Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brittany O blog post-portfolio 2

Taking up approximatly one seventh of the world's landmass, Russa is by fa the largest country in the world. Russia is so large in fact, it spreads wide nough to fit 11 time zones, it neighbors more countries thanany other country, touches 22 different bodies of water, and holds 12 sea's within its borders. That's very interesting knowing that there is less than half the population in Russia (145.5 million) than in the United States alone (300 million). Ther are many exciting things to experience in Russia, including the oldest mountains, the Urals, also Lake Baikal, the deepest lakein the world. How about being able to go from the driest desert to he coldest glaciers, including everything in between in one country!
Due to Russias supply of natural resources, the people depend heavily on mining. Some of the fastest growing sectorsi the Russian economy iclude telecmmunications, finace, construction, and energy production. Although the Russian economy ismaking a slow come back, significant changes are being made to their globalization markets in the country. Russia is starting to slowly transition its economy to a market economy from a command economy, ver big step i must say!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Павел Андреевич Чехов

Ensign Pavel Chekov (portrayed by Walter Koenig and Anton Yelchin), a Russian officer aboard the starship Enterprise, was not an original character to the series. Chekov didn’t appear on the show until the second season. However, aired In the middle of the Cold War, with the Soviet Union holding strong in Eurasia, why did Gene Roddenberry choose to add a young Russian character to the show? While nobody really knows for sure, the rumor is that an editorial in the communist newspaper Pravda had criticized the lack of a soviet crewman aboard the U.S.S Enterprise.

                Originally, Roddenberry was looking for a young, Beatles/Monkees type guy to draw in the younger crowd. He wanted a fresh, spirited Englishman. Chekov did appear on show with the signature “mop-top” hair-do inspired by the Beatles and Monkees. But rather than being an Englishman, Chekov was distinctly Russian. Herb Solow, who was the Vice President of Production of Desilu Studios, explained that Pravda had criticized Star Trek as being “typically capitalistic” and questioned why there was no Russian aboard, claiming that Russia was doing quite well in the space race. Supposedly, Gene Roddenberry loved the idea of a Russian, and thus the character of Pavel Chekov was created. Roddenberry even wrote a letter of apology to the Soviet Union for not having a Russian character on the show originally, yet he never heard a reply.

                However, there is still question as to whether or not the Pravda actually did publish an article criticizing Star Trek. There has been no proof that such an article existed. After all, Star Trek didn’t even run in the Soviet Union during its original run. Not even Gene Roddenberry admitted to seeing the actual article, just that he had heard it from somebody else (a specific person was never identified). In “Star Trek Memories” by William Shatner, he merely stated that the whole thing was just a publicity stunt. Whether the article existed or not, Gene Roddenberry genuinely believed there was.

By Ezri Thomas
Live Long And Prosper \\//

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Soviet Propoganda Cartoons Through the Years

I found some cartoons expressing the Soviet view of the world:

This is an early one from 1933 about U.S. race issues. Interestingly, the music's lyrics are in English:

Here's a series of World War II cartoons. Soviet frame the war as a struggle between hyper-capitalist fascism and freedom for the people:

Another anti-U.S. video. This one is a satire on capitalism from 1963:

And finally, a 1971 short on why Germany must remain divided, with the East Germany under Soviet control:

Владимир Высоцкий

If any of you remember, Dr.Denner showed us this video during our first semester:
It is Владимир Высоцкий singing about a wolf hunt, and I seriously urge you to listen to it again (or for new students to listen for the first time). I can't understand everything he's saying, but I still find the emotion moving. It was good enough that I looked for more things that he's done. I came across a song called "Я не люблю". I've found a few translations, some of which give it as "I don't like" but I like it better translated as "I hate". It gives it more depth in my opinion. Here's a neat video site with the song in question and a few subtitle options for those who want an instant translation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ruble Conversion

As Josh and I practiced reading dialogues, we came across a sentence that implied 50 rubles was worth 5 cents. This seemed outrageous to us. One dollar could not equal 1000 rubles. We thought that the conversion rate was closer to 10-16 rubles to 1 dollar. We were still wrong. This website (which updates itself every minute) gives the estimate of around 31.5 rubles to the dollar. I thought it would be neat to have a link on Bear in a Hat to a website that would always have relatively accurate exchange rate information. So here it is!

EDIT: We read it wrong and the original phrase that sparked this blog post was really about one ruble and fifty kopeks.

Top Song in Russia (for now)

The artist is Elka, and when I first heard the song it seemed happy and bouncy! and once I looked up/translated the lyrics, it was indeed happy and bouncy, literally! and also very colorful.

Russian Lyrics:

На большом воздушном шаре
На большом воздушном шаре

Куплет первый:
Мы с тобой возьмём мешков с песком побольше
Чтобы дольше быть поближе к метео
Мы с тобой возьмём мешков с песком побольше
Сбросим их на пляжи южных берегов

Припев (2 раза):
На большом воздушном шаре
Мандаринового цвета
Мы с тобой проводим это лето

Куплет второй:
Будь готов летать мы будем очень долго
Миллионы песен с высоты споём
Мы с тобой закрасим небо в ярко синий
Чтобы выделяться выгодно на нём


На большом воздушном шаре

English Lyrics:

On a large balloon
On a large balloon

Verse One:
We are with you take the sandbags more
To be closer to the long weather
We are with you take the sandbags more
Dropping them on the beaches of the southern shores

Chorus (2 times):
On a large balloon
Tangerine color
We're holding this summer

Verse Two:
Be ready to fly we will be very long
Millions of songs to sing high
We paint the sky with you in a bright blue
To stand out favorably for him


On a large balloon

To Infinity and Beyond...

With the announcement that NASA will now be relying on Russia to send astronauts to man the international space station, increased attention has been called to Russia’s space exploration programs. Last week, Russian shuttle Soyuz TMA-21 landed safely in Kazakhstan along with its three passengers – a Russian, American, and a Japanese astronaut. Placing a diverse group of people in a limited space for a long period of time lends itself to concerns about how astronauts will handle the stress of space travel. American astronauts will no doubt need to understand cultural differences between Russia and the US, and may even need to know Russian language in order to travel. On that note, here are some potentially useful words for future astronauts (er…kosmonauts) out there:

Astronaut: космонавт

Shuttle: космический челнок

Galaxy: галактика

Flight: полет

Moon: луна

Spacesuit: скафандр

Read about the shuttle landing: Here

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vanished Empire

Yes - another film review. I watched this movie and loved it. It follows the story of 2 guys, at first college age, and their mutual love interest - Lyuda. The movie showed various aspects of young life in Russia - albeit in the 1970's. I enjoyed also how the movie ends many years later - around thirty, and how it iterates the theme of change in life, and how circumstances can lead to drastic changes in relationships we have over the years.

Monday, September 19, 2011


As someone who appreciates good things, it's always fun to stumble across some quality music. Here are some pages with relatively good recordings of very good Russian choral groups.

Yale Russian Chorus - http://www.yale.edu/yrc/recordings.html (Kind of short recordings and only 3 or 4)

Russian Chamber Chorus of New York - http://www.rccny.org/WatchandListen.html (Really high quality and they're videos.)

Golosa - http://www.golosa.org/music (This one probably has the most music on it. Also it's the name of our book so it's gotta be good!)

Hope you enjoy this!

Elections in Russia: Welcome to the Circus

It's election season in Russia! Duma elections are in December and the presidential election is to be held the following March 2012. This Economist article paints the current political situation pretty clearly. United Russia, the party of Vladimir Putin is expected to garner at least 60% of the parliamentary vote. The prime minister has yet to announce whether he we will run for president, but whether he does or doesn't, he is assured some influential role within the Kremlin.

Another name worth learning is Vladislav Surkov, one of Putin's men behind the scenes and "the Kremlin's chief ideologist". He was called out by Mikahil Prokhorov, the head of the Right Cause - a formerly tolerated opposition party allowed to exist to support the perception of democracy, who called him a puppeteer who privatized the political system. Surkov seems to be the Karl Rove of the Putin Era.

The election is expected to be another show designed to don the veil of democracy in Russia. There still seems to be some concern from United Russia concerning the viability of its stronghold on Russian politics - it still seems threatened by smaller liberal. However, barring unforeseen racial upheaval, (particularly from the Chechnya area), the veil remains firmly on.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Unit 1 Blog Post

Yesterday the United States and Russia went head to head during the Rugby World Cup--and US emerged victoriously :) The final score was 13-6.


Russian Childhood Stories: Princess Frog

When I first saw the title, I thought it was going to be kind of like the American story: The Princess and the Frog. But as I was reading it, it was nothing like that story! It was very different from what I expected. The story is about three princes, they make a bow and shoot an arrow into the world and the maiden who brings back their arrow, they shall marry him. The eldest marrys a prince's daughter, the middle marrys a general's daughter, and the youngest marrys a frog because the arrow was shot into a marsh. (It gets even better!). The king sets three challenges or tasks to his new daughter-in-laws. He wanted to find out which one was the better seamtress, the better baker, and the better dancer. The youngest's wife excels in all the tasks. How you ask? well, you need to read the story! you can find it here: http://russian-crafts.com/russian-folk-tales/princess-frog.html  . In any case, the youngest prince sets out to find his wife after a year because he burned the frog skin. He went from the youngest sister's house to the eldest's house. At the eldests' house, he saved his wife from marrying someone else and they went back to Rus.

Film Review - 12

12, a wonderful film loosely based on 12 Angry Men, explores the thoughts of "typical" Russian men as they act as jurors on the case of a teenage Chechen accused of murder. The various attitudes expressed as the plot progressed were quite surprising and provide a window that allows one to see the discrimination some people in the Russian Federation face. It was a very interesting and thought-provoking film that culminated dealing with justice and what is right. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Excerpt from my analysis of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin"

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, composed in 1877-78, was a unique composition during Tchaikovsky’s time. It dared to deviate from Pushkin’s famous “Onegin,” and the style was far from the bel canto operas with which the contemporary performers were familiar. The opera was composed in roughly eight months, during a turbulent time in Tchaikovsky’s mental and physical health. The simplicity of the subject matter, lack of on-stage drama, and use of music to convey common human emotions were all distinct choices to which Tchaikovsky personally related. Tchaikovsky himself called his work “lyrical scenes in three acts” rather than an opera and said:

“Those for whom the first requirement in an opera is theatrical action will not like it. Only those who look to opera for the musical recreation of feelings remote from the tragic and the theatrical, ordinary, simple, human feelings – they (I hope) will find satisfaction in my opera.”

The idea of Eugene Onegin began, interestingly enough, with Bizet’s Carmen. Tchaikovsky had just seen a production of the opera in Paris in 1877 and became inspired to write an opera “dealing with real human beings, not lay-figures.” The idea of using the text of Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” was suggested to Tchaikovsky by the singer Lavroskaya, and although the notion seemed absurd at first, Tchaikovsky eventually fell in love with the idea. The scene that struck Tchaikovsky the most was Tatyana’s Letter Scene, in which she stays up all night declaring her innocent and deeply felt love to Onegin.

“Another! No, there could never be another

To whom I’d give my love!

My life is bound to yours for ever;

This is decreed by heaven above.

Now my existence has a meaning,

Your noble soul for which I sigh.

I know that God above has sent you

To guard and love me till I die!"

It was highly ambitious of Tchaikovsky to even attempt to set such a well-known and beloved poem as Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin,” which Tchaikovsky himself was very aware. Many sources have said that Tchaikovsky was probably not the best composer to set Pushkin’s story, as Tchaikovsky’s sentimentalities differed so much from Pushkin’s own ideas of romanticism. Tchaikovsky chose to ignore Pushkin’s use of irony and biting criticisms, instead taking the characters of the story and humanizing them in a way that displays their virtues as well as their flaws. A way Tchaikovsky removed Pushkin’s irony was by removing the “omniscient first-person narrator…(that created) ironic distance in the poem.” Tchaikovsky collaborated with the librettist Shilovsky to create a libretto that at times was true to Pushkin’s lines, but also was greatly tinted by Tchaikovsky’s own personal attitudes and desires for the characters and story line. Many times the text follows Pushkin’s up to a point of sarcasm or capriciousness in the narrator’s tone, and then simply leaves out that section. Instead of relying on a narrator that would slow down and distance the opera from audience members, Tchaikovsky uses his music as “background…to paint the background of the novel,” acting as “both narrator and translator.”

There are many different ways that Pushkin’s “Onegin” could have been interpreted. The ironic, criticizing overtones that are throughout the poem are so obvious that they could not be overlooked, therefore Tchaikovsky’s version is a clear departure from Pushkin’s original satirical intent. Tchaikovsky’s sympathetic nature clearly comes out in his Onegin by his portrayal, without deriding undertones, of simple, rustic human life. In the composer’s own words:

“(I) tried to express in music as sincerely and truthfully as I could, that which was in the text. Such truth and sincerity come not from the work of the intellect, but spring from inner feeling. To give this feeling life and warmth I have always tried to choose stories in which the characters are real, living mean whose feelings are like my own.”

Sources used:

Berlin, Isaiah. "Tchaikovsky, Pushkin and Onegin." The Musical Times 121 no. 1645 (1980).

Teachout, Terry. "A Quiet Place." Opera News 61 no. 15 (1997).

Wiley, Roland John. "Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/51766 (accessed April 7, 2011).

Abraham, Gerald. On Russian Music. (Freeport: Books for Libraries Press, 1939).

Opera Guide Series. Eugene Onegin. ed. John Calder (London: John Calder (Publishers) Ltd. 1988).

Schmidgall, Gary. Literature as Opera. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977).
Ice hockey is a huge sport in Russia. Last Wednesday, a jet carrying the Kontinental Hockey League's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed while flying to the season opener, killing nearly the entire team and staff in a tragedy that has shocked the nation (more details about the accident here). On the night that the Lokomotiv team would have played, Dynamo Minsk (the opposing team) skated out for a memorial service on the ice. Watch the players fire pucks into their own net to symbolize a defeat to their deceased opponents (I caught a lot of our vocab. in here, too, so listen carefully!)

Vladimir Putin, Man of Action!

A really excellent series of pictures of Vladimir Putin... I think I want to vote for him, now!


The SRAS Newsletter

This is a great website for anyone interested in all things Russian! Check out their September school issue newsletter! www.SRAS.org

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Russian Animations

Alright, yes, I am up at ungodly hours. Why? Because I was in search of lovely Russian animations for you~!

Unfortunately, YouTube has decided to throw a wrench into my plan and removed some of the more profound short films I wished to share.

BUT, I still have some lovely little cartoons I've discovered.

Василиса Микулишнa
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go8Nu1xKHMA&feature=related

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9wxlcke3Yg&feature=related

I'm not quite sure what this is about, but the animation is of a very pleasing style and I think the girl is onto something when she argues with the bearded man saying "женщина!!"... or something.

Снежная королева (The Snow Queen)
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K89VNoYRBk&feature=related
you can find the subsequent parts in the related videos. AND it has ENGLISH SUBTITLES :)


Горбун из Нотр Дама
Красавица и Чудовище 

you can find the subsequent parts of each movie in the related videos in the side bar, or on this person's channel.


-Тейлоп Такушиан

Old Believers vs. new-style Orthodoxy

Originally I intended this to be a much more informative and in-depth sort of post, but I had a lot of trouble finding sources. In my FSEM (When Women Ruled Russia), we had read a part of Alexander Radishchev's A Journey From St. Petersburg to Moscow. One of the things that spawned discussion was when Radishchev saw a peasant working on a Sunday and said, "You are, of course, a Raskolnik [religious dissident], since you work on Sunday." The peasant replied, "No, sir, I make the correct sign of the cross," and showed his three fingers put together.
So then Dr. Steeves went on a ramble (an interesting and informative ramble, but a ramble nonetheless) about the history of how one crossed oneself.
Here's where the problems come in: I couldn't really find any internet sources on the history of the subject. All I really have to go off of is Dr. Steeves' long-winded explanation. But I'll tell you what I remember.
Around the time of Ivan the Terrible (1530 - 1584), it was established that the correct way to cross oneself was to use two fingers. However, in 1666 Patriarch Nikon of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to examine the Greek Orthodox Church (since the ROC originated from the Greek Orthodox Church), and saw that the Greeks made the sign of the cross using three fingers. So he took that back to Russia and declared that using three fingers was the "right way". But the Old Believers thought, "Nooo, we've always been taught two fingers. That's the right way." and this disagreement over liturgical reform is one of the factors that caused a schism in the church. Well, the Russians believed that when the church started to fall apart, it was a sign of the coming of the Antichrist, and since the Patriarch had brought about this change, he must be the Antichrist! Moreover, the church authorities met in 1666, and 666 is The Mark of the Beast. Which, of course, only served to reinforce the Old Believers in their conviction that two fingers was the true way to do it.
The symbolism behind the number of fingers is that the three fingers is supposed to represent the Trinity. But Old Believers argued that crossing oneself was not about God, rather about Jesus, and one should therefore use two fingers; one to represent the human part of Jesus, the other to represent the divine.
Don't quote me on any of this. I still need to fact check and whatnot. I just thought it was an interesting topic, because of how worked up everyone got over such a seemingly minuscule detail.

"Русалка" (2007)

I watched this film about a year ago on the Independent Film Channel, and it still sticks out in my mind for some reason. The English title is "Mermaid," which is fitting because it's a modern and somewhat out-there take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale. I'd recommend it, but beware that it's pretty bizarre and the ending is one that keeps you guessing. The title of this entry is the link to the Russian trailer of which the youtube user has provided subtitles.


Gulags by Anthony McRae


      Long ago back in the days of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, citizens that were rebellious and engaged in explicit activities were sent to labor-intensive correctional facilities. According to leading officials of the politburo, the treasonous criminals that were sent to these isolated locations had dangerous leanings and were simply being reeducated through their hard work for Mother Russia. However, an enemy of the state by the name of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had a different opinion of the corrective labor camps that he so defiantly called gulags. He saw them as a means to silence political dissenters and exploit the masses for relatively inexpensive labor. Of course, that was all just revelutionary nonsense? Right?
      In sad truth, the gulags as Solzhenitsyn descibed were political prisons for intellectuals and free thinkers alike. They originated from the katorga which was an earlier method of penal justice through forced labor. The inmates of these camps would often times have little to no food, inadequate clothing, deteriorating health, and poorly insulated shelters. The work projects were unbearable. People died from overexhaustion almost every day. It was estimated that 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953. Of these, an estimated 1.6 million died as a result of these "labor camps". If anything should be learned from this, it is that we whould never take our freedom for granted because maybe one day we could find ourselves being sent off to a "corrective labor camp" for "crimes against the state".
                                                                                                                                     -Anthony McRae

Brandis and Georgia page 23 #3

Brandis and Georgia Recording #1

Russian Intersection

And we thought traffic in the United States was bad.
This is a video of an intersection in St. Petersburg and there's pretty much an accident every single day.

Lesson Learned: Don't Drive in Russia


Unit 1 Dialogue Recordings: Taylor + Corrine & Alecsa

Ok, so here are the dialogue recordings for the Unit One Portfolio. I (Taylor) had two partners, Corrine and Alecsa.

Me & Corrine:
1:) http://www.mediafire.com/?qb9nv71pn5uvf5o
2:) http://www.mediafire.com/?c3tbxrddrsxrl7l

Me & Alecsa:
1:) http://www.mediafire.com/?vxuj9c44ctg8rhf
2:) http://www.mediafire.com/?5k8z14jb4zjdxkm

If this works correctly these should be the good recordings. (I'm terribly new to blogging)

Russian singers Nyusha

Anna Shurochkina, famously known in Russia as Nyusha, is a singer-songwriter. Her career took off when she was 17 and to this day continues to be one of Russia's biggest pop icons.

Two of her biggest hits include "Bolno" and "Ne Perebivay".
Youtube link :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5chyi3CvikI

Hannah and Janine's made up dialogue


Born February 19, 1979 was the greatest singer of all time (in my humble opinion...and the humble opinions of hundred of people worldwide). Vitaliy "Vitalik" Vladasovich Grachyov, more commonly known as Vitas, can sing in five octaves. Much of his music reflects this outstanding ability, songs covering several, if not all those octaves. He is most famous for singing Opera#2, which caught the worlds attention. Opera#2 showcases his ability to sing EXTREMELY high. His career took off after that. Now he is famous around the world (albeit, mostly in China). However, not all of his music is multi-octave (is that even a word? O.o), such as my personal favorite Shores of Russia. Vitas has a very eclectic list of songs. He sings anything and everything from traditional folk songs, to techno, to opera, to rock (although the rock is the least known amongst his music) (I have no idea why). I think the only type of music he hasnt done is country, but isnt country strictly an American thing? Anyways, Vitas has also starred is several Russian tv programs and he has also played important roles in Chinese movies. Recently he was in a new Chinese release, Mulan. Currently he is working on another film, called 'The Founding of the Chinese Communist'.
    I (me being Ezri Thomas/Skardzius) personally saw him in concert this past February 1st. It was his second tour of North America, the first having been several years ago before I discovered him. Best. Night. Of. My. Life. My ticket is all in Russian and I even got the back of it autographed! (YAY ME!) Vitas is the reason I got so interested in Russian culture. So I figured it would only be appropriate that my first blog post be about him :)

Official Website: http://www.vitas.com.ru/titul_eng.php
Opera #2 : http://youtu.be/ygJYxMP_ICY
Shores of Russia: http://youtu.be/RU8UKvCwtRQ

Deanna Wotursky Unit 1 Russian news

Russia is currently mourning a loss, a loss of dozens of people ranging from athletes to parents, siblings and more. A plane carrying about 45 people crashed as it took off September 7th leaving the Russian airport of Yaroslavl. The people on board included 37 hockey players and 8 crew members, all have recently been pronounced dead besides one person. The aircraft was taking one of Russia's leading ice hockey teams to Minsk, the Belarusian capital for a game. Included in the plane were international players, some who were part of the NHL.
These players have played for both Canadian and American teams, and not only is Russia mourning the loss of their beloved hockey team and the others on board, but so is everyone who is aware. They declared three days of mourning in the Yaroslavl region which was last weekend. The Russian hockey league has decided to start the hockey season on time, which is this upcoming Monday.
I feel this is an important bit of information to know because most of my peers haven’t even heard of this disaster, but know all about the latest and greatest in pop culture. It’s important to me to know what is going on in the world more than what’s the next music craze- dub step.
The reason as to why the plane crashed is still under investigation. Russia’s media is telling us it was an accident and it occurred because the aircraft wasn’t able to reach a high enough altitude. My contention is then, why is the cause of the crash still under investigation then? The Russian media has been suppressed before by the government, maybe there is more to it.
May everyone remember the lives lost on September 7th 2011.

Radical Art Group Wins Russian Ministry Prize

(the title links to the article!)

Russia, the beautiful country, the rich heritage, the grisly history: it makes this article all the more impressive.

In Moscow, a crazy art group exists known as Voina -- they've desecrated the Russian Orthodox Church, and at their hearing, rushed into the courtroom with electric guitars playing a punk-rock song called "All Cops Are Bastards". They've had sex in public, staged hangings of homosexuals, you name it, they've done it. Of course, the authorities are actively searching for them, but it looks like things might have turned around.

One of the artists drew a massive 210 foot penis on a drawbridge. Naturally, he faces up to seven years for vandalism, but... he won a contemporary art award sponsored by Russia's Ministry of Culture. The prize is 400,000 rubles ($~14,200). They're not taking the money. Instead, they're forwarding it to Russian political prisoners.

My respect for the motherland has skyrocketed.

Russian Fairy Tales.

As I was searching for things I could write about that interested me, I came across some Russian fairy tales. I was reading through them and noticed several similarities between our fairy tales and the Russian's. For example, we have "A Scarlet Flower" which is extremely like out famous "Beauty and the Beast."

The Scarlet Flower

Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy merchant who loved his three beautiful daughters dearly. One day, this merchant was going on a voyage and asked the maidens what presents they would like. The two elder daughters, who were spoiled and vain, asked for rare and costly treasures. The youngest girl, hardworking and modest, asked only for a little scarlet flower.

He set off on his voyage and eventually found the presents his elder daughters desired. But the scarlet flower was nowhere to be found. On the way home, the merchant�s caravan was attacked by brigands, and the merchant was forced to flee into the deep forest. There he lost his way, and eventually came to a magnificent palace. He knocked on the door, but there was no answer. He crept inside, where he continued to search for whoever owned the palace, but he could find nobody. The exhausted merchant ate some of the fine food that had been set out and went to bed in the palace.

The next morning, he was wandering through the beautiful garden, when he suddenly saw the scarlet flower his favorite daughter had asked for. He reached out and plucked it, and at once a horrible beast appeared.

The beast was outraged that the merchant would steal his flower. For this insult, he cried, the man must die. The terrified merchant begged to see his daughters one last time. The beast replied that he would spare the merchant if one of the girls came willingly to live with him. The merchant had no choice but to agree.

The beast magically transported him to his home, where his caravan had just safely arrived without him. He gave each of his daughters the presents they wanted, but he couldn�t hide his grief. At last, he told his daughters about his fateful meeting with the beast. The two elder sisters declared that the youngest must go, since she was the one who wanted the scarlet flower. The girl agreed that this was just, and dutifully went to the beast�s palace.

There, the girl was given a life of luxury. Unseen servants fulfilled her every wish. Her mysterious host never appeared, but sometimes he would write messages to her in letters of fire on the marble walls. The girl quickly discovered the beast was kind and generous.

After a while, she wanted to hear his real voice, and see his true form. The beast was worried that his rough, wild voice and monstrous appearance would frighten her away, but eventually he allowed himself to be convinced to speak to her and show himself. She was quite frightened at first, because he did indeed look like a horrible monster, but once again she overcame her fear and their bond grew stronger than ever.

One day, the girl had a vision that her father was ill. The beast allowed her to visit her family, but he asked her to return by the end of the third day, lest he die from a broken heart. She agreed, and was transported back to her father�s house.

The girl�s sisters heard her stories and grew jealous of the luxurious life she enjoyed with the beast. Before the end of the third day, they turned back the clocks so that their sister missed the hour when she was supposed to return to the beast.

The girl returned to the beast�s palace to find the place silent as a tomb. She found the beast�s lifeless body in the garden, and burst into tears, crying, �Please, awaken! You are my true beloved!�

Suddenly there was a huge flash of lightning, and the girl found herself in a splendid throne room, seated next to a wondrously handsome young prince. An evil witch had placed a curse on the prince, transforming him into a hideous beast. The spell could only be broken if a maiden fell in love with him in spite of his hideous appearance. The merchant's daughter had freed him when she professed her true love for him. The merchant was overjoyed to give the young couple his blessing, and the good-hearted maiden and the handsome prince lived happily ever after.

Then we have,

The Tale of the Dead Princess
and the Seven Bogatyrs

(a Russian fairy tale similar to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

A long time ago, a widowed tsar married a beautiful but capricious and jealous woman, who became the queen. She had a magic mirror and asked it very often who was the fairest throughout the land. The mirror always answered that the queen was the most beautiful lady of all. But one day when she asked the question, her mirror said that the tsar's daughter from his first marriage was the most beautiful of them all.

The queen became angry and ordered her chambermaid to take the princess into the heart of the woods and abandon her. As the princess wandered alone through the deep woods, she came across an old country house where seven bogatyrs (knights) lived and she was invited to stay with them. One of them even asked for her hand in marriage, but she was already engaged to a brave young man named Prince Elisey.

Meanwhile, the jealous queen asked her magic mirror again who was the fairest throughout the land and the mirror replied again that the princess was the most beautiful one.

The chambermaid was sent out again. Disguised as an old beggar woman, she gave a poisoned apple to the princess as a present. Despite the heroic actions of her little dog, who first barked furiously to warn her and then died by biting into the apple himself, the princess ate the rest of the apple and died. The seven knights carried her in a crystal coffin to a small desert cave.

And this would be the end of the story, but ever since the princess had disappeared her fiancee Prince Elisey had been trying to find her. He went to the four quarters of the earth, asking the sun and moon where she was, but they could not tell him. At last he asked the wind, who gave him directions to the cave where the princess lay.

When Elisey saw his beloved one he broke into sobs, then hit the crystal coffin with all his might, and the princess magically came to life!

When they returned to her home, the queen died of rage and grief when she saw the princess alive and well. The princess and Elisey married and lived happily ever after.

Narrative and translation: Copyright 2001. Tatyana and Andrew Stonebarger. Editor: Donna Richardson.


Beautiful Vassilisa

Which is extremely long but has many elements Cinderella.

Here are some of the websites I found my information on if you are interested in reading them. They are fascinating!


(Above is the link to Beautiful Vassilisa)


-Corrine Garwood

Dialogue # 3, pg. 23; Unit #1 (Anthony Riley and Stacey Hooper)

Russia's Democratic Transition (Unit I)

In December of 1922, a group known as the communist Bolsheviks came to power and ended a thousand-year tsarist legacy. Their aim was to create a socialist society in Russia and, eventually, to spread revolutionary socialism throughout the world. Socialism, the Russian Communist Party believed, meant a society without private ownership of the means of production, in which the state owned and controlled all-important economic assets and where political power was exercised in the name of the working people. The newly formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) under both Lenin and Stalin proved it highly unlikely that their successors could reform the system without undermining Communist rule itself.(5) At the top of the hierarchy, final power to decide policy rested in Communist Party officials supervised under the Politburo. The center’s ability to execute its initiatives was repeatedly undermined by tacit resistance of communist party officials. These officials were generally devoted to protecting and advancing their own personal and career interests than to serving the public interest. By the time Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Russia would find itself leaning toward a second revolution, one that would lean toward democratic reform. (1)

Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary in 1985 and as soon as he was sworn in, he quickly began to address the USSR’s inability to modernize the economy and improve living standards for the population.(2) His policies would bring forth a second revolution for the state and give the people a hope for democracy. Gorbachev toward the end of the 1980’s introduced two controversial policies glasnost and perestroika. Firstly, perestroika he believed would help address the union’s economic turmoil by restructuring the USSR’s command economy, by loosening the state’s control over private enterprise. This allowed its citizens to form small businesses and authorized the existence of private property, but land ownership was not in part of this deal. Perestroika gradually moved the country away from a command economy and more towards a world economy. Then in 1988, glasnost was put forth to promote greater openness throughout the political community. Its program allowed freer political expression and exposed tensions in the Soviet political system, which were formerly concealed from public view.(3) It loosened controls over the mass media, the arts, party and government institutions, as well as the freedom to form organized associations to address popular concerns. These policies allowed mass mobilization to erupt throughout the union, especially in the Baltic regions (Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia).

Following Gorbachev’s enacted programs of economic reform and public awareness, mass public demonstrations began to jeopardize the political community’s stability. Popular demonstrations became evident in the notably industrialized center of Chelyabinsk. (6)A very moderately organized group of individuals expressed concerning opinions to help the Party in restructuring a new political organization as an alternative to the CPSU. Their concerns were aimed toward the delayed process toward democratic reform. Rioters also mobilized in the capital of the Republic of Moldavia, where people started picketing the building that houses the republic Ministry of Internal Affairs.(6) They shouted insults and threats at the police, with displayed antigovernment slogans and placards. Lithuanian and Latvian Parliaments allowed the persecution of individuals who showed support toward the Communist regime. A statement by the Politburo called for a need to restore order, by the absence of an effective mechanism for countering the unconstitutional activity of both Parliaments, as they embarked on a course aimed at secession from the USSR without considering the interest of public.(6) The rise of these anti-communist demonstrations resulted from the public’s awareness of the liberties strickened by their central government, as they learned that their friends in the West freely enjoyed on a day-to-day basis. Gorbachev aired his personal feelings toward these outbreaks in the need for further reform to a Soviet journalist, “Today we are forced to say that there is a definite threat to the great undertaking that we began in April 1985… We cannot be split apart comrades.” Responding to growing popular pressure, Gorbachev looked towards the way of forming a new federation.(1)

On April 23, 1991; Gorbachev reached an agreement with presidents of the supreme soviets of: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. This agreement was meant to observe existing laws pending the adoption of a new union treaty, which would be followed within six months by a new union constitution based on the provisions of the treaty and then by elections to the new bodies of power. The agreement by the republic acknowledged the right of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia “to decide for themselves the question of acceding to the union treaty.” From here on, the finalized Union Treaty was published on July 23 and Gorbachev announced it would be signed into law on August 20.(1) The newly drafted treaty in accordance with the chair of the USSR Congress of the People’s Deputies, Boris Yeltsin, called for the legislature to be dissolved and new elections held for a new parliament and a new president. Yeltsin caused great controversy among Communist party members on how to properly implement this treaty into law. The controversial Union Treaty embodied the revolutionary concept that powers of the federal government were to be delegated to the sovereign states, and guaranteed the right of its members to establish their own political and administrative systems. Party officials began to realize that under the proposed treaty, power would “not remain where it ought to be,” meaning in the hand of CPSU.(5) Prime Minister Pavlov and President Anatoly Lukyanov insisted that the signing of this treaty is constitutionally unacceptable. They and their supporters understood that without proposed changes to this treaty, it would mean the end of the communist power under the Soviet Union and probably the end of their political careers. Once Gorbachev left on August 4 for vacation to Foros, controversy broke out over the text of the treaty. KGB chairmen Vladimir Kryuchov, took charge and prepared a state of emergency for August 17, in hopes to prevent this treaty from being endorsed. In accordance with the plan, a delegation was sent to Foros the next day, August 18, to secure Gorbachev’s agreement to the plotters’ demands. Gorbachev rejected their demands and the delegation quickly returned to Moscow, where Vice President Yanaev formally assumed presidential powers, claiming Gorbachev was ill and unable to fulfill his duties in a time of national emergency. Early the following morning of April 19, the coup leaders declared a six-month state of emergency in order to intimidate those in the presidential offices and Parliament who resided in the White House, to not sign the treaty into law.(4)

Boris Yeltsin assumed leadership in opposition to the coup and mustered in mass amounts of supporter against its threat to democracy. When Yeltsin arrived at the White House, he confronted the military with horrifying prospects of driving the tanks into civilian crowds. He mobilized over 200,000 citizens to form a barricade of joint hands to hold off the troops, in result the coup was called off on August 21. (1) On that very same day, Gorbachev returned to Moscow and removed all the coup conspirators form office. On He then resigned from office on December 25, 1991 stating, “Due to the situation that has taken shape as a result of the formation of the Independent Republic states, I am ceasing my activity in the post of president of the USSR… I have firmly advocated the independence of its people and the sovereignty of republics.” His resignation was peacefully transferred over to Boris Yeltsin as the first president of the independent state of Russia with a popular vote of 57%. (1)

The presidency of Boris Yeltsin furthered Russia’s democratic transition in a number of ways. He took many important steps toward transforming the Soviet political system by banning the CPSU, he subordinated Soviet ministries to Russian state, and most dramatically in December 1991 dissolved the USSR. Yeltsin’s team concentrated their energies on dismantling the Soviet command economy and created a new Russian market system. In fact, many in Yeltsin’s new government believed that economic transformation was prerequisite for democracy. Without private property, Russian voters had no private rights to defend. In 1993, Yeltsin again dissolved the Congress of People’s Deputies and called for immediate elections for a new parliament and referendum to adopt a new constitution. Russian citizens ratified the new constitution on December 1993.(2) The new Russian constitution provided a set of rules to order executive-legislative relations, where it favored Boris Yeltsin’s legal basis for a very strong presidential system. It’s legislature includes a lower house called the State Duma and an upper house called the Federation Council. The constitution specifies that upon a bill’s passage in the Duma, it must then be considered for consideration in the Federal Council and signed on the president’s desk.

Summarily, the USSR’s lack of the stability for the political community urged the need for a democratic institution. Since Yeltsin’s renewal of office in 1996 and his transfer of power over to Prime Minster Vladimir Putin in 2000; Russian has seen a secure democratic institution.(4) President Dmitri Mendeleev is currently the head of Russia with a stable semi-presidency.

Игровые ситуации



Unit 1 Blog: Peat Fires

I was reading an article in the Russian Life magazine, and I was reading and interesting article in the Trends section about the peat fires that occur in the spring time in Russia. In the article is was talking about how the people living and central Russia and "Muscovites" were greatly affected last summer by peat fires and how these people are worried that they may encounter the same issues this coming up summer season because they don't see things being done to try and prevent them. I did some research on peat fires to find that they are burning accumulations of decayed vegetation that is ignited by some heat source whether it be a wild fire or heat from the under-layers of the earth because of the fact that it smolders instead of burns. This, I found is due to the vegetation having a high carbon content because of the fact that its decaying. When doing my research I found it interesting that in the 1920's it was used as a source of energy in and in 1929, 40 percent of electrical energy was produced with the use of the peat fires but over time, when there was a realization of negative effects, it dropped significantly to less that 1 percent in 80's. Because of the high carbon content, the burning of the peat fires emits carbon dioxide which ultimately has very negative effects on our environment; affecting things like agriculture, and fresh water environments. The government is being pressured to do something about it for fear that when the ice melts in the spring time, that conditions caused by the peat fires will be unbearable. People are wanting the government to either the flood the land in order to put out the fires (fires sustained mostly under low moisture in the environment) or to remove any brush or "decaying vegetation" that could potentially fuel the fires. I thought this article and the other information I read was interesting because it shows some of the environmental concerns that the Russians have in their cities and how they feel it is necessary to try and go about solving the issues at hand.

Hannah and Janine's dialogue- unit 1

I hope this works...

Karina's blog entry

I am writing my blog on Mikhail Glinka. He is a well-known Russian composer who is also considered to be the father of Russian music and significantly influenced later composers such as Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. He was born in Novospasskoye, Russia on June 1,1804 and he died on February 15,1857 in Berlin, Germany. One of his most famous works is a opera by the name of Russlan and Lyudmila which premiered in 1842. Although there are a number of things I could talk about this composer, I wanted to focus my attention on a piece that he began composing in 1825 called the Viola Sonata in D minor for viola and piano. Being a violist, I greatly appreciate his contribution to our repertoire because compared to the repertoire of a violinist, ours is very limited. I also decided to focus on this piece because I performed it last year and I think it’s beautiful. Although I did learn information about Glinka while learning to play this piece,it wasn't until this blog that I dug deeper and found the history behind it.
This piece is a three- movement composition. Glinka began to compose the first movement, Allegro Moderato, in 1825 while living in St. Petersburg. Because this is one of his early works, he was only moderately trained in the art of music but he had a great passion for music and was completely devoted to it. This movement was built along traditional formal lines but featured a rich, singable melody that Glinka himself created. It was during this movement that Glinka had the musical breakthrough that he longed for and a result, this piece was a big improvement from his previous early works. In 1825, he performed this movement with friends and performed it once on the piano, and once on the viola.
The second movement, Larghetto ma non troppo, is a slower movement that Glinka composed in late April, early May in 1828 while visiting Moscow. There were some rumors that he did not finish this movement but in fact he did. It was the third movement, the rondo, which he abandoned for some time. He planned and started to work on the rondo finale and had it based off of a Russian folk theme. He never finished it but the work he did put into it was not a waste because he used portions of the rondo in a children's polka.There is proof that he did finish the second movement because in 1850, he returned to the first two movements and revised them. However, the sonata was not published until well into the twentieth century. Borisovsky is credited for finishing the sonata. Here is a recording of the first movement. Yuro Bashmet is the performer.Enjoy!

Blog link about tour in St. Pete Russia with pics!



иди и смотри

One of the most widely acclaimed Soviet films ever made and possibly the most unsettling of all anti-war movies, иди и смотри (Come and See) follows a boy in his early teens as he struggles to survive the Nazi occupation of Soviet Byelorussia. Elem Klimov uses a disturbingly effective combination of unrelenting brutality and gut wrenching realism to force the viewer into an uncomfortable examination of the hopeless nature not only of war, but of life itself. It is not at all surprising that Come and See was the final film made by Klimov, as the horrors shown in the film and those that would have come with research done before filming would seemingly be enough to drive any soft hearted person into a deep depression.



The majority of Russians consider themselves as Christians, and belong to Russian Orthodox Church. It's a great achievement for the country where atheism was the official state religion for more than 70 years. Believe it or not, most of them are not true believers. They appreciate Christian moral values but do not follow them. Religion is not a real part of their life, it is said that they are more aware of horoscopes than the Bible. Church service in Russia can be attended any day of the week and performed every day 2 or 3 times. People usually attend the church just to light a candle and quickly pray. They do it to ask for something to happen or to remember a close person who is dead. Also, they do not have to be a member of the church to do it. Church survives selling candles and reminder notes and charging for services such as baptizing, weddings and funerals. Church marriage is not official in Russia either, a couple has to register their marriage with government authorities first to be allowed to have church ceremony performed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stacey Hoopers Blog Post

Russia was home to more than 150 million people - of which only about half were ethnic Russians.

The variety of colors for traditional costume displays love for beauty and ethnic diversity. These costumes are not only beautiful, there are also convenient in wearing because they were created for work as well. Festive clothes and everyday clothes, married woman's and young girl's clothes differed only for details, decoration, color gamut. Red fabric cloth was considered to be the nattiest one, and, by the way, the Russian word "beautiful" comes from the word "krasny", the Russian for "red".

Homemade canvas and wool clothes decorated with embroidery or woven pattern have been used most often for traditional peasant costumes. Embroidery came in different ornaments (rhombuses, crosses, herring-bones, stylized patterns of people and animals) performed in naturally painted threads. Red, blue, green, white, yellow - the color gamut was rich and various.

Despite the social and territorial differences Russian traditional clothes had one thing in common, they had to be put as a cape, from the head. Soft silhouette without any cuts emphasized Russian lady's light steps. Dress and sleeves were getting wider to the lap; the fabric was decorated with symmetric pattern, or with other golden or silvery-like fabrics, furs, and embroidery.

Patterned woman's headdress "kokoshnik", fine linen "rubashka" shirts, beautiful woman's dress "sarafan" with embroidery in brocade and silk, - all these are comfortable and nice clothes worn ages ago by Russian women.

In the Northern districts of the region the means of decoration were modest and laconic in keeping with the architecture of those places. In the Southern districts the ornaments were brighter and more colourful. Every tiny detail made its contribution to the whole ensemble. A waist-belt was an indispensable part of it. Headwears were divided into women's and girls ones. They are embroidered with gold and pearls and are of great value. They were everyday clothes and holiday garments.

Russia has the best museum collections of "folk" costume worldwide and the Ethnographic Museum in St Petersburg is considered to be the best of its kind.

A folk costume is in harmony with the bright interior of the peasant house and country landscapes. It's in tune with the northern round-dance. Folk costume manifests folk art and conveys the spirit of the past and old bright culture of Russia.

Original Dialogue with Karina and Lindsay from pg. 26

This is the dialogue we created ourselves!

Russia and Singapore?

Every country in the world, more or less, has an alliance with another. Some do it for Oil, such as the United States and Saudi Arabia. Some do it for military protection, such as the United States and South Korea. Some do it economic stability, well most all major alliances in the world will help a fellow ally when their economy completely goes down the drain, such as Greece did last year. When Greece’s economy tanked last year, the UN and NATO gladly helped Greece, probably for the sole purpose of the Euro loosing its value amongst the top global currencies, and the top of all the “shared” currencies in the world. So in essence, most all countries have each other’s back when it comes to an economic crisis or a military invasion of another country.

Within the past few years there has been one so called “alliance” that seems to be a bit odd or even askew, namely, the so called partnership of Russia and Singapore. You probably haven’t heard those to names in the same sentence since the Cold War when the Soviet Union tried to take over all of Europe and Asia to paint the world red with Communism. But those times are over and we have seen a, shall we say, happier (for lack of a better word) Russia, excluding two years ago when they invaded Georgia in hopes to bring one of the former Soviet blocks back to the good old motherland and when Putin decided to stay in power just a bit longer and made himself Prime Minister, in a so called new Democratic Russia, where a new President was elected. Although Putin is the Prime Minister, the President, Dmitry Medvedev, met with Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and conducted business, of sorts. President Medvedev sees Singapore of what a future Russia should look like. As of now, there are seven times as many Russians living in Singapore as there were to years ago. They often integrate all forms of art and entertainment, and Russia is constantly investing and mirroring the economy of Singapore.

For those of you who do not know, Singapore is known to be the cleanest city on Earth. It is even illegal to chew gum in public, to prevent people from littering with it. Now I like to chew gum and be clean as much as the next guy, but doesn’t the current Singapore slightly mirror Russia about 40 years ago. This may be just a good optimistic view on how Russia should be in the near future, but with Putin backing up Medvedev on this, doesn’t it seem like there is more than just a cultural and economic alliance? Let’s not forget, Putin was a former KGB General and probably still as much Socialist now than he was back before the collapse of the Berlin wall. I believe that if Russia continues to have relationships with Singapore and try to be like them as much as possible, we might just have a third Russian revolution, with the ever popular hammer and sickle flag waving in the face of the west.

Tyler Swanson

(Link to our recordings) http://vocaroo.com/?media=vZcVpfZNqYgbPJiYL


Emmy Minteer Dialogue (With Josh Solomon)


pg. 23 #2: Ashley Johnson and Deanna Wotursky


Written Dialogue: Ashley Johnson and Deanna Wotursky


We did assignment 3 on pg. 26. We did the recordings twice with Deanna as the first student and Ashley as the second and then switch on the second recording.

Russian Dialogue pg 24 #5

Ezri Thomas and Stephan Pinna SPEAKING DA RUSSIAN YEAH!


Some upcoming Russian Studies/Russian Club events...

We'll get this Russian club rolling soon... in the meantime, mark these dates in your planner!

Upcoming Russian Studies Events:
  • September 22, 5:30: Durak (Russian card game) tournament.
  • October 4, 5:00: Learn to make pel'meni (dumplings) & Russian salads.
  • October 20, 6:00: Russian Film Night
  • November 6: Visit to Polasek Museum in Winter Park for lunch & exhibit of Soviet posters

Любите нас! Like the Stetson Russian Studies Page

We post information about Russian Club and Russian Studies events on the Stetson Russian Studies Facebook page. Click through to "Like" Stetson Russian Studies and get information in your Facebook feed.

Tutoring Hours

Christine Jacobson, our Russian tutor, will be in the Russian Studies Center from 1-5pm on Wednesdays. 

Russian Stereotypes - Emmy Minteer

an article I found online about Russian stereotypes that I found interesting:

Every country is plagued by inaccurate stereotypes. Outsiders view Americans as gun-toting hamburger lovers, the English as fish and chip eating polo players, and Canadians as passionate hockey fans with a penchant for maple syrup. So what do you picture when you imagine Russia? Vodka? Matryoshka dolls? Bears wandering down snow-covered streets? Russia is no stranger to misconceptions and chances are you have been guilty of associating Russians with one of the stereotypes listed below.

Stereotype #1: Everybody Loves to Drink Vodka

As one of the largest producers of vodka, it’s probably safe to say that Russians enjoy a good drink. However, contrary to popular imagination, most Russians do not guzzle vodka every day. Russians, like citizens of any other country, have jobs to hold and family commitments to meet. This would be very difficult to do if they quaffed vodka day in and day out. While Russia is known for its vodka just like Japan is known for its sake and Germany for its beer, the majority of Russians do not get drunk on vodka on a regular basis.

Stereotype #2: Russia is Always Cold and Everyone Wears Fur Coats

While it’s true that Russia is one of the coldest countries on earth, it is also a huge nation with a large variety of temperatures. In fact, the summers are as warm as Florida in some places and Russia’s southern beaches draw many visitors.

As for fur coats, they are popular, but one can hardly claim that all Russians wear them. The idea that all Russians wear fur coats is just as inaccurate as the notion that all English people wear rain coats or that all Americans sport jeans and tennis shoes.

Stereotype #3: Russian Women Are Mail-Order Brides

Despite what some may think, Russian women are not desperate to marry foreigners. Many women enjoy happy, satisfying lives in Russia and even those who join Russian dating sites do not do so with immigration papers in mind. One of the quickest ways to insult a Russian woman is to call her a mail-order bride, so think before you speak.

Many other Russian stereotypes exist, but none are 100 % accurate. If you wish to impress a Russian lover, educate yourself about his or her home country rather than just relying on common myths. Shatter stereotypes about your own country as well. Intercultural relationships provide an excellent opportunity to learn about other nations and cultures. Take advantage of it!

Read more: http://svetlana.articlesbase.com/travel-articles/russian-stereotypes-dont-fall-for-them-1411379.html#ixzz1XkhXWOFY
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives