I have previously shown 16 episodes from NHK’s famed Silk Road Series, which began as a adventurous project in 1980 and produced 12 episodes in the 1st series, and 18 episodes in the second.
The other 14 episodes were not available online at that time, and I have since learned that NHK in the early 2000s continued with a 3rd (10 episodes, unavailable at present) and 4th series (5 episodes), making 45 episodes in all.
Besides opening up trade routes, the silk roads also opened up migratory paths, where peoples from one part of the road could escape along them to other regions, and in this episode we are introduced to some of these people.
The first we meet are the Murat family, who, during the collectivisation in the Soviet Union fled from the Kazakh region to Sichuan in China, where generation after generation were born.
We meet the family at the China-Kazakhistan border, where the whole family are migrating back to their homelands after 70 years in exile, with hardly a one of them ever having seen their ancestral home before.
The second group were forcibly deported from Primorsky on the very far eastern waterboard of the Soviet Union, and whose ancestry is Korean.
They were moved to a wasteland and a new industrial town started during WWII, and again for most they have never seen the lands their forefathers were born in, and indeed do not even speak the language any more.
The next family is a more recent emigration wave caused by the Russian-Chechnya war, which is still raging, though it is framed as case of terrorism. The father here moved his family something like 3,000km east to avoid the conflict.
The last group are Cossacks, fierce Russian nationalists, who are fighting on the opposite side to the Chechens, to preserve what they see as the intergity of the Russian homelands.
As this is a subject hardly covered elsewhere, but intergral to modern society, this is really worth seeing. I can’t help but think that we are due to see many more migrations in the coming years.
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