During the press conference on Thursday, many tried to draw the President’s attention by using, among other things, ethnic costumes. This is something very fascinating: there are 190 ethnicities in Russia, which speak almost 300 languages. Putin said that we need to focus more intensively on studying national cultures, customs, and languages.
Our media holding, VGTRK, has a special role to play here. We broadcast our programs in 54 languages, which is actually unique in the world.
How does multi-language Russia live? Alexander Buzaladze knows.
Here, in the Arctic wilderness, which in Yamal means that there’s nobody for 100 kilometers (62 miles) around, we’re walking with a bucket to fetch some snow.
– It’s necessary to get it from the depth. There are grains, you see?
– Yes, I see.
– Look, with snow grains.
This is gasoline made from oil that comes from local fields. Because even in the wooded tundra the Khanty need electricity, perhaps even more so than water.
“So, I still don’t know if it’s called “stroganina” or “struganina”.
They only watch what interests them the most: GTRK Yamal, the Rossiya Channel, in their native Khanty language. The information comes to tundra from this new, magnificent building. The digital signal flies to reach places that are hundreds of kilometers away with their reindeer, silence, and -50°C (-58°F). Interesting programs appear immediately and are delivered directly to the chum.
Now, here, in Salekhard, in this studio complex, the Nomad Road program is being filmed. What’s very interesting is that both Khanty and Mansi love watching programs on hunting, reindeer farming, and fishing. It’s the GTRK Yamal programs that enable the Khanty to keep an eye on the Nenets, while the Nenets keep an eye on the Khanty. For example who is better at fishing, playing music, solving riddles, and of course, lassoing a reindeer. It’s a rare opportunity here, in the wooded tundra, to watch real reindeer roping, and they are roping them not to kill them but to harness them to make it more convenient to move around across such deep snow.
Alexander Dobrynin, Director of GTRK Yamal: “The Khanty and Nenets peoples are very talented. They are extremely talented. They’ve achieved brilliant results in the arts”.
A powerful ATV is breaking through and Nenets are camping. There are ice drifts and blizzard ahead. Meanwhile, in Kazan, GTRK Tatarstan, the news service is broadcasting the latest news issue.
– Is that all?
– Yes. Let’s start.
“Yangylyklar” means “news” in the Tatar language. The host is Chulpan Amiri with her special, reserved style that appeals to Tatarstan”s viewership.
“Each morning, smiling from the inside and outside, we go live and tell our viewers about the most important events in the republic in our native language”.
Chulpan Amiri: “As for Ufa, Good Morning, Republic! is a very positive and informative show at GTRK Bashkortostan. Throughout Bashkiria, they know that if you start your morning by watching Good Morning, Republic! you’re ready for any weather conditions. They have currency exchange rates, traffic, breaking news, sports, and the main part of the information service.
Mavlida Zinnurova: “All the channels are in Russian, and this one is in our language. It’s easier for everyone to understand.”
Ramzit Abulyaev, head of Bashkortostan 24: “who Bashkirs live in Orenburg Oblast call in. Bashkirs in Saratov Oblast, in Kurgan Oblast, and even from Khanty-Mansiysk call in. These are Bashkirs who want to hear their language”.
Recently, in Russia, a 24-hour news and information internet-channel Kavkaz-24 was launched.
“Good day, it’s the information program Vesti Chechen Republic”.
“It’ss Vesti Kabardino-Balkaria”.
“It’s Vesti Ingushetia”.
Now, news from all over the Caucasus can be watched at any time, particularly on the internet.
Rifat Sabitov, head of the Regional Department VGTRK: “The Northern Caucasus is a region with very ancient and glorious history. An enormous number of peoples and ethnic groups live there. When creating this channel, our goal was to unite the entire Northern Caucasus into a common information field”.
This channel is already being watched, for example, in Dagestan. In some episodes, GTRK Dagestan shoots some of the most spectacular footage from helicopters.
Goor, one of the most ancient alpine Avar settlements, is remarkable by the fact that, since 1985, it has a stable analog signal. Now, we have to find out that, first, there’s a digital signal, second, that since 2005, the residents have steadily enjoyed TV programs in their language.
The Caspian Sea, valleys and mountains, broadcasting in 13 national languages, with the 14th being Russian: this is an absolute record in Russia. Saving Avar relics, tribal guard towers, and sharing ancient recipes.
“This is the Hot Tray show, and I, Ansgar Magomedova”.
The program is in the Avar language. Here, in the barely accessible mountains of Dagestan, Ansgar Magomedova found the people who still remember the right way to cook highlanders’ food. As it turns out, the most popular program on the Rossiya-1 Channel Dagestan is the program on ethnic cuisine: Hot Tray. Its editors receive an enormous number of letters. The program is in the Avar language. Young women ask to discover the recipe of how to cook an authentic Avarian shepherd’s khinkal. Khinkal was, of course, very delicious. But nonetheless, the main thing here is the people who live in Goor.
“That’s our tower. Here! That’s our tower. This is Goor. This is our tower”.
Luisa d D., Director of GTRK Dagestan: “You can’t offend anyone here. Everything should be balanced here. I’d say, it should be calculated up to the minute and second. If Avars have 50-minute-long programs, then so should the Dargins, Laks or the… So should the Lezgins…”
In the Chechen Republic, there’s a program in the native language called “Mekhkariy”. It is about ethnic everything: traditions, culture, household habits… Stars of the scene sing ethnic songs. Amateur musicians send music videos featuring themselves. The pride of broadcasting is the Erudite Show on the history and traditions of the Chechen people.
Alamakhad Elsaev, Director of GTRK Vaynakh: “50% of the air time is in the native language. We are very happy about this”.
In Krasnoyarsk Kray, the Nganasans, an ethnic group with less than 1,000 members wander across the tundra. Radio Rossiyi Dudinka features author’s programs and news in the Dolgans’, Nenets’, Nganasans’ languages.
GTRK Kamchatka features national broadcasting in the Koryaks’, Evens’, and Itelmens’ languages. Less than a hundred people speak Itelmen here.
Alexey Kostylyov: “For us, it was a very important and very responsible job to create a special Vesti program in the northern peoples’ languages. The broadcasting is performed in the Chavchuvenian and Mylanian dialects of the Koryak language”.
GTRK in Biro Birobidzhan is proud of its truly ethnic program, Idishkat.
“I’m looking forward to the episodes of this program. Every time, I discover something new. Because it… I’ll tell you a little bit about it now. If features both old and new things. Yiddish is alive”.
Frequent guests of the program are our former compatriots from Israel and New York on an open line on Skype. And the cuisine, of course.
“This mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes is good as a side dish”.
Near Salekhard in Yamal, our film crew reached the distant camp at last: a herd of 3,000 reindeer. Young Nenets deer shepherd in ATVs are corralling the herd for the drive. The Sorninay Program, which is translated as The Road of the Sun, will describe the reindeer shepherds’ outfit in the Nenets language. How do they lasso a reindeer? How do they survive in the tundra, even at -50°C (-58°F)?
Meanwhile, regional GTRKs throughout Russia will be broadcasting in over 50 languages, as the programs will be watched by millions of people.
Alexander Buzaladze, Dmitry Bolshakov., Alexander Kvetny, Andrey Karpenko, Vesti: News of the Week.