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by A. Gankevich

The translation from Tibetan of the Sanskrit word "mandala" (dkyil-‘khor) means "something that
surrounds the center." The center carries the meaning, and its surrounding – the Mandala – is a symbol,
represented in the form of a circle, that expresses its value. Although not all mandalas have a round

In the early 60-70s, every wealthy Soviet family surrounded themselves with cozy carpets, making thin
walls in “Khrushchev” and “Brezhnev” type of flats warmer. In the same years, crystal glass appeared.

Crystal glass in the houses demonstratively sat in the most prominent places, sparkled in every “gorka”
(a russian word for a cupboard with glass panels), as on the altar. Carpets were not laid on the floor, as
they once were in Byzantium, but were hung above the bed, covering not the smoothest walls of the
flat, just like paintings.

I could say that the 70-80s were happy years of my youth; I spent these years in cozy, “carpet-crystal”
atmosphere of a carefree Soviet childhood, lying under a huge carpet that absorbed my attention and
imagination with its abstract pattern.

Carpet and crystal are the symbols of a high level of consumption and wealth of the Soviet family. You
can see the European-Asian aesthetic taste of the Soviet people in these addictions.

Crystal glass is the West. Carpets are the East.

The two Soviet values ​​- crystal and carpets – were used as a material for the creation of two main
elements of the Soviet world: the Center, which carries a form and a meaning, and the Mandala –
everything that surrounds it.