In south-central Siberia, along the shore of Lake Baikal, lies a population of fewer than one million people. The Buryats are the largest indigenous group in the region and most can be found in the Republic of Buryatia, a federal subject of Russia. Their rich Mongolian heritage is evident in their culture and their language.
But it is a language that Bulat Shagzhin fears is dying.
After 12 years working as an IT specialist in the Russian capital, Moscow, Shagzhin felt drawn to his ancestral homeland with its majestic scenery and iconic lake.
When he returned, however, he felt a sense of disconnect. Like many other Buryats, he could barely speak the language. So he enrolled, with his wife, in a Buryat language course, hoping it would help forge a deeper sense of connection with his ancestors.
Read more: Al Jazeera