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Russian cultural centre opens in US Memphis

January 15, 2012, 9:42 UTC+3

“Day of Russia” will be marked annually and is approved not only at the city level, but at the Memphis district level

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NEW YORK, January 15 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Cultural Centre, called upon to promote the dialogue between Russia and the US opened on Saturday in Memphis, the largest city in the American Tennessee State.

To mark this event, the local authorities proclaimed January 14 Day of Russian Federation.

“Day of Russia” will be marked annually and is approved not only at the city level, but at the Memphis district level. An appropriate document, proclaiming this day was presented by the district governor at the centre’s unveiling,” said representative of the Russian cooperation agency in the US Yuri Zaitsev to Itar-Tass.

Along with District Governor Mark Luttrel, he snipped the ribbon before the entrance to the building, located in the Memphis central street – Main Street.

The opening ceremony was also attended by city Mayor A C Wharton, US Congress member from the Tennessee State Steve Cohen, Senator Brian Kelsey, prominent representatives of the local Russian-speaking diaspora, as well as Russian and American reporters.

According to the Russian tradition, the guests were welcomed with bread and salt. Following the start, other delicatessen were also offered, including pies with various fillings. The gathering was addressed by young businessmen – participants in the exchange programme, organized by the Russian cooperation agency.

The initiative of setting up the Russian Cultural Centre was put forth by the non-government organization New World Connection whose aim is to establish the dialogue between citizens of the US, Russia and Central Asia. Assistance is also given by the mission of the Russian cooperation agency in the US – the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Washington.

Coordinator of the New World Connection Bek Niyazov told Itar-Tass that a place of prominence in the operation of the Memphis centre will be given to educational and scientific programmes. “We hope to carry out joint projects both with the Russian and the American sides,” he noted.

“Our main motto is to do away with stereotypes of the cold war and to improve rapprochement between nations. People here do not always have a correct idea of Russia. We shall show them the latest achievements – both in culture and science,” Niyazov underlined.

The programme of Day of Russian Federation continues: Cannon Centre stages a concert by the Memphis Symphonic Orchestra whose programme is “Russians: from Rakhmaninov to Chaikovsky”.

A great number of visitors is expected to come to the Russian Cultural Centre on the first day of its work. The New World Connection organization plans to establish similar centres in Boston (Massachusetts State) and San Juan (Puerto Rico).


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