09 October 2008

Tajik Workers and the Economic Crisis

The BBC has a good segment on Tajik migrant workers in Russia here. (Sorry, they disabled embedding.) I especially like the interviews with workers and the fact that the reporters followed the story back to their villages of origin, outlining the importance of remittances for the provision of basic necessities in Tajikistan.

With a global economic meltdown (which experts warn may have dire consequences for migrant workers' rights, citing the example of the Asian crisis in 1997) on the horizon, I couldn't but wish that the report had highlighted the current economic situation and its possible implications for Tajik migrants. Especially in light of the following report from today's Telegraph:

Fears of contagion to the real economy have grown too, with the real estate sector that has driven Russia's construction boom being forced to suspend new projects or even divest of parts of their portfolios.
As the construction industry is a mainstay of migrant employment (see my post Brown Reconstruction from last year), I assume this trend will hit Central Asian workers in Russia particularly hard. And their families back home in the villages as well.

On the importance of remittances for Tajik infrastructure, watch this:

And I'll keep these brown eyes peeled for more news on the impact of the economic crisis on Russia's migrants.

**********

Now if you need something to cheer you up, try this clip, brought to my attention by a friend in Moscow:
Yes, comrades, that was Kola Beldy with his 1972 smash hit "I'll Take You to the Tundra!"

2 comments:

rootlesscosmo said...

There seem to be three camera setups (not counting the clip of the pianist who looks pained by the indignity of his role), one zoom effect, and a couple of edits showing the singer at higher points on the stairs. The whole thing seems to have been directed and edited in a coma, despite the bogus heartiness of the vocal track.

lizzie b said...

Rootlesscosmo,
Bogus? Bogus?!?
All I can say is, if this guy invited *me* to the tundra, i wouldn't leave him waiting on the jetway.