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Russians showing off culture during Olympics

2:51 PM, Feb 21, 2014   |    comments
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SOCHI, Russia - Russia is a country of more than 144 million people. Most of them are Russian, but the country has 160 different ethnic groups, and some of them are showing off their culture at the Olympics, trying to share with the world who they are.

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"It's all about our life," said Marina Siguney, who spoke to us about her native Taymyr Peninsula.

The teepees of her people are standing in the middle of modern Olympic Park. They, the peoples' dress, music and customs stand out among the visitors.

Siguney's way of life is a mystery to most people visiting. It's something people have read about in history books.

"In our dance, we try to show what we do during the day," Siguney said in her best English. "Fishing [is] how we fall in love."

Their dress is still a part of who the Taymyr Peninsula people are. They live in the Russia's far North - in Siberia - in a place that has not been changed by modern civilization.

"A very important animal for us is reindeer," Siguney said. "It's our food, it's our clothes, it's our house and our transport."

Their gods of sun, water and fire live on in handmade figurines. Right near the Taymyr people is a little place called Khakassia. Their way is unfamiliar to Russians themselves.

"Are you from Yakutia?" reporters overheard by the exhibit.

"I'm not Yakutia," a woman answered, "I'm from the republic of Khakassiya."

Only 532,000 live in the Republic of Khakassia, about the population of Tucson, Ariz. Most of them are Russian, only 12 percent are native Khakas.

Organizers hope visitors will walk away having learned something, an understanding there are many people in Russia who live and value different things.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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