Thursday, December 11, 2014


So I found this really cute Russian cartoon with English subtitles. I thought it was interesting how they were encouraging smiling because I always thought that Russians generally saw smiling as foolish looking or something.

Unit 5: Russian Hospitality

When compared to other cultures/countries around the world, Russians are amazing hospitable, in some cases to a near unbelievable degree. Russians are often nominated for being the best hosts around the world - and not just for the drinks they provide. Friendly, open environments, and the ability to comfortably visit friends in Russia without needing an invitation is what separates Russians in this regard from not only Americans but most of the world as well. However, this hospitality does not only go one way. Gifts are almost always provided to the hosts from the guests at such visits, to such an extent that it is nearly shocking when guests arrive without gifts. Sadly, this sort of nice gesture is only beginning to come through in American society. Finally, Russians enjoy hosting foreign friends and showing them around, in addition to hosting more traditional events, such as holiday celebrations. Whatever the circumstance, you can bet Russians will be more accommodating to others than those snippy Americans.

A Few Things Never To Do in Russia That I Found Interesting

Don't go dutch

If you don't pay for her, she won't be going out with you again. She probably wouldn't even bring money to your date, unless she's afraid of having to make a quick emergency exit out the back and pay for a taxi home...

Don't burp in public

Bodily functions are a big no-no. Everyone on the bus will look at you like you are an axe-murderer and you've been killing puppies in front of them.  And for god's sake don't apologize, it's like raising your hand and telling the judge, "Yes sir I am very guilty."  So don't apologize, just let everyone ignore it and look terrified.

Don't take the last shirt

Russians will literally offer you their earthly possessions if you comment on them positively, this does not mean you should take them, they are just trying to be nice.

Don't joke about the parents

Russians literally don't care about any other kind of joke, whether it be racial stereotypes or puns. But don't joke about the RENTS! No one will understand you, they don't make your mom jokes.


This is one of the many dishes that we sometimes eat in my household, and is personally my favorite meal.
Here is the Russian blinchiki (блинчики) recipe:
2 ¼ cups of milk (молоко) or water (вода)
3 eggs
1 ¼ of flour
1 tbsp of sugar (if you want your blinchiki to be sweeter, you can use 2tbs of sugar)
1 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil
1.    Mix the eggs, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.
2.    Add milk or water to the mixture and mix well.
3.    Stir in flour, mixing well to make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
4.    Add vegetable oil to the batter (жидкое тесто) and mix well. Leave to stand for 10-15 min.
5.    Oil a skillet (Смажьте сковородку маслом). Pour the batter on the hot oiled skillet and cook on one side until golden then flip the blinchik over and brown the other side.
6.    Serve (подавать) sweet crepes (сладкие блинчики) with jam (варенье), sour cream,honey (мёд), syrup, melted chocolate, whipped cream, and fruit.
Very tasty! You will lick your fingers! (Так вкусно, что пальчики оближешь!) :-P

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

UNIT 5: Russian Baked Apples Recipe (Печеные Яблоки)

  • 4 large Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples
  • Lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, divided use
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins soaked in 2 tablespoons rum or water
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield4 Russian Baked Apples
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Find a baking dish that will just accommodate the apples without them rolling around. Coat it lightly with cooking spray. 
  2. Make the filling by combining in a medium bowl 2 tablespoons melted butter with toasted walnuts, drained raisins, honey, cinnamon and other spices, if using. Set aside. 
  3. Peel the apples. Rub them lightly with lemon juice. Slice off the top portion of the apples and core them, leaving the apples intact at the bottom to ensure that the filling will not run out. Place them in the prepared baking dish. 
  4. Divide the filling among the four apples. Rub the exterior of the apples with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Place 1/4 cup water in the bottom of the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until the apples are soft, but before they collapse. If desired, serve with pan juices, and ice cream or whipped cream.
The Ukraine gave citizenship to a neo-Nazi, wanted in Russia for allegedly setting off a bomb near the Kremlin....on that note, the current Ukrainian President has included a rag doll into his daily musings on "how to protect the country".

View image on Twitter

1 Ruble = 63 USD

One ruble, the currency in Russia, is equivalent to $63. This is over double what the dollar was worth in Russia one year ago. According the the New York Times, this will make most Russians 50% poorer. The economic crisis Russia has been facing is due to Putin's controversial acts of military aggression toward Ukraine. The rest of the Western world has handed many sanctions down upon Russia and Putin has done his best to isolate as much of Russia as possible. The world is eagerly awaiting Putin's next attempt at expanding the Russian Empire, no matter what economic downturn for the average Russian it causes. I have attached the New York Time's article called "The Myth of Russian Oligarchs".

The beginning of the Russian - Scandinavian relationship dated from the 9th century is described in the Russian Primary Chronicle written by Orthodox monks. At that time, different Slav tribes lived in the North - West of Russia along the Neva and the Volkhov rivers as well as around the lakes Ladoga and Ilmen. The great Russian plain covered with forest and grassland was ideal for hunting, fishery and agriculture. Also it represented real trade crossroads between Northern Europe and Byzantine Empire. That was one of the reasons to build there the town of Novgorod which was a capital of the Old Northern Russia and an important commercial centre.
In 862 the Slavs, exhausted by uninterrupted inter-tribal wars, made the following proposal to the Rus (a name borrowed from the Finns to designate the Swedes): "Our country is rich and immense, but it is rent by disorder. Come and govern us and reign over us".
Three Swedish Vikings responded and came to Russia. Rurik became governor of Novgorod, Sineus settled down in Beloozerg and Truvor in Izborsk. Two years later Sineus and Truvor both died and Rurik extended his rule over the whole country. Later two of his lieutenants went down to Kiev, nearly six hundred miles away, and conquered it. In 882 Oleg, Rurik's successor, came to Kiev in his turn. Having established his own leadership over numerous towns and tribes Oleg strengthened considerably the new Russian State and became its master. The new capital, Kiev, little by little became one of the richest towns in Europe.
Rurik's successors became a ruling dynasty in Russia for more than 700 years.

Ivan the Terrible

One of Russia's best and worst Tsars, was Ivan the Terrible. Ivan was crowned Tsar in 1547 at the age of 16. His view of the position of Tsar was that it meant being an ultimate and supreme ruler. Ivan was not going to let anyone stand in his way. His policies involved making sure all Russian lands succumb to his great power. Ivan waged wars against everybody and everything that stood in his path to power. In his lifetime had conquered Siberia, he kept the Novgorod Republic under imperial control, fought and beat the Turks, raided Crimea and almost succeeded in gaining access to the Baltic sea by waging war. Ivan's Tsarship consisted primarily of desire for land and power and he failed to actually bring about a good policy to help his people. However, he did succeed to putting Russia on the map as a force to be feared when it comes to military prowess. Ivan died in 1584, leaving Russia to his son, who would then died childless and send Russia into the Time of Troubles.

Юлия Липницкая

Юлия Липницкая (Yulia Lipnitskaya) is a Russian figure skater who competed at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games at the age of 15. However, the Russian team won the gold medal. She did not earn any medals at the Sochi Olympics; she came in 5th place. Last year, she won the silver medal at the World Championships and the gold medal at the European Championships. Here is a video of her at the Sochi Olympics.