Category Archives: Russian culture

16 Nov
2020
In the Soviet Union, toys were more than just toys. Here is a selection of the best examples I found… 1. Toy sewing machine The children’s sewing machine (Детская швейная машинка/ДШМ) was produced from the 1940s until the end of the 1980s, gradually modernising every time a factory released a new model. The best thing ...
12 Nov
2020
Understanding the Russian Soul The concept of the Russian soul (русская душа) is quite famous, and describes the idea that certain character traits are unique to the Russian nation. It kind of goes without saying that people have traits which are given to them by the culture they inhabit, but most people don’t talk about ...
16 Oct
2020
Things you may not have known about the Russian national anthem If you listen to the Red Army Choir’s performance of the State Anthem of the Russian Federation (Государственный гимн Российской Федерации) on YouTube and scroll down to the comments, you’ll find it has tonnes of foreign admirers, some of whom testify that this powerful ...
15 Oct
2020
The story of the rusalka and the vodyanoy Russian mythology has various underwater characters: the vodyanoy (водяной) is the male water spirit, and the rusalka (русалка) his female counterpart. As you may have already guessed, the vodyanoy marries the rusalka, and they live happily ever after. Only in reality it isn’t that simple… The vodyanoy ...
21 Sep
2020
Land of great contrasts, Russia stands before the eyes of us foreigners as an obscure, elusive land. Few among those who were not born there – and perhaps not even those who are, – can say to have fully understood it. Proof of this is also its extremely heterogeneous cultural heritage, which through its literature, ...
15 Sep
2020
Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” while in Russia to hopefully avoid any awkward encounters.  Number of Flowers in a Bouquet Last year, while I was in St. Petersburg, I went to buy flowers for my teacher on my last day. Not knowing that even number bouquets are reserved for funerals, I bought a bouquet ...
20 Jul
2020
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Very little is spoken of them, and usually, in unflattering terms – the Siberian tattoos, with a long history of tradition, are often associated with prison and crime. In reality, however, this view paints a rather unfair and inaccurate picture of a well-established Siberian custom. In this article, we will try to unravel the false ...
10 Jul
2020
Why do you study Russian? To those who ask me, I always give the same answer: it’s hard not to be fascinated by this country’s culture and history, which for a Westerner such as myself feels at the same time both curiously familiar and wonderfully other. This is similarly the case for Gian Piero Pirretto, ...
25 Jun
2020
Years ago when deciding which language to learn, one factor that made me choose Russian was how useful it was: Russian can be used in surprisingly many countries outside Russia. For those who like travelling, this means multiplying possibilities.  Now, Russian is of course not the only “multinational” language, but its uniformity is a big ...
19 Jun
2020
Found yourself in Russia for a while? Time to get familiar with social media in Russia then! However, keep in mind that Google is not as useful as their Russian counterpart, and some have never heard of LinkedIn. How does the Russian social media landscape look like? Here is a guide to what (and how) ...