May/June 2018 Current Moscow Time: 22:01:02
22 June 2018


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Culture

Covering the broader realm of culture, plus humor, food and drink.

How Well Do You Know Russian Fairy Tale Characters?
How Well Do You Know Russian Fairy Tale Characters?

Sure, everyone knows the name Baba Yaga. But do you know where she lives? Do you know Koschey the Immortal, or Zmey Gorynych? How well do you know the spirits of the forest? Read up on these key characters of Russian fairy tales!

Tags: fairy tales
Celebrating Women on Women's Day
Celebrating Women on Women's Day

International Womens' Day; Russia honors the role of all women in Russian culture.

Tags: russia, women, international
Decoding Leviathan
Decoding Leviathan

Leviathan is not, as virtually every mainstream critic has presumed, “anti-Russian.” I watched the movie resolutely prepared to intensely dislike it. I fully believed it would shamelessly pander to an American public eager to see a film that demonized Putin and made the country seem like a hellish landscape of unsalvageable bleakness. But that was not at all the case. 

Tags: leviathan, film, oscars, zvyagintsev
Our First Cold War
Our First Cold War

When the Editors at Russian Life asked me to write about how my friends and I (“the younger generation”) view the current state of Russian-American relations, given the events of 2014, I honestly had to pause and think about it.

Tags: us-russian relations, cold war, putin, youth
Yolka
Yolka

As a special gift, we share a somewhat untypical holiday story, reprinted from the pages of Chtenia, by the master humorist and short story writer Mikhail Zoshchenko. 

Tags: zoshchenko, christmas, holidays, fiction
Grandfather Frost: More than Just Santa Claus
Grandfather Frost: More than Just Santa Claus

Don't be fooled: the old man with a white beard and red coat is not Santa Claus. It's Grandfather Frost! Learn how to tell the two apart with this handy list.

Tags: ded moroz, grandfather frost, holiday, new year's eve
Unity Day: Whose Unity?
Unity Day: Whose Unity?

November 4 is now the Day of People's Unity in Russia. But what unity? What people? A look at the holiday's history brings up more questions and confusion than it does answers – but Russians don't let that spoil their long weekend.

Tags: unity day, holiday, Russia, 1612, communism, liberation
Russian Exceptionalism According to Boris Dubin
Russian Exceptionalism According to Boris Dubin

A social state, a sense of community and shared decision making, an oddly distant government, home-grown values, and being split between Europe and Asia – according to Russians, this is what makes Russia special. But Boris Dubin's findings show that what really makes Russia special is Russia's ability to pretend no one else exists.

Tags: sociology, russians, russia
Cookbook Contest
Cookbook Contest

So, one thing about publishing is that not all the books come out perfect. So, rather than toss a few "seconds" in the recycle bin, we decided to hold a contest. Winners got free, slightly irregular books. We had fun reading the responses.

Tags: food, contests, A Taste of Russia
The Many Days of September 1
The Many Days of September 1

Did you know September 1 is more than just Labor Day? Read on to find out how Russians celebrate September 1, the Day of Knowledge, the first day of school.

Tags: education, school, russia, holidays
Yuri Vizbor: Soviet Renaissance Man
Yuri Vizbor: Soviet Renaissance Man

Think you know Yuri Vizbor? Think again! Sure, you may have heard his songs, but did you know he was also a teacher? An alpinist? A journalist? A radio operator?

Tags: vizbor, songwriters, ussr, russia, music
This Just in From Ukraine...
This Just in From Ukraine...

Today is the 401st anniversary of the crowning of the first Romanov Tsar, Mikhail, in 1613, and the end of the "Time of Troubles." This of course has nothing to do with current events. Just thought I'd mention it in passing. 

Tags: Crimea, Putin, united states, cold war
In Defense
In Defense

Our definition of a Russophile is not someone who blindly embraces all things Russian as superior, but someone who is innately fascinated by Russia because it is different, because it is interesting, because it is important.

Tags: Russia, journalism, Crimea, Olympics
7 Ways Not to Protest the Occupation of Crimea
7 Ways Not to Protest the Occupation of Crimea

Russia’s occupation cum annexation of Crimea is a tragedy no matter how you slice the salami tactics. One just wants to protest, boycott, DO something. But what? Well, like President Obama and the EU, we’re coming up a bit short on the list of feasible and effective sanctions. But here are a few things we recommend NOT doing.

    Tags: Ukraine, Crimea
    No More Olympics… What Now?
    No More Olympics… What Now?

    The Sochi Olympic Games are now officially over. Suffering withdrawals? Here are five ideas for how to fill up all your viewing time.

    Russian Genealogy
    Russian Genealogy

    A comprehensive listing of resources, online and off, for researching your Russian roots, courtesy of Ginny Audet.

    Tags: genealogy, research
    The Puck Stops Here
    The Puck Stops Here

    There is nothing like a good old Russian ochered (line) to get close to the narod (people) and get some inside info. Standing in line, Russians tend to show solidarity, to open up and loosen their tongues. The perfect environment for a journalist... 

    Tags: Sochi, Olympics
    Because Curling is Not Funny Enough!
    Because Curling is Not Funny Enough! #SochiFunny

    Life without humor is dull. And that is even true when it comes to sports. Here at the Olympics, one cannot be exclusively focused on “ochki, goly, sekundy” (points, goals,seconds). So, time to look at the lighter side of things in Sochi.

    Tags: sports, olympics, medvedev, obama
    Take Plenty of Vitamin D to Sochi
    Take Plenty of Vitamin D to Sochi

    So you, dear readers, think that the Olympics is all about sports? Nay! It is of course all about the souvenirs! And about how a miserly correspondent is supposed to buy them in sufficient quantity for the many friends and family left behind on the "mainland" while he is "roughing it" in Sochi...

    Tags: olympics, sochi, Putin
    What the Bleep is Going on in Sochi?
    What the Bleep is Going on in Sochi?

    Why is it that the Twitter hashtag #sochiproblems has more followers than the Twitter feed for the games? How is it that all we hear from the Western press is negativism, while from the athletes and local observers there are only raves for the fantastic facilities? Why do pictures of double toilets and unfinished hotels continue to flood the inter-tubes? And what idiot gave the order to kill puppies in Sochi?

    Tags: sochi, olympics