Youth of Elista and Ulan-Ude: Ethno-Religious Dimensions of Everyday Life
The chapter provides an analysis of the narratives of young people in two cities, located in two Buddhist regions of the Russian Federation: Ulan-Ude (Republic of Buryatia) and Elista (Republic of Kalmykia). The aim of the paper is to reveal the peculiarities of young people’s everyday life in these two cities. To achieve this aim we describe in detail the ethnic characteristics of young Ulan-Udeans and Elistinians (practices related to regional traditions and religions, language specifics, features of appearance, gastronomic habits), their preferences in terms of cultural consumption, their cultural practices and recreational venues and their career and migration plans. The chapter provides an analysis of two cultural scenes: ‘BMJ’ (Elista) and ‘Social Dances’ (Ulan-Ude). We conclude with significant insights into what the youth of the two regions have in common and what makes them unique, why Buddhism has become not just a religion but a worldview reference point for the young residents of the two republics and how religious and cultural traditions relate to a high level of gender and cultural tolerance.