“The day of the reindeer calf” in Naryan-Mar

There is always something to celebrate. When I arrived in Naryan-Mar, the capital of the Nenets Autonomous Region in the Russian North where I will spend the next 80 days, I was invited to join for a trip to the outskirts of the city for the celebration of the “day of the reindeer calf” just on the next day after my arrival. I was happy about the chance to see some of the acquaintances from my last trip to the region. It’s a little bit late, I was told, because the calving time in May is almost over, but nevertheless the reindeer herders are far from the city and nobody takes it literally.

Inside the tourist Chum

The place for the celebration was therefore a small camp with a reindeer herders tent called “chum” set up for tourists not far from Naryan-Mar in the surrounding forest tundra. To be frank I have no idea what kind of tourists are visiting the chum, but the old lady of Komi nationality who is the host of the chum told me that they have constantly guests.

A cultural program is a must for every celebration

The Nenets and Komi folklore ensembles set up a small cultural program and afterwards all people gathered in the chum for delicious reindeer meat soup and tee. There were about 40 people and I had the impression that beside a bunch of journalists there were mostly members of the folklore ensembles themselves and their children and family members. It was a very familiar atmosphere and a great chance to meet people and grab some useful news.

The tourist reindeer calf


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 “The day of the reindeer calf” in Naryan-Mar

  1. Stephan Dudeck says:

    Here some information in Russian about the event: http://nvinder.ru/?t=sm&d=29&m=5&y=2012&n=1

  2. Tuula Tuisku says:

    Завидую тебя. Праздники важны для самосознания.

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