Don't be surprised if the streets are empty and curtains drawn in this central Russian region Wednesday as residents take up an offer by the regional governor to help stem Russia's demographic crisis.
Ulyanovsk Gov. Sergei Morozov has decreed Sept. 12 a Day of Conception and is giving couples time off from work to procreate. Couples who give birth nine months later on Russia's national day -- June 12 -- will receive money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes.
It's the third year that the Volga River region, about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held the contest. Since then, the number of competitors -- and the number of babies born -- has been on the rise.
"If there's a good, healthy atmosphere at home within the family, if the husband and wife both love each other and their child, they will be in good spirits and that will extend to the workplace. So there will be a healthy atmosphere throughout the country," he told AP Television News. "The leadership (of the country) is interested in the family."
Wow. IDK what to say to that one...