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Posts Tagged ‘soviet union’

My husband heard that the Kiev subway is a popular place for older Russians and Ukrainians to go dancing. So I Googled around a bit and found stories at Odd Stuff Magazine, here, and the Daily Mail, here. And a video at YouTube. In today’s world, you can’t keep a good story down.

At the Daily Mail (which seems to favor bullet points) Helen Lawson writes, “Saturday night fever: The subway where Kiev’s pensioners dance and find love.

  •     The dancers cannot afford to pay for a venue so they use a metro subway
  •     The group meets every Saturday at 7 pm to socialise and dance
  •     About 20 couples are known to have met thanks to the meet-ups
  •     Reuters photographer Gleb Garanich documented the weekly gatherings

At Odd Stuff, photographer Garanichev Hleb (is that the same Reuters guy?) asks the subjects of his photos about the dance scene. “Milevsky Nicholas was born in 1938 and Natalia Stolyarchuk born in 1955 met at these dances and has since moved in together. This is one of the 20 couples who met at these clubs. ..

“Despite his age, both retired and still work together earn about 4,000 hryvnia per month. …

“These people do not communicate in social networks, but still remember all the holidays of childhood and youth, when put on the table, to visit friends and neighbors come, everywhere sounded cheerful sounds of accordion.” More.

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You might be interested in this article about how Dayton, Ohio, is welcoming immigrants as part of its effort to spur economic growth.

Dylan Scott at Governing magazine writes, “In contrast to some states’ anti-immigration policies, a few cities are actively trying to attract immigrants to boost their own economies. …

“City officials estimate that 10 percent of the Ahiska Turks in the United States have established themselves here in Dayton. But they aren’t alone. There are also immigrants from Mexico, Vietnam, Samoa and elsewhere.

“Watching some of these residents’ difficulty in adjusting to their new surroundings — some encountering language barriers and others struggling to secure housing — convinced city officials they needed to do more to help.

“Dayton’s Human Relations Council, a city department that investigates discrimination complaints, started in 2010 by initiating a study into allegations from Hispanic residents regarding housing discrimination. Around the same time, City Manager Tim Riordan and City Commissioner Matt Joseph resolved to make public services more accessible for those who spoke English as a second language.

“It didn’t take long for Dayton’s leaders to figure out that incremental steps wouldn’t do, that the immigration issue needed a comprehensive solution and the involvement of the entire community.

” ‘It requires a huge partnership. There are only so many things we can do as the city,’ Joseph says. ‘And the big thing is an attitude change. We have to make sure we’re encouraging people to be more welcoming and that the incentives are running the right way. That’s our role.’ …

“Dayton officials seized on a growing academic consensus that embracing immigrants is beneficial to the country as a whole and specifically the economy. A June 2011 Brookings Institution report concluded: ‘U.S. global competitiveness rests on the ability of immigrants and their children to thrive economically and to contribute to the nation’s productivity.’ The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote last year that research shows ‘immigrants significantly benefit the U.S. economy.’ ” Read more.

Photograph: Tim Witmer
Sarvar Ispahi, his son Uzeir and their family moved to the United States from Russia in 2005 after Ahiska Turks were granted refugee status by the federal government. They chose Dayton because a refugee community was already forming there.

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