Russia Beyond (Photo by Guy Ritchie/Miramax 2019, Unsplash

As you drive by high-rise residences in Russia, you will notice windows that are lit with a strange bright pink light. Some believe the light is indicative of brothels, while others joke that those living in these apartments are growing marijuana.

“A couple of years ago, I was walking around Moscow late in the evening and noticed that practically every apartment block had at least one window glowing with a pinkish-violet light. I found it very intriguing and somewhat uplifting. Even if the purpose of this light is purely functional, still I like finding these windows and looking at them,”Lyubov Yaermolayeva, a Moscow resident, said it.

Lyubov then created a small community via the VK social networking site called ‘Pink Windows’You can post photos of windows with pink light from different Russian cities on this site.

VK and Instagram have many similar small communities dedicated to windows. Russian social media users are also beginning to wonder what this pink light means.

“I wonder what is happening behind those pink windows. Are they growing something there? Developing film? Dancing to minimal techno? Why is the light pink? Why is it so bright???” asks St. Petersburg resident Olga on Instagram.

“In the apartment block across the street, there is fun everywhere. On one of the top floors, there are disco lights and right across from me, an intimate pink light,” WritesA Twitter user.

Different theories have been offered by social media users regarding the bright pink light’s purpose.

“There is a strange window in the apartment block. A pink light… Are there aliens among us? Or an open portal?”Twitter user ‘Oprichnik’ wonders.

Others believe that the women behind these windows offer sexual services for money and use pink light to attract customers.

“I still cannot forget it how a local carpenter at the academy, who often hung around students, approached me once and, with a mysterious air and carefully choosing his words, asked: ‘Excuse me, but I have been wondering: does this pink light in windows at night indicate a house of ill repute (another name for a brothel)?” Twitter user ‘Anarkhiopterix’ Writes.

An anonymous Instagram user even created an account called “Insta-User” ‘Windows of Taganrog’Photos of pink light streaming out of the windows. According to its bio, Russians turn on pink light during sex.

“I have just developed one of the popular theories about these windows with pink light to a full-fledged account, but I am still not sure what happens behind these windows. I think this theory may well turn out to be right,”The owner of the account will speak for themselves.

In the meantime, other users are convinced that the windows in question hide marijuana plantations and compare residents of those apartments to characters in Guy Ritchie’s movie The Gentlemen.

“Every time I take a walk, I see these windows with a pink light.”

These theories are not true. A growing number of Russians have developed a green thumb and started growing vegetables and plants in their apartments. Some grow tomatoes, parsley and dill, while others prefer to see the flowers on their windowsills. Special phyto lamps for seedlings emit pink light and are used in winter when the sun is too short to allow plants to grow properly.

From the inside, it often looks like this.

Ksenia, a resident of Krasnoznamensk, Moscow Region, sets up special lamps to grow orchids in fall and winter. She jokes about her small botanic gardenAs an ‘orchibrothel’.

“In 2001, I moved from a southern city by the sea to the cold and unfamiliar Moscow Region. I left all my friends behind and I felt very lonely, so I took up growing plants as a hobby. I learned to love them and I felt feedback from them. I watered them and looked after them and in exchange they filled me with their energy. Since then, I see plants as my children. My neighbors have never complained about the pink light in my windows, though they may be gossiping about it behind my back,” says Ksenia.

Phyto lamps are very common in regions with extremely cold winters and the polar nights, Olga, who resides in Novy Urengoy, Yamal is convinced.

“Almost every apartment block in our city has three or four pink windows. People just miss the sun. And it does not necessarily have anything to do with growing seedlings: many have pot flowers just to have something that reminds them of summer,” Olga says.

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