Mrs. St. Petersburg, an ethnic surprise

By Slava Tsukerman

One of the events most discussed on Russian Internet this month was the election of Mrs. St.Petersburg. What is especially interesting, two Mrs. St. Petersburg were elected this year: one was elected by the official jury and another – People’s choice Mrs. St Petersburg – by voting on Internet.

Nobody cares about the “official” Mrs. St Petersburg. We couldn’t even find her photo on Internet. But People’s choice Mrs. St Petersburg is the real heroine of the month. One can find dozens of her photos and read about all details of her life. Why?

The main reason for the scandal was the ethnic background of the main Internet applicant. Victoria Maladayeva is a Buryat. She doesn’t look like ethnic Russians.

Wikipedia: “The Buryats (Buryat:)…, numbering approximately 500,000, are the largest indigenous group in Siberia, mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia. They are the major northern subgroup of the Mongols. They are Buddhists…”

Victoria has resided in St. Petersburg for nine years. She is married to a known pop singer Zhargal Maladaev (also Buryat). The couple have a three year old daughter Adisa. Victoria Maladaev joined the competition for the ideological reason, to prove that “any woman, no matter what ethnicity, height and age she may be, can take part.”

When online voting started, it became clear that Victoria had a chance to get to the first position. It triggered a huge wave of protests. Racist statements began to appear at the site of competition, such as:

“Don’t dishonor Petersburg by choosing the Buryat idiot.”

“The girl from Buryatia is Mrs. Petersburg? It’s just ridiculous.”

Some commentators sincerely couldn’t understand how anyone can find attractive the “ugly” Buryat woman?
The situation was reminiscent of winning the title “Miss Russia – 2013” by half Tatar Elmira Abdrazakova. Elmira was forced to remove her pages in social networks because of the stream of insults.

“My mother is Russian, and my dad is Tatar, I do not see any crime in it.” – Elmira excused herself.

But being Buryat was not the only “sin” of Victoria Maladayeva. Her opponents discovered that Victoria dared to criticize Putin’s Ukrainian politics in her Internet Social Network comments. That created a real outrage.  “How one criticizing state policy can be a ‘people’ choice? She is ‘anti-people!’”

The organizers of the competition refused to be influenced by the scandal. They maintained the position of complete independence from any political opinions. They published all the comments and judged only by voting online. And to surprise of many, Victoria became People’s Mrs. St. Petersburg.

One of the top Russian Journalists Anton Orekh commented on the event:

“The fact that Victoria Maladaeva yet received the title of ‘People’s choice Mrs. St. Petersburg’ and the organizers of the competition did not succumb to the calls to oust Victoria from the event, proves that in spite of the enormous number of idiots in Russia, we still have more normal people. My congratulations to us”.

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Updated: November 18, 2014 — 11:01 pm
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