Professional Days in Russia
Visitors to Russia who have happened to live there for a period of time longer than you would expect from a tourist, will have noticed the country’s fascinating tradition of celebrating professional days. These are days in the calendar which are different from public holidays and mark professional achievements of groups of workers, specific to an industry. For example, 27th April is Notaries’ Day in Russia, 27th August is Miners’ Day, while 5th October is Teachers’ Day. It’s fairly usual for employees of companies and organisations operating in such industries to have corporate parties, teambuilding outings or other extravaganza on the day.
Many of such days go back to the times of the Soviet Union. For instance, Cosmonautics Day on 12th April is celebrated on that particular day because on 12th April 1961 the first manned space flight was made by Yuri Gagarin. Or Radio Day on 7th May is a professional day of everyone whose work is related to communications. It was introduced in 1925 on the 30th anniversary of A. Popov’s invention of radio.
Some professional days originate from the tsarist days. Russian Students Day is marked on 25th January after in 1755 Empress Elizaveta signed a decree to open a university in Moscow.
A number of professional days are quite recent, such as Russian Sign Language Interpreters’ Day on 31st October, which was only introduced in 2003 to draw the public’s attention to the issue of the deaf in Russia. There are only three sign language interpreters per 1000 deaf people in Russia, while in Finland, for example, the ratio is 300/1,000.
There are international days, of course, such as Translators and Interpreters Day on 30th September or International Nurses Day on 12th May.
Whichever industry you are engaged in, I think it’s quite a nice thing to have a professional day to remember your accomplishments, set new goals and simply share fun experiences with others who are doing the same thing for a living.
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