Author: Josh Wilson

Resources for Students of Russian

This extensive list of web resources to assist students learning the Russian language was developed by SRAS and is now hosted on Folkways, part of the SRAS Family of Sites! Table of Contents: 1. Basic Dictionaries 2. Specialty Dictionaries and Resources 3. Online Russian Lessons     A. For Teachers & Adv. Students     B. Especially […]

Maslenitsa, Blin! The Food and Celebration

Они хранили в жизни мирной  /  In peaceful life they protected Привычки милой старины;  /  Sweet olden-time traditions; У них на масленице жирной  /  With them on fatty Maslenitsa Водились русские блины.  /  Was always the Russian blin. А.С. Пушкин  /  A.S. Pushkin Russians revere both blini (блины) and Maslenitsa (Масленица) as being “truly Russian” […]

Nowruz: A Spring New Year of Modern National Pride

Nowruz is a spring solstice celebration that marks the beginning of the New Year according to the traditional Persian calendar. It has been a beloved holiday for some 3,000 years, surviving cultural change caused by centuries of tumultuous history. It is now celebrated on the set date of March 21st. The holiday has long been […]

Quarantine Diaries: Новый год и пандемия

Quarantine Diaries is a series of free language lessons from SRAS. Each lesson can take a variety of forms but all focus on building intermediate and advanced vocabulary and listening skills. Read the text and familiarize yourself with the new vocabulary (you can hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation). Then, watch […]

Polish Holidays 2021: A Complete Guide

Polish holidays are heavily steeped in Catholic tradtion. They all have a distinctly Polish flair to them, however, in their foods, colors, and celebrations. Note that in Poland nearly everything closes for public holidays! Everyone will be celebrating! Find out more about Polish holidays, their history, cultural significance, and related days off below. Days Off […]

Russian Holidays 2021: A Complete Guide

Russians get nearly three weeks off a year just for holidays. From the long New Year holidays to the often stretched-out May holidays and several others besides. Russian holidays also include non-days off that span the religious and pagan as well as the patriotic and more. Find out more about Russian holidays, their history, cultural […]

Russian MiniLessons: Winter Clothes

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation. In the Soviet era, Russians had more limited choice of winter clothes than nowadays. Both men and women used to commonly wear a type of . If […]

Russian MiniLessons: The Russian Bath House

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.  has always played an important part in Russian culture. Since ancient times, Russians have said that . The баня was also thought in previous times to be highly […]

Russian MiniLessons: Haunted Places in Russia

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation. According to Russian folk beliefs, (sometimes referred to with the shortened “нечисть”) prefer to settle in evil places or places viewed as conducive to evil. These can […]

Russian MiniLessons: Death in Russian Folklore and Culture

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation. Russians are often superstitious and regard discussions of death or illness as unpleasant or even dangerous. However, as with all cultures, death does play a significant part […]

Manti, Pozi, Bauzi: More Than Just Another Dumpling

Manti (манты) are steamed dumplings consisting of ground meat and spices in an unleavened pastry shell. Manti are a popular dish across Central Asia, Pakistan, Northern China, Turkey, and Russia. They are considered native to Central Asia, but are also thought to have descended from a still-older Chinese dish. How Manti Got Their Name (Почему […]

Pelmeni: A Tasty History

Pelmeni (Пельмени) are Russian dumplings: small portions of ground meat and onion wrapped in a thin, unleavened dough and boiled. While Russians prize pelmeni as a Siberian dish, “рецепт русских пельменей может на самом являться измененной версией китайских пельменей” (the recipe may actually be an adaptation of Chinese pot-stickers). Other ancient foods such as manti, […]

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