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Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

By The Editors

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

Happy 158th Uncle Gilya!
November 26, 2013

Happy 158th Uncle Gilya!

The first-ever English version of Uncle Gilya’s masterpiece, Moscow and Muscovites, translated by Brendan Kiernan and published by Russian Life Books, debuts today. It’s our way of saying “Happy Birthday” to Uncle Gilya (today is his 158th!). English-language readers around the globe win as well – this translation is at least 90 years overdue!

Snail's Pace
April 12, 2013

Snail's Pace

By Maria Antonova

Has your postmaster chased you down the street with a broom lately? Clearly you don't live in Russia... The Russian Post continues to stoke the fury of millions. But Russian videographers are striking back, documenting abuses by RP workers.

6 Things Russian Babushkas Disapprove Of
December 20, 2011

6 Things Russian Babushkas Disapprove Of

By Yelena McManaman

What comes to mind when you think of a Russian national icon? Vodka, matryoshkas, bears? Fyodor Dostoyevsky? Alla Pugacheva? Cheburashka? Surprisingly few people, including Russians themselves, mention babushkas, the omnipresent grandmothers in head scarves.  Yet their influence is huge. Red Square huge. Katyusha rocket huge. So it pays to know how to please them...

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