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13 FEBRUARY 2012 147 880
In ancient times, people of most ethnic groups used to pray like the Mari El Pagans do to this day. These people are so loyal to their gods that their belief survived both the Christian expansion and the ban on all religions during Soviet times. Their ceremonies resemble scenes from Hogwarts, but their religious leader looks nothing like Alan Rickman. Meet Europe's last pagans on RTDoc.
German people with Russian past or Russian people with German blood? There used to be times when they had to hide their descent, but now they are free to say that they are Germans. RTDoc finds out why they don't want to go back to Germany, what their life here is like, and how they manage to preserve their culture.
Take a trip to a place of wild beauty situated between the Urals and Siberia. Drive an off-road vehicle, hunt for semi-precious stones and enjoy cliff-top views. But watch out for bears – an encounter with one can come as an unpleasant surprise!