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Torn From The Tundra

Children of reindeer herders leave the Tundra to start school in the city

For the Nenets indigenous people, life revolves around reindeer herding, providing nomads with food, shelter, and transportation. Following the deer, they often migrate while living in a self-made chum, a tipi-like house made of fur, along the way. Sometimes, the herders have to disassemble the chum and put it back together the very next day to migrate again. If they don’t do this, the large herd will eventually destroy the soil of the grazing area with their hooves, preventing lichen growth the following year and potentially exposing the entire reindeer population and herders' families to the risk of starvation.
Accustomed to harsh living conditions, Nenets children help their parents care for the herds, build traditional sledges, and enjoy the typical Nenets diet of reindeer meat, fish, and berries. When it's time for them to go to school, some parents worry that their children will choose the comforts of the city life over their traditional nomadic ways of living; while others believe that living in a city offers a better future for their kids.