New Delhi, August 2023.

The ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ exhibition has opened in Vladivostok’s ‘Far East Street’. It is dedicated to the life, art, and lifestyle of indigenous minorities. The exhibition will continue its work during the 8th Eastern Economic Forum. The exhibition opening is part of the plan of events for Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023 and is being organized by the Roscongress Foundation.

“The ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ exhibition is the final event plannedas part of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council and is dedicated to the indigenous minorities of the North, Siberia, and the Far East and their rich, unique culture and identity.A total of 116 events held in nine constituent entities of the Russian Federation welcomed 300,000 visitors during the two years of the chairmanship. The chairmanship was deeply concerned with the Arctic population, and that included the indigenous minorities of the North. Ourmulti-ethnicstateisdedicatedtopreserving their customs, traditions, and way of life,”Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, Executive Secretary of the Organizing Committee for the preparation and holding of the Eastern Economic ForumAnton Kobyakov said.

The ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ thematic pavilionseeks to present the aesthetics of the indigenous peoples’ handiworkin modern architectural form and high-tech solutions.The exposition consists of an interactive zone with information about all of the indigenous minorities that call Russia home. Those visiting the exhibition can learn more about the population, language, religion, everyday life, traditions, territory, and folklore of the different ethnic groups.The main exhibition hall houses multimedia screens and a photo exhibition telling the stories of the indigenous peoples’ everyday lives and traditions. The exposition also presents opportunities for active recreation and travel in the Arctic among other things.

“An extensive cultural and business programme has been prepared as part of the event. The event will also draw attention to Russia’s indigenous minorities, to their special way of life in the vast expanses of the Far East and Arctic, andto their unique handiwork,”Deputy Director of the Department for the Development of the Arctic Zone and the Implementation of Structural Projects of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Marat Gabbasov said.

“We have one important value in Russia – ethnic diversity. It is our country’s inheritance and the basis for its future well-being. In terms of legal guarantees for minority peoples, our country has adopted and is implementing a state policy of sustainable development.We indigenous peoples are part of the heritage of the Russian Federation. The culture of the peoples presented today at this unique exhibition is part of a common legacy that belongs to the entire Russian nation. We strengthen our multi-ethnic friendship and the moral foundation of the Russian state with our traditions, customs, and culture, “Vice President of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North and Director of the Centre for Traditional Knowledge and Languages of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East Nina Veysalova said.

The Russian Arctic Public Council held a sessionas part of the exhibition opening business programme, and seminar participants discussed national policy in relation to the treatment of indigenous minorities and inter-ethnic relations in Primorsky Region.

Some of those participating in business events included President of the Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North of Khabarovsky Region and Vice-President of the Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North, Siberia, and the Far East for the Far Eastern Federal District Lyubov Odzyal, Deputy Chairman of the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Primorsky Krai Vera Kavetskaya, and Member of the Coordinating Council of the Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Daria Martynova.

Those visiting the exhibition were also treated to presentations on the history and culture of indigenous minorities of Primorsky Region, Khabarovsky Region, and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and an introduction to the Northern Peoples Code and projects of the Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North and the Russian Far East.

Exhibition guests attended masterclasses in arts and crafts and northern dances and a concert by folk groups. The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

The 8th Eastern Economic Forum will be held on the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island from 10 to 13 September.