in August 2025 will take place in Tartu, Estonia, where it also took place in the year 2000.

After the World War II and during the Cold War, organizing international academic events across the Iron Curtain was a challenging task. Some meetings of Finno-Ugricists with international participation could be organized in Finland and Hungary already in the 1950s. Finally, the first International Congress for Finno-Ugric Studies (CIFU) took place in Budapest in 1960, convened by an international committee consisting of renowned and influential academics, such as the Finn Kustaa Vilkuna, the Hungarian Gyula Ortutay, the Russian Boris Serebrennikov, and Wolfgang Steinitz from the German Democratic Republic. Since then, the congresses have taken place every five years, rotating first between three states (Hungary, Finland, Soviet Union), since 1995 between four states (Hungary, Finland, Estonia, Russia). 2022 was the first year when CIFU was organized outside the three Finno-Ugric nation-states or Russia, being organized by University of Vienna Finno-Ugric department. The congress in Vienna was originally to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. The previous congresses have taken place as follows: