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Buzzing from People Day

Where to begin? I am buzzing..  just buzzing. What a Day,- and half the world hasn’t even woken up yet!

Today is our sixth International Polar Day, and we are focusing on People in the Polar Regions. Plans for the day have been very experimental, very grassroots, much in line with IPY.. but with that comes that great big unknowingness....  will anyone join in? Will anyone turn up?

Last night, midnight, social science researchers were sending me photos and updates for their project pages, this morning at 10 am one colleague wrote and said “no-one has called yet” and added more contact information to his personal profile; this morning there was an eerie quiet in the office.

And it stayed quiet. For a while. But we watched virtual balloons being launched around the world, and knew that participation had begun.

At 10.30am, I visited the TakingITGlobal Discussion page and to my delight discovered artwork and presentations already uploaded from students at Douglas Harkness Elementary School in the US.


The teacher who initiated this, Jeannette, said
These pieces were generated after viewing artwork from recent northern artists. We discussed the relevance of these selections to the environment, sites and sounds of the Arctic as experienced by the peoples of the past and present who made the Arctic home.
The frames contain glossary words chosen as appropriate to the Northerns Polar Region.


Meanwhile, teenage students in Greenland had been making slideshows talking about what their life is like. Paulus, for instance, tells us..

which is a common theme. Hans Peter also likes football:

as do Kaka and Paneeraq:

Aviaq F likes many things:

and also discusses being Inuk:

as does Aviaq P, who likes dogs, football, icecream, music and films:

But the most food for thought perhaps came from Lars Kristian:
I don’t wanna be in greenland because I wanna work somewhere in the world.... But I love Greenland that is a problem I don’t wanna tell you… this problem is so huge big (sorry)… but I can tell you I have a problem

and from Anna Lena and Turpaarnaq:
To us is important to talk in Greenlandic in ours town. And other respect to us some are Greenlandic. And Hunter or sealer is very important to us because is Greenlandic culture.

This is hopefully all great food for thought also for students in warmer latitudes who are today discussing community and how lives vary all around the world. Today is only the launch of these discussions,- the site will remain open and we encourage teachers and students to share their ideas. Great big thanks to Chris Paton and his inspiring class in Greenland who encouraged the above presentations.

And now.... on to the next major highlight of my day… RADIO!!


What can I say? CKLB have really gone above and beyond all hopes and expectations with their 24-hour People at the Poles Broadcast.

The European event started at 12.30 for me, in the UK.. and that means it was 5.30am for William Greenland and Dane Gibson who were planning, hosting, and broadcasting the show from Yellowknife, Canada.
The highlight for me was most certainly hearing teachers and students in Zambia asking questions of an IPY researcher Sverker Sorlin in Sweden, facilitated by an aboriginal community radio team in Arctic Canada.


The connection was made as a result of Nicola meeting Lucky Musonda in Norway during the IPY Land and Life Day in June at the UNEP TUNZA Children’s Conference


As a result, Lucky has brought together students in Zambia who today are celebrating People Day and connecting to the Arctic!


Through a different connection from the same conference, we also had a phone in from a teacher in Greece who was able to ask questions of IPY researcher, Grete Hovelsrud.

Ok: enough! People Day is still rolling and RIGHT NOW the north american broadcast begins.. so I have to post this and start listening again!

Thanks to all who have put in so much work for this Day, especially the IPY Researchers, the Canadian IPY Secretariat, CKLB Radio, TakingITGlobal, and Tagzania.

thanks to Rasmus Rasmussen for the primary photo of students in Greenland, it was taken by Aka Hansen, another member of the research team, and is of one of the classes they visited during their survey in East Greenland.

Thanks also to Lucky Musondo for images of students today in Zambia. Here is a photo of Lucky in Zambia,- he is the Secretary-General of the United Nations Youths Association of Zambia (YUNA-Zambia)


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