Satirical Plays: Keeping Culture Alive


In Setomaa, the memories of the past are often reproduced through plays and songs. In the local gallery / art center in Obinitsa community members perform satire dramas based on historically true events combined with fiction to entertain the community. Former Chief Herald and community leader Aare Horn explained the drama he took part in which the main plot was in the late 1940s in the region there were not Soviet representatives and when the soldiers came to investigate the locals they were attacked and therefore they were using local Setos as shield to protect them.

The playwright, √úlle Kauksi explained that is important to remember the history and recall the atrocities committed, for example mass deportation during the Soviet times, to let the new generation know about the past. Though this painful part of the history is recreated through satirical play, the main idea is to remind the audience about the evil past. Folklore costume and singing of Seto Leelo, a polyphonic song recognized by the UNESCO in 2009, are another ways of keeping the culture alive.

Since then the population of Seto decreased from approximately 64,000 to 20,000.Therefore it is crucial for the members of the community to keep the Seto consciousness alive.