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Moscow Hosts a Festival of National Cuisine of Indigenous Ethnic Groups of the North

On the opening day of the XVI International Fair “Treasures of the North. Craftsmen and Artists of Russia 2021”, the festival “Mother Earth. Indigenous Peoples. Meat and Milk”, have started, arranged by “Slow Food in Russia” NGO.

Its main purpose is to popularize the national culinary traditions of the indigenous minorities of the North. Sakhalin Energy took on the role of the general sponsor of the festival.

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Opening the event, Yulia Yakel, Vice-President of “Slow Food in Russia” noted the importance of the “Slow Food” movement. Indigenous peoples are the custodians of traditional technologies, authentic animal species and plant varieties, associated knowledge, and recipes. In their places of residence, they are engaged in hunting and animal breeding, keeping the tradition intact, which is part of the world heritage. Culture, mother tongues, and national cuisine are closely linked to these activities.

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The "Slow Food" stand attracted the attention of the exhibition guests even before its official opening. At the stand they made ice cream in different ways − in the first case, the milk was whipped with a mixer, in the other case − with a national Yakut instrument named “ytyk”. Surprisingly, in the battle with modern technology was won by the ancestral experience and knowledge. The traditional dessert turned out to be more puffed.

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The second day of the festival began with a conference with the participation of representatives of indigenous peoples. Guests from Chukotka, Khabarovsk Krai, Sakhalin, Yakutia, and Kyrgyzstan made presentations on the role of meat and milk in the diet of indigenous peoples, as well as on traditional ways of cooking and storing dishes in the culture of various ethnicities.

Natalya Suprun, a member of the Sakhalin delegation, spoke about the benefits of ringed seal’s fat. “Seal fat is not only a part of traditional nourishment of Nivkhs but also a medicine with unique properties capable of restoring health after diseases. For example, it helps to put patients who have suffered a coronavirus back on their feet,” noted Suprun during her presentation.  

In addition to the conference, the festival programme includes a deer milking contest as well as cooking competition during which indigenous peoples demonstrate popular national dishes made from milk and meat.

10 September 2021

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