Monthly Archives: July 2009

Mari Wedding dance (VIDEO)

Morko region Wedding dance – Mari El dance company:

Source: Mari TV

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Human Rights Groups in Kazan Targeted


Police and tax auditors raided the offices of two human rights organizations in Kazan, the capital city of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, on 20 July 2009. The raids targeted the interregional human rights association AGORA and the Kazan Human Rights Center, disrupting their work.

The authorities confiscated the computer of AGORA’s chief accountant and more than 2,000 documents. Continue reading


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Moscow Should Subsidize Only Ethnic Russian Mothers, Historian Says

strane_nuzhnyWhen the Russian government adopted a program several years ago intended to boost the country’s low birthrate, some commentators worried that it would increase that rate among non-Russians where it was already high and do little to raise it among ethnic Russians where the current fertility rate is far below replacement levels. Continue reading

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‘Europe’s Last Pagans’ Worship in Marii El Grove

Worshippers standing opposite a spruce where men were conducting prayers in a sacred grove near the village of Marisola in the Marii El republic.More than 50 worshippers gathered in a sacred grove on a hot June afternoon outside the village of Marisola. The crowd, mostly women dressed in national costumes and colorful headscarves, stood on a glade opposite a spruce where men were busy conducting prayers.

The congregation kneeled while the men under the spruce, dressed in suits, white felt hats and linen towels cast over their shoulders, said prayers in a low, monotone murmur. Continue reading


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Erzyas Seek Republic Status

ErzyansFurious at what they see as threats to their language and culture, the Erzyas, a 300,000 plus-strong Finno-Ugric linguistic community that Moscow has long treated as part of the Mordvin nation, are demanding that Moscow agree to establish a separate and distinct Erzyan Autonomous Republic within the Russian Federation

The Congress of the Erzya People (“Erzyan’ Inekuzho”) ten days ago declared that discrimination against their nation has become so severe and so violates the norms of international law and the Russian Constitution that it had no choice but to seek its own autonomous republic. Continue reading

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