Author: Josh Wilson

Russian Holidays 2022: 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 […]

Polish Holidays 2022: 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 […]

Medovukha: The King of Slavic Honey Drinks

Medovukha (медовуха) is a Slavic honey-based alcoholic beverage. It is one of the most recent and perhaps the best known iteration of a long evolutionary tree of Russian honey-based beverages that can be traced all the way back to the Old Slavs. In Russia today, some argue that a return to these honey drinks, which […]

Kartoshka Cake – The Potato-esque Russian Pastry

Kartoshka cake, known as in Russian as “пирожное картошка” (Pirozhnoe kartoshka – literally “cake potato”), or sometimes more affectionately just картошка (kartoshka – “potato”), is a mouthwatering pastry that takes many people from the former USSR back to their childhood. Once used to prevent food loss and combat shortages, kartoshka cake spread widely in the […]

Baklava: A Sweet Cultural Controversy of Eurasia

Baklava (Баклава), is a delicate pastry served in numerous countries such as Russia, Turkey, and throughout the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucuses, and Central Asia. The recipe for the luxurious dessert typically maintains the same components: honey and nuts placed between layers of pastry. Specific countries over the centuries have added their own specific […]

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! Basic Dictionaries report an error back to top Multitran is an online crowdsourced dictionary. It’s a fantastic resource for those hard-to-find translations of abbreviations and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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