Olivier Salad: A Russian Holiday Tradition

Olivier Salad (Салат «Оливье») is a salad for which the recipe can vary widely, but which is typically made from chopped vegetables and meat in a mayonnaise base. Invented in Moscow, the salad is now popular throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union and beyond. In places like Turkey, Iran, and Greece, it is […]

Pickling Russian Style

The process of pickling (соление) is well-known in Russia, and any traveler visiting Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus will undoubtedly come across several traditional pickled dishes that seem strange and exotic. With a relatively short growing season, preserving food has always been of special importance in Russia, where you can easily find pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, […]

Syrniki: Not Your Average Cheese Cake

Syrniki (Сырники) are cottage cheese griddle cakes, sometimes called “cheese fritters” in English. They are generally fried in vegetable oil to create crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside medallions of warm, creamy goodness. Drizzled with sour cream, condensed milk, and/or jam, and served for breakfast or dessert, syrniki are particularly beloved in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. Syrniki are […]

International Women’s Day: Student Observations

This holiday was initially instituted to honor women workers in USSR. On March 8, 1917, women marched in St. Petersburg, demanding bread, better working conditions, and an end to WWI. The march became violent, but soldiers refused to shoot at the women. It was one of the moments that eventually precipited the February revolution that […]

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for the third anniversary of the day snipers killed 100 protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on February 18, 2017. The deceased are commonly known as the “Heavenly Hundred.” The date of thier death is now marked every year by mourners returning to […]

Keeping the Faith (Catholicism) in Kyiv

For some, traveling abroad can be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one, and tourists are often encouraged to visit religious relics and places of worship for their history, culture, and architecture. For me, a practicing Catholic who has now spent a couple of months living in Kyiv, this internship/study abroad experience has […]

St. Panteleimon Cathedral & Feofaniya Park in Kyiv

Tucked away in the outskirts of Kyiv, in the Holiivs’ki district, lies St. Pantelemion’s Cathedral and Feofaniya Park. This place makes for a great day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. First, be sure to step inside and admire the beauty of St. Pantelemion’s Cathedral. When looking at the gorgeous iconography, don’t […]

The Question of Genre in Byliny and Beowulf

While stories about Dobrynya Nikitich, Ilya Muromets, and Sadko were being sung in Kievan Rus’ – the Slavic state dominated by the city of Kiev from the ninth until the twelfth centuries – Anglo-Saxon, or Old English poetry had already extended from oral to written production in the form of Beowulf.[1] Beowulf is a Christian reworking of oral […]

Preservations: Ukraine in the Summer of 1999

In Kiev store signs and street markings are in Ukrainian, and although I could still read all of them, half the time, I could not understand what they meant. The drive from Borispol airport to T. Clara’s apartment deep inside Kiev was speedy, thanks to our driver who traveled well over the km/hr speed limit. […]

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