Hello old friends and new :))
Hope you're all happy and healthy!! Thank you all for your feedback on my new cut, I really appreciate your comments and compliments :)) In my last post, I made a joke about looking "extra asian" with straightened hair, which had consequently invited a bunch of questions regarding my ethnicity. These questions couldn't come at a more appropriate time as I had just been contacted by some government officials from one of the places where I am from to do some work. I know this sounds very cryptic at the moment, but if you keep reading, I promise to make sense of it. I'll even talk a little about makeup hehe :))
Can you guess where I'm from? (hint: my earrings are from there too :))
Read more to find out :)))
MY MIX: I blogged about this before, but I didn't really get into detail because I'm pretty mixed and my mix isn't familiar to most people. Actually, up until about last year, I was quite confused myself. So, here is the breakdown to the best of my knowledge: I'm from Russia and I have several ethnic bloodlines--Russian (from my mom) and Bashkort or Bashkir (from my dad). I'm also a tiny bit Estonian from my dad's side and a bit Ukrainian from my mom's. I know you've all heard of Russian, Estonian and Ukrainian, but I can almost hear you saying: what the heck is Bashkort? Well, here goes the breakdown of that: Bashkortostan is a small autonomous republic on the border of Europe and Asia, within the Russian Federation. Bashkort people were nomadic and then semi-nomadic until fairly recently, so their ethnic makeup became quite mixed before settling in what is now the republic of Bashkortostan. Because of its close proximity to Asia, Europe & the Middle East, Bashkort people have a very unique genetic makeup. Some people look very Asian, some look Eurasian and others look Middle Eastern or a mix of all three. The legend is that the Bashkort ethnicity is made up of 7 different tribes (bloodlines) stemming from present day Mongolia, China, Middle East, Turkey, etc. By definition, we are considered a Turkic group indigenous to Bashkortostan, which is said to be a part of Central Asia. The Bashkort language is a Turkic language with Mongolic-Uralic variations and was originally written in Arabic. The main religion of Bashkortostan is Islam.
Phew, that felt like a lot of information to get off my chest and I hope it clarifies some of your q's.
In the above pix, I'm wearing traditional Bashkort earrings and coin vest. I had to do a quick video shoot for Bashkort Satellite TV to be shown at a jubilee event taking place this week. I would post the video here, but no one would understand a word, so instead I'll showcase some of the pictures I took last year while visiting Bashkortostan. Last summer, I took part of the Bashkort National Assembly (Congress)--"Kurultai", where I participated as an American delegate. Since becoming a delegate, I have been awarded the honor and responsibility to educate others about this unique culture/people. The Bashkort population is near extinction--there are only about 1.2 million of us in the world and in order to help preserve this beautiful culture, it is absolutely necessary for Bashkirs to stick together and spread the word. Needless to say, I take great pride and pleasure in doing so and my work as delegate of the Kurultai has been one of the most important and meaningful experiences of my life.
Here are some of the photos I took last summer, while visiting Bashkortostan and taking part in Kurultai
Traditional Bashkort costumes
Traditional Bashkort costumes
Kurultai opening ceremony
delegates luncheon in the yurt
beautiful Bashkort girls at the closing ceremony of Kurultai
more Bashkort beauties
Village chief welcoming us
the Majestic Bashkort Steppe
Bashkort picnic with friends
I have about 50 cousins, but these two cuties are the cutest ones :))
@ the Mosque
wearing a traditional vest and holding on to my flag :))
OK, so I didn't get to my maquillage because this post is already long enough. I feel like I shared a lot though, so forgive me for going off on a tangent. If you read this post, please tell me a little about your heritage--let's share our cultures and exchange our experiences!!