Year-long Observance of Sorokin's 125th Anniversary in the Komi Republic
Within the Russian Federation, most of the celebrations of Pitirim Sorokin's 125th birthday have been taking place in the Komi Republic, his birthplace in a largely rural region lying at the northeast corner of European Russia. These are planned to continue well into the summer. Most of these events have been government-sponsored to honor Sorokin as a great scholar, a prime Native Son, and an exemplar for young people. His legacy is also being acknowledged in ongoing programs to perpetuate the cultural heritage of the indigenous Finno-Ugric stock (now about 25 percent of the population) from which Pitirim's mother came.
Media coverage of the anniversary has been widespread in Komi. Brief notices have appeared in almost all newspapers together with more comprehensive editorials in magazines and journals about the significance of Sorokin's life. As outlined in a letter to Dr. Sergei Sorokin from Vyacheslav Gaizer, Head ("Glava") of the Komi Republic, some events have been aimed at the general public and others at different target audiences such as school children, college students and teachers, and the research community. One of the main goals stipulated in the government's program is to educate the public, especially children, about Pitirim Sorokin: who he was, and why Komi should be proud of him. At various times in recent years and again in February, 2014, "Sorokin lessons" were taught to young school children in many cities and villages. One held in the central city library of far-north Vorkuta included a display of books written by Sorokin or about him. Two competitions for the best essay or research paper about his legacy were held in secondary schools throughout Komi during 2013, and a third one in March, 2014, at the Syktyvkar State University, the Republic's leading institution of higher education.