Kamchatka, Russia | Where the Salmon Rule, National Geographic Magazine: Salmon Caviar Wedding Breakfast

A father was out late at his fishing camp to get enough caviar to feed 200 people at his daughter’s wedding. The bride is one quarter indigenous—there is easy mixing between indigenous and white Russians. There has not been a major event in Khailino for three years. This mixed family decided to have a wedding even though the bride is seven months pregnant and common-law marriages are the norm among the indigenous folks up here.  So the entire town glommed on to the idea and prepared for almost a year for this event.  Most of the decorations had to be brought in by MI-8 helicopter.  

Russia wanted to “tame” the salmon zones in Kamchatka, so the smart ones moved to the northern communities that were technically war zones with the United States.  To do so they had to have connections and get permits to move to where they could make eight times what they could in Moscow in government wages. When default happened and all their state-subsidized salaries disappeared, all they were left with was the resource—salmon.

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