Wikimedia CEE Spring article contest

Weekly Focus: Ukraine, Lithuania, Erzya

Hello there! Are you taking part in probably the biggest article contest in Wikipedia? I hope you are, because Central and Eastern European communities are amazing and writing in Wikipedia about them is a lot of fun!

This week we encourage everyone to write about Ukraine, Lithuania, and Erzya. Well, since the fourth contest week started on Tuesday (no, it is not strange) our participants already wrote some articles.

Wolf tracks in Oleshky Sands, Ukraine

Wolf tracks in Oleshky Sands, Ukraine. By Євген Роман, CC BY-SA 4.0

For example, in Belarusian Wikipedia there is now an article about Oleshky Sands, the largest expanse of sand in Ukraine.

I saw Ukrainians arguing whether they should be proud of having such an incredible landscape in a country which is usually associated with cherry orchards and wheat fields, or be ashamed of what humans have done to the mighty forests and/or steppes that were on this territory before. Please, do not write word “desert” in your language Wikipedia article about this place, because it’s semi-desert at max. Even if pictures on Commons can make you feel otherwise.

In any case Oleshky Sands are a bright topic and it was included into the list of articles to be written about Ukraine.


Goddess Milda by Kazimierz Alchimowicz

“Goddess Milda” (1910) by Kazimierz Alchimowicz

There is a saying that the best way to get to know some topic is to write a book about it. Sure thing, writing a book requires reading a lot other sources in preparation. Writing a Wikipedia article can also help you get to know something — at the same time requiring much less time 🙂

Looks like some Polish editor wanted to know more about Lithuanian mythology and created a corresponding article in plwiki. Nice choice — and a nice article! Better follow this example because it is worth following.

Let’s have a random look at some mythological figures. There were Deivės Valdytojos (Lithuanian: Governing Goddesses), the goddesses who made garments from human’s lives, that have some similarities with the Greek Fates and the Norse Norns. And Javinė, a household god who protects grain in barns. And Kaukas, spirits similar to leprechauns. Do you love Lithuanian mythology already? 🙂


Moses by Stepan Erzya

“Moses” by Stepan Erzya

Erzya community is a new participant in CEE Spring this year. It may not be easy to find reliable sources in your native language to write articles from Erzya list, it may even be hard to translate from English Wikipedia (just because not all the articles already exist there). Should this hold you from trying? Of course, not! There are plenty interesting topics to choose from.

Erzya language is spoken by about 260,000 people in parts of the Republic of Mordovia and adjacent regions to it in Russia.  In Mordovia, Erzya is co-official along with two other languages.

Read a bit about Alyona (Erzyan Эрзямассонь Олёна). This woman was an Erzyan ataman during the Peasants’ Revolt in Russia under the leadership of Stepan Razin. The fact of being a female ataman in 17th century Russia is already encouraging in itself.

Stepan Erzia (Nefyodov) (Russian: Степан Эрьзя (Нефёдов)) was a Mordvin sculptor who lived in Russia and Argentina. Erzia chose his pseudonym after the native ethnic group. While in Argentina, Erzia invented a method of processing some locally grown, extra-hard types of wood: algarrobo and quebracho. Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts in Saransk has the most complete collection of Erzia works (204 works).

Article about Erzya flag appeared recently in ukwiki. What article will you choose to write?

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