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 блины (blini) and Масленица (Maslenitsa) as being “truly […]

Ukrainian Holidays 2021: A Complete Guide

Ukrainian holidays are a reflection of Ukrainian’s recent political history and shifting identity. They feature a range of secular and religious holidays. Some holidays have been celebrated for thousands of years and some, particularly patriotic and Western-influenced holidays, have been recently added to the line up. See below for descriptions of these Ukrainian holidays, thier […]

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 […]

Cheburek: The Half-moon Pastry from Crimea

On streets throughout the post-Soviet space, you can generally find the чебурек (cheburek) — a juicy, fried, savory pastry — for sale. This tasty treat likely originated in Turkey or Crimea and its popularity slowly traveled north and eventually spread throughout what is today the former USSR. Почему они носят такое название? Чебурек was likely […]

Ukrainian for Russian Speakers

The following is a short Russian MiniLesson concentrating on the differences between Russian and Ukrainian. Words and phrases below (but not letters) shown in bold have annotation. Just hover your cursor over the text to see the annotation. Interested in really expanding your knowledge of the Ukrainian language and culture while also practicing your Russian […]

Ukraine Constitution Day: Student Observations

Constitution Day in Ukraine is celebrated on June 28th. Celebrated since 1996, this day commemorates the anniversary of the approval by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) of the Constitution of Ukraine. Before 2014 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, the holiday’s importance and observance were minimal and around 10% of Ukrainians believed it should […]

The Talking Ukrainian 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 Ukrainian translation in the right. The Ukainian is presented in […]

Borsch: The Slavic Signature Soup

Борщ (borsch) is one of the most popular soups in Central and Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is sweet and sour, healthy and can be eaten at any time of year. It has a complicated and very long history, with the soup changing over time within various geographic regions. Today, the broadly recognized “standard” […]

Okroshka: A Refreshing Summer Soup

Окрошка (okroshka) is a cold soup that probably originated in the Volga region of Russia. Because of its light, refreshing taste, it is popularly served in summer. The soup usually consists of diced vegetables, eggs, and meats in a base of either kvass or kefir and is often garnished with sour cream. Best known in […]

Kulich: Mystical Russian Easter Bread

Кулич (Kulich) is a lightly sweet, yeast-risen bread baked with considerable amounts of egg and butter. It may also contain raisins, almonds, candied or dried fruit, lemon zest, and various spices including cardamom and even saffron depending on the recipe and personal preferences. Central to Easter celebrations in Orthodox Christian traditions, кулич is enjoyed in […]

Russian and Ukrainian: Differences and Similarities

The following is an article that originally appeared on Russian7.ru (Русская Семерка). The original can be read here. The following translation to English has been provided by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Lindsey Greytak.   Sharing common roots, Russian and Ukrainian, at first glance, look very similar. This is not so. In reality they have […]

Kvass! The Other Fermented Russian Drink

Квас (Kvass) is sometimes referred to as “bread drink” or even “bread cider” in English. We recommend just sticking with the word “квас,” though. Brewed from black or rye bread, the drink may come with a range of consistencies similar to those found in beer and a distinctly “bready” taste. The first recorded mention of […]

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