In the minds of most people, the mere mention of Siberia produces images of an eternally snow covered and vast wasteland, known to be the final destination of Russian dissidents during the communist regime; where they were frozen in time from the memories of the people, or merely froze to death. It comes as a surprise that this once barren and forsaken expanse has a Capital in Novosibirsk, with a population of over 1.3 million people. The bigger surprise is that it is the home of Inmarko, a company that is the biggest ice-cream maker in the entire Russian nation.
The city was established in 1893, and was named after Tsar Nicholas II. It has none of the natural resources that the country is heavily dependent upon for its economic engines, and no industrial areas nor factories either. What it has are universities and research institutes that produce a lot of creative ideas from people who refuse to be cowed, intimidated, nor demoralized by a global financial crisis. They are happy to meet the crisis head on - despite the minus 25 degree weather almost all year round.
However, after 118 years of existence, its small population may be an indication of a cold and calculating race of people. They may not be a very romantic lot - cold to one another and having difficulty warming up to a relationship - or are terribly inhibited by the cold that they fail to remove their clothes when in the process of fully expressing their love for each other. Unless of course they prefer to preserve their respective reproductive cells for the day when global warming finally brings the heat to the place.
To outsiders, their fondness for ice cream (a $200 million company business) presents a stunning image (300 shops in Novosibirsk alone selling nothing but ice cream). But it should come as no surprise since the land was buried in ice and that's all their grandparents had to live on for sometime, flavored by whatever comes with it. To this end, Inmarko pays tribute by coming up with popular flavors such as black pepper, ice cream with fish, and a flavor called Vampire - a small stake of aspen wood stabbed into the ice cream. It wouldn't be surprising if the highest priced flavor is cannabis and cream.
However, the world should credit them for going into such a venture in the midst of all that ice, and nurture a company that has dominated the Russian market. It lends credence to the concept that similarities exist within people from whatever part of the world.
The Russian taste buds are just different from the rest as attested to by preferred flavors. But the world can find comfort in the fact that on major issues, similarities are more pronounced - especially among the more powerful nations and those emerging powerful ones. These are : domination, hegemony, political expediency, self-interest and greed.
Perhaps nations of the world should share their ice cream instead - whatever flavors these are made of.