A growing Trend in Russia – “Eco-Villages”


Something Curious is going on

Something very curious is going on in Russia, I guess I should say more like around the world. But statistics show it’s more of a phenomenon here than anywhere else. Why? Anastasia is the answer. So who’s Anastasia, Vladimir Merge claims he met this mysterious woman who lead him deep into the Siberian Taiga. It is within these woods that she reveals to him about the philosophy of Man’s relationship to Nature and much more. These teaching to him were imparted through a series of best-selling books called The Ringing Cedars of Russia, first published in 1996. The books have for many become a reason to move Back to the Land, a movement that is increasingly becoming worldwide. Unlike the hippie movement of the 60’s these eco- communities combine deep ecology with traditional, even conservative family values based on self-reliant simple living on the land, providing physical subsistence and spiritual fulfillment.


Seeking a Simpler Life

So the question arises who is interested in this type of lifestyle. It seems that thousands of disillusioned Russian professionals have made the decision to move back to the land. After losing all hope in the cities these people that seek a simpler life that just isn’t found in the big city.

I got to talk to one of them myself while on vacation this summer. Andrei along with his wife had lived in Moscow, they are not entirely off the grid, but they felt the move was well worth it. They bought a large plot of land which he plans to plan an orchard, grow a garden, and begin to enjoy some of his other hobbies that just weren’t possible in the big city.

But there are new communities of homesteaders who are completely of the grid across some of the most remotest sections of Russia.This has all happened in the past decade, including Siberia, attracting thousands of Russians in search of a simple, self-sufficient and environmentally friendly lifestyle free from state control and big city corruption. This trend has grown not just in Russia but other countries as well.

Beginnings of other Eco-Villages

As can be seen above chart the largest communities are found in Sweden with Russia trailing behind them. But there is the beginnings of other Eco-villages starting up in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Belarus and Finland as well. Along with this trend there has been a rise in religious communes that have also emerged in the far east of Russia. In the Land of Plenty commune,  stresses that they are not a threat and welcome guests who want to visit and sample the commune’s honey, pumpkin pies, and goat milk.


Embraced by the Government

What comes as even more interesting is the fact that Putin and Medvedev are both very much in support of these Eco-villages. In fact in Latvia there’s a village named after Putin. Even established environmental groups such as Greenpeace Russia welcome the Eco-commune movement. The movement in Russia has become better know as “Kin Domains”, a place where  the tradition of families having a dachas can be enjoyed, where they relax in the summer and grow gardens.They now can form as Eco-Villages, it seems that the outlook of the nation is changing and the government is embracing it.  Those within the movement are very supportive of Putin.

 So how about the common folks

4709ca70325efAnatoly Molchanov and his wife Tatiana who lives in one of the villages stated:

“The main concept is to become better unified and affiliated with nature. In a city man lives in an artificial world, he becomes a robot. But if man lives in a natural environment he can become a spiritual being. It is only in nature that man becomes man,” Anatoly Molchanov believes.

It is all about returning back to basics, living a simple life and looking after the environment in the most natural way. What could be more Eco-friendly than a bio toilet, which uses sawdust on the ground and does not waste water, using the outdoor loo on a cold winter night will not appeal to everyone.

Many would say it is a humble life and not for them. But people in the Eco-villages do have modern conveniences, car, mobile phones and the internet. So, living in a Kin Domain does not mean escaping civilization. There’s a real sense of unity that can be felt in the communities that just doesn’t happen in the big city.

Russia Beyond the Headlines –

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