Music Box: Belarussian Folksongs Presented in Cartoons

Music Box (Музычная скарбонка) is a series of a few Belarusian short animated films that illustrate and give context to Belarusian folk songs. They were released in 2009 and 2012 by Belarusfilm (Беларусьфільм), the country’s national film studio. They range from three to about 10 minutes long. The series includes songs from a range of […]

The Veryovka Ukrainian Folk Choir

The Veryovka Ukrainian Folk Choir (Національний заслужений академічний український народний хор України імені Г. Г. Верьовки; the name in full means “The National Distinguished Academic Ukrainian Folk Choir of Ukraine Named for G. Veryovka”). The choir was founded in 1943 by the USSR’s Council of People’s Commissars in Kharkiv to promote and spread Ukrainian folk […]

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, […]

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 […]

Enyovden: Midsummer in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has been on my list of places to visit for a while. I had planned to visit it while enroute to somewhere else, as a long layover. I never really thought about it in terms of a multi-day destination. However, in June, 2019, an opportunity to spend a few days there appeared and I […]

New Year’s Eve: Student Observations

The New Year is, without doubt, the most important holiday on the Russian calendar. It equates if not outstrips the importance of Christmas in America, if to compare the two holidays in the two cultures. New Year in Russia is a time to be together with family and friends, for gift giving, major consumer spending, […]

Dacha and Banya: Day Trip from St. Petersburg

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 […]

Dacha: Day Trip from Moscow

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 […]

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