Author: Josh Wilson

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

A Midsummer’s Introduction to Russian Mythology

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. To understand a culture’s folklore is to understand its roots. Folklore gives a glimpse into how the early participants of a culture saw the world around them […]

Russian MiniLessons: День Ивана Купала – Ivan Kupala Day

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 (Ivan Kupala Day) or is a (folk holiday with pagan origins) celebrated in connection with , although not necessarily on the same day. It is today primarily […]

Plov: A Central Asian Rice Staple

Plov (Плов) is a hearty dish made from deep fried meat and vegetables, over which rice is cooked. Plov is considered a national dish in many countries of Central Asia and the Near and Middle East ‒ Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. It is generally popular over most of the area that the Soviet Union […]

Dacha Wanna Be Russian? A Lesson in Culture and Language

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.   It’s in Russia. Dachas have existed for centuries, surviving revolutions, purges, and economic and political collapses. Dachas remain an integral, if at times hard-to-define part of […]

Quarantine Diaries: Poll on Distance Learning

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 […]

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