The suprisingly rich world of Russian names

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who was surprised about names in Russia. Firstly, they can be very long and hard to pronounce. Secondly, Russian names consist of three parts: first name, patronymic and the surname. Since the first name and patronymic follow the family name, for foreigners especially it can sometimes… Continue reading

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Ivan the Terrible: the story of Russia’s expansion

Ivan the Terrible

Today Russia is the largest country on Earth by area, and covers more than one-eighth of the planet’s inhabited land area. But how did it get to be so big? The answer to this question lies all the way back in the 16th century with the Russian ruler Ivan IV, known as Ivan the Terrible.… Continue reading

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Russian etiquette – Do’s and Don’ts when visiting Russia

Pedestrians

Russian society is marked by ancient traditions and habits. They are very cultural and so they easily recognize other cultures by their behavior. Sometimes these other behaviors may even be considered offensive to Russian citizens. So you should know about the table manners, Russian gestures and traditions, if you want to experience a stay without… Continue reading

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The Homestay Experience: Living with a Russian Babushka

The Homestay experience can seem daunting, but after a while, you'll settle right in!

When I studied in St Petersburg last year, I decided to stay with a host-family, or homestay. I had done the same when I studied in Yaroslavl, so I had an idea of what to expect. Nonetheless, it was still a daunting prospect. I was still apprehensive about a few things; would I get on… Continue reading

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Russian Remedy to Cold Weather: Ushanka

Wearing animal skin or fur in order to keep the head warm and protect it from the cold weather is a very old tradition, popular since the ancient times. Nowadays they are still used. There are many different types of hats to choose from: top hats, knitted headpieces, earmuffs, bonnets, football caps and many others.… Continue reading

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