The presentation by a Belarusian delegation in Nottingham made me think today. It made me wonder how many Russian cities and towns keep and continue developing their links with British twin towns. The presentation I attended was given by a Belarusian group of companies working on a huge project, a residential development they called Nottingham. They named it after this English city famous for Robin Hood because it’s twinned with Minsk, the Belarusian capital. The twinning connection goes back to as far as 1957 and it’s great to see it still works. It still works for the mutual benefit of both cities.
Kostroma, a provincial Russian city where I was born, has Durham as its sister city. There used to be a tradition of student exchanges which, to my knowledge, is no longer continuing. Sadly, I am somewhat far away from Durham to contribute to keep the cooperation going. Boston in Lincolnshire, where I am based now, as far as I know, has no twin city in Russia, but it is twinned with Laval in France.
So going back to my initial question – I am not sure how many of our English and Russian towns successfully build on their twinning connections and it would be good to know. It’s a great way of promoting tourism, sport and economic development. It’s an excellent way of learning about the two cultures. It’s a fantastic way of gaining valuable experience, may it be for Russian translators and interpreters like myself, or for a nurse or an engineer on a partnership visit. I hope there are many more examples of the Nottingham project, I really do. I hope to find it out.
Another English city, Nottingham, has this week (23rd July 2009) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on establishing twinning links with a Russian city, Krasnodar. The initiative is particularly promising as Sochi, the host of the Winter Olympics in 2014, is part of Krasnodar Region. I was privileged to interpret for the official delegation from Krasnodar on their visit to Nottingham organised by UK Trade and Investment and Nottingham City Council.
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