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Discovering Russia 20 January 2012 161 3527
In windswept Siberia, shamans have for generations cured illnesses without touching their patients, sung with their diaphragms and controlled the weather. Some can travel over long distances and even levitate, hovering above the birch trees. They regularly communicate with kind and evil spirits. One of them, Tyurgen, manages to balance shamanism with life in industrial Chelyabinsk. Apart from his spiritual activities, he practices a unique musical style - electronic music with folk instruments, throat singing, and folklore-inspired lyrics. We also meet a doctor of anthropology who explains what really goes on in a shaman's brain when he is in a trance state.
A writer steps in to save the identity of his people. The Nivkh are Russia’s Northern people, native to the island of Sakhalin. After their territory was discovered first by Russian, then Japanese explorers, their culture and language were put on the brink of extinction. Now, their chief has a plan for how they might be restored.
People living in the tundra are accustomed to a nomadic life. Their homes are ascetic, food is basic, and deers are their everything. They don’t watch TV or use the Internet. However, their children do go to boarding schools, but not all parents are in favor of them. Find out more about life and education out on the tundra on RTDoc.
Sometimes we all feel like keeping a distance from everyone else, retreating to a remote corner of the world and living like a hermit. Few of us ever actually do it though. This young fisherwoman from the icy island of Sakhalin has opted for a life of solitude but was it really a choice?
James Brown explores the Stavropol Region, home to some of Russia's most renown natural springs and health spas, where he takes a mud bath, lifts weights in Russia's oldest gym, learns how to paraglide goes mountain biking, plays the organ, visits a Greek lyre-maker, and meets Vladimir Putin's prize horse before scaling a cliff.
It's a long way to Khatystyr, but Roman must hurry as the whole village depends on him, especially a hurt reindeer who needs antibiotics brought from Yakutsk to survive, much like the reindeer are essential for the local Evenk people's existence.
Where can you take to the snowy slopes in a bikini? Welcome to Russia! RT Doc’s Peter Scott explores some of the craziest things to do in Russia: from festivals on snowy mountains to a smash room ready to be destroyed. Nothing gets in the way of his madcap fun, not even a broken leg!