Finnish specialists settled in Norilsk in mid-1970s

Finnish specialists settled in Norilsk in mid-1970s

June 20, 2023

The first guests who settled in Norilsk for years were capitalist Finland’s residents.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. We signed an agreement with Finnish specialists on turnkey installation and maintenance of a new technological scheme at the Nadezhda metallurgical plant under construction. Finns began to live and work in the northern city in the mid-1970s.

It was important for the city and the Combine authorities not to lose face and to provide guests with normal conditions not only for work, but also for life.

For a comfortable stay for Finns, Norilsk has prepared everything possible: from accommodation and meals to camp sites and musical instruments for rent.

The guests were accommodated in new comfortable high-rise buildings – at Talnahskaya, 68 and 70. A Norilsk hotel branch was opened there. Singles were settled in one-room apartments, families – even in five-room apartments.

BOKMO was built nearby – a maintenance unit for a youth hostels complex – with a sports hall, a gym and a sauna. Then there were rumors that it was built specifically for the Finns, who simply cannot live without a sauna within walking distance.

And across the road, in the Kavkaz (Caucasus) restaurant, a canteen was opened for the Finns. Specialties revealed a kaleidoscope of Caucasian cuisine. However, foreigners still preferred to eat at home. On the other hand, they sat in the bar without getting out: in Finland there was a dry law, but in our restaurants you could drink as much as you want.

It happened that ‘tired’ foreigners were gathered around the Caucasus restaurant in snowdrifts.

It was easy to distinguish foreign guests from Norilsk residents: they walked around in bright puffer jackets that had never been seen before, while sheepskin coats were considered the most fashionable clothes among our people.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we talked about the fact  that in 1930s transport issue in Norilsk was solved in winter with the help of reindeer teams.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

June 20, 2023

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