May 25, 2017

Russian Youth, Then and Now


Russian Youth, Then and Now
From Pioneers to Generation Z 

1. This week marks the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Pioneers – the rough Soviet equivalent of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, but with a heavy dose of communist ideology. The Pioneers were disbanded in 1991, and some  former members feel deeply nostalgic for the red bandanas and sense of community that scouting imparted. Branches of the Communist Party hosted events last weekend to celebrate the anniversary, while less nostalgic former members auctioned off their Pioneer tie clips and books.

2. Tsentennials, the Russian version of Millenials, do not have Pioneer scouting or communist ideology to unite them. Instead, as new studies of the first members of “Generation Z” to graduate university are demonstrating, they have a deep love of games, smart phones, rap, and video bloggers. Research into their political lives shows that they’re not too politicized, but are moved by ideas of justice and anti-corruption, while studies of their work habits show that different motivations move them than did their X and Y predecessors. It’s a good guess red bandanas have nothing to do with it.

3. Centennials know their memes. The same is not always true for well-meaning citizens. Novosibirsk resident Anton Burmintsev tries to spice up anti-litter and pro-sobriety signs with pictures of pop culture icons like Iron Man or cartoon characters. But his latest sign, which features a sarcastic-looking man meant to be mocking poor decisions, has itself been mocked for its unironic appeal to folks to pick up their trash. Social media users rushed to offer more appropriately ironic slogans.

Quote of the Week

“There won’t be litter in the apartments’ courtyard if the apartments have no courtyard!”
—One of the suggestions for an ironic anti-littering slogan to accompany the photograph of a man sardonically pointing at his temple as an appeal to Novosibirsk residents to pick up after themselves.

In Odder News
  • Historians unearthed more than a billion Soviet rubles in abandoned missile silos. There’s no treasure like moldy, obsolete banknotes.
  • What would Jesus do? Accept a pricey new Land Cruiser as a gift, according to Russian Orthodox bishop who, coincidentally, just accepted a pricey new Land Cruiser as a gift. 
  • A bear helps plant potatoes, and it’s pretty adorable. Yep, that’s the whole story.

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Turgenev Bilingual

Turgenev Bilingual

A sampling of Ivan Turgenev's masterful short stories, plays, novellas and novels. Bilingual, with English and accented Russian texts running side by side on adjoining pages.
Chekhov Bilingual

Chekhov Bilingual

Some of Chekhov's most beloved stories, with English and accented Russian on facing pages throughout. 
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
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...
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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.

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