What do you know about the Far East?
What do you know about the Far East? For most foreigners and for me, the answer is: not much.
Even though my studies at Uppsala University is meant to make me a specialist on Russia, the truth is it mainly focus on to Russia as a whole. And when we do “zoom in” somewhere in Russia, we end up in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other cities of historical importance, such as Novgorod.
Russia as we know today had its base in the North-West and only centuries later expanded to Siberia and beyond to the Far East. When it comes to major historical events, we see the same pattern. Revolutions, wars, major reforms, etc. tend to happen in capital city in European Russia first. Only after that does it spread to the rest of the country.
On top of this, the Far East is just so far away. And so, Western observers put their attention accordingly.
My sudden interest in the Far East is inspired by the fact that one of my long-time Russian teacher is from Khabarovsk, and she told me about her city sometimes.
When I look for flights from Moscow to Khabarovsk, it is quite cheap considering how far it is. Flights from Stockholm to Kiev and back takes about 2 hours. The price is around €200 or ₽17,500. Flights from Moscow to Khabarovsk and back takes about 8 hours and covers 5 times the distance. The price is… also €200 or ₽17,500 (!?).
So, price is not an obstacle for Westerners to visit the Far East.
Watch these videos
Since the pandemic also brought us all a lot of free tine, I have been watching more Russian videos on Youtube. I came across some interesting channels about the Far East. Here are two of them that I like.
The first video, and channel, I can recommend is Natasha from Spassk, who studies in Khabarovsk. In this video below, you see how the university in Khabarovsk looks like and which, if you’ve been to Russia, will be surprisingly similar to other parts of the country, regardless of the distance. Yet, there is also a regional flavour.
The second video, and channel, and I can recommend is this video. Zach (Zakhar) who lives in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, another Far Eastern city with a relatively large population and interesting history. Like the Khabarovsk video, while this one does not show a large number of touristy places. Still, it is very nice to see how everything looks like here.
Hope you enjoyed it! Now that you get an introduction, I hope to make a quiz about the Far East next time so that all you Russian language learners can also learn more concrete facts about the Far East as well.
Till next time!