Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Russian Studies Spring Extravaganza

Go check out the great photos from the Spring Extravaganza. While there, "like" the Russian Studies page!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Native Russian Flowers

Baby's Breath
- often grown in border plantings and for use in fresh or dried floral arrangements.
- the most popular variety is white, but they do grow in pink and lilac.
- resistant to most insects and diseases
- blooms and flowers from late spring to early fall

Siberian Iris
- native to Eastern Russia
- blooms white or violet flowers in the early summer
- low maintannce and has few disease and insect problems

- native to southern Siberia
- is a tea plant
- blooms in mid winter to early spring
- can survive temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the occasional drought
- only grows about 2 feet in height, but its leaves are as big as a cabbage leaf

- can grow to over 10 feet tall
- produces clusters of beel-shaped lilac flowers as well as different shades of pink and purple
- flowers bloom from April through June

Friday, May 4, 2012

Deanna WOtursky unit 10

The Russian Orthodox Church is the most powerful and important actor in Russian civil society today. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) re-emerged as an informal institution with a demand for religious freedom in the Gorbachev era under Glasnost after the suppression of the church to the state under the Soviets. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the church then emerged as a formal structure under the Moscow Patriarchate with informal factions. The Church is separated into three main areas of thought traditionalism, fundamentalism, and liberalism. The Russian Orthodox Church as a political entity favors a non-western traditionalist view on domestic and international politics. Although traditionalism is the norm, liberal aspects pervade the church-state relationship. The Moscow Patriarchate and the church serve as vital elements in political decision making through their role in civil society by promoting a nationalistic approach to church-state relations.

Deanna Wotursky unit 10

Russia exports large amounts of all types of natural resources, but their biggest money maker is oil. According to the article, “Russia is now the world’s largest oil producer, pumping about 10 million barrels of oil a day.” Russia has openly condemned the west for sanctioning Iran oil, but they mustn’t have realized they would benefit from Iran’s losses. This is simply Russia accidently stepping into a zero-sum game. The economic sanction the west plans to impose on the Iranian oil industry has led to increased gas prices and inflation for importers already, but has done the opposite for Russia as the main exporter. The Russian pipelines leave countless trade possibilities because they run to both Europe and Asia. The economic prosperity of Russia has helped bolster the image of presidential candidate Vladimir Putin in the eyes of the Russian nation. The competitive authoritarian nature of the Russian regime opposes most involvement in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, and therefore condemns the west for using coercive diplomacy to get what they want. If Russia didn’t or did know these sanctions would benefit them economically, and Putin politically I feel Russia would continue to stand behind their decision and stance on Iranian economic sanctions. The petroleum sanction on Iran has already affected the global economy and it doesn’t even take effect until the summer. The increased barrel prices on gas have caused inflation of gas prices in return inflation of consumer goods for the United States. This isn’t the case in Russia, when oil prices go up the Russian nation benefits because, “The extra money has helped to further subsidize domestic energy consumption, tamping down inflation” also, the article goes on to say that “In the United States when oil prices go up , the president’s ratings go down. In Russia, it’s the opposite.” The current political unrest in Russia towards the Putin regime has deplored doubts on the legitimacy of the goals of the regime. These doubts are relinquished when the bigger goals of the regime are met to better the state, like economic prosperity. Lastly, Iranian and Russian oil have very similar components which will spark trade interest s with countries who will adopt the sanctions against Iran in the summer. Trade agreements can strengthen state to state relations if the trade agreement is positive for both parties. The pipelines will not only serve as way to trade with more countries but will lower the cost for Russia to produce and deliver oil as well.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unit 10 Blog Post


I just thought this was so relevant to this Unit!

Russian Radio

How many times have you thought "I wish I had more exposure to Russian"? It's a common thought for any language student who wants to advance in their field. Oral drills and compositions can only do so much for the advancement of language learning. Sometimes one needs to be immersed in a language, and the best (cheap) way for that is through radio.

The link I posted is to a cite with a bunch of Russian radio stations, which you can listen to by clicking on the their home pages and finding their online media players.

Some Russian Superstitions

A somewhat abridged list taken from Wikipedia.

  • If your ears or cheeks are hot, someone is thinking or talking about you (usually speaking ill).
  • If your right eye itches, you're going to be happy soon. If your left eye itches, you'll be sad.
  • If your lips itch, you'll be kissing someone soon.
  • If you have the hiccups, someone is remembering you at this moment.
  • If an eyelash falls out you'll receive a gift. If someone finds an eyelash on someone he or she will sometimes let the person blow it away and make a wish.
  • If you eat from a knife, you'll be "angry like a dog".
  • If someone is not recognized when seen or heard, he or she will be rich. So if someone calls you on the phone and you don't recognize them you can cheer them up by telling them they'll be rich.
  • If someone was talking about you before you entered the room/conversation, then you will live a long and rich life.
  • If a cat is washing its face, expect guests soon.
  • If a black cat crosses your path, it's bad luck (though not unique to Russian tradition). People will often avoid crossing the place where it crossed, or will at least wait for someone else to cross it first.
  • If a hare crosses your path, it's bad luck. This is much less common than the cat superstition, which is understandable given the lack of hares in urban conditions.
  • If you spill salt, it's bad luck and is said to bring conflict, but no one will throw salt over their left shoulder.
  • If it's raining when you leave a place, it means you'll return, and it is considered a generally good omen.
  • If it rains on someone's wedding, it means they'll be wealthy.
  • If someone sneezes while telling something, it means he or she is telling the truth.
  • If you wear clothes (such as an undershirt) inside out, you will get beaten. Your friend should point this out, wait for you to fix the clothes and then punch you symbolically.
  • If you wear a shirt backwards, you will become acquainted with someone new.
  • In Russian superstition if a couple sets a wedding date and doesn't end up getting married on that date they can not set another date and should not get married as their union will be cursed.
  • Accidentally breaking a glass is considered good luck.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Two posts in a row?? Hot dog!!

An image I thought was relevant: a woman greets Russian Communist supporters from a window with a red cloth during the traditional May Day rally in central Moscow on May 1st. May Day traditionally celebrates the rights of the proletariat in the former Soviet Union. Crowds waving balloons and blue or red flags gathered in cities from the Pacific port of Vladivostok to Moscow in carefully-choreographed rallies reminiscent of the Soviet era when May 1 was one of the most venerable holidays celebrating international socialism.

It makes sounds that are amazingly beautiful, and those who hear these sounds forget everything they know and want nothing more ever again, rather like the sirens of Greek myth. The alkonost lays her eggs on a beach and then rolls them into the sea. When the alkonost’s eggs hatch, a thunderstorm sets in and the sea becomes so rough that it is untravelable. The name of the alkonost came from a Greek demigoddess whose name was Alcyone. In Greek mythology, Alcyone was transformed by the gods into a kingfisher. Basically, Alkonosts are everything I could ever want to be in life, and I would like to change my major to Alkonosty.