Competing in EthnoQuest!


I recently was able to participate in an event called EthnoQuest. EthnoQuest is an event where groups of people from all over compete against each other, with the ultimate goal of finishing each segment the fastest. Whoever completes the entire course in the least amount of time wins. Each individual event is hosted by people from different ethnic backgrounds. Our group’s name was “иностранец” (Foreigner), because our group was made up of individuals from Germany, Russia, and America.

Here is our experience.

(All photos taken by someone hosting the EthnoQuest)

иностранец team. Tobias (right), Ira, Jenna, Anna, and me.

The first event we went to was the Cossacks. We were giving an introduction to who they are, and then we were asked trivia questions about other famous Cossacks.

Three Cossacks

Giving us a brief description of each Cossack and then showing us a picture of the individual helped us to figure out the correct answer.

I have no idea who that is.

I may not have known any of the Cossacks based off the pictures but our team was able to figure them out with some more detailed descriptions from our three Cossack presenters.

That’s me being utterly confused.


Who drew these pictures?

Once a station was completed, we were given a map with the location of our next station and we headed over to the Buryat station (Бурятская станция).

There, we had to answer questions to receive letters. After answering not nearly enough questions correctly, we attempted to piece together the letters. Only the thing was that we couldn’t figure it out because we didn’t have enough letters and it was the name of a holiday which no one knew. After we requested a hint, we received time added onto our scorecard and then we solved the question.

Next we headed over to the Lithuanians. This one did not prove to be as difficult as some of the other ones. We had to make a family tree based on the root of Lithuanian  words.

Little did they know, we had our secret weapon ready to help us solve this puzzle.

With the our little helper throwing out hints to us, we were able to solve the puzzle in record time. At this point in the game, we were ahead of all the other teams. So we headed to our next event where we got to taste some different foods. A description of each dish was given, and then one of us was blindfolded and fed a piece of food. Since Tobias was very hungry, we selected him to taste the food. He then had to guess the name of the dish, which he did.

This is not Tobias

This station was not difficult, but the next one was the most challenging, at least for me.


We had to answer a few easy questions, and then…..



Tobias and I perfecting our footwork.

Once we all were ready we had to dance from one side to the other along with some music. It was difficult.

Side note. There was at least 6 weddings that day nearby and they all passed through.

After successfully completing the dance we moved on to our last event where we had to use two hints and add time to our scorecard. However, the hints were not helpful. We had to figure out a quote that a Tsar said to an Armenian painter.

When we asked for our first clue, we were told “He is the Tsar.” This was not helpful, as we already knew he was the Tsar (he told us that when he introduced himself). Since we needed more help, we asked for another clue.

Our next clue was, “That is the ocean.” This as well was not helpful. However, we did end up figuring it out later with some help from the Tsar and the Painter themselves. The quote they were looking for was “I am Tsar of the world and you are the Tsar of the Sea/Ocean.”

Though we were the first team to complete all the events, with the added time from our three clues, we ended up coming in third place. Regardless, it was a great experience.

This was a great opportunity to work with others to complete a challenge together all while having fun and learning about the country and different peoples who reside within it. Coming in to the Ethnoquest we were not told anything about how it would work or what kind of questions we would be asked. I suspect no one really knew. My idea of teamwork is exactly the same as everyone who was on my team regardless of their background. We all worked together to piece together the answers. Along with being able to work together effectively in a team, I also made new friends and continue to associate with them. This experience has taught me that regardless of a language barrier or a person’s background, it is possible to work together and learn about each other while doing so.

See you next week!