It is not by chance that the Geographical Dictation has the status of an international educational event. This year, in addition to Russia, it was held at 276 foreign venues, in 106 countries of the world.
The Center of the Russian Geographical Society in France, together with the Russian House of Science and Culture in Paris, held the Geographical Dictation, in which the Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia Valery Falkov took part. The day before, he’d arrived on a business visit to France. The head of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation noted the great importance of this international educational campaign of the RGS.
"We value international cooperation and intercultural humanitarian exchanges," the minister said. "I hope that this event will not only draw attention to Russia, to the research projects that we are jointly implementing, but will also give impetus to the development of new projects." Valery Falkov reminded that there is a special cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Russian Geographical Society. Its goals are to create conditions for the study and popularization of national geography in universities and improve the quality of higher geographical and environmental education, as well as interaction in organizing and conducting the Geographical Dictation.
"We actively support each other, and I am very pleased to be at this venue and be talking with you today. I would really like the results to not disappoint you. But the main thing is the opportunity to socialize, test your knowledge and listen to interesting people," said Valery Falkov.
The event was also attended by life member of the French Geographical Society, writer Jean-Louis Gouraud and vice-president of the French Association of Russianists, the largest association of the Russian language teachers in France, Myriam Truel.
Jean-Louis Gouraud gave a lecture on the journey of Dmitry Peshkov from Blagoveshchensk-on-Amur to St. Petersburg. At the end of the 19th century, the Amur Cossack on Serko the horse covered the distance of nine thousand kilometers in less than 200 days. Gouraud wrote a novel about this story, which was subsequently turned into a movie.
At the venue in Paris, the Dictation was taken by both our compatriots living here and the French participants , for whom the Center of the Russian Geographical Society in France translated the questions into French. French-Russian families, heads and teachers of schools, travelers, students, graduate students, high school students took part in the Dictation. The younger children had their own program, which included a quiz and a geography lesson. Young participants of the Dictation showed presentations about their trips to Russia.
As the head of the Center of the Russian Geographical Society in France Daria Loyola told us, about 60 people had taken part in the Dictation in Paris, almost half of them were children. A third of the participants took it in French. And the best result was shown by Anna Rakitina, a graduate student of the Department of Archeology and History of Art at Sorbonne: 34 correct answers to 40 questions.
Exactly five years ago, the Geographical Dictation was held for the first time at the Private Moscow International School in Antalya. Since then, the event has grown in popularity.
“The acquaintance of Russian compatriots living in Turkish Antalya with the activities of the Russian Geographical Society was due to the Geographical Dictation. But we were not going to stop there. After a while, at our school, a subdivision of the Youth Club of the Russian Geographical Society was created, which included high school students and young people who take an active part in all the events and projects of the Russian Geographical Society," said Alexander Babaev, head of the Youth Club of the Geographical Society and development director at the Private Moscow International School in Antalya.
On November 14, 22 people came to test their knowledge of the geography of Russia.
"In my opinion, the questions in the Dictation have become much easier than three or four years ago, thus it has become more accessible for those who graduated from school long ago, or for those who have never been to Russia," shared her observations Yulia Leshchina, geography teacher and a head of the venue of the Dictation.
Members of Eureka Youth Club of the Russian Geographical Society, students and teachers of the Russian School No. 1 in the city of Marbella also took part in the Geographical Dictation – 2021 on November 14. The Russian School No. 1 in Marbella has become the venue for the educational campaign for the fourth time. This year, unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions in Spain, everyone, except for school students, was able to test their knowledge of Russian geography only in an online format, but not only in Russian, but also in Spanish.
"In Spain, interest in Russia is growing every year, so all the events carried out to popularize the geography, history and culture of our country evoke a response from the local population and a desire to get to know them better," said the school director, expert at Eureka Youth Club of the RGS Irina Chistyakova. By the way, Irina Anatolyevna became one of the finalists of the competition for the best question for the Dictation, her task was the ninth.
20 people took part in the Dictation at the school in Marbella, among them were the students who took it for the third time.
Employees at the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva took the Geographical Dictation in-person at the venue that was opened on the school grounds at the Permanent Mission. At the desks, sat together the students of the school, its teachers, diplomats, the leadership of the Permanent Mission. Before the Dictation, the school's guitar ensemble headed by Vice-principal Irina Lel performed the famous bard's "Hymn of the Geographer" with the lyrics by K. Losev.
All participants came in high spirits, and the process of answering questions was easy and fun. This was facilitated, among other things, by the presenter of the Dictation, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and a certified geographer with a specialization in hydrology and meteorology Elena Manaenkova.
Many of the participants had taken the Geographical Dictation before, including Gennady Gatilov, permanent representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva. Most of all he liked the question that included the poems of Alexander Pushkin. But the general amusement was caused by the question about Kem Volost, that reminded the participants of the famous "diplomatic scene" from the comedy by Leonid Gaidai.
“Our participants unanimously noted the originality of the Dictation’s tasks, which required not only knowledge of various aspects of geography, ethnography, economics and history of Russia, but also resourcefulness and ingenuity,” said Alexey Zhelokhovtsev, attaché of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation. “We saw the results of the painstaking work of the Dictation’s organizers at the Russian Geographical Society, who prepared and selected the most interesting, albeit often difficult, questions. It was not scary to answer them. At least that's what the students at the school at the Permanent Mission say. I liked the great photos that accompanied the questions. The Russian desmans alone are something else! We are ready for new tests of knowledge next year. And for our part, we will think about what questions we could suggest ourselves.”