In Soviet ideology, in addition to hypertrophied patriotism, an important role was played by the thesis of the friendship of peoples of different countries and continents. In this picture, a phenomenon like twin cities was very smoothly integrated. What is this for a Soviet man? Do they have analogues in world practice?
Turning to the dictionary, we will read that twinning is a phenomenon of a very ancient past, related to patrimonial customs. People (men and women) who do not have blood ties, for the purpose of mutual support, established links between themselves, in fact, close to relatives. People say that the named sister is a named brother. From these arguments, the answer to the question of what "sister cities" is quite reveals. These are cities that can be in different states and on different continents, but have close, friendly relations. There is even a world organization of twin cities, and since 1863 the last Sunday in April is celebrated as the World Day of Twin Cities.
After the Second World War, to strengthen the ties between the allied, but still very different countries of Europe, America and the USSR, a new level of cooperation arose that took shape in the concept of "twin cities". What did this mean in the difficult times of the beginning of the Cold War? First, the opportunity to learn more about the life, culture, customs and traditions of people very far away for us, residents of foreign cities on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Secondly, it was a way to tell the world about ourselves, to present the true values proclaimed in our society - friendliness, peacefulness, mutual respect. An interesting case is the emergence of friendship and the establishment of a kindred relationship between Stalingrad and Coventry, an English city whose inhabitants supported the population of the destroyed and burned but outrunning city on the Volga. They sent a telegram with words of support, and then embroidered tablecloth, which is stored in the museum of Volgograd. This was the first case, which initiated the phenomenon of twin-cities. That this is a fairly touching situation, sincere and open, I think no doubt. In the future, and more prosaic reasons gave an opportunity to become related to cities, such as the similarity of names, geographical location and even industrial enterprises.
The phenomenon, which was called "sister city", was quite common in the USSR. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia indicates that 100 cities of our country had such close, friendly ties with 200 localities around the world. For example, sister cities of Moscow - most often the capital of other countries, there are only 88. In the United States, this is one city - Chicago. Between these cities there are cultural and economic ties, manifested in festivals, joint actions, exchange of experience, trade relations.
With the process of globalization and rapprochement of different countries, this phenomenon may be outdated. The younger generation rarely uses the phrase "sister cities" in their speech. What is this for the modern world? Most likely, the phenomenon under consideration has substantially changed and has acquired a pragmatic character in establishing economic ties that can bring mutual profit. But nevertheless it is necessary to dig in archives and to learn about the reasons of occurrence of the coupled communications of other cities with your native residence. Maybe you'll find something interesting.