September 08, 2016

Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business


Nomads, salad stampedes, and serious swamp business

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.

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955