Vasily Ledkov finished his translation of "Kalevala" into Nenets almost twenty years ago, but never saw it published in his lifetime. Boris Egorov, director of the Arkhangelsk Literature Museum, promised Ledkov to publish his book, and kept his promise: together with Roza Kanyukova, an expert in the Nenets language, he prepared a special Finnish-Russian-Nenets edition, which was presented to the students of the Naryan-Mar Social Humanitarian College, who study the Nenets language.
Students watched a theatrical sketch "The Singers of Kalevala" (Kalevala Pusketsya) in Nenets, and listened to several runes of the epic, accompanied by piano accordion and music from the symphonic poem "Kullervo" by Jean Sibelius.
The edition includes photos and illustrations made by professional artists alongside with drawings prepared by children who participated in the creative project “We Listen to Sibelius, we read Kalevala”. This project was implemented at the municipal libraries of Arkhangelsk as a part of the Russian-Finnish Cultural Forum.
"- Why is it important to me? Vasily Ledkov is a classic Nenets author. This work of his has shown how rich the Nenets language is - one can translate world classics into it. The Nenets people raised such a poet. Vasily was born in tundra, then received an excellent education - he graduated from the Herzen Leningrad Pedagogical Institute*. His translation shows how rich the languages of the indigenous peoples of the North really are. Those languages must be protected and preserved. Northern peoples are very close in spirit, as are their cultures and lifestyles", - says Boris Egorov.
*today Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, a UArctic member institution which hosts a unique scientific and educational center for indigenous peoples of the North - Institute of the Peoples of the North (founded in 1925) - which prepares indigenous professionals in the fields of ethnopedagogy, ethnophilology and ethnocultural studies for the regions of the North, Siberia and the Far East of Russia.