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Author Topic: A Snowy Eastern Christmas  (Read 50321 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2007, 11:33:57 AM »
FM, we are glad you're enjoying this thread!  Thank you for your kind words.

Bobalouie, you will have a fantastic time in St P!

Offline LEGAL

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2007, 11:37:35 AM »
Bobalouie Christmas & new years in Saint Petersburg is very beautiful. Olga and I have lots of memories, photos and videos. Make sure you hook up with Phil & Nina, you will have the best person and friend to show you the real Saint Petersburg. Just outside of town you can even take a romantic Sani ride through the countryside.


Sorry mendeleyev for the  :offtopic: comments.

Offline Olga

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2007, 11:56:50 AM »
This is our personal Christmas greeting card  :)

Merry Christmas!


Offline Olga

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2007, 06:01:31 PM »
"Christmas in my country"

A song by Alexander Vertinsky

Alexander Vertinsky's short biography

I love the songs of Alexander Vertinsky so this video also is a tribute to his art  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrG4mrzeWCA

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2007, 09:01:08 PM »
We interrupt this broadcast for a Snow Maiden MINISKIRT alert!

Stop the press!  Bulletin, bulletin.

Stand by for this report:

Coming to you in five, four, three, two.......

This is your reporter live from Moldova reporting on the amazing sighting of the Snow Maiden, Snegurochka, in a miniskirt!  We go live to our exclusive videocam:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-x51fl-ecE

That is one hot, er, ah, I mean, ah.....I'm not sure what I mean.  There with your own eyes, you have seen our eyewitness report.

We now return you back to your regular scheduled Christmas.


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Offline LEGAL

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2007, 09:18:58 PM »
Ah Yes those beautiful Snow Maidens. That is just one more reason to love Russia.

Notice we don't have them here in America   :(  BUT WAIT I HAVE OLGA AND HER LITTLE CHRISTMAS OUTFIT  :king:

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2007, 09:35:13 PM »
Legal, this one is just for us guys.  DO NOT tell your Olga about this particular post!  Swear on a stack of rubles?  Okay.

For just the guys, our Moldova videocam has moved to Ukraine where our reporter is now filming the Snow Maiden in a striptease! (Well, pretty close to one.)

Now, we take you by satellite to the RU Adventures roving Lada newsmobile in Ukraine:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJMgaOzaDJY


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2007, 09:44:42 PM »
In the interest of equal time, we present several "milder" versions of the Snow Maiden!


Cute cartoon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJMgaOzaDJY


Russian teen sensation Natasha Baranova and some of her lovely friends give a family-oriented version:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNrWnLMCgZc


Modern Rock and roll version of dancing Snow Maiden:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq7aAsRoLNk


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2007, 10:10:32 PM »
Okay, before the move off this Snow Maiden thing, here are a couple of videos for the ladies:


Ad for participants in the Washington state (USA) Russian Club Snow Maiden contest:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EwkhF7WvVA


Oh dear!  Here is what it looks like when the guys dress up as Snow Maidens!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tHi7uJiCZQ

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2007, 11:11:10 PM »
We turn southwest to what Russians sometimes call "little Russia" but don't let a Ukrainian hear you talk like that.  Those are legitimate fighting words. 

So how is Christmas coming along in Ukraine?

Those sleds look a lot different from the ones we used when I was a kid!

The winter holidays are prime for giving flowers...perfect as a gift for New Years. 


Ukraine winter train ride.  Burr, this looks COLD!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33kttb71kOA


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2007, 11:16:18 PM »
So, what is Christmas time like to the average Russian family?

Well, first it's snowy and cold.  This video was shot from inside a Russian apartment, high above the street on 23 December 2006:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma2Oxkcwhlk


Often it's too cold for children to venture outside so a mother must be very good at entertaining little ones in addition to all her other household duties.

Heat can be erratic:  Most Russian and Ukrainian apartments have "central heating."  By that we mean it is fed via steam, to entire blocks and rows of apartment buildings.  Individual apartments have steam radiators, most often without controls entirely or with valves so old and rusted that to adjust them is an invitation to a disasterous steam explosion.  When it's too hot, one cracks open a window.  When it's too cold you close the window.  That is your "thermostat."  In fact, apartments built before the early 2000s don't even have thermostats.  A thermostat is made to control the flow and the flow is controlled not by you, but by Boris down at the local steam station.

If you want to know the temperature most apartment dwellers have a thermometer attached to an outside window.  Inside, you already know if it's warm or cold.  What you want to know is, how cold is it outside?

In daytime much of the steam is diverted away from the apartment blocks (the Russian term is "sleeping zones") and fed to business and shops which are open in daytime.  It may become chilly in your apartment so you'll "layer" your clothing depending on the warmth inside your home.

At night the opposite takes place.  Well, it's susposed to take place.  Working past 4pm at the office can get chilly because thats about the time when the steam begins to be redirected back to apartment blocks in the "sleeping zones."  Employees who work late begin to "layer" clothing as they continue to work.

When to take a shower:  Morning is not a good time.  Your body will be softened by the warm water, and exposure to the freezing temperatures and wind combine for the perfect recipe for pneumonia.  Showers are safer at night after you've completed all the outdoor activities.

Its not uncommon at night for your apartment to become very warm as you go to sleep but by morning it may be drifting back to the chilly side of living.

Those modern electric somavar hot water kettles are busy on cold winter days and nights.  Tea is a staple all year long, but doubles as medicine for sore throats in winter.



Footnote:  This painting is a winter scene by my wife and titled "Patriarch's Park."


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2007, 12:29:45 AM »
On a cold "Christmasy" night it's fun to crawl into a warm bed with your lady.  Here is how that is done (as if any of you guys needed help!):   :chuckle:

- Clear the room.  Just a few minutes ago it was a living room, dining room or day work space.
- Pull out the sofa. 
- Lift up the sofa top and bring out the blankets and pillows where they were stored.
- Make the bed (fitted sheets are useless here--every sheet is "flat."
- Arrange the blankets, the cover, and the pillows.
- Pillows are the square European style (very unlike the long American style pillows).
- Your lady probably likes the bright designs on her sheets.  They can be very colourful.  The most colourful I've seen were made in Ukraine and Belarussia.
- Your lady probably likes a coverlet on top of it all.  It's two sheets sewn together, with designs and literally stuffed with a blanket inside.  Very colourful.  Very warm with that blanket stuffed inside it!
- Now, slip inside and snuggle!   8)

And in the morning you store the bedding inside the sofa, fold it back into it's daytime sofa shape, move the furnishings back into their daytime arrangement and presto....you're back in the living room, dining room, work space, etc.


Some key things to know:
- Because of the differences in sizes, American bedding in particular doesn't work well in Russia.  The fitted sheet--useless, it's too wide, made for a thick mattress not found too often in Russia, and not practical.  The flat sheet can be used but is way too big for those narrow bed sizes.  The pillowcases won't fit those square pillows either.
- Americans love thick and fluffy bath towels, especially in winter.  Beware, they take up too much space in those small European washing machines, not to mention the narrow towel racks in bathrooms already cramped for space. 
- What does make a good gift is a nice thick wool blanket.  Especially the twin bed sizes--they'll work fine on a regular "double bed" in Russia.  The thicker and more colourful...the better.


Bedding Glossary:
Bed (кровать)
Coverlet (покрывало)
Blanket...as in woolen blanket (шерстяное одеяло)
Pillow (подушка)
Sofa (диван)
Towel (полотенце)

Yes, in day the sofa is called a диван (di-vahn) and by night it is a кровать (kra-vat).

Bedding footnote:  A man just meeting a lady should never take a bedding gift.  It's considered in the "intimate" catagory and better left for after a relationship is well established.  You don't want to offend her family in an early meeting. 


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2007, 12:48:19 AM »
"Winter Evening"
Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin

The mist of the storm covers the sky,
The whirlwinds of snow are spinning;
Now, like a wild beast it calls,
now it cries like a child,
Now about the roof, decrepit,
Suddenly it rustles the thatches,
Now, like a traveler overdue,
to us on the window knocks.

Our ancient hut
is mournful and gloomy.
Why have you, my old lady,
Become silent at the window?
Is it the howl of the tempest
That makes you, my friend, fatigued,
Or are you drowsing under the hum
Of your spindle?

Let's drink good friend
Of my poor youth,
Let's drink away grief; where is the tankard?
It will make our hearts gay.
Intoxicate, me with a song, like a titmouse
Quietly living across the sea;
Intoxicate me with a song, like a girl
Who went for the water in the morning.

The mist of the storm covers the sky,
The whirlwinds of snow are spinning;
Now, like a wild beast, it calls,
Now it cries, like a child.
Let's drink, good friend
Of my poor youth,
Let's drink away grief; where is the tankard?
It will make our hearts gay.


Painting:
My wife's rendition of the city of Kaluga which won it's catagory in 2002 exhibition, "Blue Kaluga."


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Cool videos:

Dramatic winter storm filmed from window of Moscow apartment:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7u9sdrKQEk


Hot babe in hot car shops for colourful flowers in freezing snow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTm_uZVy3Yk&feature=related

Offline Olga

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2007, 07:54:47 AM »
Boris Pasternak

There'll be no one in the house
Save for twilight. All alone,
Winter's day seen in the space that's
Made by curtains left undrawn.

Only flash-past of the wet white
Snowflake clusters, glimpsed and gone.
Only roofs and snows, and save for
Roofs and snow - no one at home.

Once more, frost will trace its patterns,
I'll be haunted once again
By my last-year's melancholy,
By that other wintertime.

Once more I'll be troubled by an
Old, un-expiated shame,
And the icy firewood famine
Will press on the window-pane.

But the quiver of intrusion
Through those curtain folds will run
Measuring silence with your footsteps,
Like the future, in you'll come.

You'll appear there in the doorway
Wearing something white and plain,
Something in the very stuff from
Which the snowflakes too are sewn.

Russian composer Mikael Tariverdiev set this poem of Boris Pasternak (as many others his poems) to music and now you can here this song in movie "The Irony Of Fate, Or Enjoy Your Bath" ( Ironiya Sudby ili S Lyogkim Parom) by Eldar Ryazanov.

Offline Olga

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Re: A Russian New Year & Christmas
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2007, 08:08:48 AM »
The most popular New Year movie in Russia is "Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath" ((1975)


1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vhe-YER9-A&feature=related
2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGJk5GlVm9E&feature=related
3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k427iNuvepM&feature=related
4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85qX_Ht4ZBs&feature=related
5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmnVkl_VMVk&feature=related
6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz-xYkTDkyk&feature=related
7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYlJqdEsXd0&feature=related
8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoVU8I88IIE&feature=related
9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV1AxGMCsLk&feature=related
10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyUK2UVQzes&feature=related
11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tWFmiHhoiU&feature=related
12
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRZDZX5JznA&feature=related
13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq9nitty3QY&feature=related
14
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C_RTJJSce0&feature=related
15
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOiKrkGMt7U&feature=related
16
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqL9bsnQ0GI&feature=related
17
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCdtd1_-bSs&feature=related
18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZYQsKpEA5A&feature=related
19
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8iE-2pEPKI&feature=related

Review Summary

This modestly budgeted, made-for-TV romantic comedy became one of the most popular films in the former Soviet Union and a staple of TV broadcasts on New Year's Eve. It's based on the premise that modern apartment complexes look so much alike that one cannot distinguish one city from another. On New Year's Eve, Muscovite Yevgeny Lukashin (Andrei Myagkov) finally dares to make a marriage proposal to Galya (Olga Naumenko). They plan to celebrate the New Year together quietly, but Lukashin's friends convince him that first he should attend their annual meeting at a bathhouse. The meeting quickly turns into an improvisational bachelor party for Yevgeny. Having consumed large amounts of alcohol, they cannot remember which one of them was supposed to fly to Leningrad to meet his wife. So they put the sleepy Lukashin on a plane. Upon his arrival in the Leningrad airport, Yevgeny gives the taxi driver his Moscow street address and the cab takes him to an apartment complex located on a street with the same name. The building looks very much like his own, so Lukashin, still not quite sober, does not realize that he is in another city. He enters someone else's apartment because his key fits the door lock and he quickly falls asleep on a couch. When the apartment's rightful resident, Nadya (Polish actress Barbara Brylska), comes home, she wakes up the intruder and tells him to get out. The bewildered Yevgeny insists that he is at home and she is the one who should get out. Eventually he sobers and finds out about his predicament. He is about to leave when the situation is further complicated by the arrival of Nadya's straight-laced fiancé Ippolit (Yuri Yakovlev) who does not believe in Lukashin's story and accuses Nadya of being unfaithful. The interaction between the three characters results in Nadya and Yevgeny's gradual falling in love with each other. ~ Yuri German, All Movie Guide