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08 October 2018
Crossroads of Cultures

On Sunday, 7 October, for the first time in this new season, the National Library of Komi welcomed Syktyvkar people on a family day. Enthusiasm and vigor of our little and adult visitors were record-breaking.

While in September last year we celebrated the European Day of Languages, this year we decided to expand the programme and announce this Sunday the Day of Languages and Cultures. We named it Crossroads

The big reading room was converted into a communication platform of Speak-dating. Speakers of twelve national languages were ready to meet at their speaking desks anyone who wanted to talk in a foreign language, learn a few useful phrases and immerse into a different national culture.

Aidai and Elchibec host the Kyrgyz-speaking desk

On this day our speak-dating partners were local national communities of Hungarians and Ukrainians, Gefen Jewish Sunday School, Hispanidad Spanish-speaking club, professors and students of the Syktyvkar State University, foreign language schools and everyone who is willing to go beyond the limits of their everyday communication and try something outrageously foreign and fresh. 


Hispanidad - our Spanish-speaking club

The moderators of the programme were puzzled when after an hour reserved for the Speak-dating part, nobody wanted to leave. All the twelve desks were busy chatting with visitors.

At the Finnish desk people argued whose environment is cleaner, Komi or Finland's. The Japanese desk discussed samurai rituals. Hungarian and Estonian desks could not make out in what national outfit their souvenir doll was dressed. The guests of the Spanish-speaking desk admired a music box from Alhambra. English, German, French and Italian speakers competed who would hold the attention of the public longer...


Once again, we realized a simple truth: people need to communicate with each other. The digital age, the Internet and information technologies build our reality. However, people want direct communication - face to face, strangers and friends, whether knowing each other languages or not. And this is a miracle.


Thank you for a bright and eventful Sunday!

Our beautiful and spontaneous photos from the Day of Languages and Cultures are here.

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