The Talking Buryat Phrasebook

The Talking Phrasebook Series presents useful phrases and words in side-by-side translation and with audio files specifically geared to help students work on listening skills and pronunciation. Each entry below, divided by category, features an English word or phrase in the left column and its Georgian translation in the right. The Georgian is presented in […]

Manti, Pozi, Bauzi: More Than Just Another Dumpling

Манты (manti) are steamed dumplings consisting of ground meat and spices in an unleavened pastry shell. Манты 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. Почему они носят такое название? It […]

Dacha and Banya: Day Trip from Irkutsk

Dacha – a summer house with rich cultural and economic history – is an integral part of Russian life. To help students get familiar with its peculiarities, regular visits are organised by SRAS to dachas outside of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Irkutsk. Here, we asked our students from all of those locations to share their […]

Guide to Religion in Russia

The following resource is meant to quickly but thoroughly overview the subject of religion in Russia. It includes statistics on membership, information on major organizations and institutions, and links to sites offering histories. Mention of religion in other FSU countries is made as well. Your suggestions and comments are always welcome! Contact the Author Table […]

National Unity Day in Russia: Student Observations

National Unity Day is celebrated on November 4th. Russia’s absolute newest holiday, created in 2004, celebrates the liberation of Moscow from Polish troops in 1612 and the subsequent end of the “time of troubles.” This is the first time in nearly 400 years, however, that an official state holiday has marked the occasion, leading many […]

Buryats on Buryatia

The Republic of Buryatia is located in South Central Siberia sharing Lake Baikal with Irkutsk Oblast. Roughly 500,000 people identify as Buryat making the Buryats the largest indigenous group in Siberia. The Buryat people are descents of several different ethnic groups including Mongolian and indigenous Siberian. Because of this, Buryat culture is an interesting and […]

Buryat Cooking Lesson at Ulus in Irkutsk

One of my favorite things about living in/traveling to other countries is getting to know the national cuisine. Irkutsk is located right next to the (Russian) Republic of Buryatia, and as such has a large population of ethnic Buryats (they’re closely related to Mongolians). I also love cooking, though with a minimum of skill, so […]

Моя Россия 13: Религия в России – Религия в СССР

The following is lesson 13 of the Моя Россия advanced Russian lesson series. Note that all bold words and phrases have annotation below. Red words and phrases indicate the subject of this blog entry’s grammar lesson. Asterisks indicate slang. В предыдущих уроках мы обсудили историю некоторых религиозных конфессий, имеющих большое значение для истории и культуры […]

Моя Россия 11: Религия в России – Буддизм

The following is lesson 11 of the Моя Россия advanced Russian lesson series. Note that all bold words and phrases have annotation below. Red words and phrases indicate the subject of this blog entry’s grammar lesson. Asterisks indicate slang. Мы уже успели поговорить о православии, язычестве и исламе. Настало времени поговорить и о буддизме, который […]

Моя Россия 9: Религия в России – Христианство и язычество

The following is lesson 9 of the Моя Россия advanced Russian lesson series. Note that all bold words and phrases have annotation below. Red words and phrases indicate the subject of this blog entry’s grammar lesson. Asterisks indicate slang. Россия – многонациональное и многоконфессиональноегосударство. Россия –  светское государство, а конституция РФ гарантирует «свободу совести, свободу вероисповедания». Федеральный закон «О свободе совести и о […]

5 Ways To Experience Buryat Culture in Irkutsk

Today there are approximately 500,000 people that identify with the largest indigenous group living in Siberia, the Buryats.  The Buryats are a group of people descendent of various Siberian and Mongolian people that inhabited the Lake Baikal area, where most of the ethnic group is still concentrated, with many continuing to engage in traditional ways […]

Tengeri Shaman Center in Irkutsk

Shamanism is the common name for the traditional religions of a number of native Siberian peoples; the word describes a system of beliefs in which a large number of spirits, gods, and ancestors affect daily life on earth and can be called upon and influence by specially gifted individuals called shamans. While groups such as […]