Ryosuke Kato / Marubeni Auto and Construction Machinery LLC
Located in the southern part of Russia, north of the Black Sea and east of Ukraine, Krasnodar is a medium scale city in Russia with a population of 700 to 800 thousand. It is located in the same region as Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics—40 minutes away by plane. In a city that is apparently a seat of prefectural government, there are only a total of four Japanese living in the area—three stationed here from our company, and one instructor of Japanese dispatched to the local university—and it is a city that is still largely unfamiliar with Japanese people.
The place that was originally called Yekaterinodar was renamed Krasnodar in 1920 after the Soviet revolution. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, amid the change in names of Leningrad back to St. Petersburg and Stalingrad back to Volgograd, Krasnodar remained the same and is unchanged to this day. I believe that the name was kept the same intentionally, as the word krasno has the two senses of red and beautiful, and it sounds beautiful as well. The townspeople seem to be proud of the name.
In addition, because the climate of Krasnodar is relatively warm in Russia, people throughout the country view it with envy. Actually, Krasnodar is snowbound for just about a month in winter, which is extremely short compared to other cities like Moscow. Summer is another enviable aspect of Krasnodar. It is nearly impossible to swim in the ocean in Russia, and being able to do so in the black sea is said to be one of the causes. The local people take full advantage of this, going to barbecues and go swimming in the ocean every week or so in the summer. Many people also take long vacations, and in weekends in the middle of the summer feel lonely somehow. According to the staff, people swim and eat in the afternoon, and then they drink and dance at night, and this kind of power of the Russian people is astounding. I think the source of this power is the shashlik kebabs. Eaten across a broad area from the Near East and Middle East through Central Asia, shashlik kebabs are a type of barbecue cuisine. There are shashlik restaurants all over the city, as well as in resort areas on the beach, of course, where people eat shashlik, as they drink local beer, vodka, local wine, and cognac, and have a good time. Be sure to come and experience this kind of fun Krasnodar weekend.
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.74 (March, 2013)