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 […]

A Guide to Jewish Saint Petersburg

The history of Jewish people in Saint Petersburg dates back hundreds of years. In the late 18th century, Russia’s annexation of eastern Poland saw millions of Jews move deeper into Russia under Catherine the Great. Many came to Saint Petersburg. When Catherine later created the Pale of Settlement in 1791, many Jews were forced to […]

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 […]

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 […]

High Holidays in Saint Petersburg

This year was the first year I spent the High Holidays away from my home temple in Seattle, Washington. While I am not the most observant Jewish person, I have always enjoyed the High Holidays, as well as other Jewish celebrations. I started the High Holidays with the Erev Rosh Hashanah (evening services) at The […]

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 […]

Staying Kosher in Irkutsk

Having grown up Jewish, I stopped eating pork when I was around 5, and have not eaten it since then. Coming to Irkutsk, I was very curious to see if not eating pork would be a challenge, or if it would be simple to avoid. Spending six weeks in Siberia, I have realized that a […]

Korean Sparzha: The Soy Dish That Took the USSR by Storm

Korean Sparzha (спаржа по-корейски; also called соевая спаржа; Soy Sparzha) has a misleading name. First, this unusual and beloved salad has nothing to do with “спаржа,” which means “asparagus” in Russian. Also perhaps misleading is the fact that, while invented by Koreans, it was not invented in Korea. Like “морковь по-корейски” (Korean carrot salad), Korean […]

Korean Carrot Salad: A Simple Salad, Full of Flavor and History

Korean Carrot Salad (Морковь по-корейски, also called корейская морковь/морковка) was a Soviet-era invention of the “Корё-сарам” (Koryo-Saram), ethnic Koreans living in the territory of the former Soviet Union. The salad was inspired by traditional Korean cuisine, and was shaped by the shortages and circumstances of life in the Soviet Union. It originated in Central Asia […]

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 […]

Poles on Poland

While on SRAS’ Security and Society study abroad program in Warsaw, Rebekah Switala, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, stayed very active. Here, she sat down with two Polish friends to discuss what it was like to grow up in Poland, their thoughts on Polish culture, and what advice they may […]

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