Elista – A Little Cattle Car with a Big Heart


This post from Bumblebee Trails, opens a small window into Kalmyk people. It shows just how open the people are here in Russia to share about their history and who they are as a people.

Bumblebee Trails

20131030_125152 “Return Memorial” in background with cattle car and tree of prayer flags in front

I wandered along to the “Return Memorial”  on a hill on the outskirts of town.  It commemorates the Kalmyk people who died on the long forced journey to Siberia and afterwards in the gulags and wilds of that unknown land (see my post “Elista – Chess and Buddhism in South West Russia”). The Lonely Planet had said that there was a “cattle car like those used to transport the Kalmyks to Siberia” close by and indeed there was. A small tree covered in prayer flags stood beside it and as I came round its end I realised that there were stairs leading into it – a small museum. I ventured up timidly, calling out to see if anyone was inside, and stepped into the dark. As I became accustomed to the change in light…

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