Welcome to my Hometown! - Omsk, Russia - by Alisa Kasianova

Cold winters, hockey, yearly marathon, flower festival... These are not just random words - this is what Omsk is about. Read the article by Alisa Kasianova to learn more!

Hi there! 👏 My name is Alisa, and I’m a second-year PhD student of the Multilingualism programme at the University of Pannonia. I come from from the coldest part of Russia - Siberia. Many people are unfamiliar with my home city Omsk, so let me introduce it to you!

Omsk was founded as a fortress in 1716, according to the order of a Russian emperor Peter the Great. Over three hundred years, it developed into a large industrial center with the population of around 1 100 000 people. Have you heard about the famous Trans-Siberian railway connecting European Russia and Russian Far East? Well, Omsk is one of the cities on the line!

Omsk is located close to the border with Kazakhstan, in the South of Siberia; however, “south” in this case does not mean “warm”. In fact, the temperature in winter sometimes drops to -35 C - it is when you cannot start your car and when your eyelashes get frozen. 🥶  However, winter in Omsk has its own mysterious beauty and opens opportunities for fun entertainments. You can do ice-skating, skiing or simply go down the icy slide - the most important is that you wear warm clothes.

The frozen river Irtysh 

Speaking about winter activities, many people associate Omsk with hockey, which is no wonder: the pride of Omsk is its hockey team Avangard. The team holds numerous awards and is one of the strongest in the Continental Hockey League. My house is not so far from the arena, so every time I noticed a terrible traffic jam, I knew for sure - today is the match, and the fans are on their way to cheer for their team.  

Summer in Omsk is exciting as well, since the city can boast wonderful summer traditions. First of all, it is a flower exhibition “Flora”, which takes place in the park in the city center. At the festival, you can enjoy amazing sculptures made of flowers, as well as the concerts and street shows. 🌸 Secondly, a very important tradition of the city is its yearly Siberian International Marathon, which is dedicated to the Day of the City. Everybody can take part in the event; usually, professional athletes compete at the 42-km distance, while others may choose 5- or 6-km. On this day, the traffic in the city center stops, so that the runners can cross the bridge over the Irtysh River. I participated in the marathon myself, and the feeling of running among hundreds of other sport lovers is incredible! 🏃‍♀️

Flora festival in Omsk

Siberian International Marathon

Finally, if you visit Omsk, you will never miss our two signature sculptures. The first one is the sculpture of the plumber Stepanych, who is looking out from the manhole and smiling to the sun. Another sculpture is Lyubochka - a young lady sitting on a bench with a book. Lyubochka (Lyubov Gasford) was a real person: she was the wife of Omsk governor-general Gustav Gasford in the XVIII century. The young woman was known for her kindness and help to those in need. The two sculptures are located on the two sides of Lenina Street - the main street of the city, - and you can always see people taking photos next to them. 

If you happen to be in Russia, don’t hesitate to visit Omsk! And of course, I will be more than happy to be your tour guide 😊