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Author Topic: Russian culture  (Read 41100 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2008, 01:39:39 AM »
More of Moscow's Victory Park.




The park is filled with Russian, German and Allied tanks, guns, etc.





After years of silence on the amounts of American equipment, weapons, food and medical supplies, Victory Park acknowledges assistance from the Allies.





Its easy to find--just ask anyone.  The physical location is Kuznetsovskaya Ulitsa, 25 and the closest Metro is Park Pobedy (which means Victory Park).





The Triumphal Arch marks the entry to Victory Park.



Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2008, 10:11:02 PM »
The Romanovs






Small beginnings...Tragic endings
It began with an obscure and almost unknown boy just 16 years old.  Bitter infighting among Moscow's princes and the Polish rulers of Russia had caused former Prince Fedor Romanov, now a religious Churchman, to be thrown into a Polish prison for 8 years. 

While in prison his son, Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov, was elected Tsar of Russia.  That was nice but the council convened to make the decision dispatched to tell Michael that he was Tsar had a problem:  No one knew exactly where he was.  The delegates wanted to find him and crown a new Tsar of Russia.  The Polish army still occupying Russia wanted to find him too.  They wanted to kill him before he could be crowned and gather support of the Russian people.

In February 1613, amidst the debris left by foreign invaders prince Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov was proclaimed Tsar and Autocrat of All the Russias.  He would establish a dynasty that would determine the destiny of Russia for three centuries.  His heirs would include Peter the Great with an unbeatable army and new navy would forge a new capital and "window to Europe" in Petrograd (St. Petersburg).

Later the trio of Romanov empresses, Anna, Elizabeth, and Catherine the Great, would break with the tradition of supreme male authority. Catherine would bring the ideas of the Enlightenment to Russia and create a court whose splendor equaled that of anywhere in Europe.



And so began the Romanov family reign which would rule Russia for 300 years.  He reigned as Tsar of Russia from 1613 to his death in 1645. He was elected Tsar by the Russian nobility, the Boyars, on February 7, 1613. He was the first Romanov to be placed on the Throne of Russia.

In spring 1645, Tsar Michael contracted an illness of the stomach and kidneys and died at the age of forty-nine on 13 June, 1645. He was buried in the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow.




Peter the Great
Peter was his father's youngest son and the child of his second wife, and it didn't look like he would rule Russia.  Tsar Alexis also had three children by his first wife: Feodor, an invalid; Sophia; and Ivan, a semi-imbecile. When Alexis died in 1676 Feodor became Tsar, but his poor constitution brought an early death in 1682. The family of Peter's mother succeeded in having him chosen over Ivan to be Tsar but no sooner was he established, however, than Ivan's family struck back. Gaining the support of the Kremlin Guard, they launched a coup d'etat, and Peter was forced to endure the horrible sight of his supporters and family members being thrown from the top of the grand Red Stair of the Faceted Palace onto the raised pikes of the Guard. The outcome of the coup was a joint Tsar-ship, with both Peter and Ivan placed under the regency of Ivan's elder and not exactly impartial sister Sophia. Peter had not enjoyed his stay in Moscow, a city he would dislike for the rest of his life.



In 1698, still on tour, Peter received news of yet another rebellion by the Kremlin Guard, instigated by Sophia despite her confinement to Novodevichiy. He returned without any sense of humor, decisively defeating the guard with his own European-drilled units, ordering a mass execution of the surviving rebels, and then hanging the bodies outside Sophia's convent window. She apparently went mad. The following day Peter began his program to recreate Russia in the image of Western Europe by personally clipping off the beards of his nobles.

Peter's return to Russia and assumption of personal rule hit the country like a hurricane. He banned traditional Muscovite dress for all men, introduced military conscription, established technical schools, replaced the church patriarchy with a holy synod answerable to himself, simplified the alphabet, tried to improve the manners of the court, changed the calendar, changed his title from Tsar to Emperor, and introduced a hundred other reforms, restrictions, and novelties (all of which convinced the conservative clergy that he was the antichrist). In 1703 he embarked on the most dramatic of his reforms--the decision to transfer the capital from Moscow to a new city to be built from scratch on the Gulf of Finland. Over the next nine years, at tremendous human and material cost, St. Petersburg was created.

Peter died in 1725 and after which Russia went through a great number of rulers in a distressingly short time, none of whom had much of an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Many of Peter's reforms failed to take root in Russia, and it was not until the reign of Catherine the Great that his desire to make Russia into a great European power was in fact achieved.   
(Source: http://www.geographia.com/russia/rushis04.htm)


Catherine (II) the Great
On December 25, 1761, Peter III, a grandson of Peter the Great, was crowned Tsar. Peter was thirty-four, dissolute, and imperceptive. He was not accompanied by his wife Catherine, a year younger but far more mature, not dissolute but also no puritan. Born German (in a city which today is part of Poland) Catherine was a member of European royalty.  The couple had been married for eighteen years. Both had been newcomers to the Russian court as teens, and for a few years after their marriage they had been on friendly terms. By 1762, however, their relationship had long since been in name only. Peter had grown into a fool, while Catherine had become a complete success, respected as much for her intellect as for her winning personality.  Politics was as always a deadly serious pursuit--and everyone knew that Catherine was the more capable politician.



By the following summer the conflict between Peter and Catherine had become quite serious. In only six months of rule, he had managed to offend and outrage virtually the entire court by diplomatic bumblings and large segments of the population through his hostility to the church and his evident disdain for Russia. Support for Catherine was widespread, and Peter was suspicious. Early on the morning of June 28, Catherine left her estate at Peterhof, outside of St. Petersburg, and departed for the city. Everything had been prepared in advance, and when she arrived she was greeted with cheers by both the troops of her factional supporters and the populace. By the next morning, Peter was confronted with a fait accompli--and a prepared declaration of his abdication. A week later, he was dead.

Catherine went on to become the most powerful sovereign in Europe. She continued Peter the Great's reforms of the Russian state, further increasing central control over the provinces. Her skill as a diplomat, in an era that produced many extraordinary diplomats, was remarkable. Russia's influence in European affairs, as well as its territory in Eastern and Central Europe, were increased and expanded. Catherine was also an enthusiastic patron of the arts. She built and founded the Hermitage Museum, commissioned buildings all over Russia, founded academies, journals, and libraries, and corresponded with the French Encyclopedists, including Voltaire, Diderot, and d'Alembert. 

When Catherine the Great died in 1796, she was succeeded by her son Paul I. Paul's reign lasted only five years and was by all accounts a complete disaster. His most notable legacy is the remarkable and tragic Engineer's Castle in St. Petersburg. Paul was succeeded by his son Alexander I, who is remembered mostly for having been the ruler of Russia during Napoleon Bonaparte's epic Russian Campaign. 
(Source: http://www.geographia.com/russia/rushis04.htm)

Towards the end of her life, Catherine was often ill. Her legs swelled up and she died of a brain aneurysm on 6 November, 1796. She was buried in the St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg near the tomb of Peter the Great.



Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2008, 11:29:24 PM »
Napoleon's Invasion


In June of 1812, Napoleon began his fatal Russian campaign, a landmark in the history of the destructive potential of warfare. Virtually all of continental Europe was under his control, and the invasion of Russia was an attempt to force Tsar Alexander I to submit once again to the terms of a treaty that Napoleon had imposed upon him four years earlier. Having gathered nearly half a million soldiers, from France as well as all of the vassal states of Europe, Napoleon entered Russia at the head of the largest army ever seen.



The Russians, under Marshal Kutuzov, could not realistically hope to defeat him in a direct confrontation. Instead, they begin a defensive campaign of strategic retreat, devastating the land as they fell back and harassing the flanks of the French. As the summer wore on, Napoleon's massive supply lines were stretched ever thinner, and his force began to decline. By September, without having engaged in a single pitched battle, the French Army had been reduced by more than two thirds from fatigue, hunger, desertion, and raids by Russian forces.

Nonetheless, it was clear that unless the Russians engaged the French Army in a major battle, Moscow would be Napoleon's in a matter of weeks. The Tsar insisted upon an engagement, and on September 7, with winter closing in and the French army only 70 miles (110 km) from the city, the two armies met at Borodino Field. By the end of the day, 108,000 men had died--but neither side had gained a decisive victory. Kutuzov realized that any further defense of the city would be senseless, and he withdrew his forces, prompting the citizens of Moscow to began a massive and panicked exodus. When Napoleon's army arrived on September 14, they found a city depopulated and bereft of supplies, a meagre comfort in the face of the oncoming winter. To make matters much, much worse, fires broke out in the city that night, and by the next day the French were lacking shelter as well.

After waiting in vain for Alexander to offer to negotiate, Napoleon ordered his troops to begin the march home. Because the route south was blocked by Kutuzov's forces (and the French were in no shape for a battle) the retreat retraced the long, devastated route of the invasion. Having waited until mid-October to depart, the exhausted French army soon found itself in the midst of winter--in fact, in the midst of an unusually early and especially cold winter. Temperatures soon dropped well below freezing, cossacks attacked stragglers and isolated units, food was almost non-existent, and the march was five hundred miles. Ten thousand men survived. The campaign ensured Napoleon's downfall and Russia's status as a leading power in post-Napoleonic Europe. Yet even as Russia emerged more powerful than ever from the Napoleonic era, its internal tensions began to increase.
(Source: http://www.geographia.com/russia/rushis05.htm)



Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2008, 11:49:19 PM »
Revolution


By the nineteenth century, the Russian form of rule was under attack. In the Decembrist revolt in 1825, a group of young, reformist military officers attempted to force the adoption of a constitutional monarchy by preventing the accession of Nicholas I. They failed utterly, and Nicholas became the most reactionary leader in Europe. Nicholas' successor, Alexander II, seemed by contrast to be amenable to reform. In 1861, he abolished serfdom, though the emancipation didn't in fact bring on any significant change in the condition of the peasants. Attempts by the lower classes to gain more freedom provoked fears of anarchy, and the government remained extremely conservative. As Russia became more industrialized, larger, and far more complicated, the inadequacies of autocratic Tsarist rule became increasingly apparent and by the twentieth century conditions were ripe for a serious convulsion.

At the same time, Russia had expanded its territory and its power considerably over the nineteenth century. Its borders extended to Afghanistan and China, and it had acquired extensive territory on the Pacific coast. The foundation of the port cities of Vladivostok and Port Arthur there had opened up profitable avenues for commerce, and the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway (constructed from 1891-1905) linked the European Russia with its new eastern territories.



In 1894 Nicholas II acceded to the throne. He was not the most competent of political leaders, and his ministers were almost uniformly reactionaries. To make matters worse, the increasing Russian presence in the far east provoked the hostility of Japan. In January of 1905, the Japanese attacked, and Russia experienced a series of defeats that dissolved the tenuous support held by Nicholas' already unpopular government. Nicholas was forced to grant concessions to the reformers, including most notably a constitution and a parliament, or Duma. The power of the reform movement was founded on a new and powerful force entered Russian politics. The industrialization of the major western cities and the development of the Batu oil fields had brought together large concentrations of Russian workers, and they soon began to organize into local political councils, or soviets. It was in large part the power of the soviets, united under the Social Democratic party, that had forced Nicholas to accept reforms in 1905.

After the war with Japan was brought to a close, Nicholas attempted to reverse the new freedoms, and his government became more reactionary than ever. Popular discontent gained strength, and Nicholas countered it with increased repression, maintaining control but worsening relations with the population. In 1912, the Social Democrats split into two camps--the radical Bolsheviks and the comparatively moderate Menshiviks.

In 1914, another disastrous war once again brought on a crisis. If the Russo-Japanese war had been costly and unpopular, it was at least remote. The First World War, however, took place right on Russia's western doorstep. Unprepared militarily or industrially, the country suffered demoralizing defeats, suffered severe food shortages, and soon suffered an economic collapse. By February of 1917, the workers and soldiers had had enough. Riots broke out in St. Petersburg, then called Petrograd, and the garrison there mutinied. Workers soviets were set up, and the Duma approved the establishment of a Provisional Government to attempt to restore order in the capital. It was soon clear that Nicholas possessed no support, and on March 2 he abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Michael. No fool, Michael renounced his claim the next day.



The Provisional Government set up by the Duma attempted to pursue a moderate policy, calling for a return to order and promising reform of worker's rights. However, it was unwilling to endorse the most pressing demand of the soviets--an immediate end to the war. For the next 9 months, the Provisional Government, first under Prince Lvov and then under Alexandr Kerensky, unsuccessfully attempted to establish its authority. In the meanwhile, the Bolsheviks gained increasing support from the ever more frustrated soviets. On October 25, led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, they stormed the Winter Palace and deposed the Kerensky government.



Although the Bolsheviks enjoyed substantial support in St. Petersburg and Moscow, they were by no means in control of the country as a whole. They succeeded in taking Russia out of the war (though on very unfavorable terms), but within months civil war broke out throughout Russia. For the next three years the country was devastated by civil strife, until by 1920 the Bolsheviks had finally emerged victorious.
(Source: http://www.geographia.com/russia/rushis06.htm)


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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2008, 12:38:32 AM »
Tragic Endings


At its height in the mid-nineteenth century, the empire of the Romanovs comprised more than one sixth of the earth's surface. It has been declared as a "whole world, self-sufficient, independent, and absolute."  Russia's rich and vibrant culture would continue to shine decades after the fall of the Romanov family.  It was this fantastic and wealthy world that ended with the unexpected murder of the last ruling members of the Romanov family. 



In October 1917, Lenin took over the reins of power. The advent of Communism sealed the family's doom. In 1918, they moved to Ekaterinburg in the Urals. When the anti-Bolshevik White Army approached the area, the local Communists were ordered to prevent a rescue.

The decision was made to execute the royal family and to destroy all evidence of the deed. Nicholas suspected that a change of plan was in the air. Although Alexandra had been tired and ill, he and the children had remained in relatively good spirits. Now Nicholas grew tense and watchful.


Романов До свидания (The Romanov's Goodbye)

On the evening of 16 July 1918, the leader of the secret police guarding the Imperial family, Jacob Yurovsky, told his men, "Tonight we will shoot the whole family, everybody." The family went to bed as usual. At midnight, Yurovsky wakened them, explaining that the White Army were approaching and that they must be moved at once. Innocent of the fate that awaited them, the family dressed and went downstairs, where Yurovsky led them to a basement room and told them to wait for their cars to arrive.

"We must shoot them all tonight."  Pavel Medvedev was a member of the squad of soldiers guarding the royal family. He describes what happened:

"In the evening of 16 July, between seven and eight p.m., when the time or my duty 'had just begun; Commandant Yurovsky, [the head of the execution squad] ordered me to take all the Nagan revolvers from the guards and to bring them to him. I took twelve revolvers from the sentries as well as from some other of the guards and brought them to the commandant's office.

Yurovsky said to me, 'We must shoot them all tonight; so notify the guards not to be alarmed if they hear shots.' I understood, therefore, that Yurovsky had it in his mind to shoot the whole of the Tsar's family, as well as the doctor and the servants who lived with them, but I did not ask him where or by whom the decision had been made...At about ten o'clock in the evening in accordance with Yurovsky's order I informed the guards not to be alarmed if they should hear firing.

Final burial at Peter & Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg


Into this small room crowded Nicholas and Alexandra and their five children, and four members of their domestic household, including Alexandra's maid, Demidova, who carried some Imperial jewels hidden in the feathers of a pillow. As they settled down to wait, Yurovsky burst into the room waving his revolver, followed by his armed secret policemen. "Your relatives have tried to save you. They have failed and we must now shoot you," Yurovsky declared to the terrified group.


The final moments
Nicholas hardly had time to throw a protective arm round his wife before Yurovsky pointed his revolver at the Tsar's head and fired. Nicholas died instantly. The armed men then opened fire, and the small room rang with shots and screams. Alexandra was making the sign of the cross when she fell dead, hit by a single bullet. The Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana and Marie also fell in the hail of bullets. The sickly Tsarevich was finished off by two bullets through the ear.

The Grand Duchess Anastasia, who had fainted when the firing started, now regained consciousness, and was set upon by bayonets and rifle butts. The Romanov dynasty--and with it, Tsarism--was at an end.

That hideous murder of a father and mother, four young girls and a sick boy on a July night in 1918 was far from being the worst of the crimes committed in the name of Communism, either before or since; yet, with the possible exception of Katyn, it is the one which has caused the most horror and disgust.





Prologue
Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia, 1872-1918

Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of Russia, 1872-1918

Olga Nicholovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, 1895-1918

Tatiana Nicholovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, 1897-1918

Marie Nicholovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, 1899-1918

Anastasia Nicholovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, 1901-1918

Alexis Nicolaievich, Tsarevich, 1904-1918


   The coronation ceremony portrait of Nicholas II.


In 1978, as the sixtieth anniversary of the execution approached, the Politburo, concerned with the number of Russian pilgrims visiting the historic Ipatiev house each year declared that the house was not of 'sufficient historical significance', and ordered its demolition.  The task was passed to Boris Yeltsin, Chair of the local party, who had the house demolished in September 1977.  He later wrote in his memoirs, published in 1990, that "sooner or later we will be ashamed of this piece of barbarism."




Nicholas II of Russia born Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov (Russian: Никола́й II, Никола́й Алекса́ндрович Рома́нов) (18 May 1868 – 17 July 1918) was the last Tsar of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland. His official title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is currently regarded as Saint Nicholas The Passion Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.


   Yekaterinburg's "Church on the Blood", built on the spot where the Ipatiev House once stood.


Sources: 
-Paul Gilbert's forthcoming book (2009) "Born in the Purple, The Private World of the Children of Tsar Nicholas II."
-www.Eyewitnesstohistory.com
-www.wikipedia.com
-Special thanks to the Ipatiev House Memorial project and the Romanov Historical Memorial.  Check out their website at: http://www.romanov-memorial.com/Historical.htm

Offline mirror

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2008, 01:39:59 AM »
Quote
   Yekaterinburg's "Church on the Blood", built on the spot where the Ipatiev House once stood.


I visited this church when I was in Yekaterinburg this winter. But I could not visit a shaft in  wood of outside of Yekaterinburg where Romanov's bones were found.

Romanov's family was killed in Ipatiev house and then their bodies were transported and thrown away in a shaft.



Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2008, 11:21:11 PM »
The history of thе Moscow Kremlin goes back to the earliest days of Russia. The first written record of Moscow dates back to 1147, to the reign of Great PrinceYuri of Kiev, Vladimir Monomakh's son.  Yuri Dolgoruky is considered to be the founder of Moscow and in commemoration of this an equestrian statue by the sculptor S.V. Orlov was erected in Tverskaya Street in 1954.

One of the most remarkable exhibits of the Kremlin museums linked to the genealogy of Russian princes is the Cap of Monomakh, the Russian Tsars' inherited crown. It even became proverbial. There is a saying: "How heavy you are, the Cap of Monomakh!" meaning the heavy burden of responsibility.

Since time immemorial the Moscow Kremlin has been the centre of Russian statehood, the residence of Russian tsars and hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church.






The Kremlin has been the residence of the President of the Russian Federation and his Administration since 1992.




It was only in 1955 that the Moscow Kremlin's (KREM-eL) unique museums have again become accessible to everyone. Church services have recently been resumed in the old cathedrals and the Kremlin bells which have been silent for over 70 years have come to life.





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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2008, 11:59:39 PM »
Czar Bell: At the foot of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, rests a monument to the grand days of the Romanov Dynasty. The Czar's Bell. It was Czarina Anna I, who commissioned the bell in 1734, a fulfillment of the dream of her grandfather, Czar Alexei. The huge bronze bell was to be the biggest and clearest sounding bell in the world. Unfortunately, before the bell was raised, it cracked in a fire in 1737. Two hundred tons of silence are all that remain.




The Kremlin is very beautiful at night!


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2008, 12:52:08 AM »
да́ча, or as we say in English, 'dacha.'  This is the Russian summer home or cottage and the envy of any family not fortunate enough to have one.  Many Russian families, of all econcomic backgrounds, do have a dacha. 




Many urban Russians own a second home in the outlying country areas.  In the Soviet period, many of these summer homes were relatively spartan with no heating, etc.  Some however, are on an acre or two of land and can be used as year-a-round homes. 

   Shown here is the restored dacha of the late Russian writter Pasternak.

With the new economic boom in Moscow, the "New Russians" are building huge, sprawling compounds (often many acres in size) that costs millions of U.S. dollars to construct. 

 

Many of the New Russians live in these home year around, commuting into the city.  This includes many of the country's politicians, as well as members of the Russian mafia.  Their homes are guarded by heavily armed guards, and caravans of black SUVs and BMW's form motorcades that take these people into the city center during the week, causing the already nightmarish Moscow traffic to grind to a halt.   



Because most people live in big, overcrowded cities, they keep small plots of land, called dachas, on the outskirts of the cities. There they keep lovely gardens where they grow fruit and vegetables as well as flowers. They usually have some kind of shelter on the land as well. This can be anything from a little shed to a huge, comfortable house.

  Old school house not far from the Mendeleyev family dacha.

Most dachas are somewhere in between, a small cottage suitable for one or two people to spend a night. The dacha is a relaxing and very important place, and spending time at a dacha can help you understand the Russian people.

   This one has electricity, a rarity in many older dachas.

It is where most Russians believe they can find peace and beauty.  As you can see from the spread on the table, they usually eat very well in the summer!

  Friends dacha, and like most Russians, the dacha vegetable garden is very important.

Dachas come in every size, shape and can be found from the very basic with no indoor plumbing to the ornate summer mansion.



Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2008, 01:31:42 AM »


The first dachas in Russia began to appear during the reign of Peter the Great. Initially they were small estates in the country, which were given to loyal vassals by the Tsar. In archaic Russian, the word dacha means something given and is a cognate with Latin data.



Anyone who occupies a dacha for the time being is called dachnik (дачник).



One favourite activity is to go fishing, and swimming, in a nearby river or lake.


Offline Jared2151

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2008, 07:17:15 AM »
Mendeleyev,

   You never cease to amaze me with your educational / informative posts, keep up the excellent work.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2008, 10:04:46 AM »
Thanks Jared!  I'm glad it can be of service and enjoyment!

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2008, 12:52:59 AM »
St Petersburg: Amber Room:


One of the Summer Palace attractions in St Petersburg is the famous Amber room.


  (The original Amber Room)


The original Amber Room (Янтарная комната, German: Bernsteinzimmer) in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg was a complete chamber decoration of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. Due to its singular beauty, it was sometimes dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World".

The Amber Room was created from 1701 to 1709 in Prussia and remained at Charlottenburg Palace until 1716 when it was given by Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm I to his then ally, Tsar Peter the Great of the Russian Empire. The Amber Room was looted during World War II by Nazi Germany and brought to Königsberg. Knowledge of its whereabouts was lost in the chaos at the end of the war.



A reconstructed Amber Room was inaugurated in 2003 in the Catherine Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  The latest discovery, as reported in February 2008, is of a 20-metre pit in Deutschneudorf, a small town near the German-Czech border. The site reportedly matches intelligence from survivors who helped loot the fabled room, and initial probe reports are said to indicate the presence of a large quantity of gold or silver.



On 20th Feb 2008, German treasure hunters claimed to have found the Amber room.  The discovery of an estimated two tons of gold or silver was made in a cavern 20 meters underground near the village of Deutschneudorf on Germany's border with the Czech Republic.  The mystery of the Amber Room has been the basis for the plot of several films, books and art exhibitions. 



Links:
-Follow this web link for more on the modern day hunt to find out what happened to the original Amber Room:
http://www.amberroom.org/index-english.htm

-History of the Amber Room:  http://www.geo.uw.edu.pl/HOBBY/AMBER/amberroom.htm

Offline Chris

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2008, 02:05:58 AM »
Fantastic Jim, I don't know how you come up with all this great information and wonderful pictures.

Chris

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2008, 06:32:38 AM »
Question about russian / ukraine culture :

Someone special told me, that her babushka prepared a whole day for my visit and it was part of russian folklore.
There was also an abundance of food and the amount left over was sickening.

I have no idea what to google for or what the significance of this is.

Does anyone know ?
You can change anything in life, but a BMW only for a BMW
My first trip to my wife: To Evpatoria!
My road trip to Crimea: Roadtrip to Evpatoria

Offline lindochka

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2008, 08:51:01 AM »
Question about russian / ukraine culture :

Someone special told me, that her babushka prepared a whole day for my visit and it was part of russian folklore.
There was also an abundance of food and the amount left over was sickening.

I have no idea what to google for or what the significance of this is.

Does anyone know ?


Markje, I started to respond in more detail, but I gave up because my reply was starting to seem like some sort of lecture on cultural anthropology. I don't know enough about Dutch culture to be certain, but I suspect you had a Close Encounter with Cultural Differences!

Perhaps "someone special" meant that such preparations are part of Russian culture/tradition? That's certainly true. Guests are a very big deal and all the stops are pulled out. During my first visit to meet my family back in 2000 I was so amazed at the spread of food at my welcome dinner -- not just the quantity, but the variety and the artistry of the presentation -- that I photographed the table. I knew my visit was a big deal to my cousins (as it was to me), but Eastern European friends back in the US commented admiringly on this evidence of how my visit was regarded.

Of course there was an abundance of food at Babushka's -- guests are a gift from God! Nothing is too good for them, everything must be the best one can offer, and in large quantity. I can understand how what you saw might have seemed excessive to you, but it was evidence of the regard for you and the importance of your visit.

I would also imagine that nothing went to waste. DM and I indulged our wedding guests in a manner considered fairly lavish in DM's hometown. We served buffet-style and I promise you that I made so much food and so many different dishes that there was literally no room on the buffet table for our cake. (I had to set it on the window sill behind the table until it was time for dessert.)

We ourselves enjoyed party food for the better part of the week that followed our Big Day and we threw away nothing!

The way in which Babushka entertained you is evidence of the importance of you and your visit to her and her family. No matter how good a cook she is, I doubt she goes to that kind of trouble on a daily basis. It is also evidence of Babushka's skills in the Russian art of being mistress of a household. Keeping in mind the traditionally very close relationship between women and their grandchildren in that part of the world (which long predates the beginnings of the USSR), it would be reasonable to conclude that "someone special" has had a fine example set for her.

IMO, you have much about which you should be pleased, not to mention deeply honored. Personally I'm delighted for you!

HTH.
Life is so short we must move very slowly.

Offline Olga_Mouse

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2008, 11:35:00 AM »

I have no idea what to google for or what the significance of this is.

Does anyone know ?


Ever seen the movie "My big Greek wedding" - with American parents bringing "a cake with a hole" to the "small" party arranged by Greek parents?  :chuckle:
Leaving Russia is not an emigration, rather an evacuation.

Online Markje

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2008, 01:35:45 AM »

IMO, you have much about which you should be pleased, not to mention deeply honored. Personally I'm delighted for you!

HTH.

hi Linda,

Thanks a bunch for the long reply :) I felt very honoured, thats for sure. :) :) I only regretted not speaking more Russian as Lena was too busy and happy chatting with her family to do translations for me :)

Mark
You can change anything in life, but a BMW only for a BMW
My first trip to my wife: To Evpatoria!
My road trip to Crimea: Roadtrip to Evpatoria

Offline froid

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2008, 06:45:33 AM »
I saw the padlock thing in Moscow as well.  On one bridge they poles running down the middle of it that had space for putting locks on.  People would put locks near the top of the poles and keep adding and adding onto the other locks until it looked like it had "trees" of locks running down the middle of it.  Very interesting to see.
Look, we're gonna spend half the night driving around the Hills looking for this one party and you're going to say it sucks and we're all gonna leave and then we're gonna go look for this other party. But all the parties and all the bars, they all suck. <-Same goes for forums!

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2008, 09:23:34 PM »
Sheremetyevo the airport, Sheremetiev the family:



You've flown into Moscow and your ticket said SVO-2.  That funny looking name Sheremetyevo, Шереметьево, just looked weird on the terminal from out on the tarmac. And when the captain came on the speaker to welcome you to Moscow did he say "SHITTY mate-vi-ah" or was that "SHADDY met-ye-vah?"  Dang, you wish he'd say it again, cause you're not sure if you heard it right.

Then as the plane taxied closer you could see the signs.  Heck, how do they speak such a language? 





Unless Moscow is where you depart you're likely off to either Шереметьево-1, which although it's susposedly the first terminal of one airport and shares runways with terminal 2, it might as well be on the other side of the world.  And it will take you that long to get there too.  Or, if this is just an short layover, you may be headed off to another Moscow airport.  There are several and in fact 3 of them are international airports. The other 2 international facilities are DME - Domodedovo (аэропорт Домодедово) and VNU - Vnukovo (аэропорт Внуково).

This morning the church choir, of which it has been reported that I make feeble attempts to sing bass, sang an Orthodox anthem by Sheremeteiv, the composer.  Standing there in the choir loft when my thoughts should have been centered on more heavenly realms, I was preoccupied with thoughts of the good (but very inexpensive) meals served in the airport employee cafeteria upstairs in terminal 2.

You might be interested to know that at one time the Sheremetev family was the largest landowner (excepting the Tsars) in all of Russia.  Count Boris Sheremetev was a general in the Russian army who helped Peter the Great build Russia into a full European power.  In addition to his duties as a general, he also helped Peter build the Russian Navy.

Count Alexander Dmitrievitch Sheremetiev, whose name is transliterated a variety of ways was born in 1859 and was the last fully noble Russian Count of the Sheremetiev bloodline. Sheremetiev was a direct descendant of Boris Sheremetev, who fought alongside Peter the Great in the Great Northern War, and Sheremetiev's father served as chamberlain to Tsar Alexander II.

On the occasion of his marriage in 1883, Sheremetiev purchased a building located at No. 4 Kutuzova Embankment in St. Petersburg. Sheremetiev was a Major General to the Tsar in peacetime and used his position and privilege to mount the first firefighting companies in Russia. It was the Sheremetiev family that at one point owned the famous Moscow palace and grounds known as the Ostankino Park.


Sheremetiev Palace park, a St Petersburg landmark.

Alexandr Sheremetiev was also a very talented composer and choral director, who served as the leader of the chorus attached to the Russian Court. He ultimately formed his own private orchestra and chorus, which played public concerts at his estate in St. Petersburg; the quality of the orchestra is said to have been superior to that belonging to the Conservatory of St. Petersburg itself, although many of its musicians played in both orchestras. Tickets to concerts at Sheremetiev's palace were kept at low cost, and Sheremetiev viewed his musical activities as a kind of public service, donating the proceeds from concerts to churches and folk music groups. After decades of operation, Sheremetiev's music-making came to an abrupt end in 1917 when the Russian Revolution forced him and his family to flee to Paris. He died in 1931.

Very little of Sheremetiev's music is accounted for, but it is of such high quality that the little of it that has survived suggests the technical refinement of a composer who wrote music often and well. His chorus "Rejoice Now Heavenly Powers" is a standard piece among Russian Orthodox choirs, and a recording of the work by Chorovaya Akademia became a low-level public radio "hit" when included on the popular BMG compilation Ancient Voices in 1995. After his departure from Russia, his estate housed various political operations belonging to the Soviet state until 1932 when it was established as the headquarters of the Leningrad Writer's Union. Fire broke out in the palace in 1993 and it became the subject of an international restoration effort, the baseline work being completed over the next decade.


Sheremetiev Palace park.


One of Sheremetiev's descendants, Pierre Cheremetieff, serves as head of the Russian Rachmaninoff Conservatory in Paris, and it was he who opened the door to the gallery of Sheremetiev Palace in 2003 for the first public concert held there in more than 85 years.


The music of Sheremetiev lives on.  Listen to this contemporary rendition set to the background of an all-male Sheremetiev chorus.


PS....when saying Шереметьево, although this can be a tongue-twister at first, here are a couple of hints:
1) The letter "e" is a soft vowel and so it softens those hard consonants to the left.
2) The letter "e" is "yeh" (not e) and if you'll allow the "ye" to come out and play you will find it easier to say this word.

If you've struggled with this word then "Shay-tye-may-tyeva" is probably closer to sounding more like a natural Russian.



Finally, (Gasp!) the Sheremetiev family were not "ethnic Russians!"  OH NO!  They were descendants of the Tatars, again proving the phrase, "scratch and Russian and underneath is a Tatar."

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Russian culture
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2008, 10:53:44 PM »
Russia the beautiful!







She takes up one sixth of the world's surface.


She spans 11 time zones today.  When it is evening in Moscow it's already tomorrow morning in Vladivostok.


She sits on half the European continent.


She spans half the Asian continent.


Her native people range from Eskimos and Indians in the far East. Tatars in the Siberian mountains and flatlands, Asians along her southern borders, and ethnic Europeans in the West.


She is home to over 100 languages.


Her history is over 1,000 years old.


She is rich in culture.


She is Russia.


She is beautiful.


Just watch:






And there is more:






She is the heart of the Slavic people:






The center of Slavic culture:






While all major religions are represented within her borders, Russia is the centre of Christian Orthodoxy:







She is Russia! 





Offline Manny

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Re: FSUW Archtypes
« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2009, 05:55:42 PM »
Leave a few comments over there with http://ruadventures.com in the URL line as per this topic folks - we might cop for a few members.  ;D

I am not familiar with that blog, I am off there reading now.............

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: FSUW Archtypes
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2009, 08:10:18 PM »
Skimmed over and found some nice things but that was just a brief visit.  I'd certainly agree with the article "Adapting your English to her Russian (or Ukrainian)."

Offline mendeleyev

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Life in Russia's Far East
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2009, 11:48:54 AM »
Top 20 indicators you might be in the Russian Far East:
1. Toilet paper is non-absorbent.
2. It takes 5 minutes to pull your shorts up because it is so humid.
3. There are no rules but they still can be broken.
4. The people who are paid to protect the wildlife also poach it.
5. You get whipped with oak branches while bathing.
6. The gold teeth in a Russian’s mouth are worth more
than what’s in their pocket.
7. Power poles are made of concrete because people
were stealing the wooden poles to build houses.
8. Awards are given for having the nicest yard in town.
9. You hear bugs buzzing in your ear when you are
doing laundry, brushing teeth, bathing, eating,
sleeping, walking, teaching, etc.
10. Everyone wears clothing with English brand names
but they are misspelled because they are Chinese
rip-offs. (Example: Fox Racing is Fox Rncinging)
11. Instead of saying "Super Duper" the Russian kids
say "Super Pooper"
12. Everyone wants your autograph because when they
tell their friends they met an American they won’t be
believed unless they have proof.
13. You’re the top news story the day after you visit
a city.
14. The women have more hair on their legs than they
do on their heads.
15. You put a fence around your house and garden to
keep the animals OUT.
16. You have strong thighs from squatting to go to the
bathroom.
17. It is considered bad luck to sleep with your
window open.
18. You are not allowed to touch anything in the
grocery store. Everything is behind a counter and you
have to tell the cashier what you want.
19. Wild marijuana is growing in every other field.
20. A heavy rain makes it hard to get to town.


 

 

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