The favourite word of Norilsk schoolchildren is ‘actirovka’. For the first time in Norilsk, days with bad weather conditions, when students were allowed not to attend classes, were officially approved in December 1953. Then the order on the procedure for stopping work in the open air and stopping classes in schools in the city on frosty days was issued.
For schoolchildren of the 1-3 grades, lessons were not conducted at temperatures below minus 40 degrees and wind exceeding three meters per second. Pupils of 4-5 grades were allowed to stay at home at temperatures below minus 45 degrees, regardless of the strength of the wind; grades 6-10 – at temperatures below minus 45 and wind of more than three meters per second. School principals were required to arrange for conversations with students about frostbite prevention.
Almost all Norilsk families started morning by listening to the report on the weather days off on the city radio. Since 1977, actirovkas have been announced not only by radio, but also by city telephone communication along with the weather forecast.
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Text: Svetlana Samokhina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive