Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 09:59:49
20 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, September 08, 2016

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Life is a like an enormous Greek salad

1. What’s left to root for now that the Olympics are over? The new Olympics: ancient nomadic sports, including a version of polo that involves scoring goals with a decapitated goat corpse. The Nomadic Games serve as a reminder of history and traditional culture, and this year’s events in Kyrgyzstan featured Steven Seagal in the opening ceremony, about 1000 athletes from 53 countries, and an extra-large Russian team in honor of the extra-large country – including the winners of the dead goat competition.

2. The latest Russian feat to make the Guinness Book of World Records: a 20.1-ton Greek salad on Red Square. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and pre-cubed cheese were mixed in a giant dump truck in a mid-tipping state. Some newspapers reported that spectators stampeded for salad and devoured the massive creation within minutes. The jury’s still out on whether the mix was a way to get healthy foods to folks facing sanctions or just a Guinness-worthy stunt.

tjournal.ru

3. With the first day back to school last week, citizens of Beslan in North Ossetia commemorated the 2004 hostage crisis, when armed Islamic militants took 1200 people hostage in a school. In a ceremony remembering the siege’s victims, five women in t-shirts with the words “Putin is the executioner of Beslan” were detained. Charged for violating a law against unauthorized protests, the women face fines and up to 15 days in custody.

In Wetter News

  • If you went to the Olympics from Chechnya, a gold medal isn’t enough. The president will also give you a Mercedes SUV.
  • A schoolkid known as the “swamp manager” for his unusual office space has won a trip to Kyrgyzstan, proving again how finding your social media niche can pay off.
kloop.kg
  • When a river turns red in northern Russia, do you blame biblical wrath, filming for Game of Thrones, or the nearby nickel factory?
theguardian.com

Quote of the Week

“It was the U.S.’s first time actually playing using the goat carcass, so the Russian team showed them how to pick it up and put it in the goal [...] It wasn’t just about winning the game, but about sharing the beauty of kok-boru and of nomadic culture.”
—Colleen Wood, an American Peace Corps volunteer, on the emphasis on sportsmanship and building cultural connections to be found in the Nomadic Games.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge
Rocks, Raps, and Cats in Charge

Trouble in the tombstone industry, booming blockchain, and mercenary music hits. Plus, cats at work and a use of paper you've never seen.  

Slavic-Style Spooks
Slavic-Style Spooks

Halloween or Hallowon't? The holiday is more trick than treat in Russia, so dive into the details and creep yourself out with some frightful tales while you're at it. 

The Big 100
The Big 100

This year marks the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here's what that looks like, plus gas, cats, and seals (state seals, that is).

Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!
Lions and Lawyers and Baba Yaga, Oh My!

Ice Age lions thaw out, fairytale heroes meet social media, and foreign news needs a new passport. Plus, all about Russian art in less than 30 minutes. 

Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars
Santa Claus, Space Aliens, & Robot Cars

Father Frost gets iced, a space shuttle gets wet, and cars get driven driverlessly. Plus, famous Russian buildings go on vacation, the Romanovs take TV, and Russian smilies)

Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends
Presidents, Olympians, and Feathered Friends

Putin announces he'll run for president, the Olympic Committee announces Russia can't compete, and some swans announce that they want a new house. 

Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers
Superputin, Sly Wolves, & Censorship Stalkers

An art exhibit proves once and for all that Putin is a superhero. Plus, World Cup counterfeits, how Russian media monitoring works, and a leopard cub.

Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat
Romanov Holiday and Russia's Best Cat

What a Russian holiday looks like, the Romanovs go to The Gambia, and why secret police are extra special around the holidays. All that, and Russia's most popular cats.