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Associations of the Russian Fellow-Countrymen Are the New Partners of Ugra in France.

5 december 2019

Department of Public and External Relations of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra informs:

A working meeting with the head of the Russian Center for Science and Culture Konstantin Volkov and with fellow-countrymen in Paris, was held by the Ugra Governor Natalia Komarova during her visit to the French capital.

The event was also attended by the Founder of the International Council of Russian Compatriots Abroad Petr Sheremetiev, the Chairman of the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in France Georgy Shepelev, an artist and art theorist Vladimir Berezkin and many others.

“Meetings with the fellow-countrymen are extremely important, as they give you a chance to hold down the roots,” addressed the guests Natalia Komarova.

In the course of the conversation, Georgy Shepelev has stressed that the relations between the civil society and the authorities of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug are built on a systematic long-term basis, they are constructive and sustainable. “The experience of building a system of “authorities - society - NGOs” based on the principles used in the region may become a promising area of cooperation between the Ugra and the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots in France. We are very interested in this experience,” he stated.

The Chairman of the Council paid special attention to the fact that many Russians live on the territory of the Republic, for whom it is very important to feel the presence of a native country outside its borders. In this regard, in his opinion, the creation of communities of Russian regions in France may become another promising area of cooperation. “I believe that it may be extremely useful to set up a community of graduates of the Ugra universities and professional educational institutes. In fact, it will become a public representative office of the autonomous okrug, a link between the French society and the diaspora,” added Georgy Shepelev.

“Today, young people are not stopped by any boundaries or by the difference in mentality, thinking and their life philosophy. They aspire to get the best of the world. In this regard, it is educational programs that are effective guidelines for young people,” said Natalia Komarova. “We will work on this topic, evaluate how many Ugra residents study at universities in France. This will allow us to analyze the possibilities for forming a community of our fellow countrymen on the territory of the Republic.”

At the same time, the Governor expressed her readiness to organize and conduct various internships for young residents of France and for implementation of their projects in the Ugra region. So, in particular, the Autonomous Okrug is ready to offer the opportunities for internships in the field of oil and gas production at the unique deposits.

“We are extremely interested in medicine and education. We are ready to accept not only trainees, but also young specialists. Sharing best practices is also important. Some projects and proposals in this respect may have very good prospects,” she said.

Keeping the ball rolling, Ulyana Danilo, Vice-President of the “Salvation of Ugra” public organization, said that more than 30 thousand representatives of the Khanty, Mansi, and 220 Nenets people live currently in the Autonomous Okrug. “State programs are being implemented in the region that allow us to actively develop our languages and preserve the culture. Thus, the teaching of native languages in our okrug begins already in a kindergarten,” she said.

The subject was pursued by Georgy Shepelev, who emphasized that establishing active contacts with the researchers of the Finno-Ugric world – its culture, everyday life, customs, traditions and languages – is an interesting and promising area of cooperation not only for the Coordination Council of Russian Compatriots with Ugra, but also for many French universities. “On the territory of the Republic, there are several centers engaged in the study of the Finno-Ugric world, but they are more focused on Hungary and Finland. At the same time, Russian ethnographers and folklorists have created enormous reserves for studying indigenous peoples in the regions of the country. This is a very valuable material, which may be useful to us, too,” said Georgy Shepelev.

“Anticipating our joint work in this area, I want to say that there is the Ob-Ugric Institute of Applied Research and Development, a specialized institute in Ugra. Also, we have created a register of intangible cultural heritage of the peoples of the Autonomous Okrug. This is a very interesting resource, which in 2016, was supplemented by another section that takes into account the carriers, performers and masters of folklore of indigenous peoples. Their knowledge is unique and very important for preservation of the culture,” commented Natalya Komarova.

Also, speaking about the prospects of cooperation, the Governor emphasized that in Ugra, there were created the opportunities for the development of event, ethnographic, ecological, and extreme types of tourism. Such offers may interest French citizens of various age categories.


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