Catchword Award goes to Sakhalin Energy

Sakhalin Energy co-wins the All-Russia Language Diversity Public Award “Catchword”. The Catchword Award was established by the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs (FAEA) in 2017. The Catchword jury received over 500 applications, which were shortlisted to seven finalists. Sakhalin Energy is a co-winner, but it is also the only participant representing business, as well as the only one from the Russian Far East.

The Catchword Award ceremony was held in Moscow as part of the First Forum-Dialogue “Linguistic Policy: Russian Expertise” on 3 October 2017. Sakhalin Energy's project “Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural and Linguistic Heritage of the Nivkh People of Sakhalin” dedicated to the works of recognised Nivkh author Vladimir Sangi received a special award as a Socially Responsible Business. The award was presented by Maxim Fateev, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

The Catchword jury filed an initiative with FAEA to reward the author and public figure Vladimir Sangi for his long-term socially useful work. Igor Barinov, the FAEA Head, supported this initiative. In his speech he appreciated the value of the project: “The Nivkh language is on the UNESCO endangered list. The situation was made even worse due to the fact that the Nivkh language used to exist only in a verbal form and had no writing until recently. Actually, until Vladimir Sangi created the Nivkh alphabet… It was thanks to Vladimir Sangi that the Nivkh language obtained a future - a real possibility for the Nivkh people to communicate in writing and to create literary works.” Igor Barinov proposed that the award be delivered to Vladimnir Sangi on Sakhalin, where his home is.

Respect and support for human rights is one of the principles of Sakhalin Energy's social performance. The company pays special attention to the preservation of the unique culture and languages of indigenous minorities of the North of Sakhalin. For many years Sakhalin Energy has been supporting linguistic and folklore studies and publication of books on languages and verbal folklore of native ethnic groups. Vladimir Sangi, the founder of classical Nivkh literature, has been making an invaluable contribution to the treasury box of national culture of his people.

Since 2015, in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the author, the company, jointly with the Government, the Ministry of Culture and Archives and the Ministry of Education of the Sakhalin Oblast, has been implementing a partnership project entitled "Preservation and promotion of the cultural and linguistic heritage of Sakhalin Nivkhs". As part of the project aimed at preservation of the Nivkh language, a number of actions were undertaken, including: international round table discussion entitled "Preservation and Promotion of the Cultural and Linguistic Heritage of the Nivkh People of Sakhalin" held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, exhibition "World of the Nivkhs" in the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), digitisation of the works of Nivkh writer Vladimir Sangi (together with the Russian State Library), production of “Vladimir Sangi. Fairy-Tales” audio CD. The fairy-tales were recorded in Nivkh (read by the author) and Russian (read by famous Russian actors).

These events contributed to the popularisation of the culture and languages of indigenous minorities, in particular Sakhalin Nivkhs, preservation of their distinctive cultural and linguistic heritage, creation of conditions for continuous development of the potential of indigenous minorities, on the one hand, and dissemination of knowledge about their culture and traditions, on the other.

The Catchword Award

6 October 2017