5 Russian cities that highlight its rich ethnic diversityBy Vika https://pictolic.com/en/article/5-russian-cities-that-highlight-its-rich-ethnic-diversity
Buddhist temples, ancient fortresses, and a city where alcohol is not sold - all this and much more is in Russia.
Russia is a multicultural country with nearly 200 different nationalities. Many regions have retained their traditional cultures and languages, and the cities in these regions are full of local character and are strikingly different from other places in Russia.
1. Kyzyl, the capital of Tyva.
Kyzyl does not look like an ordinary Russian city. There are many unusual sculptures of epic folk heroes, Buddhist temples, and a large prayer drum donated by Buddhist monks to an Indian monastery.
2. Derbent, Dagestan.
The city of Derbent in Dagestan (in the North Caucasus) is indeed one of the most unusual cities in Russia. Firstly, it is over 2000 years old (this anniversary was in 2015). In the city, there is an old Derbent fortress with the Juma mosque, dating back to the middle of the 8th century. Secondly, it is considered the most ethnically diverse city in Russia. Derbent, with a population of only 125,000, has mosques (both Shiite and Sunni), Orthodox churches and synagogues, as well as festivals of various peoples of Dagestan.
3. Elista, the capital of Kalmykia.
This small town, located in the middle of the southern Russian steppes, is the center of Buddhist culture and the country's chess capital. Two-thirds of the 100,000 people living here are ethnic Kalmyks. They are predominantly Buddhists, so there are Buddhist temples both inside and around the city.
4. Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.
Grozny is a modern metropolis with skyscrapers, shopping centers, wide avenues, and a slightly Middle Eastern atmosphere. The women here cover their hair and wear long skirts. Smoking is frowned upon, so you will hardly ever see a person on the street with a cigarette. Alcohol is also strongly discouraged, it is sold only for two hours in the morning from 8:00 to 10:00 in large supermarkets, and in the evening it is served in only one restaurant in the city.
5. Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia.
This is one of the most amazing cities in Russia, combining Yakut culture, Siberian frosts down to -50 and permafrost. All buildings here are built on piles so that their heating does not melt the permafrost, and the facades are painted in bright colors that help to navigate the city through the frosty fog. In winter, many local residents wear traditional Yakut fur boots (high fur boots) or Russian felt boots, because ordinary shoes here will not carry you far.