[Inspired to an extent by the lovely video (which could have been taken anywhere in urban Russia) in Mikhail Kotykhov's answer to Is Vladivostok Russian speech intelligible to a Moscow citizen?]


know this is a terrifically broad question. I'm not asking about politics. Please, no territorial-dispute drama. My question really relates to: how do they perceive the fact that there is, for all intents and purposes, a European country on their back doorstep: white people speaking a European language and living typical Russian lives amid hugely open spaces (so rare in many of these Asian countries). Is there any cognitive dissonance in that? I'm also intrigued by what Russian Far Easterners think of living so close to Asian countries whose residents are so different from them. As an example, North Korea, homogeneously Korean and fully exotic to most, borders in one place a community of white people in Russia. Isn't there something sort of incredible about that?

Russia is in green. Consider how close the large Russian city of Vladivostok -- with its typically Russian-looking population, Russian food and media, and all the rest -- is to countries so different in culture from it.

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