#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. They called it Severok (made from the word Sever – North). He hosted programs, did homework with the school audience, read poetry, talked about good manners, even flew on business trips around Taimyr. When Severok went on the air three times a week, almost the whole of Norilsk sat down to the TVs.
Interesting, that the hero-doll appeared on Norilsk screens several years earlier than the similar stars of the Central Television Hryusha and Stepashka from the Good Night, Kids TV show.
The Norilsk Severok gained real all-Union popularity after it became the hero of the main children’s poet of that time – Samuil Marshak’s book. In one of the broadcasts, Severok and his viewers decided to write him a letter. The poet liked the correspondence from Norilsk children so much that he composed a whole poem about him.
Excerpts from this poem were published in Izvestia, in the Pioneer magazine, and then it came out as an independent publication. The illustrations for the children’s book were made by the artist Vladimir Bogatkin, who in 1963 flew to Norilsk on purpose. The city in his drawings is quite recognizable.
Correspondence between Severok and Marshak became a separate section of children’s programs on Norilsk TV.
Severok became a star so quickly that his fame went beyond the television screens limits. In 1966, the only specialized children’s store in Norilsk was named after him.
In the History Spot photo project’s previous publication, we talked about the fact that there was an interesting tradition in the Norilsk basin – New Year’s parties in water.
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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive