Golden panther

Project author: Svetlana Erkovich

Vladikavkaz. In the evening dressed-up girls promenade along the main Mir avenue while guys in adidas costumes cluster together on the benches eating sunflower seeds or shouting out from the whirring around zhigulis trying to attract the girls’ attention. Local girls say: “No, you can’t walk along the avenue just like this, everybody dresses up, they want to make a decent bride, so they prefer to make up properly even going out to a foodstore. Every girl wants to represent a tigress or a panther. It is after they get married and have kids that many of them go to the market wearing a home gown and slippers, but they still run their homes as lionesses. We have got proud people. But we all just want a good wholesome life.”

Just as the town’s anthem shows there are mountain chains rising around the town, and the citizens contemplate them right from their balconies. Glorified in verses of poets the tireless Terek runs fast through the public central park. And yet in the 50s the golden spotted panther was walking and multiplying free here in the mountains, making up the pride and the national symbol of Alania.

Year: 2011.