Naryan-Mar – first impressions

Finally I arrived in Naryan-Mar, the capital of the region. A nice small northern city. They even preserved some nice old buildings here, like the old post office.

Main post office in Naryan Mar

I don’t have much time to walk around because the first days are already full of meetings with people.

First I went to „Yasavey“, the local NGO for indigenous people and met the presidentSascha Belugin and Galina Platova.

President of Yasavey Aleksandr Belugin

On February 12th I took part in a meeting of Yasavey with another international group of scientists studying indigenous issues here. Yasavey is quite experienced with this kind of collaboration. One of the last projects they did with Norwegian partners resulted in a very useful internet resource: Monitoring of Development of Traditional Indigenous Land Use Areas in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, NW Russia

Meeting with researchers and YasaveyRussian and american collegues

While searching the internet for information about the region I found a very interesting page called chumotheka.ru the unofficial homepage of the Nenets Okrug. The page is full of useful information about local events and people. Chum is the name of the nomad tent of the Nenets. I decided to meet the host of the page Irina Kotkina. It appeared that she is working as an adviser of the Governor of the region and of course she knows almost everybody here. I will try to write a guest entry in Russian for her page.

Author of the Chumoteka blog

Naryan-Mar is one of the most expensive cities in Russia. It may not look like it, but the prices are almost as high as in Finland. In the first days I had no other choice than to pay 240€ for three days in a decent hotel.

Researcher missing

But finally I found a cheaper place in a six-bed room without shower in the red-cross hostel on the outskirts of the city.

The Red Cross Hotel

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About Stephan Dudeck

Anthropologist at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland, the Centre for Arctic Social Studies at the European University at Saint Petersburg and the Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration at the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
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2 Responses to Naryan-Mar – first impressions

  1. fstammle says:

    Considering that Naryan Mar has no permanent road access and no railway connecting it to other places, it’s not a surprise that prices are high there. The presence of a rich oil industry paying good salaries to its workers further contributes to high prices. Some of this also trickles down to reindeer herders, but mostly to those close to the oil deposits. But try to live on the same money in Chukotka, or the North of the Sakha Republic, and you would almost starve! So it’s not that bad after all. I tried to do a little clip about the impact of oil money in NAO here: http://www.reuters.com/video/2008/01/03/reindeer-high-tech-herders?videoId=73692 some years ago. Reuters mixed up a lot of info there as they were cutting the material, e.g. they said Varandei is in West Siberia. But the material is all about Bolshezemel’skaya tundra.
    Looking forward to your entry on chumoteka. Hope you provide a link to this here at your blog.
    Best
    Florian

  2. Elena Rubric says:

    Stephan, quality of your photographs is outstanding. Chumrabotnica is star of the region! 🙂

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