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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.