"A visit to "my relatives": the Khanty & the Mansi" Khanty-Mansiyskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug by hunwagner
Khanty-Mansiyskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 19 photos
Being a Hungarian, I have been interested in visiting our closest surviving linguistic relatives, the Khanty and Mansi since I first learned about them in elementary school.
The opportunity to do so came in 2002, when I stopped in Tyumeny on my way home overlanding from Japan, and travelled up the Irtish and Ob rivers to the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.
While the area is overwhelmingly Russified now with booming oil towns, I did find vast expanses of stunningly beautiful, pristine nature and also communities of our "relatives" still maintaining much of their traditional culture.
I hope I will be able to return for a second visit one day...
The Khanty today number only some 22.000. They are found mostly in the eastern part of the Khanty-Mansi AO, as well as in the south-western part of the neighbouring Yamal-Nenets AO. Only the Northern and the Eastern Khanty maintain their native language and traditional way of life to varying degrees nowadays.
The Mansi number only 8000, living in the western part of the Khanty-Mansi AO. Only the Northern Mansi still speak their native language and live in communities where traditional ways are still followed.
- Pros:Unique cultures and unspoilt landscapes way off the beaten track
- Cons:High prices, rampaging development, limited transport - and zillions of mosquitos!
- In a nutshell:Definitely a region of "special interest" only!
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