Are Russians racist towards black colored people? My experience

Are Russians racist towards black colored people? My experience

My experiences travelling as being a black colored girl in Russia.

On social media, you’re probably already aware that my husband and I spent 10 days in Moscow and St. Petersburg a few months back if you read this blog or follow me. ( perhaps Not after me on there yet? Get thee to my Facebook page or Instagram, stat!)

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Into the time since, I’ve gotten a whole lot of great interest and concerns from people about our trip. This really isn’t totally astonishing, because while Russia gets its reasonable share of site visitors, it is not a hugely popular location for many holidaymakers.

That Russia is certainly not regarding the normal traveller’s radar could possibly be because of a few facets. The elements is savagely cool almost all of the 12 months, it offers a reputation for being eye-wateringly costly, and its own sordid political past (and unstable governmental future) allow it to be much more popular with holiday in tourist hubs positioned in nearby Western Europe. (In 2015, London and Paris had been ranked the 1st and 3rd most visited towns and cities in the whole world, correspondingly.)

More over, though it might be solely conjecture, Russians aren’t recognized being the warmest or friendliest people. Russia hence continues to be mostly unexplored by the basic tourist populace.

Given most of the above, we totally have why people are interested inside our holiday that is russian interest arises from a spot of not really knowing. But aside from the regular “So, what’s it like?” concerns, my journey in addition has elicited lots of interest from other black travellers who ask, time and time again, what it had been love to travel here as someone who is melanin-blessed.

I get variations of the same question over and over as I share my pictures and observations online:

“Is it real that Russians are racist towards black individuals?”

“Did you suffer any racial discrimination in Russia?”

“What ended up being your experience with Russia travelling as a black colored girl?”

In this article, I’m going to talk about my experiences.

Some historic context: African-descended individuals in Russia

So that you can understand just why this question arises a great deal, it is required to comprehend the history of African-descended individuals in Russia and previous Soviet republics. In my own research on the internet, I became amazed to learn that black people have long had a existence with what had been referred to as USSR: in accordance with this short article, a huge selection of African-Americans travelled into the area between 1920 and 1930 so as to make an improved life on their own, along with to flee the commercial strife and racial persecution they encountered in the united states.

Blacks through the African continent weren’t far behind: this short article describes which they relocated to your Soviet Union in vast quantities, recruited by officials guaranteeing a free college training. The social environment for black colored individuals in those days ended up being hence good, with skilled black colored labourers and specialists often getting red carpeting therapy in the shape of enviable salaries and subsidized housing.

But this contrasts sharply with current depictions of battle relations in Russia. A fast Google search reveals articles about hostility against blacks around the world, which at its “best” has included verbal punishment (just like the racial epithets hurled at black colored soccer players by fans during matches) and also at its worst has culminated in outright assault during games on Russian soil.

It is hence not surprising that black colored travellers of this day that is present worried about their security and well-being while travelling in Russia. Will “Travelling While Black” on Russian soil placed them in harm’s way?

Travelling While Black in Russia– The experience

The brief variation: I experienced no problems at all inside my time in Moscow and St. Petersburg– in fact, I was treated extremely well. I acquired a *lot* of love from local people and also this was shocking in my opinion according to exactly what I’d heard and read about battle relations in Russia.

The version that is long I felt like I happened to be gotten with available arms inside my stay. I obtained some inquisitive appearance, but none regarding the long, laser-focused stares I’ve experienced in several components of Asia. Everyone was exceedingly courteous, helpful and cordial, particularly in Moscow, which can be distinctly probably the most “Russian” regarding the two towns and cities (St. Petersburg feels and looks extremely european. We additionally discovered it to be far more touristy and simpler to navigate as English, instead of just Russian language, is written and talked a lot more commonly compared to Moscow). Check out types of the encounters I experienced in Moscow that stuck down to me personally many: