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Discovering Russia 28 April 2014 30 746
On an island far from the mainland, the Valaam monastery is one of the Russian Orthodox Church's holiest and most isolated sites. Join James Brown as he meets the monks, mucks in with the volunteers, and encounters a special group of children in one of most spiritual places in the country. For more of James's adventures around Russia follow him on Twitter @jimbrownjourno.
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.
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?
Take your wishes and prayers straight to the sky with a charmed blue scarf. Dance to the music of a fiddle strung with horse hairs. Fall asleep to tales of invincible epic heroes. But if you are disrespectful of their holy tokens - don't count on the spirits' mercy.
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.
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.