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Speaking of Lenin


Ulan Ude is home to the largest bust of Lenin’s head in the world. It’s pretty awesome, actually, and the light in the afternoon is amazing. Lenin remains popular in Russia. Every city still has a Lenin Street. Lenin’s ideas have not been discredited here and remain relevant.

Stalin has mostly been removed from the city landscape, but even he is being reconsidered. The Russians seem to be having a constructive internal discussion about how much blame for the horrors that were certainly carried out can be laid at the feet of any one person, even if that person was an autocratic dictator.


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We have seen 2 of these ads featuring Lenin saying, “So, how are you living under capitalism?” Very interesting, though I think many, many people here are living quite well. Though I will say that one of the frequent topics among my esteemed colleagues here is about recognizing the advantages that communism did offer to Russians at the beginning of the 20th century and that it did have some successes. There is definitely a lesson for my classes waiting to be developed in my notes.


Protecting Dogs



Prayer Wheels



Modern Nomads


My lunch from the Mongolian restaurant today. It was really good. Fried potato, pepper and olive croquette.


From Ivolgansky Monastery

One of several temples at the largest Buddhist monastery in Russia. Buddhism here in Buryiata is closely linked to Tibetan Buddhism. In the photos I post, you will see lots of vivid images of demons and fierce protectors of the faith.