Baikal village of Sakhyurta (MPC)

While traveling home last week from Olkhon Island's main village of Khuzir, I stopped briefly at a small mainland village called MPC. In Russian when you are entering or exiting a village, town or city, there are no 'Welcome to Whatever!' or 'You Are Now Leaving Whatever!' signs; there is simply a sign with the name of the town when you enter, and when you leave it is the name of the town with a red line drawn through it, like a no-smoking sign but without the outer circle.

When I looked for MPC on the map, and researched it on the Internet, I found nothing. Instead I found a village called Sakhyurta, so I asked a Russian friend from Irkutsk if he knew anything about the town. He said, "The village of Sakhyurta, which is its historical Buryat name, has a Soviet name, MPC, which abbreviates as The Small Sea Shipfixing Yard. This enterprise stopped functioning in the middle of 90s, but this strange name is still in use."

Small Sea refers to the massive size of Lake Baikal, and the dual names of the village are an example of something seen all over Russia: the mix of Soviet and modern Russian cultures.