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(In 2015, London and Paris were ranked the 1st and 3rd most visited cities in the world, respectively.)Given all the above, I totally get why people are interested in our Russian holiday– their interest comes from a place of simply not knowing. ” questions, my trip has also elicited a lot of curiosity from fellow black travellers who ask, time and time again, what it was like to travel there as a person who is In order to understand why this question pops up so much, it’s necessary to understand the history of African-descended people in Russia and former Soviet republics.In my research on the web, I was surprised to discover that black folks have long had a presence in what was known as the USSR: according to this article, hundreds of African-Americans travelled to the region between 19 in an attempt to make a better life for themselves, as well as to escape the economic strife and racial persecution they faced in the USA.However, on my next visit, I would like to venture outside of the main cities and explore elsewhere– Russia is too large to rely on just Moscow and St.Petersburg for an accurate depiction of what it’s about.If you read this blog or follow me on social media, you’re probably already aware that my husband and I spent 10 days in Moscow and St. That Russia is not on the average traveller’s radar could be due to a few factors. This isn’t entirely surprising, because while Russia gets its fair share of visitors, it’s not a hugely popular destination for most holidaymakers.That being said, aware of this, I made sure to spend two afternoons exploring on my own.Strangely enough, I found people treated me way more nicely when I was by myself (see my encounter above, in the shoe store) .
In no way did I ever feel myself to be discriminated against because of my race. I spent 90% of my time in the company of a white man.
I got some curious looks, but none of the long, laser-focused stares I’ve encountered in many parts of Asia. These cities are very cosmopolitan and though they are not on the same level as London, Paris, or Rome, they get many visitors yearly.
People were extremely polite, helpful and cordial, especially in Moscow, which is decidedly the most “Russian” of the two cities (St. I also found it to be way more touristy and easier to navigate as English, as opposed to just Russian language, is written and spoken far more widely than in Moscow). Black women that travel are less of a perceived threat than black men– blame mass media, who seem hell bent on propagating the idea that black men are imposing, dangerous, criminal. Russians in these cities are well-educated and used to both seeing and interacting with foreign visitors.
The short version: I had no issues at all during my time in Moscow and St.
Petersburg– in fact, I was treated exceptionally well.