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Contents

I Innovation
4 I Social innovation in Finland
- I Art Territory
12 ABC I ABC Arabesque
I Avant-guard
14 I Disharmony of Life in Harmony of Dance
I Young and Active
18 . I The Federation: A Story about Young and Active
I In pictures Without Borders
22 2010 I Pillow fight day 2010
I Youth Prospect
26 RusNord 2010 conference I RusNord 2010 the Conference of the Century
I Interview
28 RNB I RNB New Russian Youth Network in the Northern Europe and the Baltic
I Cities
34 I Russian heart is bleeding for the decaying finnish pearl
I Lifestyle
36 : ? I To Be or Not to Be a Volunteer?
I Organizations
36 , I To Value, But Not To Evaluate
I In pictures Carnival
42 I The Big Parade
I Opinion
44 () ()
Challenges of Russian Youth and Russian Youth NGOs in Latvia

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Project Head:

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Editors -translators:


Sergei Majorov


Elena Kartushina

Boris Matskevits
-
Alexander Yudin-Lazarev


:
Executive director and Editor-in-Chief:
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Galina Yudina-Lazarev
alliance2002@bk.ru
:
Editors:
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Irina Matskevits-Imboden

Kovalchuk Oxana

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Graphic design, graphic layout,
photography, Illustrations:

:
The general sponsor:
www.norden.org

Norden:
Administrative
support of Norden:


Popova Natasha
popova@artery.fi
Artery Branding Design
www.artery.fi

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Sponsor:
www.minedu.fi

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1 2010 Peter Wendl, .
2 2010 Ekaterina Haradzanjana,
Copenhagen, Denmark.

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E-mail: icebreaker2010@list.ru, info.icebreaker@gmail.com
, Ice Breaker.
Ice Breaker

Editorial note
You have in your hands the third issue of the youth magazine Ice
Breaker, a magazine for the young, active and motivated people.
Icebreaker is an interactive magazine-project where each reader
can leave a comment on www.youthonline.fi concerning the material
and share his thoughts and ideas. While working on the each new
issue, we try to take into account the feedback of the website visitors, that way everyone can influence what the next editions of our
magazine will consist of.
It was less than a year since the first issue of Icebreaker was printed.
In the previous issues we tried to reflect the different facets of the
youth life, raise interesting questions for you, talk about culture, society, youth problems and all the most interesting events in the life of
the Russian-speaking youth living abroad. Designed as a magazine
for the Youth and by the Youth, Icebreaker became a bridge, connecting youth of more than a dozen European countries. The circle
of readers and writers, interested in being published in the magazine
is constantly growing, and we are always happy to accept new material, as well as ideas and feedback from our readers. It is due to readers feedbacks we were verified that the magazine is read not only by
the editors, but there are youth who havent yet been able to declare
themselves in full voice, and differs from the others by broader interests and a lack of laziness. They strive to create a new lifestyle
and break free from stereotypes. These young people are constantly
chasing their dream. And our aim is to give them the opportunity to
realize themselves through the Icebreaker project. That is why the
main topics of this issue are: the RusNord 2010 conference and
The Silver Feather Young Journalists and Writers competition.
The Silver Feather competition received a lively response among
the young authors and readers living in many countries. Many young
writers, journalists, reporters and photographers took part in this
competition. Enormous amount of interesting articles addressing a
variety of different subjects literally have overflowed our electronic
mail boxes. Each article was interesting and unique in its own way.
Each by right could have got a place on the pages of our magazine,
but, alas, the competition was tough and the jury had to make their
choice. After long debates the jury has finally come upon an agreement to choose the two best authors in the two nominations: The
two Best Article awards and the two Best Photo Report awards.
Jury also established two special nominations: The Point of View
award and The Silver Plumage award, which was presented to the
youngest author of the contest. Were glad, that on its pages the
Icebreaker unites the thoughts and aspirations of the youth from
different corners of our planet, and publishing therein gives an opportunity to many talented writers and interested young people to
have their voice and to be heard.
The Best Article Awards:
1st Place Social Innovations in Finland, Ksenia Kononova,
Finland, Helsinki.
2nd Place Disharmony of life in harmony of dance, Irina Zaharova, Russia, St-Petersburg.
The Best Photo Report Awards:
1st Place Pillow-fight Day 2010 Peter Wendl, Hungary.
2nd Place Copenhagen Carnival 2010 Ekaterina Haradzanjana,
Copenhagen, Denmark.

Editors also present the following authors with


the special awards:
The Point of View Award Russian heart is bleeding for the decaying Finnish Pearl Kira Malashina, Finland, Helsinki.
And of cause The Silver Plumage Award goes to the youngest, 16
year old author Sofia Efremova, Volgograd For the following articles: Christmas Meetings 2011 and England is it far or close?.
These articles are available on our website.
We would like to congratulate the winners of the competition from the
heart and we are sincerely appreciate to all those who have sent and
continue sending us their articles and photo reports. We encourage
all those authors whose materials are not entered to this edition, to
not get upset and continue sending us your new works! After all,
this competition - only the beginning and you will definitely see your
articles in one of our following numbers. Articles that are not included
in this issue, we have published on our website www.youthonline.fi.
Readers can vote for their favorite articles and at the end of the year
we will declare the winners accordingly to the online votes.
We would like to give special thanks to our designer Natalya Popova,
and our translators Elena Kartushina and Boris Matskevich, as well
as to the editors, photographers and to all who one way or another
have contributed to the development of this magazine.
After you finish reading our magazine, dont forget to visit our website www.youthonline.fi/ to send us your feedback and comments.
We are also waiting for your ideas and suggestions for the next issue!
See you soon! Be with Icebreaker be in the topic line!
You can subscribe to our magazine, or place your ad by contacting
us on our website www.youthonline.fi, or
E-mail: icebreaker2010@list.ru, or info.icebreaker@gmail.com
Best Regards,
The Icebreaker Editorial Board.
Ice Breaker Youth Journal of Nordic and Baltic countries

:
Publisher:

:
Editorial board and publisher:
Apila yhdistyksen liitto ry/ Union of associations Apila
Niittyrinteenkuja 14, 02760 Espoo, Finland
e-mail: apila.liitto@gmail.com; alliance2002@bk.ru
T: +356 44 567 6656; +358 50 430 8115
:
Additional information and Advertising:
T: +358 44 567 6656
E-mail: iskander_lazar@yahoo.com; info.icebreaker@gmail.com

web www.youthonline.fi:
Additional information for publications and advertising on website
www.youthonline.fi:
info@youthonline.fi; iskander_lazar@yahoo.com
T: +358 44 567 6656; +358 44 364 4030

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Innovation

Social innovation
in Finland

Innovation

Having safe and comfort life we think


very seldom who and when had an
idea how to make our lives more
comfortable. Meanwhile the term
social innovations is becoming
more and more popular and
significant in the contemporary society and Finland is
one of the leading countries in this field.

What exactly was invited by Finns to


make our life easier? It turned out that
many and many things, for example, drying cupboards, SMS, free school lunches
and even parcels for future mums.
In most of the cases it is almost impossible to patent social innovations, but
exactly they are considered to be basis
of our lives. In the world Finland has a
reputation of successful, competitive
country, which regularly takes the leading positions in all kinds of polls and
surveys. It happens mostly because socalled social capital is made here and
the government invests money not only
on technical development but also on
social innovations, on people welfare,
trying to make their lives easier and
more convenient. And people response
with higher working capacity and sincere love to their motherland. And the
success of the country and, also for

example, Nokia success is based on


high level of education, which is still free
for everyone in Finland. And it is a social
innovation by itself.
Also Finnish society is not indifferent. It
reacts vividly to any changes and events
both in the world and in the own country.
One more example of social innovation
is creating partner or member chains.
Initially only some people with the same
hobbies, ideas, interests, aims can be
connected, but with time quite effective
social organizations appear. As an example international movement Doctors
of the world against nuclear war can be
cited. It was rewarded with the Nobel
peace prize in 1985, because they did
everything possible to ban nuclear tests.
It is useless to argue which country was
the first to invent this or that innovation,
it is more important to make this experience available and beneficial for other
9

Innovation

people. For instance the USSR was the


first country which started the practice
of labour protection and health care of
workers. But during Perestroika time it
was forgotten and almost disappeared,
but Finns chalked it up and developed
in their country. Now in Finland effective
there is three-sided system consisting
of employer, worker or labour union and
government and it works efficiently.
One more innovation which successfully
operates in Finland but about which they
just started to talk in Russia for example
is a special committee in the Parliament,
which deals with the questions and plans
about future, which evaluates draft laws
from the position of their impact on one
or another problem in prospect. Would
you agree that the work of such committee essentially reduces costs on a fortiori
non-effective and losing ideas?
Also in Finland there are quotes for
women while distribution of high positions and it equalises their rights to take
elected or leading positions. Also it takes
into consideration handicapped people.

10

Now lets touch another important side


of our life health care. Finnish doctors succeed in practicing the method
of prevention not cure diseases. The
fact that it is much cheaper and safer
to prevent decease not to treat it is wide
known. Therewith sick person usually
does not have money for treatment and
he is treated on budget money. That is
why Finns try to make a person healthy
and in the country clinical examination is
widely spread. Sport, active way of living, being with nature are popularized in
different recourses. Just remember how
many times during a day in any weather
you meet an energetic person walking
with ski poles? By the way this from the
first sight a bit strange liking was invented in Finland and now it is popular in all
Europe as nordic walking.
Also an example with free school
lunches is quite interesting. It became
social innovations in far 30s in the last
century. That time doctors who worked
in the armed forces began to complain
that men due for military service came

to them underfed. Then the idea about


school children alimentation was born
on governmental level. This idea was
successfully realized but now it turned
to cause very opposite problem more
and more young people are becoming
overweighed and near 20 % of them are
not fit for military service because of
obesity and bad physical shape.
Also must be mentioned three projects
which were started and realized in Finland in the end of 60s and 70s. The first
touched the struggle against alcoholism. Finns found a decision governmental alcohol monopoly. And it really
worked. Even EU in the interest of peoples health did not cancel these strict
rules, although they are controversial
to common principles of economic union. In the end of 1992 healthy vodka
appeared, so called Salmiakkikoskenkorva, or vodka made with the use of
sal ammoniac. In fact this vodka was
very popular among costumers thanks
to its pleasant taste and not high price,
because ethyl alcohol is not so expen-

sive. But already in a year this vodka


disappeared from sale in Alko shops,
because young people also liked it a
lot, and by Finnish law vodka sale is not
allowed under 20. After Finlands entry
to EU strict alcohol policy lost its significance and sal ammoniac vodka returned
in Alko stores. And now this drink is
bought as a national gift by Finns themselves and by tourists as souvenir.
The second successfully realized program was called Northern Karelia. The
health condition of people in this part of
Finland was differed a lot and not to the
best side. Complex program was approved, including smoking limitations,
alcohol usage, regular diet and physical
activity. And people were taught since
their childhood and these simple from
the first sight measures plus co-ordinated work of developed social institutes
considerably helped to reduce sickness
rate and also to show people that this
approach can be quite effective.
And the third, maybe the most significant nowadays project consists in build-

Innovation

ing social apartments and supplying


people with social benefits. Annually
Finns build social apartments for those
who cannot afford buying own flat or
house or take mortgage.
Also the idea about scientific and students exchanges is worth regarding.
This experience started after the Second World War when Finland paid its
debts to America. These recourses were
used for organizing scholarship foundation for students and young scientists.
Thanks to that almost all young Finnish scientists in 50s studied in America
and it had a great impact on Finnish
scientific and technological development. Nowadays in Finland authorities
of different levels, including municipality become leaders of building so-called
scientific parks. The government must
build infrastructure in joint ownership
with the municipality, otherwise future
investors will not start to give money on
projects and new ideas.
If to speak about everyday life, about
things which are already undistin-

guished, we should mention drying cupboards, genius Finnish invention, which


was made by Maya Gebhard in 19441945 years. Delve in every detail Finns
counted that using of this cupboard
saves from 1 to 1.5 hours per day, not
wasting time on drying with towel. The
production of these cupboards started in
1949, and it was firstly successfully used
by Swedish and Italian, then it became
popular all over the world even despite
the fact that most of people started to
use dish-washing machines.
Perhaps many of you know that operating system Linux, simple and convenient
SMS were invented in Finland. Also Finns
invited sweetener Xylitol which is actually
not very good for teeth. Also attention! Finnish tango, ice fishing and ice
swimming. Do not forget about pesapallo, Finnish version of baseball. Pesapallo
in the middle of 20th century was Finnish
national sport, but at the present it is not
so popular anymore. Now it is becoming popular again. And perhaps it will be
one more reason for national unity and

health improvement. One more way for


national unity is so-called Prometheus
camps, where teenagers can find new
friends, take part in debates and performances also it is quite important that
professional trainers help children to find
answers to their questions and solutions
to their problems.
For taking care about old people there
is system of safety phones, which provides timely help. And elderly people do
not worry that if something happened
nobody would help. Of course this invention gives them the feeling of being
saved and not lonely.
For mothers and children in all country
there is wide chain of special clinics,
where professional doctors are always
ready to help. There is also practice of
special taught assistant - doula during
baby delivery. It reduces a lot together
with other measures mothers and babies death rate.
Finns also remember about men. The analogy of maternity leave was invited for them.
Among the last innovations we can

mention identity card in mobile phone.


For not big sum of money you can use it
for example while paying on the Internet
if it is necessary to prove your identity.
As we can see Finland is a real innovator
in many fields, a creator of many social
innovations which makes our life easier.
Experienced difficulties during economic crisis in 1991-1993, Finns started
to take more care about people and
their social safety and it let Finland to
become one of the leading countries in
the world, in the sphere of innovations
too. And many other countries have to
learn a lot of things from this small, cosy
and comfortable country.
But we should not forget that we get
used to fast to all good things and it
seems that life will be always comfortable, but it is not so. It must not prevent
us from acting, from further inventions.
And not indifferent government will only
support it and then we will have even
more comfortable and safe life.
Ksenia Kononova. The contest for
young journalists Silver Feather

11

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ABC (Nuorisotoiminta RY) . .

12

Art Territory

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Its a common knowledge that the elaborate eternal pleached pattern of the arabesques (in this case sketches, meetings and interviews) can
be stopped or continued at any point without disturbing the integrity of the picture.
I had a chance to weave words into a bizarre pattern of different motives like music, dance and art. It was youth organization of ABC (Nuorisotoiminta RY) of Turku that gave me such an opportunity.
A, B and C are the first letters of the alphabet. ABC is an ultimate starting point. The
basic ABCs. Thats how founders and organizers of the Youth Organization in Turku
disguised their name.

folk festivals or go on tour to Tampere,


Jyvaskyla, Seinajoki. The band is not limited by geography. You can meet them in
Saint-Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Helsinki
and other cities.

three age groups were awarded with medals. The senior group has won the golden
medal for Hava Nagila dance, the middle group got silver and the juniors were
pleased with the bronze.

Elena Fager is an executive director of the


organization and the head of the Katyusha dance group. And thats how we met
with ABC organization at the groups
rehearsal in the building of a former elementary school which ABC is renting. I am
proud of my girls! They are already starting
to get used to giving autographs, as the
real artists and stars, that is what Elena
had promised me before the girls came.
Katyusha is very popular in Turku. There
are 90 people performing in the band.
Classes are held in five age groups: the
senior group (youth 16-22 years), the
middle group (10 to 15 years) and those
where children make their first steps in
music and dance. Katyusha performs
at festivals, schools, kindergartens and
nursing homes. Sometimes they arrange
events themselves and carry out Russian

The middle group of the band was rehearsing an episode from the Chicago musical. The girls in the dance class were like
gangsters. They were doing their dancing pas with firearms in their hands. Of
course choreographer Marina Derkach
gave them toy guns but their diligence in
rehearsal was real. The Gangsters dance
was staged by another choreographer,
Helen Goncharova, who came from Portugal specifically to work with Katyusha.

Participants in the senior group combine


their study or work with dance rehearsals in the class or .. in the wardrobes,
because costumes also are parts of success. At the rehearsal the girls managed
to show me the best of their outfits. And
surely the audience will appreciate them.
After the class the girls sat on the bench
along a mirrored wall and gladly answered
my questions. These were Elena Privalova,
Katja Peskova, Irina Battsik, Tatiana Murzina, Luba Tregubova, Katja Gyavgyanen I
felt like giving the names of the girls from
the senior group as they are the bulk of
the team. For example, Katerina Peskova
joined the Katyusha dancing team right
after she moved to Finland. Actually, like in
many other cases, it was her parents who
brought her to the dancing team. But since
then Kate was happy to dance in the band.

I watched their performance as an ordinary spectator. However the critics can


always evaluate their work during different
competitions. The Katyusha band participated in the contest Tanssin pyorteissa in
Lieto last year. There were around twenty
Finnish dancing groups and Katyusha
was not unremarkable among them. All

She enjoys seeing a lot of Russian folks


around her and hearing native language.
One of the most exciting impressions was
celebrating 10th anniversary of the Katyusha dancing group and performing in a
big concert at the local conservatory on the
occasion. And they were certainly pleased
to hear all the favorable words addressed
to them from their fans.
Another girl, Tatiana Murzina, came to
Katyusha by herself. She took up ballroom dancing classes when she was a
young girl. Now she is keen on pop dance
and club music. And that is quite natural for
any girl, as well as for any guy, who wants
to dance, to go to the discos and blend in
with the youth.
The building of the ABC dance group was
getting empty late in the night. But we
dont say good bye to the representatives
of the youth organization of ABC. There is
still a lot to say about the elaborate Arabesque ABC pattern.
Andrey Karpin, Turku

13

3 FranceDanse
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15

Avant-guard

Disharmony
of Life
in Harmony
of Dance
Within the frameworks of FranceDanse festival a famous French choreographer A.Preljocaj showed his versions of legendary ballets of
the Diaghilev Group Noces and The Rite of Spring as well as the
Centaurs duet. The performance took place on the 3d of December, 2010 in the Mariinsky Theatre.

The FranceDanse festival is a significant


event for the Year of France in Russia
2010. If we look in the history of the
choreography of our countries, we can
see within it, that two cultures have constantly enriched each other: the Frenchman Marius Petipa created the classical Russian ballet and Russian Rudolf
Nureyev headed the ballet troupe of the
Grand Opera, while Diaghilev Seasons
laid the foundations of modern dance
and generally have set the fashion for
everything Russian in Europe!

16

We will focus on the brightest moment of the


festival FranceDanse 2010 in St. Petersburg. And what the townspeople saw in the
gilded walls of the Mariinsky Theatre was a
choreographic fantasy by master Preljocaj.
Maestro and Scandal
The Knight of the Legion of Honor,
he heads the National Choreographic
Centre in Aix-en dance and stages
performances in the Paris Opera and
in Shtaatsoper in Berlin as well as in La
Scala and in New York City Ballet. The

scientists of dancing theory remark that


the creative credo of Angela Preljocaj is
to mix classical technique with expressionist plasticity of modern dance and
to add elements of the Archaic and the
Far Eastern culture of the body and also to
interpret on his own way the performances
of the ballet luminaries of the XX century.
I never did anything to provoke a scandal. But if something that is important
to me calls for a scandal, I would never
censor myself! a famous phrase by

Angelen Preljocaj, which explains a lot


for puzzled spectators who are accustomed to Puritanism in ballet.
The magnificent hall of the Mariinsky
Theatre still keeps glares of candles that
were lit in honor of the arrival of the august family at the time when and ladies
and gentlemen look critically at the visitors through their lorgnettes, and every
stage performance was subjected to the
severe criticism together with the frivolity of mind of the choreographer. Mod-

Avant-guard

Maybe its just a status and it is reproduced with alienation.


Such a staging by a French genius creates the image of the relations between
a man and a woman as a dark travel as
there is no a beaten track to happiness,
you can reach it with many chaotic
changes on your way and each segment on your way in this case is made
of sensations you have gone through.
And all this way is covered with the purpose of gradually getting to the finals (of
course, everyone was secretly hoping
that at least in their own individual case
it would be a happy ending).
In the end of the performance men take
their girlfriends around the waist and
slowly walk away with them in the shadow of the scenes and puppet brides are
left proudly planted on a stage bench.
And it is difficult to say what it was after
all a celebration of reconciliation with
your new status or a temporary break?
The Art of Reincarnation
Two young men with bare torsos and
heads resemble two huge spiders in the
twilight and that take us to a mysterious
and silent world of the desert. Dancers
chantingly turn into fighting scorpions,
riders or horses. A gloomy and powerful
performance which is quite peculiar to
the trade mark of the choreographer,
Le Figaro wrote about the production
of Centaurs.

ern St. Petersburg is more light-minded


and its quite a job to surprise it!
Throwing brides around
Preljocaj takes up a brilliant music
score by Stravinsky, and creates a masterpiece... Breath sticks in the throat
as the atmosphere is quite tense when
silence that precedes the explosion of
the Stravinsky music breaks. Soon we
will see an extraordinary ritual and that
relates to the exorcism of cosmic fears
that grips us the mystery of sexual-

ity and death, that what the French


newspaper Le Monde wrote about the
production of Noces.
The audience of the Mariinsky Theater
saw an outrageous no sentiments
vision on gender relations: making advances, arguments, tenderness, roughness, frustration, indecision, thoughts
like What did I do? after marriage
Its such a burning ball of emotions that
can unroll itself within one day in the life
of a couple or it can unwind over a lifetime. Somehow, M. Preljocaj does not

promise an easy life. This is what tight


rhythm track stresses the music that
first gives a viewer some air to breath
and then brings it to a hault.
And as far as the symbolism of wedding
is concerned a pantomime shows the
bride as a phantom image. The men on
the stage swings puppet brides carefully
and next time they wave them rudely
and puppets brides veil waves in the air
and their limbs are trembling. And why
should it be puppets and not actresses?

Fabrizio Clemente and Julien Thibault


are two masters of the dance. In absolutely ominous dusk it is them who live
on the scene as they are mysterious
centaurs, dressed in leather and that
makes them leather-body creatures. It
looks as if the viewer occurs within an
ancient myth and is asked to capture
the inner world of incomprehensible
and dangerous creatures. These actors
must certainly be possessing something
that is called haughtiness of bodies
(this expression belongs to the author
of the staging as he is a descendant of
the Albanian highlanders, who has such
haughtiness in their blood).
So unintentionally Monsieur Preljocaj
has given in a creative shocked to Mariinsky Theatre giving a good ground for
the audience to discuss vividly the poetics of nudity and disharmony of life.
Irina Zaharova
The contest for young journalists
Silver Feather

17

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Young and Active

Part 1. How we fished for


a trout.
In a Galaxy that is far away, the forces of
the Empire...oh, we did not want to start
in such a way, but again, Lyosha Vesyoliy, who is both our inspirer and the
chairman (yes, certainly, he has already
paid for his PR), got onto the forum
of an online game about the endless
Space defense. (Contact him if you are
interested, and he will give you a link).
Well, let us begin our story of how we
went spotted trout fishing in the cold
water of our beautiful river, the Gauja,
which is situated in the wonderful place
named the Switzerland of Latvia. No
doubt, those who gave this name to the
area had never been to Switzerland, but
actually it does not matter, the main point
is to give an idea. You know that the River
Gauja is a pride of Latvia, with the length
of 460 kilometers and a catchments area
of 8,900 square kilometers. It is a National park, a reserve, and besides...
Ilze, cease feeding our readers with

copybook information from Wikipedia.


Youd better say that it is just a very
beautiful place.
Ilze Shteire, an ecologist, who also
works part time as our project coordinator feigns offended and moves aside
from the computer to the window looking at a Latvian winter rain raging.,Cars
are cutting streams of cold water in the
streets, they are splashing loudly, just
as it was that time on the Gauja: splashes of cold river water, wetsuits.
Well, let us continue. Where did we
stop our story at? So, we traveled at
two cars, enjoying our friendly company
and rushing music from the speakers in
the cars. There was one short stop on
the road and that was police inspection:
Why are you so jolly? Come on and
blow into the pipe! Hem, nothing...
Adieu! We are not drunk; we are just very
excited about the trip as well as the company and the forthcoming weekend.
At last we arrived at Garupe. We unpacked and pitched our tents, put the
equipment, went exploring the river.
The scenery around was unreal pictur-

esque. While we were discussing the


beauty of the place, our girls went down
to the water and took some water samples for their research. (Rest is good,
indeed, but lets keep the ecology in
mind !). We shot some photos of our
happy company, when a local forester
approached us. He was curious about
where we were from, and what we were
doing there. He lit a cigarette and told
us about the beauty of the place, and by
the way, he asked us not to make a fire
in forbidden places. We planned to go
hiking to the local hills in the evening.
The folks dug the earth and strove
for battle. The newcomers, who were
least prepared for the march, amused
the vets a lot. By the evening we had
returned to our camp being tired as hell,
but we were pleased with ourselves.
Just in a few minutes after supper, almost all of us fell snoring in the tents.
But the most experienced folks stayed
beside the bonfire, discussing the following day., Not all of us were able to
get up quickly early in the morning.
Some fellows were feeling broken after

the marsh and they could hardly get out


from the tent, crawling on all their fours.
When having morning coffee, which was
cooked over the bonfire, we discussed
the forthcoming day and decided to
make the program shorter because of
the dropped-out fellows. We pumped
an inflatable boat and went down the
Gauja. After boating we had dinner on
the bank and met some tourists. They
treated us with gin, and we talked about
our plans and the route. They warned
us about the upper Gauja saying it was
very restless with too wild rapids. We
decided to go back to the camp where
we were happily met by our ecologists,
and they reminded us about the departure early in the morning. We had a
friendly evening together. In the fresh
morning, we set off back to town. We
drove home, changing at the wheel and
tranquilly talking about the trip.
And where is the trout? you ask. Well,
trout is in the shop. We decided not to
rob our National Reserve. Besides, we
did not have the license, and we put
away our fishing rods till the next time.

19

The Federation: A Story about


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email: ajf.lva@gmail.com

Part 3. Sea. Sun.Winter.


In the whole, things went the way that
we decided to proceed directly to the
third part. In our opinion, the second
one turned to be too boring. We could
probably name the second part as
third, but we considered it to be dishonest with regard to our readers. Thus,
let us begin. The idea belongs to Elizabeth, our much-esteemed specialist on
the questions of Z-Z. She deals with
many things, and especially with these
ones. We all appreciate her very much.
Some time had passed; we got together
and began to plan our trip to the sea.
As everyone knows from the geography
course Riga is situated far from the sea,
at a distance of 13-15 km, which separates us from the marvelous beauty of
our gulf. However, it does not bother
the Rigaers (people from Riga) to visit
it in a terribly seldom manner, usually
in summer. Thus, we went there in winter. It often happens that good ideas
come to our mind with a delay. Winter
for the Baltic Sea is hard time indeed.
Everyone knows it, especially fishermen
and ferry tourists. Actually, fishermen
know almost all sea weather caprices,
they can create very beautiful legends
and tales. Here is one of them. Longlong ago, in the sea that was far away,
where dark rocks had been hanging
over the water, in the sea deep, there
was a sea king palace...aha! They do
not allow me to finish the tale, and take
away my pen angrily. Well, the story is

very long, and it does not have a happy


end. The point is that the sea king does
not bless local fishermen.At a convenient moment, he tries to get them, i.e. to
get them to the sea bottom. However,
ferry tourists do not know this story,
they are just unpleased about the rolling, which does not allow them to have
fun at a full speed.Hm, we have really
been distracted from the point. So, we
got together, discussed our plans, and
soon we were rushing on the silvery bus
to the place called Kurmrags, which
was not far from the Estonia border.
We got to the place without any adventures, not counted some coffee which
was spilt in the car. Anton, the owner
of the car, was really unpleased about
it. However, he is a kind fellow, and he
quickly calmed down quickly. Besides,
you could not feel angry when there
was such beauty around: high pines,
covered with sparkling snow; transparent ice (you could even see small fish
through it). For the following two hours,
the flash drive of my camera had become four gigabyte full with photos,
but I felt I wanted much more. Unfortunately, I have not got those marvellous photos now, I lost them because
of the problem with a hard disk on my
computer.What a pity! I could have pretended to the prize in nomination The
best photo of winter scenery . Our folks
took their skiis, one boy even brought
his snowboard, hoping to conquer local
hills. In the evening, we had a bonfire
and enjoyed tea. After some necessary
records we started to think what to do
next. The boys, since they are stronger
and thereafter, a bit silly, suggested
staying there for some more time, but
the girls asked to go home. Guess, who
won. In an hour we were going home,
a bit chilly, but pleased with ourselves.
We had done all we wanted. I shot lots
of photos, the girls carried their records
and water samples.Alex got a good
mood and an injury when he had a fall
from his snowboard.Anton had his car
with spilt coffee.
Aktivas Jaunatnes Federacija
Riga, Latvia, www.ajf.lv
email: ajf.lva@gmail.com

Young and Active

Young and Active


Instead of the Epilogue. Here our story came to the end. Someone do not like it, someone deemed it unworthy of attention. Particularly observational and dull, perhaps
ask: Excuse me, but where are the reports on the activities of the organization? Where are all these big office folders with official papers and stamps?
How we should answer to it? Everyone has its own truth and deals with that he likes or thinks that it should be like. And every man making his conclusion the way they should
be. For us most important - its the friends that we wondered together, have fun to talk with each other and invite our friends from other countries. Simply, we are young and
living as we like to. This is perhaps could be our brand motto, but we remember what we have promised not to load you with ads. So, simply we invite you to Riga, if youre
interested to communicate and make new friends.
P.S. Well, we have decided to write an afterword, but this is not at all for nerds and bureaucrats, but for those who decide to visit us after all. So friends, write down:
Aktivas Jaunatnes Federacija, Riga, Latvia, Krisjana Barona iela 49-32, www.ajf.lv, email: ajf.lva@gmail.com

21

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23

In pictures Without Borders

I woke up today trying to find myself... Where am I?


Oh yes. I am home and trying to get my act together!
Ahh! Good. It is Saturday. So go through the schedule.
Loading... Now I got it. Today is the 3rd of April, 2010.
The big day has come. Today I go to one of Budapests
public squares to lose ourselves... Or how they call it:
Pillow Fight Day 2010. So the bell rang.
I marked my calendar 2 weeks prior just to make sure
I am not going to miss this craziness. No, no. I am not
dumb. I called my friends. Who goes to a place like this
alone? Well not me, that is for sure.
It is not the first time the organizers execute this imitative. The event takes place all over the Globe annually.
In Hungary there are 12 different cities people going
wild at the same time.
There are rules of course. Do not think that this event
is for a handful of mentally divergent person gear up
and have fun. No.
-Bring a soft pillow
-Hit only people with pillows

-Take off your glasses


-We fight, till we fight
It seems pretty reasonable, I reckon, after browsing
through the Facebook event.
So back to daily routine. Get up, wash-up, brush, get
dressed, nutrition, grab the camera and roll. I meet my
fighter mates at a carefully picked place, near but not
so close to the perimeter. After finalizing our strategy
and have a firm grasp on our weapons we near the
battlefield. The massacre is already happening.
For some minutes we admire the crowd slogging.
They hit without picking. Of course there are some
commanders who tries making everyone following the
dreamt action plan step by step without any success.
The chaos is complete from the distance. I did not
bring any pillows. I was not planning hitting rather getting hit while shooting my camera. I will find out pretty
soon if I am wrong or right.
Minutes after I am in the middle of everything and re-

24

In pictures Without Borders

alize there are actually some organizers directing the


crowd for synchronized attacks. They count down 3, 2,
1, attaaaaack... and they clash. Mostly young people
work relentlessly on others with their hand weapons.
Of course there are some Napoleon wannabes trying
to discipline the fighters and sort them into lines. It
feels so good. I do not know why. Maybe because I
have not been hit yet.
As I turn around and getting to know the soldiers whilst
dodging I soon realize it is chaotic because everybody
had different intentions. Somebody rampage in order to
get over a hard day or week. (I am pretty sure there are
some who are trying to get over years after watching his
intensive fighting method.) Others do it by kicks or just
to have a good story to talk about in the senior years.
But there is this tiny group having real intentions. They
are flirting in the crowd. There is no need for fancy pick
up lines just need to spank your target. Nobody is going
to feel assaulted if you know how to make the moves.
For me it seems working. I see happy faces chatting in

Pillow
fight
day
2010

the epicenter of the action. Good to know...


There are some taking brakes, smoking a cigarette.
In the meantime the organizers chant 3, 2, 1, attaaaack and they keep clashing and clashing. The air
is filled with flying pillow pieces, feathers and the smell
of hard working. I cannot breath it is truly choking. The
creative ones already have thought of protection. They
wrapped their faces in scarves. Smart indeed. I see
some with masks as well.
We have enough of this and agree on taking a real break
and go to a bar nearby to have some drinks and a lunch.
We spend there approximately 2 hours. We recall all the
funny moments whilst sipping our beers and come to the
conclusion: it is something we would need more often
to cheer up the boring weekdays. With these thoughts I
walked to my car hearing still the fighting chants...
Report and photography by: Peter Wendl
The contest for young journalists Silver Feather

25

RusNord 2010 conference


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RusNord 2010 the Conference of the Century


In partnership with the other youth group our organization founded the Union of Youth Organizations of Nordic and Baltic regions - RusNordBalt (RNB). Its aim is to work with Russian-speaking youth.
The idea of creating such an alliance has
long been in the air. We discussed and
balanced all pros and cons and finally it
was decided. Intensive preparations for
the conference have begun. Forgetting
about sleep and rest, Alliance ry moved
from the real world into the virtual
one, spending days and nights in
Skype, e-mail and other online spaces.
Having sent our message through
our network of partner organizations
we laid in anticipation. In the end we
were simply amazed by the amount of
replies we received! Apparently, the
idea of such a vital project was soaring
not only in Finnish air. We received
a huge amount of applications from
many countries, including those who
are remotely related to Nordic countries
and the Baltic. Our call has triggered a
truly global response among Russianspeaking youth-oriented communities.
Finally, having overcome the difficult
process of selecting the participant
organizations and having dealt with
other inevitable institutional hardships,
we exhaled and climbed the ramp to the
26

plane, which safely landed in one of the


most beautiful cities on earth, Riga, the
capital of Latvia.
A detailed description of each day of
the week-long conference would not fit
in any one article, so Ill just share my
personal impressions of what happened.
Moreover, full understanding and
evaluation of Riga events were made
possible only recently.
I think we can omit saying how
important such a historic event was. At
the beginning of the first session we
realized once again how crucial it was to
create such an alliance. Representatives
of more than 25 youth organizations
from seven countries have entered
into a difficult debate which sometimes
resembled the theater of war operations.
With the only difference being that the
weapon was the word, using which
drove us into the depths of constructive
and unconstructive debates. Sometimes
there was a risk that such a verbal battle
could escalate into a real one, showing
once again how important and relevant
were the topics under discussion. And

only the wise and talented management


of the man, whom we elected as a
chairman, allowed us to avoid bloodshed
and to place our agitated minds back
on track. Sessions lasted from the
early morning until the late night
with breaks for a delicious lunch and
dinner, but sometimes lively debates
seemed to intervene with the lunch
time. Our intensive daily work resulted
in creation of the Charter of the Union
which was eventually, but far from the
first time, approved by representatives
of all allying participating organizations.
Another thing we had to do was to elect
the board. This event proved to be very
exciting for all participants. We observed
all the rules while voting and I personally
felt like a candidate to Member of
Parliament and not as a member of
the Board for the Youth Union. That
shows how serious and strict was the
atmosphere that reigned in the usually
bustling and noisy conference room.
To conclude, Id like to point out that
while discussing and fighting for the
truth we didnt forget about the cultural

side of the conference. By some miracle


we managed to take part in an interesting
excursion into one of the most beautiful
castles in Latvia, Rundale, the summer
residence of Count Ernst Johann Biron.
Besides the official cultural events, the
conference participants were involved in
non-formal discussions in an incredibly
warm atmosphere, they lasted long
after midnight and participants were
left with only a few hours of sleep, but
it gave birth both to new ideas and joint
projects, many of which are already
embodied in life. And all of this no
doubt contributes to the development
and strengthening of partnerships
between different organizations that
differ in some goals and directions,
but are united by the common idea of
an international fruitful cooperation of
Russian-speaking youth.
Anna Filina, Chairman of the Russianspeaking Youth Organization Alliance
ry, Helsinki.
The contest for young journalists
Silver Feather

The Youth Prospect



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(Ministry of
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www.minedu.fi/OPM/.
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E-mail: rusnordbalt@gmail.com;
iskander_lazar@yahoo.com
Web page: www.youthonline.fi

Interview

RNB New Russian Youth Network


in the Northern Europe and the Baltic
Late in November 2010, 25 Russian youth organizations from various countries founded an umbrella organization RNB.
In Riga, at the end of November 2010,
there was a significant event for the entire Russian-speaking youth of Nordic
and Baltic countries and that was RusNord 2010 conference, which resulted
in the unification of 25 youth organizations and the creation of an international
alliance of youth organizations: RusNordBalt (RNB).
I managed to interview participants and
the organizers of this event - representatives of the youth organization of
Helsinki - Alliance ry.
Kira: I would like to congratulate Alliance as the head of the Umbrella project and the conference organizer RusNord 2010, as well as Russian-speaking
young people, on the birth of the International Union RusNordBalt (RNB).
Alexander, tell me about the organization of this conference please. How was
this union created?
Alexander Yudin-Lazarev: In Riga during

Anna: The conference was attended by


more than 25 youth organizations from
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and even the Czech
Republic, which makes the conference a
significant international event. Much to our
regret we failed to provide the opportunity
to participate in the conference to all organizations that have applied. I hope that
we can provide these organizations with
such an opportunity this year.

in Helsinki (Vuorilahden kurssikeskus).


We already used this facility to run 2009
international conference. This center left
an incredible impression on the participants. In the first issue of our magazine
there was an article about this conference called Helsinki syndrome. As for
the participants, first and foremost we
will invite leaders and representatives
of youth organizations who have joined
the RNB Union. We also will try to invite
representatives of other organizations.
But still, as you understand, everything
will depend on financing.

Kira: Are you saying that in 2011 we can


expect the continuation of the conference?

Kira: Anna, a few words about your impressions if I may ask.

Anna: Yes. In August 2011 we plan to


hold a conference for Russian youth organizations that joined the RNB Union.

Anna: There was a lot to be done. Im


talking not only about the long process of preparation for the conference,
which we did as organizers, but also
about the event itself. It took enormous
intellectual, physical and emotional efforts of all its members. At all stages
of the Union we were developing basic
and fundamental principles of the Union
starting with choosing board members
and assigning duties. Each party did
their best and they left their mark on the
event, which, without exaggeration, can
be called historic. Now our common responsibility is to maintain and develop
the work of the Union and its member
organizations. We need to coordinate
our actions and provide for timely exchange of the useful information. In the
very near future we hope to please the
union organizations with the first joint
project, implemented under the aegis of
RNB. The first results of the Union can
be drawn in August 2011 at the Congress for Russian youth organizations
that joined the RNB Union.

November 25th till December 1st youth


leaders from 7 countries of Nordic and
the Baltic countries met at a youth conference RusNord 2010. The organizers
of this conference were youth organizations in Finland from Alliance, Helsinki
(Youth organization of Helsinki Alliance)
and APILA union of associations (APILA
yhdistyksen liitto ry) as well as other
organizations. The conference, in fact,
was devoted to the creation of the international alliance that brought together
Russian-speaking youth organizations
of the Nordic and Baltic countries. The
holding of this conference was made
possible through the financial support
of the Nordic Committee for Children
and Young (NORDBUK www.norden.
org/en) and also thanks to the Ministry
of Education and Culture of Finland
(www.minedu.fi/OPM/).

Kira: Anna, and what countries participated in this event?

Anna Filina, project leader and chairman


of the Russian-speaking Youth Organization Alliance ry, Helsinki City
(www.youthonline.fi)

Kira: And where will this conference


take place and who will take part in it?
Alexander: The Conference will be held

Kira: Well, we have nothing but wish you


good luck. And we are looking forward
to this event. Meanwhile we continue to
talk about the conference in Riga. Other
participants of the conference joined
the conversation.

Getenbergs! Welcome to the hotel Gutenbergs! http://www.gutenbergs.eu/

Asker Midov, representative of the Union of Russian associations in Sweden,


31

Interview

Askerbi Midov (Union of Russian associations in Sweden)

Margarita Dragile (Youth organization Perom Latvia)

has joined the discussion.

Andrew: Unlike to other similar conferences RusNord10 created the


biggest North-Eastern network of
Russian organizations, RNB. The
Union will begin its activity after the
conference and will be a good example of how Russian-speaking youth
can use the democratic process in
Europe in order to discuss and resolve common issues and problems
of national minorities.

Kira: Asker, tell us please, what exactly


was done at the conference? What are
the goals and objectives of the Union?
Asker: During the conference participants developed the charter of the new
organizations. We also selected board
members, developed both short term and
long term work plans. We pointed out the
goals of the Union, which are as follows:
The development and strengthening
of international cooperation of ethnic
minority youth in Nordic and Baltic
countries. Representation of the Russian-speaking youth organizations and
organizations working with the Russianspeaking youth. Development, maintenance and support of Russian language, culture and national traditions.
Participants identified major areas for future joint activities. Here are some of them:
Contribute to improving the image of
Russian-speaking youth in the Nordic
and Baltic countries. Create a platform to discuss relevant issues and develop solutions for them. Make joint
development projects aimed at interaction between young people of ethnic
minorities and majorities. Promote
the development and strengthening ties
between the EU and the CIS in the field
of youth policy. Provide for organization of cultural and educational activities
that contribute to popularization of Russian language and culture.
As a result, we can say with certainty that
we formed the organization with serious
composition and intentions. It has, without a doubt, a very exciting prospect!
In general the conference was quite
successful. And after the sessions that
were sometimes tiresome, participants
32

had the opportunity to enjoy the beauty


of winter before New Year in Riga and
socialize in a warm, friendly atmosphere
among creative youth. Perhaps that is
why the Union got quite a sonorous
name of RusNordBalt with a cheerful
catchy acronym of RNB.
Margarita Dragileva, chairman of the international youth organization Perom
(Prospects of Russian youth organizations www.perom.eu)
Kira: Margareta, what are your personal
impressions of the conference? What
pleased you and what was helpful?
Margareta: We are pleased that a conference of this magnitude took place in Latvia, and it was in Riga. Our studies show
that Russian youth and Russian youth
organizations have common problems
they faced in their work. For example,
lack of opportunities for the preservation
of Russian culture and language for active involvement in social and political life
of their country, a crisis of identity, assimilation, etc. These issues are relevant
not only for Latvia but also for various
European countries, too. I am confident
that this conference more precisely,
the establishment of an umbrella organization will become a platform for
developing and implementing international projects aimed at cooperation and
collaboration of youth organizations that
contribute to solving the most common
problems of Russian-speaking youth in
the Nordic and Baltic countries.
Andrew Grotsev, a deputy chairman of
the youth movement United Latvia
Kira: Andrew, what are your impressions after the conference?

Yuri Zhuravlev, NGO Intelligence of the


RS, the association Russian people in
Estonia
Kira: Yuri, and what are your impressions of the conference?
Yuri: The conference was held actively
and constructively in an atmosphere
of companionship. At the beginning of

the conference young people presented


youth organizations of their countries,
and soon, thanks to a friendly atmosphere and entertaining games, we all
became closer to each other. Everyone
took part in the discussion on many issues, presented their view and shared
experiences and introduced ideas into
common incentive. The special guests
invited to the event spoke about the
work of their organization and they
helped to gain a better understanding of
the interaction and work of youth organizations. Conference was attended by:
Marita Kroica from Agency for International Programs for Youth, the Russian
Embassy in Latvia and Viktor Gushin, a
representative of the coordinating council of Russian compatriots.
The Conference was an excellent
launching pad for joint cooperation and

Interview

Andrew Grotsev (United Latvia)


activity of youth organizations working
with the Russian-speaking youth in the
Nordic and Baltic countries.
Kira: Yuri, can you tell our readers
about the emotions and feelings being in Latvia?
Yuri: Our conference was held at the Hotel Gutenberg, in the heart of Old Town.
http://www.gutenbergs.eu/ru.
Hotel struck us with its gorgeous interior, romantic and historical style, and
responsive staff as well.
I want to say thanks to the Gutenberg
hotel staff for their warm welcome and
hospitality, for the comfort and convenience as well as for delicious breakfasts
and coffee breaks and also for the
friendliness and discreetness.
Name Gutenberg forced me to think

about symbols. Symbols are signs connecting the past and the future.
About leadership.
Gutenberg invented the printing press
in Medieval Europe. He was a pioneer of
his idea. Despite the fact that he did not
have enough money for the introduction
of his invention and no skilled laborers,
or even advanced tools, he succeeded.
Having succeeded, he was forced to
give up what he developed. After the
courts and the payments he had to start
a business from scratch. He was not
broken. He was an optimist.
These qualities are important today and
they will be important in the future.
Todays leaders need intelligence and
creativity, the ability to be the first and
to be determined with no retreat and
surrender, believing in the dream and

Yuri Zhuravlev (NGO Intelligence of the RS, the association Russian


people in Estonia.
representing the interests of the group.
I am very glad that I see these qualities among fellows from our team, my
friends and colleagues.
Book a symbol of the projects.
To create a book, a brook of knowledge, one needs tangible and intangible components. It requires idea and
resources. For the creation and implementation of youth community projects
one needs all that in needed to create
a book Ideas, new visions, creativity,
resources, finance and, first and foremost, a team of like-minded friends
who share a common goal.
Consistency the connection of
time and common features.
Located at Gutenberg there was an
atmosphere of XIV and XIX centuries.
You are transported to those times. And
you realize that in those times, in these
times, and in the future it is necessary to
change lives for the better, invent, build
and create these are opportunities
and abilities of many people, but only
a part of society realizes them. To make
dreams of people come true, motivate
people to realize their goals. Comparing
the characteristics of leaders, inventors,
humanitarians, talented people from
different times you see what they have
in common. It is the same today. These
young individuals gathered at the Conference, even though they were from
different countries and with different
traditions, they had much in common.
These are the people who dream and
create. Their goals and deeds are making the world a better place.
Kira: Yuri, what are the most interesting
discoveries you made at the conference?

Yuri: We are reflections of each other. At


the conference, I looked at my friends
and in each and every one I saw myself.
As if I was sitting among different reflections of myself. In you, my friends, I recognized my advertence to principles and
the ability to make a common decision..
I saw my confidence and my embarrassment, my vehemence and my peace,
ability to work, to organize, to have
fun and to relax, the ability to give off a
bunch of ideas and sometimes to simply
being slow on the draw. In you I find my
personality traits and my behavior. In
you I find the willingness to help and to
fight for values, friendship and love.
Kira: Your wishes to the participants of
the conference, please.
Yuri: Id like to say thank you very much
to all those who gave their best. To
those who made it possible and to those
who organized our meeting. To those
who found the opportunity and time to
take part in it. And to those who gave us
love, care and comfort. Thank you very
much indeed!
I would like to sincerely wish good luck
and success to this young and promising association with such a vivid and
unforgettable name of RNB.
Kira Malashina
Photography by: Alexander Yudin-Lazarev
Union Of Youth Associations
RusNordBalt (RNB)
We are Welcome Youth Organizations to
Cooperation!
Contacts: . +358445676656
E-mail: rusnordbalt@gmail.com;
iskander_lazar@yahoo.com
Web page: www.youthonline.fi
33

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34

Cities

RUSSIAN HEART IS BLEEDING FOR


THE DECAYING FINNISH PEARL
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My name is Kira and I am Russian citizen, currently living in Finland, happily


engaged to a Finnish man. Every day of
my life is a new day of cultural exchange
and integration, discovery of new differences, adaption, understanding and acceptance of other ones.
I was born and educated in Saint-Petersburg, the city where people consider
cultural, historical and educational aspects of life to be primary. During the
years of living in Russia, I visited Viipuri
quite a few times with great pleasure.
This lovely town not too far from SaintPetersburg had often been my weekend
getaway. After a couple of hours on a
crowded public train full of commuters,
going to their summer houses, or people
like me, enjoying their weekend away
from the city, I emerged myself into that
special atmosphere of the in-betweeneast-or-west-future-or-past-nostalgiabeauty-or-sadness city called Viipuri.
Viipuri, being joined to Russia far before
I was born, had always been taken for
granted by me and people of my generation, considering it to be just another
one Russian city, and only the double
names of the streets (both in Finnish
and Russian) and Finnish signs here
and there gave the city that special atmosphere of abroad in my eyes. Like
many Russians, I hadnt thought of that
short sad but important piece of history
that lies beneath it. The episode that
brings tears to the eyes of Finnish people as the wound is still sore. What I
was doing in the city back in a day, was
enjoying the amazing Monrepo park
and having a stroll in town before catch-

ing the last train for Saint-Petersburg.


But years have passed and my life has
changed. Having met my fianc, I was
introduced to the Finnish culture; I have
learned about the happiness and the
sadness of the Finnish nation, I have
learnt about the meaning of that city to
the country where I am living now and
to the people who now are my friends
and my family. In September 2010,
I visited Viipuri again and I was strolling its streets for hours, being totally
soaked under the drizzling autumn rain,
watching those beautiful buildings, dating back to the beginning of the 20th
century , traditionally called Jugend in
Finland, falling apart And my heart
was falling apart too, seeing another
house in ruins, pieces of veener being
ripped off from the facades, another
deserted building, staying there for
decades and letting the trees grow in
its ruins. The atmosphere of the decay
seemed overwhelmingThe city looked
as if it was forgotten, left there to die all
alone without anybodys support, without anybodys desire to save it, to see
its revival.. It was like an old lonely old
person, sick and tiredOn that visit, I
wasnt just a Russian girl, enjoying her
weekendI felt for that city, I felt for
those houses, I felt for Finnish people, I
felt for culture, I felt for history
I am not here to take sides, I have no
right to make decisions, I am here to
express my compassion.
Kira Malashina (Finland)
The contest for young journalists
Silver Feather

35

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Lifestyle

To Be or Not to Be
a Volunteer?
This article represents volunteerism as the way of spending free
time. It includes the authors positive experience in this area giving
the concrete examples of volunteers activities.

Have you ever been thinking about


helping anybody without getting any
profit from it? If your answer is YES,
volunteerism - is the thing exactly for
you. You do not need to worry if youre
hearing such a strange word for the first
time. It is quite easy to explain how this
volunteering system works.
To begin with, volunteering is an altruistic activity, which promotes good and
improves life in society. Volunteers can
work in groups or on their own, choosing the activity that suits them best.
There are a great number of activities
you can choose if you suddenly decide to become a volunteer. Planting
trees, making beautiful gardens in your
towns alleys, helping elderly people to
get on with cleaning in their houses or
even with cooking, also arranging local
sport or creative competitions, concerts
which can be very useful for youngsters.
You can do these things too, if you decide to join a volunteer association.
Not so long ago I was a volunteer.
When I was studying in gymnasium
I had a lot of free time. By that time I
had already tried out different types of
activities, to fill up the free time I had,
and I wished to experience something
really fresh and original. So I decided
to join the Volunteers association with
a rather interesting name Zebra. At
first, the activities which were suggested by the members of this organization
seemed to be unsuitable for me. But
there was also one thing that struck me:
young people, teenagers even, had to
work together with people that were a
lot older than them. However, despite
the age difference, it is easy for the volunteers to work together, because they
are trying to achieve common goals.
And because of that the Volunteer association became the best teamwork
school for me.
We had different tasks in the Union. For

example, in May we arranged charitable


event to collect toys and board games
for the different childrens associations.
This task was not so hard by itself. The
challenge was for the action to gain the
citizens attention. So, we decided to
park the volunteers cars, decorated
with toys, balloons and posters, at the
biggest shopping centers. You cannot
even imagine how good it felt to realize
that our idea worked. That day we got as
many donations as it was possible to get
in such a small town.
Encouraged by the success, we decided
to arrange another event a concert
dedicated to the victims of AIDS and
HIV. The goal was to gain the Youths
attention and to inform them of these
serious diseases. Because of that,
we invited not only the famous music
bands, but also specialists working with
HIV and AIDS problems. The feedback
from the audience was more than positive. And for us it was a perfect motivation to continue our work as volunteers.
One of the last actions was the childrens day, during which the volunteers
spent time with the children from large
families and organized leisure activities
for them. They performed on stage,
drew pictures, played different sport
games, and the end of the day they
celebrated with a big tea party. Unfortunately, it was the last event I volunteered in, life changes and now I just
dont have enough time.
I still remember my volunteer friends
and my senior teachers. I am grateful.
It was an unforgettable and a very useful experience. If you are a volunteer,
you can try yourself in various activities,
which will help to decide on your future
career. Its is an amazing opportunity to
understand, what you really need.
In one word, volunteerism - is beneficial
and even very rewarding thing to do.
Valeria Kuznetsova
37

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VITATEAM. , ,
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ENTK (Eesti Noorsoot Keskus)

SA Archimedes ENEB

ESF
2008-2013

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NGOs co-operation 2009-2011,
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Organizations

To Value,
But Not To Evaluate
That is what I try to perceive within this article i.e. to show what we as an organization of VITATEAM value rather than give our evaluation.

First of all, I value another chance to share about


crucial and essential from the North-East of Estonia.
This chance is particularly valuable considering the
number of countries contributing to the Ice Breaker.
The sense of value is really increasing with this regard.
Second, paying attention to the current issues in the
magazine, I saw what is the most valuable in activities of
our organization we aim to develop human resources
and help people to move forward both as a person and
as a professional. Our means are various types and
approaches of long-life education. Realistically youth
work in Estonia is developing rapidly and European
initiatives, projects, courses and trainings give more
and more opportunities.
We try to take all this into consideration while making plans
for our activity and what have we come up with for2011?
Sum and Substance
The key point of our activity for the coming year is
VITATEAM Resoure Center. It now serves as an
impetus helping others to sence our presence and for
us to be connected to the world.
In 2011 we have made four projects effective. These
projects include information centre, seminars, experience
exchange sessions, trainings and target programmes
and all this make our organization more open.
Each person is of great importance to us. Our methods
are quite flexible and variable. Our task is to be within
easy reach at any distance, and its wonderful that we
now have on-line resources, phones and some traditional
means as magazine articles. It gives us an opportunity
to be heard by wider audience as it may happen that
someone needs help while being in another country and
well find a way to provide support and guidance.
Our programmes help us to set priorities for a
particular time period. And for 2011 we plan to focus
on the youth who are in the middle of getting education
but who had dropping-out problem. We deal both with
university and college students. The work focus also
covers adults facing with such a problem among the
youth. Considering that 2011 promise new methods in
the area and with the help of them we hope to share
information and experience. We also plan to analyze
various issues and search for solution with the help of
local and European programmes.

Focus 2011
A bit of history: it is the forth year we have been
representing in our area of Ida-Virumaa the Estonian
National Agency for Youth in Action Programme http://
euroopa.noored.ee/ru/. We appreciate this collaboration
and every year we start a new programme helping the
youth to be pro-active in spite of economical, cultural,
language or other barriers in our region. As nowadays
there are a lot of possibilities in Estonia to get involved
into the mainstream of knowledge allowing you to do it
concurrently with study or work and without moving or
changing your family situation.
Mainstream implies various topical courses, seminars,
intensive trainings, master-classes and it allows either
sinking into youth sphere and finding your way in it
or making friends within your own sphere of activity
and even getting practical skills from various corners
of Europe. In 2011 VITATEAM plans to bring in such
a mainstream a big package of trainings and learning
seminars in native language. It is particularly valuable
as our region is the biggest in terms of Russianspeaking population.
Methods Practice and Involvement Are More
Important
Youth Work Readers Club. This is the type of club
meeting events in a friendly atmosphere with those
who are interested in youth sphere and in everything
new that is being published about it. After each
meeting the participants shall receive the contact list of
the attendees together with the list of books discussed.
The Opytnoye Cafe. The name challenges (opytnoye
means experimental) if you want to know something
new or share with your knowledge please do step by.
The topics for discussion vary time after time as well as
the place of meeting for the cafs customers.
Study Visits to Leading Youth Work Institutions. Estonia
is geographically small. For example, it takes you only 3
hours to get from Narva to Tallinn. But the more we work
the more we have a feeling that peoples awareness
about youth work is such as if it were an abyss between
these two cities. As we like to say the day will come when
such acronyms like ENTK, SA Arhimedes ENEB, ESF will
be widly recognizible.

For information:
ENTK (Eesti Noorsoot Keskus)
Estnian Youth Centre
SA Archimedes ENEB Estonian National Agency for
Youth in Action Programme Archimedes
ESF programme in Youth Work the programme of
European Social Fund Developing the quality of Youth
Work in 2008- 2013
Catch the Right Chanbe CRC Network
In 2011 we are inspired to develop CRC Network
collaboration, which emerged as a result of international
projects of four countries i.e. Estonia, Byelorussia,
Russia and Sweden. Everything stared with a project
with a long name Baltic-Norden- Belarusian and
Russian NGOs co-operation 2009-2011supported
by the Ministers Council of the Nordic Countries in
2009. CRC Network is an international network of
NGOs collaborating in preventing human trafficking. Its
purpose is to work for the sake and on behalf of youth
development. In all their activities the network follows
the motto: Direct. Guide. Warn. The network provides
the youth with necessary information about safe and
checked possibilities for life, work and education in
Europe; it raises awareness about various sides of life.
The network also offers something new and interesting
for those, who are fed up with the routine. Besides, the
association also aims to attract public attention to the
topical issue of human trafficking. During 2011 we plan
to find more partners who want to join this network.
Our joint work shall help us work again together on the
importance of the issues under review and to outline
further steps within CRC Network.
... I feel I have come up to the point when something
important have been said and, coming back to the
beginning of the article I want to stress upon the idea
that we value our opportunity to share what we have
and find supporters and partners among the readers
audience. And we hope to have a feedback from all
those who want to give an impetus to further CRC
network development.
Ilona Ignatuhhina
VITATEAM Resource Centre
www.vitateam.ee
41

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21 23 2010 .
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()

42

Copenhagen. Carnival 2010.


From 21st to 23rd May 2010 in the Northern country of Denmark was really hot. But it wasnt the Sun that
heat the capital and its citizens, but sunny smiles of Copenhagen Carnival 2010. From morning to midnight for
three days, one of the central parks of the city and the main pedestrian street turned into the big dancing floor.
Teams from all over the world starting from Brazil and finishing with Ghana, as well as the Danish dancers and
musicians, have created an unforgettable atmosphere and gave people joy and good mood, dedicating the
audience into the mystery of art of Latin dance, Afro, reggae and other styles. The culmination of the feast was
The Big Parade on the central pedestrian street, where from 11.00 to 14.00 representatives of the dancing
and musical groups shown their skills and magnificent costumes.
Here you could see pictures made on-site The Big Parade.
Report and photography by: Jekaterina Haradzanjana
Copenhagen (Denmark)
The contest for young journalists Silver Feather

The Big
Parade

43


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45

Opinion

Challenges of Russian
Youth and Russian
Youth NGOs in Latvia

A project called Empowerment of


Russian Youth Organizations in the
Baltic States was carried out from
September 2009 to February 2011 by
the association Humanitarian Perspective in Latvia. European Commissions
programme Youth in action provides a
financial support for the project.
Project is implemented by participants of
the program Young to the Young from
the association Humanitarian Perspective.
One of the most important and significant phases of the project was the
analysis of the situation and problems of
Russian youth (RY) and Russian Youth
Organizations (RYO). At the moment,
research and analysis are ongoing, but
there are some interesting facts that are
the cause of this message.
Research and analysis took several stages as follows:
1. The analysis of the problems of RYO,
where the largest and most active youth
organizations in Latvia were involved.
The leaders and the heads of the largest RYO were invited as experts for this
subject and they were interviewed .
2. Humanitarian Perspective carried
out the analysis of RY problems on its
own initiative. Any young person who
considered himself Russian could take
part in the survey.
3. Interviews with leading experts from
Russian World Baltic countries were carried out in order to obtain an expert assessment of the problems of Russian youth
in the Baltic countries, as well as to discuss
possible solutions to identified problems .
All the experts noted the following:
Due to lack of institutions (family,
school, universities, NGOs, etc.) that
could contribute to the inclusion of Russian youth in the Russian culture, Russian identity is lost for the modern Russian youth living outside Russia, they
are not aware of Russian values and the
possibility that sufficient Russian culture
shall develop among them is low.
The fact that hours of study devoted
to Russian language, Russian culture
and history in Russian schools (for example, the Baltic countries) is reduced
dramatically drops the level of knowledge of Russian history, its culture, lan-

46

guage, literature, etc. among the youth.


Due to the lack of attention to the
problems of Russian youth, there is not
enough interaction between the older
generation of Russian intellectuals and
the younger ones and that leads to the
loss of consistency.
Due to the peculiarities of national
policies and social situation in the Baltic
countries, the opportunity for Russian
young people to interact and co-operate within and outside Russia is limited.
Neither in Baltic countries, nor in Europe have been any efforts with regards
to the conservation of Russian identity,
language, culture and education.
Based on the discussions with experts
a number of issues have been identified
as related to Russian youth organizations as well as directly to modern Russian youth of the Baltic region. Lets
first consider addressing the situation
with the RYO, where experts identified
the following problems:
1. Youth organizations do not represent all young people
Experts noted that the problem with todays youth organizations is that they do
not represent the interests of Russian
youth in society. This is due to the fact
that even in the largest youth organizations there is the lack of weight of
active youth, i.e. of those young people
for whom the goals and activities of the
organization are valuable. Therefore, we
often face a situation where according
to formal data there are more than 1000
people in the organization, but activists
make at best a dozen ... and even then,
in several cases these are the leaders,
managers and so-called instigators
and founders. Put it simple, a composition, i.e., a number of youth organizations - is quite formal and non-objective
criterion. According to some experts,
RYO do not do a purposeful work of attracting more and more representatives
of the Russian youth into their organization. Thus, it appears that the activity
of RYO and the interests of RY exist in
different layers. Of course, when they
crossover then we observe good results, but unfortunately it happens less
often than we would anticipate it.

2. RYOs and political party


The experts have indicated another issue
related to the pervious problem i.e. the
dependence of RYO on political parties.
This problem lies in the fact that the majority of RYOs are not created to represent
the interests of Russian youth in the community (as experts identified with regard
to issue 1) but rather created under the
influence of, and with ideas pertaining to
political parties. Collaboration between
RYO and political parties imposes certain
limitations not only on the activities of organizations, but also on the training and
behavior of young leaders.
Experts have not yet formed a general
opinion about the ways of cooperation
with political parties. Therefore, the
issue of attracting young leaders to
politics as well as the matter of training
young leaders and their prospects remains problematic and therefore open.
It has been suggested that a community should promote an environment in
which RYOs will be formed to represent
the interests of young people. Only in
such situation, RYO may become the
main place of forging young leaders.
3. Loss of continuity
The future of the Russian community is
impossible if the continuity of generations
is not ensured. Continuity of generations
implies that the new generation takes
over the system of values and is committed to its maintaining and development.
However, as the experts say, the past 20
years were clearly not contributing to the
process of transferring values.
The experts noted continuity as one of
the most important and complex issues
in generational terms: the interaction and
mutual understanding between adults and
young, and organizationally: the interaction between adults and youth NGOs.
According to one of the experts, Russian community in Latvia has only recently seriously begun thinking about
youth issues and took a step forward
towards revitalizing and motivating
young people to community activities.
But at the same time, young people are
alert and precarious about this kind of
attention and in some cases reveal reluctance to identify themselves with the

Opinion

older generation of Russian community.


Comparison of expert assessments
of the younger and senior gives
grounds to conclude that the problem
lies within the lack of trust in adults towards the young generation and vice
versa. Experts have proposed different
approaches to solving this problem.
One of the solutions can be an arrangement of fruitful cooperation between
older and younger generations of the
community. Moreover, cooperation
should not be instructive but rather
should be based on the partnership.
Only with such organization of interaction it is plausible that new leaders of
Russian Communities emerge and give
a fresh look to solving old problems and
build continuity.
4. Loss of identity
According to some experts, the problem
of identity among young people is the
cause of the difficulties that Russian
youth is experiencing today.
Analyzing respondents answers about
their identity, most respondents consider themselves Russian (44%), Russianspeaking (11%), or Latvians (9%), but
at the same time almost a quarter of
respondents (23%) could not definitely
answer this question and gave several
possible answers, while this question
implied only one answer.
One of the experts has concluded that
the decision of considering one to be
Russian is not sufficiently motivated, nor
substantiated by young people today.
Suppose we can agree with the language identification, the expert said,
but, regrettably, with regards to culture, the majority or Russian youth
knows nothing about Russian culture,
nor of its richness, which indeed
should form a national core of personality. That is why a young man takes
just some pride in the cultural foundation on which he grows as a person and
Russian youth of today can not imagine
this cultural foundation. Therefore, according to the expert, for many young
people it is some sort of a bravado:
Im Russian, and thats it, nothing
stands behind it.
Thus, the problem of Russian identity

crisis lies in the absence of possibilities


of living within Russian culture.
5. Cultural identity formation institutes
Preservation of identity, according to
some experts, can be well addressed by
family and school, both separately and
jointly. These are the two main institutions thanks to which a Russian child
may stay within Russian culture, language and traditions.
Moreover, in todays situation with the
acquiring education in Russian language, one of the experts conducted
a study which showed that modern
children find it difficult to determine
whether there is Russian spirit in Russian schools as they have nothing to
compare it to, so they believe that there
is Russian spirit in there. However, 90%
of teachers say there is no Russian spirit
in Russian schools.
No matter how difficult the situation
with education in Russian language
is, another expert said one should not
forget that it is the schools with tuition
in Russian, thanks to the contingent
of teachers who still work there, that
remain the sole source of mass reproduction of the younger generation of
Russian community. That is, despite
all the shortcomings and limitations
of government programs, teachers
still teach to read and write in mother
tongue, children learn how to use their
native literary language; they study Russian literature and its richness. Another
question is how they do it Still, somehow, in these schools Russian children
learn the elements of Russian culture,
i.e. fine art, music culture, folklore, etc.
If it were not for these schools, there
would be absolutely nothing, and Russian Baltic kids would be deprived of the
cultural upbringing.
What a modern school cannot provide
due to restrictions imposed on it and
what a family cannot give this should
be provided by non-governmental organizations, by means of implementing
non-formal education. Thus, it can be
concluded that the process of preservation of identity should be the subject of
special attention of the community.

6. Portrait of modern young russian man


One of the leading experts of the Russian world gave quite an interesting vision of how a modern Russian young
man should be:
First, this Russian young person is fluent in Russian.
Second, he or she lives in Estonia,
Latvia or Lithuania and is fluent in one
of these countries official language
respectively, and, preferably, doesnt
speak worse than any native speaker.
Third, Russian young person knows at
least three languages, and this young
man would leave for the place (taking
into account free movement of services,
labor and other freedoms of the EU),
where he or she will have more opportunities for professional growth. But
local governments of Latvia, Lithuania,
and Estonia must do everything for this
young man to stay home.
Fourth, he or she should obviously
hold a university degree. Naturally, one
would like to see such a young person
successful and having a job. By definition, a young Russian person has certain advantages. Russian young person
does not have such inferiority complexes: Russian young person is aware
of the greatness of Russian language,
realizes the importance of learning the
national language and understands the
need for knowing English. The idea is
that Russian young people of the Baltic
States should be more open-minded,
than say a local resident.
Studies and surveys conducted by experts
allow us to start preparing recommendations for the authorities and communities
in the countries where the study is so that
youth policy for the Russian youth can be
improved. And that will be the termination
point of the current project.
Humanitarian Perspective Society
PEROM International Youth Organization
(PERSPECTIVES FOR RUSSIAN YOUTH
ORGANIZATION)
www.perom.eu,
perom.riga@gmail.com
Riga, Latvia, ul. Kr. Barona 130
(of.305), LV-1012
(+371) 25915197, (+371) 29130424

47


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Youth journal of Nordic
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