• Sergey Solonskiy

Part 2. Animation, Khokhloma and hygge.


The day began with a tour of Tomsk, provided by one of the best guides in my opinion Pavel Rachkovskiy, Head of Cultural Heritage and Education Section, Department of Culture and Tourism of the Tomsk region. He knows this city and its history really well, and I am always excited to interpret him, even though it is not easy.

Then I helped Maximiliane with an interview for a local TV-channel State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company, after which we moved to Na Oblachke (On a little cloud) children’s crafts studio. Here, Maximiliane gave a master class on animation for kids. She showed them examples of how one can use all kinds of everyday objects to make animated stories. I can say that even the grown-ups were interested. As it usually happens, the kids voiced a plenty of creative ideas and brimmed with enthusiasm after talking to Maximiliane. Unfortunately, I was busy interpreting the entire time, so I did not take any photos of this event.

Later that evening, was the time for serious mood, as we visited NKVD House of Detention museum. Those who have seen it can imagine how deeply it affected our guests.


Riina Hyytiä and I visited the Museum of Slavic Mythology. It is quite a picturesque place, but the thing I remembered most was a master class in Khokhloma painting (Google it). Riina surprised us all, having beautifully decorated a wooden spoon in Khokhloma motives in less than an hour.

After the museum, we repeated the tour of Tomsk for Riina, just as we had done the previous day for Maximiliane. Since I had some free time before the next event, and the logistics did not work out for anything else anyway, I volunteered to accompany Riina in walking around Tomsk and finding some mementos. Over this time, we had a wonderful talk, and I could appreciate her clever mind, kindness and a smart multifaceted personality. I am grateful to her for a wonderful testimonial for my website.

In the evening, we moved on to a place I knew very well as my first full-time employment for a petroleum company happened to be there, a business center called Diplomat. However, we did not go to the office of the Indian petroleum company, but to a Hyggesib instead. It is a space, purposefully created by Anna Ogol under the impression from the Dutch concept of Hygge. One could spend a long time explaining the concept, but I will try to be brief. Hygge is a combination of bliss, comfort, tranquility and enjoyment of life. The Danes, whose country has many gloomy and rainy days, create coziness in their homes by organizing the space, lightning and decorations to achieve this very Hygge.

The participants of the meeting learned all of this from Anna Ogol and Maya Lakhav, Trainee at Culture Section, Embassy of Denmark in Russia. Interpreting for them was extremely interesting and educational.

To be continued…

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