There are many things you can experience during your visit or vacation to Russia. If you like to taste Russia’s cuisine, there are many restaurants to pick from when you are in Moscow. If you want to enjoy your meal while surrounded by the 19th-century aristocrat’s house, you must visit Café Pushkin. This very popular café serves only high-quality food and a wide range of vodka’s selection. The service is flawless as well! The popularity of this café is undeniable. So, make sure to book your table first so you will not miss the experience.
If you like to learn about both Moscow’s and Russia’s history, you must go wandering around Red Square. It used to be a market square where people used to sell their goods. But, then, it is turned into the heart of Russia. The cobblestone-constructed building is designed with beautiful architecture. So, for sure you will not get bored by the amazing view during your visit here.
What makes it exciting to visit another city or country is also the chance to observe and learn about a new culture. Learning the cultures of others is a good way to see many practical ways of tolerance. One of the good places to be amazed by this in Ulan-Ude. You can discern the cultural diversity in Ulan-Ude and you are going home with a precious lesson.
The Exemplary Cultural Diversity In Ulan-Ude
- The History Of Ulan-Ude
Ulan-Ude is the Republic of Buryatia’s capital city. There are around 404,426 people populated in this city, which makes it the third-largest among others in the Russian Far East area. It was not initially named Ulan-Ude. At the very beginning, the name was Udinskoye then changed to Udinsk in 1735 and granted town status in 1775. The name was changed for the second time into Verkhneudinsk which literal meaning is “Upper Udinsk”. The reason behind this name is because of the existence of another city called Nizhneudinsk that means “Lower Udinsk”. Finally, it has its present name which means “red Uda” as a reflection of the Soviet Union’s communist ideology.
- The Diverse Culture of Ulan-Ude
One part of the culture is religion. Russia, in general, is populated with 47,1 Christian. 25% of the population is made up of people who state to be spiritual but unaffiliated with any religion, 13% is atheist, and the rest is the mixed up of many religions, such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
The demographic condition in Ulan-Ude is different. The city is famous for its status as the main center of Buddhism in Russia. You can discern the cultural diversity in Ulan-Ude because not only it is the home of Buddhism, but it also represents many kinds of culture which are Orthodoxy and scientific atheism. This condition is because of the Buryat’s people’s land was conquered by the Russian empire. This invasion formed a cultural cocktail you will not find in any other parts of Russia.
- Ulan-Ude’s Lenin Street
Lenin Street is this city’s main street. When you are walking across the Lenin street, you will find stoned and wood-carved merchant houses which create the 19th atmosphere of tsarist Russia. What makes it fun is not only you can enjoy the comfortable and prosperous ambiance, but also the easy access from Lenin Street to Ulan-Ude’s two main squares, Revolution Square and Soviet Square.
At the end of the street, you will discover the Odigitrievsky Cathedral, an Orthodox religion’s church. Despite its seismic location, the church survived through two-time earthquakes. In the same location, you can also find a café called Ulger Café where you can taste the flavor of a mix of traditional Buryat-Mongolian dishes and European food.
- The Buddhist Temple Complex In Ulan-Ude
As stated before, this city is the main center of Buddhism. This fact is proved by The Ivolginsky Datsan, the capital of traditional Sangha Monkhood in Russia. This monastery, Russia’s largest Buddhist temple complex, can be reached in a 30-minute drive from Ulan-Ude. That is not the only monastery in Ulan-Ude. The second one is the only women’s Buddhist monastery in Russia. This special one is called The Zungon Darzhaling Buddhist Women’s Datsan. In this temple, there is a stupa containing sacred relics. It is considered so because of the traces of blood and the Buddha’s piece of bone in it.
The feel of Buddhism does not stop there. You can climb Mount Lysaya where you can feel the enjoyment of viewing the whole city, as well as the river Selenga and Uda from the top. Once you get to the mountain, you will feel the ancient atmosphere comes from Rimpoche Bagsha Buddhist Centre. It will only take you a 15-minute taxi ride from the city center to get there. Then, you can reward yourself with the view, the food in the café, and the souvenir shopping outside of the complex.
- The Sagaalgan Festival
Sagaalgan is the most important festival the Mongolian-speaking people which begins on the first morning of the White Moon. This a-month long festival is a reflection of the Buryat’s (Mongolian people occupied the Buryat Republic) culture where many people take part in old rituals. In conclusion, this festival is the symbol of purification and starting a new life.
The purification part is represented by the burning of old clothes and household items in the evening. Then, the people visit their families and, just like any festivals, have some traditional food, which in this case ar white-dairy based food. Some of them are homemade cheese, dairy cookies, and milk-based vodka. The Mongolians also attend a service at the Buddhist temple in Ulan Ude. They believe the joyful and festive celebration of The Sagaalgan will bring them a new year full of happiness.
Now, you have found out the various cultures in Ulan-Ude. Fascinating, right? 🙂