Currently, there are no accurate data on the Chinese community in Moscow. The number of Chinese people residing in Moscow is estimated to be anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000. In fact, some journalists and sociologists claim that as many as 100,000 Chinese people may be living in Russia’s capital. Chinese restaurants and medical centres are prominent in Moscow, and those interested in the Chinese culture can visit the State Museum of Oriental ArtRussian: Muzey Vostoka or Музей Востока and the Chinese Cultural CentreRussian: Kitayskiy Kulturnyi tsentr or Китайский Культурный центр operating under the aegis of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Government.
The Chinese population in Moscow is far from homogeneous. Some of the communities are grouped around the Embassy of the People’s Republic of ChinaRussian: posolstvo Kitayskoy Narodnoy Respubliki or посольство Китайской Народной Республики, located at 6, Druzhby StreetRussian: ulitsa Druzhby or улица Дружбы. These tend to be Chinese expats with permanent resident status in Russia living in Moscow for either educational or professional reasons. Smaller scale entrepreneurs, workers and traders, however, make up the majority of Chinese people in Moscow. The capital is an attractive place for this subset to settle, as there are local wholesale markets and warehouse, so it is a good place for business.
The presence of Chinese people in Moscow has enriched the culture of the Russian capital in many ways. First of all, the Chinese presence offers local residents a wide range of goods made in China, Chinese food and medicine. The well-known Cherkizovo marketRussian: Cherkizovskiy rynok or Черкизовский рынок used to be a kind of Chinatown until 2009, with its underground warehouses, workshops and dorms. ‘CherkizonRussian: Черкизон’ has now moved to the Moskva Shopping and Fair ComplexRussian: Torgovo-yarmarochnyi kompleks «Moskva» or Торгово-ярмарочный комплекс «Москва» (1, Tikhoretsky BoulevardRussian: Tikhoretskiy bulvar or Тихорецкий бульвар) and to the Sadovod MarketRussian: rynok «Sadovod» or рынок «Садовод» (14th km of the Moscow Automobile Ring RoadRussian: Moskovskaya koltsevaya avtomobilnaya doroga or Московская кольцевая автомобильная дорога, or MKADRussian: МКАД), located in Moscow’s downscale southeastern suburbs, where tens of thousands of Chinese people live and work. There are dorms, barbershops, snack bars and restaurants frequented by the local Chinese community. Cinemas offer films dubbed in Chinese, and minibuses have displays in Chinese as well as in Russian.
Past and present
Moscow has some exceptionally interesting locations associated with the Chinese culture, such as the Tea HouseRussian: Chaynyi dom or Чайный дом, located at 19, MyasnitskayaRussian: Мясницкая Street. Once owned by the merchant S. V. Perlov, this house was built in 1893 by the well-known architect R. I. Klein and, three years later, was decorated in the Chinese style by K. K. Gippius. In this way, the merchant Perlov gained favour with Li Hongzhang, Ambassador Extraordinare of the Empire of China, with a view to expand his Chinese tea business. The three-storey mansion was topped with a roof in the shape of a two-tiered pagoda, and the walls were decorated with dragons, snakes, Chinese lanterns and signs styled to look like hieroglyphs. The merchant spared no expense in having authentic materials delivered from China, and had residential premises adorned with Chinese porcelain and paintings. Restored in 2011, this house is now a picturesque haven, whose Oriental beauty is truly delightful.
The State Museum of Oriental ArtRussian: Muzey Vostoka or Музей Востока (12A, Nikitsky BoulevardRussian: Nikitskiy bulvar or Никитский бульвар) is a major cultural and educational centre. With a total area of 1,600 square metres, it boasts a unique collection of paintings, graphic works, sculptures, decorative and applied art objects, weapons and household items from over 100 Asian countries. One of the permanent exhibitions is devoted to China. Lacquered exhibits embellished with extraordinary bone carvings are certainly worth a look. Works by outstanding Russian artists Nicholas and Svyatoslav Roerich also have a special place in the permanent exhibition.
Located at 4, Fadeyeva StreetRussian: ulitsa Fadeeva or улица Фадеева, the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical CultureRussian: Tsentralnyi muzey muzykalnoy kultury or Центральный музей музыкальной культуры displays an extensive collection of Chinese musical instruments, among other exhibits. An orchestra was present at the Chinese emperor’s court as early as 1st millennium BC, and one of the most popular musical instruments in it was the sheng, a mouth-blown pipe organ, which is on display in the museum. The ancient plucked string instrument called a tsin is also worth a glance.
The Pekin HotelRussian: gostinitsa «Pekin» or гостиница «Пекин» at 5, Bolshaya SadovayaRussian: Большая Садовая Street is reminiscent of Soviet-Chinese relations, its construction timed to coincide with the establishment of the Soviet-Chinese Friendship SocietyRussian: Obschestvo sovetsko-kitayskoy druzhby or Общество советско-китайской дружбы. This upscale hotel, built in 1956 in the Stalinist Empire style, has little in common with traditional Chinese architecture. The eponymous restaurant operates in the Pekin Hotel, and the conference halls are named Hong KongRussian: Гонконг, MacaoRussian: Макао and ShanghaiRussian: Шанхай.
The Chinese landscape gardenRussian: Kitayskiy landshaftnyi ugolok or Китайский ландшафтный уголок in Moscow’s Gorky ParkRussian: Park imeni Gorkogo or Парк имени Горького (9, Krymsky ValRussian: Крымский вал Street) also has the flavours of Chinese culture. A delightful park to the right of the main entrance is a fine example of Chinese classical park art, featuring a Tree of FriendshipRussian: Derevo Druzhby or Дерево Дружбы. Similarly, a Russian nature park is planned to be laid out in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park. Such ‘Chinese places’ in Moscow are created due to the collaboration of the official representatives of Russia and China.
Construction of the Khuamin Park Chinese Business CentreRussian: Kitayskiy Delovoy Tsentr «Park Huamin» or Китайский Деловой Центр «Парк Хуамин» (14, Vilgelma Pika StreetRussian: ulitsa Vilgelma Pika or улица Вильгельма Пика) in northeast Moscow is about to be completed. It is to contain a high-rise hotel, a spacious office building and a Chinese landscape garden echoing Beijing’s imperial palace gardens. Mostly Russian entrepreneurs and architects are involved in the construction of the centre, but rumour has it that in reality the complex is funded and controlled by Chinese people.
The Chinese Cultural CentreRussian: Kitayskiy kulturnyi tsentr or Китайский культурный центр situated at 1/1, Pravdy StreetRussian: ulitsa Pravdy or улица Правды is essentially the Chinese mission in Moscow. The Chinese Ministry of Culture created it for Russian people interested in exploring the treasures of Chinese culture, including its language, music, literature, theatre, cinema, subtleties of the tea ceremony and even the art of Chinese cooking. Visitors to the Chinese Cultural Centre can choose from a wide variety of services: films, documentaries, concerts, exhibitions, lectures, art classes and many other exciting events. The centre is open daily.
Chinese students will provide you with a wonderful opportunity to discover China without leaving Moscow. In the spirit of immersing themselves in the Russian language and culture, they are involved in the activities of official associations and amateur clubs where they communicate with their Russian peers. Such events foster language acquisition and contribute to the study of cultural and social values of both countries. Russian and Chinese youths meet up at the Confucius Centre of the Moscow State Linguistic UniversityRussian: Tsentr Instituta Konfutsiya pri Moskovskom gosudarstvennom lingvisticheskom universitete (MGLU) or Центр Института Конфуция при Московском государственном лингвистическом университете (МГЛУ), in clubs and language schools. The Russian-Chinese Centre for Cooperation in Education, Science, Culture, Health, Tourism and SportRussian: Russko-kitayskiy tsentr po sotrudnichestvu v oblasti obrazovaniya, nauki, kultury, zdravookhraneniya, turizma i sporta or Русско-китайский центр по сотрудничеству в области образования, науки, культуры, здравоохранения, туризма и спорта, located at 14/5, PlanernayaRussian: Планерная Street, has been around since 2003. The centre focuses on developing a working partnership between Russian and Chinese higher education institutions, language learning, tourism and medicine.
Chinese people living in Moscow usually perform all religious ceremonies at home and go back to China to participate in the biggest celebrations in their homeland. This is partly why there are no Chinese religious institutions in Moscow. A small proportion of Chinese community members who are Orthodox Christians are officially assigned to the Patriarch’s Chinese MetochionRussian: Kitayskoe Patriarshie Podvorie or Китайское Патриаршье Подворье located at 14, First Golutvinsky LaneRussian: 1-y Golutvinskiy pereulok or 1-й Голутвинский переулок in Moscow. The metochion’s main church, consecrated to Saint Nicholas, was built in 1692 and partially rebuilt in 1772 in the Moscow Baroque style. Restored in 1995, the church officially became a Chinese Metochion in 2011.
Chinese Buddhism is represented in Moscow by the Office of the Shaolin MonasteryRussian: Predstavitelstvo Shaolinskogo monastyrya or Представительство Шаолиньского монастыря with its traditional martial arts centre (25, MironovskayaRussian: Мироновская Street). The centre offers martial arts, yoga and Chinese painting classes. Interestingly, there is more than one martial arts school (including kung fu, wushu and others) run by Chinese coaches.
One of Moscow’s best Chinese restaurants is arguably DruzhbaRussian: Дружба, located at 41, NovoslobodskayaRussian: Новослободская Street in the eponymous shopping mall established by Chinese expats. The restaurant is always full of Chinese visitors who go there for food cooked much the same way as it is in China. The menu offers a wide variety of Chinese, mainly Cantonese, dishes. Prices are reasonable, and the traditional Chinese interior is lovely. Unfortunately, the restaurant is located in the basement, which detracts a little from the atmosphere.
Kitayskaya GramotaRussian: Китайская грамота (1, SretenkaRussian: Сретенка Street) is one of the best upmarket Chinese restaurants in Moscow, specializing in Pan-Asian, mostly Chinese, cuisine and serving vegetarian food. Customers highly appreciate the world-famous Peking duck dish, variety of vegetables and large portions. Prices are high, but the atmosphere and service make up for it.
Kitayskiye NovostiRussian: Китайские новости (126/3, ProfsoyuznayaRussian: Профсоюзная Street) is a restaurant featuring a show kitchen and a menu offering an almost bewildering variety of dishes. It’s a great place to hang out with friends, prices are moderate, and it’s extremely popular with Chinese people. A fantastic atmosphere also prevails in Mandarin. Lapsha i UtkiRussian: Мандарин. Лапша и утки (Mandarin. Noodles and Ducks), a Chinese and Thai fusion restaurant located at 5, Bolshoy Cherkassky LaneRussian: Bolshoy Cherkasskiy pereulok or Большой Черкасский переулок. With its stylish interior and very attractive prices, it’s a great place to visit in downtown Moscow.
China ClubRussian: Чайна клаб (21, Krasina StreetRussian: ulitsa Krasina or улица Красина) offers excellent service and a varied menu that goes beyond the traditional Chinese dishes. Picturesque and comfortable halls of various sizes are available for various purposes, including family events, dates and parties. Among other popular Chinese restaurants are MenzaRussian: Менза (22, RusakovskayaRussian: Русаковская Street), TanRussian: Тан (13/1, Oruzheyny LaneRussian: Oruzheynyi pereulok or Оружейный переулок) and Madame Wong (7, LesnayaRussian: Лесная Street), not to mention a plethora of other Chinese restaurants and cafés in Moscow. Asian fast food of all kinds is also available throughout Moscow. Notably, the Chinese people themselves, especially traders and workers, usually eat in secluded restaurants, which are unknown to most people in Moscow.
Made in China
Chinese markets are extremely popular among Muscovites. The best-known among them, Kitayskiye ProduktyRussian: Китайские продукты, is located at 12/1 Mira AvenueRussian: prospekt Mira or проспект Мира. It offers buyers a wide range of food products from China and other Asian countries, including special delicacies, vegetables, sauces and seasonings for Chinese dishes, as well as 30 varieties of tea and even feng shui tableware.
Tayskiye ProduktyRussian: Тайские продукты (3, Dmitriya Ulyanova StreetRussian: ulitsa Dmitriya Ulyanova or улица Дмитрия Ульянова) is another market selling Chinese products, as well as products originating from other countries. You can learn new recipes and the required ingredients, buy tea, vegetarian food, dishware and even beauty products.
ChaoChayRussian: ЧаоЧай (17/28 Bakuninskaya Russian: БакунинскаяStreet) is a great place for Chinese tea lovers. Prices are reasonable at this teashop, and if you are not satisfied with the quality of your purchase, you can return it for a 120% refund.
MaLianDao (6/4, Nizhny Susalny LaneRussian: Nizhniy Susalnyi pereulok or Нижний Сусальный переулок) is yet another nice place where you can find even the rarest leaf tea varieties and high-quality tableware to conduct a real tea ceremony. You can find most Chinese products and tea in most wholesale markets in Moscow.
Moscow’s first Chinese bookstore Shans BokuRussian: Шанс Боку (6/2, ArbatRussian: Арбат Street) was opened in 2017. You can pay a visit to learn more about China’s literary heritage and modern writers.
Medicines and doctors constitute another key aspect of Chinese culture. This practice is quite well represented in Moscow. For instance, the Zhyolty ImperatorRussian: Жёлтый император (Yellow Emperor) Clinic offers its patients a variety of medical services, such as acupuncture, leech therapy, moxibustion, Chinese and shiatsu massage, traditional medical procedures to treat many diseases, along with cosmetic treatment courses. The clinic has two locations: 4/3 Ruzheyny LaneRussian: Ruzheynyi pereulok or Ружейный переулок and 11/1, SpartakovskayaRussian: Спартаковская Street.
The Ling House Eastern Medicine ClinicRussian: Klinika vostochnoy meditsinyi dinastii Lin or Клиника восточной медицины династии Лин, located at 1, Ulofa Palme StreetRussian: ulitsa Ulofa Palme or улица Улофа Пальме, offers a plethora of medical procedures ranging from unconventional diagnostic tests to physical therapy. Every visitor to this medical centre can count on an individual approach from doctors who did their medical training in China. The Doktor Lee ClinicRussian: Klinika «Doktor Li» or Клиника «Доктор Ли» (7/1, Malaya Pereyaslavskaya Russian: Малая ПереяславскаяStreet) focuses mainly on acupuncture. The well-known TAO Traditional Chinese Medicine ClinicRussian: Klinika traditsionnoy kitayskoy meditsiny «TAO» or Клиника традиционной китайской медицины «ТАО» (8/3, OstrozhenkaRussian: Остоженка Street) is run by Dr. Liu Yangshung. All of his colleagues are originally from China and treat many common diseases by activating Yin and Yang energies. This list of Chinese medical centres in Moscow is far from exhaustive.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com