29 February 2020
Day of the Arctic 2020 with Metelitsa
Day of the Arctic is a traditional annual event sponsored by the National Library of the Komi Republic. It combines popular science, educational material, art and entertainment around the topics related to the Russian North.
This year the headliner of the day was a legendary female skiing team, Metelitsa, known for their marathons to both poles of the earth. Irina Kuznetsova and Svetlana Samara (Moscow) spoke about their polar travels in the Arctic and Antarctic - the total of 14 expeditions.
The guests also told about their current activities - rehabilitation of disabled people in conditions of the cold climate. Their research in psychology and physiology resulted in the development of an effective methodology for treating people with cerebral palsy, amputations, and spinal injuries, fighting not only physical limitations, but also stress and depression. 120 families apply for treatment annually; in 100 per cent of cases the patients show obvious improvements.
The Komi Academy of Public Administration joined the programme of the Day of the Arctic with a video conference on the topic of cross-border cooperation under the Northern Dimension initiative. Participants discussed some aspects of economic and cultural collaboration of the Russian Federation and the neighboring states. Igor Solomesh, a guest speaker from the Petrozavodsk University of the Republic of Karelia shared his perspective of cross-border interaction with Finland since 1990-s to the present day.
Professor Nikolay Morozov looked back at a historical example of military cooperation in the Arctic - the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation of the Russian Red Army to liberate Northern Norway from Nazi troops in the winter of 1945.
The Komi National Library set up a book exhibition dealing with the Northern Dimension and cooperation in the Arctic and presented the latest National Arctic Atlas.
School students took part in a team game, Polar Battle, based on their knowledge of the North and the Arctic. The winners took home a pizza coupon and Mishka na Severe candies.
College students also reported on their research and held a debate on the environmental problems of the Arctic.