Siberia and India: Historical Cultural Affinities
Professor K Warikoo

India and Eurasia have had close social and cultural linkages, as Buddhism spread from India to Central Asia, Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and far wide. Buddhism provides a direct link between India and the peoples of Siberia (Buryatia, Chita, Irkutsk, Tuva, Altai, Urals etc.) who have distinctive historico-cultural affinities with the Indian Himalayas particularly due to common traditions and Buddhist culture. Revival of Buddhism in Siberia is of great importance to India in terms of restoring and reinvigorating the lost linkages. The Eurasianism of Russia, which is a Eurasian country due to its geographical situation, brings it closer to India in historical-cultural, political and economic terms. This paper reflects upon this author’s experiences of travels in Buryatia, Khakassia , Altai and Tuva Republics of Russian Federation, bringing to light certain commonalities of traditions and beliefs still prevalent in this Siberian region and India.

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