[wpspoiler name=”Dina Vasiljeva plays the Udmurt harp” open=”true” style=”aatw-video”][/wpspoiler]

— Another oil-rich republic on in the far eastern part of Europe. A thousand years ago much of pagan Udmurtia came under the control of the Islamic empire, Volga Bulgaria.

The Udmurts, known as “people of the woods,” stayed happily Islamic until Mongol Ghenghis Khan invaded and wiped 80% of them out. Today the legendarily red-headed, light-eyed, multi-religious (though mainly Russian Orthodox) Udmurts are about 1/3 of the population (Russians are the majority). They speak a “Finno-Urgic” language with origins similar to Estonian and Hungarian.

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