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#1 - JRL 7210
"Old Fox" Day celebrated in Ukraine by Ostap Bender followers.

DONETSK, June 4 (Itar-Tass ) -- An international festival of humour that was given a symbolic name - Old Fox Day, opened in Nikopol- a regional centre of the Dnepropetrovsk region in Ukraine on Wednesday.

The Old Fox Day is dedicated to a famous character from a popular satirist novel about an enterprising dealer, Ostap Bender, who was known in the former Soviet Union as a symbol of cunningness, knack for business and steadfast pursuit of one's goal.

Ostap Bender had a real prototype- Osip Shor, who was born precisely in Nikopol in 1899 - the fact local residents are proud of. The life story described by Osip Shor to popular satirists Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov - the authors of popular novels about Ostap Bender, was turned into a scenario for their books.

The population of the town of Nikopol, who are immensely proud of their fellow countryman, help the town live up to the fame of the "great strategist. " The townsfolk enjoy telling stories about their latest adventure - a nature radio they have created that instead of music broadcasts nightingale and seagulls songs and sounds made by a woodpecker and other birds.

The Old Fox Day has been celebrated for a second time over the past two years. The celebrations continue for several days during which the townsfolk take part in a chess tournament, funny competitions and puzzles linked to their favourite book character. Next year, the countrymen of the "great strategist " are planning to proclaim their humour festival not merely an international, but rather an inter-galactic event.

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