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5 Feb, 2009 10:51

Ossetians and the dance of life

South Ossetia has recently survived a bloody conflict with Georgia, which destroyed much of its infrastructure. But the spirit of the nation and the culture remain undimmed.

Ossetians say their heritage dates back centuries. They are descendants of the Alans who established a kingdom near the Don River in present-day Russia in 7AD

Several centuries later, Mongol tribes drove them into the Caucasus Mountains.

The Ossetian language is related to Farsi, a Persian language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

As a people, Ossetians are proud of their rich heritage and culture.

Dancing is central to Ossetian culture and lives in the heart of every Ossetian.

The qualities of the Ossetian people is reflected in their native dance. The tradition is also represented in the national flag, where white is for wisdom, red is for military valour and yellow is for grace.

Watch an exclusive RT report from a ruined but unconquered Tskhinval, the capital of South Ossetia.