"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

 

 "Asia and Africa today" № 10 2018

 

 

Azia Afrika 10 2018

 

 TOP PROBLEM

ISLAMISM VS ISLAMIC TRADITION: ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE RUSSIAN MODEL OF ISLAM

Alikber K. ALIKBEROV, PhD (History), Deputy Director, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000862-0

     The concept of “Russian Islam” implies a view of the Muslim religion in its state dimension. This is primarily a research model, which takes into account the historical, cultural, spiritual and other ties of Muslim communities in the territory of one country, in this case Russia, much more fully.

     The course for the revival of the national theological school of Islam in Russia presupposes a simultaneous solution of several important tasks. This is primarily the improvement of the quality of Islamic education and increasing the level of professional qualification of acting imams. It is also the revival of the historical spiritual traditions of Russian Muslims and the adaptation of the tradition to the pressing needs of modern life. Finally, this is the training of highly qualified experts in the field of Muslim theology. The implementation of these and some other measures, as the author believes, can contribute to the solution of the problem of Islam in the Muslim communities of Russia.

     In connection with the implementation of the Program of Islamic education, the question of the parameters of the revival of the national theological school of Islam in Russia comes to the fore. During theological discussions, it was recurrently claimed that the Russian theological school of Islam should be built on the foundation of the synthesis of Ash‘ari-Maturidi kalam, representing both Sunni madhhabs widespread in Russia, Shafi'i and Hanafi. On the one hand, as in the days of famous theologian and philosopher Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, the resurrection of religious sciences is impossible without dogmatic compromises from different sides, the consensus of leading religious movements, primarily Sufi Islam and moderate Islamic fundamentalism. Achieving such a consonance is one of the challenges faced by the reviving theological school. On the other hand, it is not a simple copying of the previous experience, but a qualitative update, which should ensure the harmonization of different identities (primarily religious and civil) of Russian Muslims.

Keywords: Islamism, Political Islam, Traditional Islam, theological schools of Islam, Ash‘arism, Maturidism, Djadidizm, the Russian model of Islam

 

 POLICY, ECONOMY

X BRICS SUMMIT: A NEW ERA OF SOUTH AFRICAN FOREIGN POLICY?

Alexandra A. ARKHANGELSKAYA, PhD (History), Research Fellow, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Leading Research Fellow, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Roman S. SAVINOV, Master’s Degree Student (International Relations), National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI:10.31857/S032150750000863-1

     25-27 July, 2018 the Xth BRICS Summit took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was the first BRICS summit for a recently elected South African President C. Ramaphosa, who took the post over from J. Zuma. The latter stepped down amid allegations of corruption and “state capture” against the background of an ongoing socio-economic and political crisis in the country. In this context, the question is how South African foreign policy has changed under a new leader, particularly in relation to BRICS and Russia.

     In his speeches C. Ramaphosa stressed the importance of deepening economic relations within BRICS through increased investment in the productive sector and value-added trade. This would not only help ameliorate trade imbalances within the group, but also achieve South African internal and wider continental development goals. Despite declining capabilities to perform a multi-vector foreign policy, South Africa continues to act as the advocate of a general African interest within BRICS and elsewhere, thus promoting the country’s status of the “gateway to Africa”. This is exemplified by deepening Russian engagement with South Africa and the continent.

     The institutionalisation of BRICS initiatives, i.e. establishment of the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement in 2015, along with the opening of a NDB regional branch in South Africa is to a certain extent in the interest of the country as those institutions are designed to foster infrastructure development and macroeconomic stability. Aslo, BRICS shaping image of “protectors” of the world rules-based trading system, global environmental agenda, multilateralism and globalisation brings political benefits in the form of soft power that, in combination with internal measures aimed at improving investment climate, could help attract investments to South Africa and the continent.

Keywords: BRICS, South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, Africa, foreign policy, international relations

 

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INDIA: HISTORY AND FACTORS OF SUCCESS

Olga V. USTYUZHANTSEVA, PhD (History), Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Analysis and Studies of Technologies, Tomsk State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000864-2

     Indian IT sector is a world known phenomenon of fast-growing industry with remarkable achievements, which were reached within a relatively short period of time. This industry generates massive employment and contributes sufficiently to the GDP of the country. Technological hubs in Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon, and especially in Bangalore, are often compared with Silicon Valley. The paper identifies the factors that contribute to the phenomenal development of the sphere of information and communication technologies of India, through the historical analysis of the formation and development of the industry. Existing scientific research is characterized by a certain disciplinary narrowness and a high degree of generalization of the conclusions. Academic papers consider mostly what was done to achieve success, but do not answer the question of how it was implemented. Considering the research subject in the historical context allows us identifying the deeper causes of the processes, and gives an understanding that the effectiveness of many well-known programs and initiatives for the development of information and communication technologies depends significantly on the specifics of the political development and institutional practices of the country of their implementation. The paper explores the origins of the industry from the 1960s and traces its formation and development by shedding light on specific circumstances and obstacles, which the IT sector underwent.  This article is of interest both to representatives of the Russian information and communication technology industry, government employees, and experts involved in the developing programs for the advancement of information and communication technologies in Russia.

Keywords: information and telecommunication technologies of India, information technologies policy, ICT India

 

MIDDLE EAST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. BASIC TENDENCIES

Dmitry A. MARYASIS, PhD (Economics), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI:10.31857/S032150750000865-3

     The paper considers the main tendencies of the Islamic Middle East countries’ economic development. In view of the fact, the region is rather heterogeneous, the main focus is on the Persian Gulf states. However, nevertheless, to some extent all of the considered trends are relevant to most countries in the region.

     The analysis shows that in order to ensure the sustainable development of the countries in the region, it is therefore necessary to transform national economic systems so that they are much more open to innovative processes. This is the only way for the states of the Middle East and North Africa to cope with the challenges facing them. However, it should be understood that this is a complex process. After all, in this case, not only purely economic reforms are required, but also shifts in sociocultural paradigms. Global processes have a certain impact on the regional economies, gradually stimulating change. But this is not enough. It seems that only the systematic work of public authorities and public opinion leaders will achieve a significant effect.

     One of the most important tools in the process of such a complex transformation is the education system. According to the author’s original concept, which is described in the paper, participation in the development of this system is quite possibly the key to strengthening Russia's role in the Middle East.

     It should be noted that this paper is nothing more than a statement of the problem. It is by no means a well-founded study of the trends discussed in this article.

Keywords: Middle East, development trends, innovations, Russia

 

HE CONSTITUTIONAL STATUSES OF HONG KONG AND MACAO AFTER JOINING THE PRC 

Oksana V. NOVAKOVA, PhD (History), Associated Professor, Department of History, Far East and South-East Asian countries, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Galiya B. BALGABAEVA, 3rd year student, International Law School, MGIMO University (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000866-4

     The article dwells upon major constitutional institutions in Hong Kong and Macao – the former colonies of the UK and Portugal. The law systems of Hong Kong and Macao vary as they inherited the elements of the judicial systems of the former metropolitan countries so Hong Kong law adopted common law and law of equity and Macao’s legislation embodied characteristic features of the Roman law. It is highlighted that Hong Kong and Macao emerged as large trade centers in the Far East and they are still financial and investment hotspots, which makes the standards of living the highest in Asia. The mix of eastern stereotypes and western theory and practice is a vital problem which affects all spheres of these regions’ polity. The authors focus on the way the special administrative regions interact with the People’s Republic of China within the “one country – two systems” concept. This conception implies accession of two cosmopolitan economically developed regions to the PRC. The stance of the Beijing’s authorities is based on traditional idea of power of the Celestial Empire which is found on imperial ideology and Confucian values. Chinese leader Xi Jinping concedes that the complete reunification of the country is in the fundamental interest of the entire Chinese nation and it is common aspiration as well as duty of all Chinese. Constitutional documents don’t specify the way Hong Kong and Macao will cooperate with the mainland in 50 years when they finally join China.

Keywords: Hong Kong, Macao, special administrative regions of the PRC, the PRC, constitutional status

 

FAMILY AS A FACTOR OF SCHOOLCHILDREN’S HIGH EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS IN ASIAN COUNTRIES

Larisa N. DANILOVA, Dr.Sc. (Pedagogics), Associate Professor, K.D.Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000867-5

     International comparative studies like PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS invariably confirm best educational results of schoolchildren from a number of Asian countries in comparison with their peers from Western states, which is partly explained by the specific educational culture formed in the region, built on certain social conditions and national traditions. It doesn't matter whether it is Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore, because school marks play a very important role both for a student and his family directly determining his/her educational future, and for teachers and schools, determining their ratings. In Asia persistence, hard work and discipline are values ​​that bring success, unlike in Western pedagogy where all educational achievements are explained with the child's natural ability and with talents of the teacher.

     The family plays a crucial role in success of a child, that is brightly proved by the practice of raising children in East Asia and also Singapore, where are widespread early development and education, additional education of preschool children, deep immersion of mothers in the educational process of their children. Intensive participation of parents in that process helps to form at an early age motivation for learning, understanding of practical value of knowledge, value of schooling itself, and it contributes to early professional orientation of a child. It also provides control over the child’s achievements and targeted management of the educational progress. Parental  participation in children’s education early forms in children a feeling of duty and responsibility to the parents for their studies, it also forms in parents an understanding of responsibility for their child's successes and for his professional future.

This article characterizes on the examples of Japan, China and Singapore with help of the anthropological and cultural approaches the educational potential of a family in Asian culture, justifying the crucial importance of Asian parents' influence on the educational achievements of their children.

Keywords: education in Japan, education in Singapore, education in China, ethno-pedagogy, PISA, juku, kiasu

 

MINING COMPANIES OF SOUTH AFRICA: FEATURES OF DEVELOPMENT 

Margarita G. OBRAZTSOVA, Post-graduate student, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000868-6

     The author researches the history of the appearance and features of the development of mining companies in South Africa, as well as the ownership structure of the mining industry before and after the democratically elected government came to power in 1994.

      In 1990 the South African mining industry was overwhelmingly domestically based and was dominated by six mining houses: Rand Mines, Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company, Anglo-American, Gold Fields, Union Corporation, General Mining and Finance Corporation. These corporations had their head offices in Johannesburg with their primary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

     It is important to note that mining houses controlled not only the mining industry, but their activities extended to other sectors of the economy, in particular banking sector, services, agriculture.

     The article considers the changes in the mining industry after the refusal of companies from non-core business, the movement of head offices and primary listing to London. After 1994 white people have lost their political power. But they continue to maintain economic power – almost complete control over large and medium-sized businesses. Thus the leadership of the ANC, which was headed by Cyril Ramaphosa in December 2017, faces a difficult task – the elimination of economic injustice by redistribution of property rights.

     Today foreign-owned companies are still playing an important role in the mining industry and in general in the economy of South Africa. Whose interests in the activities of companies  prevail: national or global? Who is the main beneficiary: the people of South Africa or multinational corporations?

Keywords: mining companies, De Beers, Anglo-American, gold, diamonds, multinational corporations

 

 RUSSIA AND THE EAST

RUSSIA AND RUSSIANS IN THE EYES OF CONTEMPORARY MONGOLS

Vladislav I. TERENTYEV, PhD (History), history teacher, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Ulaanbaatar branch (Mongolia) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI:10.31857/S032150750000869-7

     The article examines the images of Russia and the Russians existing in the national consciousness of the contemporary Mongolians. The transition from the image of the USSR as an older brother to the modern models of interpretation of our country. Popular image of the older brother in the socialist period in the Mongolian People's Republic is losing its relevance, along with the passing of the «Soviet» Mongols generation who were educated in USSR or in Soviet educational institutions in Mongolia. Nevertheless, the conditions that form the positive image of Russia are: proverbs and sayings related to the theme of brotherhood, the people's memory, the activities of Russian official organizations (the Russian Embassy in Mongolia, the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Ulaanbaatar). As well as, the objective geographical location of Mongolia, bordering in the north with the Russian Federation and in the south with the PRC affects the positive image of Russia. In the widespread Sinophobic conditions in Mongolia, Russia acts as a neutral (more profitable) partner, a reliable defender against potential Chinese aggression. The modern images of Russia and the factors influencing their formation are analyzed as follows. First, the image of Russia as a northern neighbor (a positive-neutral assessment) is considered as a strategic partner. Secondly, the image of Russia as an aggressor country (negative assessment) was formed due to Internet and nationalist discourses. In conclusion, the conditions that will influence Mongolia's choice of the actual image of Russia and the Russians, is outlined.

Keywords: Mongolia, the images of Russia, nationalism, national identity

 

 PAGES OF HISTORY

THE FATE OF CABINDA

Olga A. DZHENCHAKOVA, Applicant, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI:10.31857/S032150750000870-9

     The article attempts to analyze historical factors of entering Cabinda into Angola; аn overview of the key moments of the formation of FLEC as a separatist organization from the moment of formation to the present day is given. The article affects political base of the secession movement and government official opinion on the case and measures taken at various times by the leadership of Angola in the context of Cabinda question to prevent the destabilization of the political situation in the enclave. The issue of preserving the Cabinda in Angola was fundamental for the leadership of the country. Since the proclamation of independence, one of the main slogans of the new government has been: «From Cabinda to Kunene - one people, one nation!». What are the ways of solving this long-standing problem at the beginning of the new millennium? Perhaps it will run out when the oil of the region is completely extracted, and Cabinda will lose its economic importance. Although even in this case, the Government of Angola is unlikely to abandon this strategically important territory. At present, the leadership of the country pursues a policy, on the one hand, to solve the economic, social and other problems of the province and its population, thus eliminating the reasons for the frustration among the population and the criticism of the central authorities. Оn the other hand, work for exploration of mineral resources has been under way for some time in other territories to diminish the economic role of Cabinda.

Keywords: Angola, Cabinda, FLEC, conflict, secessionism

 

 POST-GRADUATE COLUMN

ISLANDS OF MISFORTUNE: CHARS IN BOUNDARY RIVERS SHARED BY INDIA AND BANGLADESH

Sviatoslav A. PODOPLELOV, Рost-graduate student, Department of South Asian History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI:10.31857/S032150750000871-0

     Chars are river islands that emerge and disappear due to fluvial processes within river-beds of rivers belonging to the Ganges‑Brahmaputra-Meghna basin. Some of these islands are large and fertile enough to be used in agriculture, other are utilized by fishermen and smugglers. Chars provide shelter for millions of people in Bangladesh and northeastern states of India including the most impoverished sections of rural communities. Charland inhabitants share a specific mindset that is open to change of environment and frequent resettling because of island erosion and natural disasters. Parts of the border between India and Bangladesh are formed by rivers, thus control over chars on such rivers is a matter of dispute between the two states. Neither international law nor legal framework of Indo-Bangladesh relations cover the status of borderline river chars, which leads to unilateral actions in attempts to claim these land parcels. The most notable cases are Muhuri river char dispute and New Moore island dispute both of which included displays of military force. An analysis of efforts by India and Bangladesh to resolve these issues provides some insights into the decision-making process on both sides and allows discerning the general patterns that India and Bangladesh follow in building up relations with their neighbors. The evolution of approaches to the chars issue reflects the changing dynamics of relations between successive governments in Delhi and Dhaka. In South Asia, land possession is one of the most valuable assets, which ensures that control over charlands will continue to be highly contested in the poorly demarcated and geographically fluid areas of the Indo-Bangladesh frontier.

Keywords: chars, river islands, territorial disputes, New Moore island

 

DYNAMICS OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES ACCUMULATION AND MACROECONOMIC STABILITY: THE GHANAIAN PERSPECTIVE

OSEI Dennis Danso (Ghana), Post-graduate student, Rostov State University of Economics (RSUE) ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750001018-1

     This study examines the impact of Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves on improving the investment climate of the economy through stabilizing the macroeconomic environment. According to the Maastricht criteria, the stability of the macroeconomic environment is assessed by five variables: inflation, interest rate, exchange rate stability, the ratio of public debt to GDP and government budget deficit. The study adopted the VAR-Vector Auto Regression method to examine the relationship between foreign exchange reserves and selected variables that measures the macroeconomic stability. Annual data on these variables were taken from the Central Bank of Ghana and World Bank websites for the period from 2000 to 2016 inclusive. The result obtained from the analysis showed that the dynamics of foreign exchange reserves of Ghana has a significant statistical impact only on the exchange rate (GHS/USD) among all the macroeconomic variables. The paper concludes that the continued accumulation of foreign exchange reserves by the Central Bank of Ghana will steer the depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi, increase revenues and profits of the export sector and increase investment and economic growth based on higher exports. Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves, via the channel of preventing the appreciation of the Ghanaian cedi, will reduce the risk premium of foreign investments and, by inference, help to attract a higher share of foreign investments.

Keywords: Ghana, foreign exchange reserves, Maastricht criteria, macroeconomic stability, investment climate, exchange rate; depreciation

 

 SCIENTIFIC LIFE

INTERVENTION OF «GREAT POWERS» IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF SOVEREIGN STATES OF AFRICA

Vasiliy R. FILIPPOV, Dr.Sc. (History), Leading Research Fellow, Center for Tropical African Studies, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Kirill D. DOLGOV, Applicant, Institute for African Studies, RAS ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000872-1

     Round table was held on May 11, 2018 at the scheduled meeting of “Africa” club under the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. It was organized by joint efforts of Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of International Relations and Socio-Political Sciences of Moscow State Linguistic University and the Faculty of Political Science of Moscow State University. Thirteen reports were heard and 64 people took part in the discussions.

     During the round table were discussed such topics as growing role of traditions in the process of preventing internal and international clashes on the Black Continent; China's economic interests in Africa; Belgium's participation in the DR Congo's internal policy as the main factor of destabilization; cohesive social systems of Africa as a factor of stabilization and struggle against neocolonialism; interaction between the United States and African countries in the framework of the "Young African leaders initiatives" program.

      Also during the discussion were discussed such problems as a lack of access to electricity for more than 800 million inhabitants of Africa, living in the South of Sahara, despite the fact that the region is extremely rich in energy resources; political and economic crises in the countries of the Horn of Africa; peculiarities of information policy and the formation of the image of Africa in modern Russian Internet media; the role of France in the political processes in the countries of Central Africa. Also during the round table was a report on the origin of colonialism on the African continent and the historical facts of the emergence of Africa's dependence on the countries of Western Europe were presented. Particular attention was paid to the complex phenomenon of Fransafric, which is a special system of clientele communications between the Fifth Republic and its former overseas territories.

     At the end of the roundtable a stormy discussion took place, in which the students of the Russian Peoples' Friendship University took an active part.

 Keywords: great powers, Africa, China, sovereignty, neocolonialism, expansion, conflict, soft power, color revolutions, natural resources

 

 TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, MORALS

ETHNOCULTURAL TRADITIONS OF URIANGHAIS OF MONGOLIA : PRESENT-DAY SITUATION (Fieldwork Account)

Antonina S. DONGAK, PhD (Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Department of Mongol Studies, Tuvan Institute for Applied Studies of Humanities and Socioeconomics, Kyzyl, Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Bayarsaikhan BADARCH, PhD (Philology), Head, Department of Mongol Studies, Tuvan Institute for Applied Studies of Humanities and Socioeconomics, Kyzyl, Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Oyumaa M. SAAYA, PhD (Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Department of language Studies, Tuvan Institute for Applied Studies of Humanities and Socioeconomics, Kyzyl, Russian Federation ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000873-2

     This article is devoted to the present-day ethnocultural situation amongst Urianghais of Western Mongolia brought to light in the course of field trips conducted in 2015 in order to obtain new scientific data for revelation of common features in ethnocultural traditions of Tuvans who live in Mongolia and those living in Siberia. Being a part of Mongolian people, the Urianghais still preserved some features in their language and traditional culture that are particularly similar to the culture of Tuvans. In this connection, the culture of the minorities of Western Mongolia, such as the Urianghais, is no exception and can be a study area of scholarly interest. The Urianghais live in Hovd aimag of Mongolia, in Monhhairhan sum (about 3 thousand people who make up 99% of the population) and in Duut sum. These two localities remain small areas where the Urianghais preserved their culture and spoken language as a dialect of the Mongolian language. Through the lens of these issues, the goal of the article is to study special features of spiritual and material culture of the Urianghais living in Hovd aimag of Mongolia in the context of All-Mongolian nation and historical interrelationships with Turkic peoples. The fieldtrip results are of applied significance for further study of ethnic history, language contacts and regional ethnocultural traditions of Turkic-language peoples of Western Mongolia and those of the Sayan-Altai. The fieldwork was based on participant observation and interviewing.

     Thus, the Altai Urianghais have preserved their own traditions and culture up to the present time. According to them, the Urianghai dialect is being gradually lost under the influence of the Mongolian language. This is clearly in evidence in the speech of the younger generation. Nevertheless, the ethnonyms typical of such Turkic-language peoples as Tuvans and Altais have not been lost, which can serve an evidence of relationship of the Urianghais with present-day Tuvans.

Keywords: West Mongolia, expedition, Uryanghais

 

 CULTURE, LITERATURT, ART

THE CULTURAL CENTERS OF HARBIN IN THE RUSSIAN PROSE OF THE XX CENTURY

Elena A. IKONNIKOVA, Dr.Sc. (Philology), Professor, Department of Russian and Foreign literature, Sakhalin State University ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750000874-3

     The Harbin Hotel “Modern” has been the center of Russian culture more than 100 years. The references to this place were kept in the memoirs of the immigrants from Russia, notably of poet Larissa Andersen and writer Natalya Ilyina. Larissa Anderson associated the Hotel “Modern” with its owner Iosif Korot and the numerous acquaintances from Harbin who performed on the stage of the hotel. By following the memoirs of Larissa Andersen, the general description of the interiors as well as the repertoire of the hotel troop, the usual entertainments of guests and actors, the favorite dishes of visitors and others can be reconstructed. The impressions of Natalya Ilyina from the Hotel “Modern” are mainly connected with the coming of Feodor Chaliapin to Harbin and the visits of Moscow theatre actress Katerina Kornyakova to the prominent singer in the Hotel “Modern”. The destitute condition in which the immigrant family was living can explain the non-acquaintance of Natalya Ilyina with the luxury interiors in the hotel. The Ilyins couldn’t afford to visit “Modern” and participate in the turbulent life of the hotel. The bookshop “Gogol” (it is situated in the street of the same name) was opened nearly five years ago. Nowadays this place as well as the hotel “Modern” is connected with Russia. As a cultural center, “Gogol” has not been mentioned in any fiction work yet. Nevertheless, visiting Harbin tourists constantly mention this bookshop in their itineraries and comments. “Modern” and “Gogol” are always connected with Russia, its history and culture.

Keywords: Harbin, “Modern”, “Gogol”, memoirs, Larissa Andersen, Natalya Ilyina