VLADIMIR SMIRNOV
"One of the unforgettable and main impressions of Dikson are its people!"
At first I got onto Dikson absolutely prosaically and then – romantically. I used to work in Novosibirsk as a head of a control-inspector group of Hydromet on special equipment. To the area
of my group's activity belonged practically the quarter of the USSR (from the North pole to the border with China in the North-South and from Ural to Yakutia in the West-East) including the Dikson department of hydrometeorological service. First I went on Dikson because of my job in spring, I flew here with an inspection of polar stations. The second time was in spring 1979 when I got on Dikson due to my work too. And I fell in love. At the end of 1979 I left
the service in Novosibirsk and came onto Dikson to live and work here. During all my career I have worked for three organizations: for Hydromet (Novosibirsk and Dikson), for Voluntary Society for Assisting Army, Air Force and Navy, and now for Rostelecom as
a master of customer service and also do some off-hour job as
a programmer engineer.

One of the unforgettable and main impressions of Dikson are its people! Nowhere I have seen such friendly relationship between people as in the onrthern settlements. And not on Dikson only.
I have visited a lot of settlements of Taymyr, Evenk, Yamalo-Nenets, Khanty-Mansiyskiy autonomous districts, so I know what to compare with. People on the mainland often don't know their neighbors, here almost all of us knew each other. The atmosphere was totally friendly and warm. People were engaged in fishing, visited each other, took part in spontaneous actions. The cultural life boiled over: there were different concerts, shows, dances, watching films. The club and Krasniy ugoloks of Hydromet and
of the airport, arts and leisure center in the settlement were never empty.

Envelope issued
to the 100th anniversary
of Dikson as a present


On the other hand, there was a kind of jealousy to the own settlement. The inhabitants of the island part considered the island to be the best place in the world, whereas the inhabitants of the mainland thought the same about their part of the settlement.

But that was rather funny nuance. Different celebrations especially New Year are to remember. Some kind of corporativity had its place: Hydromet workers began to celebrate in their companies and the workers of the airport in theirs. But, as a rule, all companies mixed many times during the night. For example,
the person began to celebrate in the Hydromet company then he moved to Krasniy ugolok of Hydromet, after that to the airport club and by the morning found himself in the military unit, or vice versa. In general, everything was really great. Practically, there is nothing like that now.
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So people went here in search of some romance and
on the other hand to prove, to test themselves. Of course,
in chasing after easy money too.
______

Mainly, the people who came to the North at that time wanted to combine their lives with Dikson, with the Arctic. The polar explorer's job was very prestigious. The state paid attention to
the development of the Arctic. The people were sure in their future: they had the jobs (as a rule interesting ones), the salaries (as a rule, deserving ones), accommodations (as a rule, communal at first, but then their own detached flats) and friends (as a rule, reliable ones).

Lots of young people founded families right here, the birth rate on Dikson was higher than in average in the country. The families with two or three children were not rare. The level of education of Dikson people was much higher than the average in the country too: by the number of specialists with high and secondary professional education we were outrunning any city of
the country. Leningrad Arctic College, Liningrad Engineering Sea School, institutes and colleges of Hydromet were the main producers of the young specialists onto Dikson. The graduates of air and military colleges considered to be an honour to get work in the Arctic. The personnel departments were full up with
the letters from the specialists who wanted to come to work here. The best from the best were chosen. So people went here in search of some romance and on the other hand to prove, to test themselves. Of course, in chasing after easy money too. Some of them (the very little part) went to the North for a really temporal period of time, just to save up for a car, a flat and so on. As a rule, they didn't hide that, economized everything right up to food... But the attitude to such temporaries was appropriate: they weren't loved, but at the same time weren't despised, they practically didn't have friends. During definite years they fulfilled their task and went away. But nevertheless there used to be more romance and more support of the state.
What is more, (I don't remember who said that) the Arctic attracts. At first I supposed that was just a literary stamp, but later
I understood that the attraction has a physical sense. And even now... I have been retired for already eight years now. Some time ago I shouted that as soon as I retire I would go away to
the mainland.
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It seems that if I lived on the mainland now, I would have everything for a happy pensioner's life: a flat, a car, a garage, places to gather mushrooms and to go fishing. Besides,
the sum of my pension is not the smallest. But until now it is no possible to go away, I postpone it every year, I just can't do it. I am not the only. So think, what we came here for.
______

In my opinion, the main reasons why the settlement is in
the doldrums are the general reasons which led to the breakdown of the country in the whole, the ninetieth. By the way,
the breakdown of Dikson and other Arctic settlements began some years later than in the whole country. Maybe some reserve of strength made the difference. At that time I worked at the polar station and we practically didn't feel that breakdown until we went on holidays to the mainland. But suddenly everything came to us: interruptions with supply began, redundancies, closing of polar stations and factories.

Probably it was possible to soften or to prevent something being directed by more active and practical local authorities. But unfortunately, approximately since the same time every following ruler of Dikson (mayors, heads of the administration and so on, you can call them like you wish), were much weaker than
the previous one. Some of them just were not prepared to be managers, the others were worried about their own prosperity and didn't think about Dikson and its inhabitants at all. Unfortunately, this tendency is continuing, and now, in my opinion,
the government of Dikson is the weakest one during all 100 years it has existed. Dead failure of the 100th anniversary celebration showed it brightly. Nobody thought about the people, it turned out that the festival was organized for the invited big fish who came
8 hours later, accordingly, all events for simple people took place
8 hours later too.
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The administration organized such a people's outdoor festival: set a table with sandwiches and state vodka next to their porch, then brought the tables back for the guests, and we were asked to continue the celebration round the corner.
______

Simple festive post envelopes were brought into each flat as presents .

There was an idea to demand the resignation of our unsuccessful government (I was one of its initiators), but we didn't do that immediately (the signatures were not collected or a referendum didn't take place), and then the anger went away and nobody wanted to deal with it. Me too, but I had to. They are worthless people. And if, according to the tradition, their places will take even more stupid and incompetent ones?

Of course, it hurts me about Dikson. The settlement doesn't live now, it rather survives. Everything is very acute now – medicine, and lack of working places, and others more. But there is also
the hope for something better, for future and for revival. Dikson is a very small settlement, it doesn't need much investment. Average inhabitants can hardly do anything in this regard, a strong wish and persistence of the government are needed.
In the soviet time that existed on earth: during some years when Chernomyrdyn was a prime minister two resolutions referring to the tiny Dikson were taken by Council of Ministers. Why? Because the leaders were persistent, they managed to persuade not only the governor of the region but also the chair of Council of Ministers. Now I can't even imagine something like that, they are just the wrong people. Dikson was also visited by the governor Tolokonskiy who repeatedly promised to engage in
the development of Dixon, and so did his assistant. So we have to require insistently that those promises come true. Manna from heaven won't fall for itself. Only if the President Putin comes on Dikson, all the problems will be solved momently like in all places he has visited. We can hardly count on it too, so it is more than likely that in the nearest future only the hope stays.

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Of course, it hurts me about Dikson. The settlement doesn't live now, it rather survives. Everything is very acute now – medicine, and lack of working places, and others more.
______
I think, the common sense will triumph over all, the authorities of our country will understand they already seem to begin to understand) that the unthinking breakdown of the Arctic –
the removal of the military units from the island, closing the polar stations – was a huge stupidity and will occupy themselves with the renewal of our attendance in the Arctic. And not just attendance, but also with the organization of people's normal life here. It was possible to build a great frontier post Nagurskaya on Alexandra Land. I was there in times when the post was new and have recently watched on television what it looks like now – they are oil and vinegar! That means, that we can do everything if we want. And having the North Fleet in the Arctic! The ships of
the North Fleet were by the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Dikson and that gave the festival so great solidity. I want to express my thanks to the commander's substitute of the North Fleet, the vice-admiral Sokolov Viktor Nikolayevich and the huge shame to our local officials.
I love the North very much. And not only Dikson. I have already spent three holidays in a different way, not as other people do.
I didn't go to Egypt, Turkey or the Dominikana, I went to the Far East. On one of my holidays I went to Kamchatka visited Vladivostok on my way. The weather on Kamchatka is not very different from the weather on Dikson in spring, so I went from
the winter into the winter. Another time I went to Magadan. This year I have traveled to Khabarovsk and on Sakhalin. And I have no pity of it, although some people don't understand me, even the people from Dikson.

«Morzyanka»

A song from the film The concert - kaleidoscope, 1965.
Music M.Fradkin, lyrics M. Plyatskovsky, performer Vladislav Geikh.
| Turn on the sound and check the volume on your computer |



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