Voices from Russia

Monday, 26 January 2015

26 January 2015. Some of My Favourite Things… Singer Demis Roussos Dead at 68

04c-demis-roussos

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Le Grec

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My Friend the Wind

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Goodbye, My Love, Goodbye… my personal fave

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04f Demis Roussos

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My Reason 

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Quand je t’aime… my fave of his French recordings

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04g-demis-roussos

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Someday, Somewhere

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Comme le vent d’hier

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04d Demis Roussos

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Mourir auprès de mon amour

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Morir al lado de mi amor

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Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun

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Read thisthis, and this. One of my fave singers, Demis Roussos died at 68. He was Greek, but based himself in France, so, he wasn’t well-known in the USA, but he sang in several languages, including English. He was one of the best of the 60s generation of pop singers… we’ll all miss him. Opa! for a life well-spent… light a candle for Demis and ask your priest to say Pannikhida for him (his Christian name was Artemios)… yes, like most Greeks, he was Orthodox.

May God grant the Servant of God Artemios rest, in a place of verdure and refreshment, where sorrow and sighing have fled away…

Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη! Вечная память!

BMD

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Poles Refuse Refugee Status to “Ukrainians”… Was This on American Orders?

00 refugees. rostov oblast. russia. 11.06.14

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Rzeczpospolita reported that the Office for Foreigners of the Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration (MSWA) refused to classify more than 2,000 Ukrainians who came to the country as refugees. Last year, that number applied for refugee status in Poland, but the MSWA refused to accept any of them, saying that the department involved considered each case individually. In 2014, Poland only granted refugee status to only 262 foreigners, but turned down 5,500 other cases. Ukrainians fled to Poland due to the conflict in Novorossiya. To obtain refugee status under the Geneva Convention, you must prove that you’d be a victim of persecution in your native land, but can’t seek asylum in another part of the country. Rzeczpospolita reported that the MSWA routinely denied the applications of Ukrainians because of the second part. Meanwhile, Russia granted thousands of people from Novorossiya refugee status. Since the beginning of the junta’s repression operation in the Donbass, the junta forces routinely shell settlements in the region. As a result, according to the UN, the number of casualties in the conflict zone has exceeded 5,000.

25 January 2015

Donbass Tsentr

http://donbass.center/mir/2540-po-bratski-polsha-otkazala-v-statuse-bezhencev-2-tysyacham-ukraincev.html

Monday, 19 January 2015

Russian Ice Bucket Challenge: Russians Celebrate Orthodox Epiphany

00 Orthodox epiphany. siberia 02. 19.01.15

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Epiphany in Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF

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00 Orthodox epiphany. siberia 01. 19.01.15

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Epiphany in Vorkuta (Komi Republic. Northwestern Federal District) RF… that be above the Arctic Circle, kids… that’s FAR North

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00 Orthodox epiphany. siberia 03. 19.01.15

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On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of Christians across Russia marked Orthodox Epiphany, immersing themselves into freezing waters on a cold January night. Epiphany is on 19 January according to the Orthodox Church tradition. The Church teaches that St John the Baptist baptised Jesus Christ in the Jordan River on this day, so, Orthodox Christians mark the occasion by jumping into frozen rivers or ponds.

More than 150,000 Muscovites took part in the tradition this year. Russia’s capital offers A-one conditions for believers by constructing specifically designed areas for plunging. The authorities built 60 ice-dipping spots across Moscow, with medical personnel and volunteers present and ready to provide assistance at all specifically designated areas for the cold plunge. For those who truly believe in the holy powers of healing and blessing of the water on Epiphany, even extremely low temperatures in Arctic Siberia didn’t stop them from making the plunge. With temperatures being below -40 degrees in Norilsk (Krasnoyarsk Krai. Siberian Federal District), one of Russia’s most northern cities, hundreds of people showed up to test their faith, Norilsk TV reports. In Vorkuta, situated north of the Arctic Circle, where visibility was less than ten metres (33 feet) because of freezing fog, hundreds of people lined up for the plunge. As they walked out of the ice-hole cut out on the surface of the frozen Usa River, water droplets turned into ice a split second after reaching the ground.

Prior to Epiphany, the Orthodox Church holds a series of religious services that conclude with a blessing of the water. Those who didn’t jump into the icy waters took blessed water home with them. Epiphany concludes the traditional Christmas holiday season in Russia. Russian authorities built more than 3,000 plunging spots across the country. Last year, over 1.3 million people across Russia celebrated Orthodox Epiphany.

19 January 2015

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150119/1017076077.html

Saturday, 17 January 2015

How to Drink Vodka with Russians… and Not Get Drunk

poster-for-samogonshchiki-moonshiners

This is a poster for the famous Sov 1961 comedy Самогонщики (Samogonshchiki: The Moonshiners)… click here and watch it (along with another short that comes first)… there’s no dialogue… just fun. Have a drink (or two) and smile!

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With the New Year just around the corner, the chance of visitors to Russia not being asked to join the locals for a few celebratory drinks is extremely slim. However, what steps should you take to make sure a traditional vodka session doesn’t leave your head spinning by midnight? RBTH offers useful tips on how best to prepare for a New Year’s feast and avoid its less welcome side effects. When it comes to stereotypes about Russia, there are few more potent than the natives’ supposed attachment to drinking vodka. Foreigners often wonder, “Why do Russians love vodka so much?” Still, with New Year celebrations upon us, another question becomes more topical, “How should you drink vodka with Russians?”

Some attribute Russians’ supposed extraordinary ability to drink a lot of vodka to genetics. However, Russians themselves say that this ability has nothing to do with biology; in fact, it’s rooted in Russian traditions. Often, Russian businessman Artyom Minayev invites foreigners to Moscow restaurants to discuss business; he’s concluded that foreigners don’t know how to drink vodka, saying, “The biggest problem with Europeans, Americans, and the Chinese is that they drink and don’t take any food immediately after. So, after a second or third shot it’s no longer possible to talk to them about work! Russians love vodka because it really does warm you up and because it goes so well with Russian cuisine. When you drink vodka, you should do it with some fatty foods, even if it’s just sour cream! You can have boiled or fried potatoes with it, bread, sausage, cheese, or oily fish. There are numerous snacks that are not at all expensive and that’ll prevent you from getting drunk”.

There are Other Secrets, Too

Many Russians, before sitting down to their New Year feast, consume a raw egg. They say that it’s the best way of making sure that one will last the whole evening and leave the table sober. However, doctors are categorically opposed to this method because raw eggs are the easiest way of contracting salmonella. If you have concerns on that score too, you can just drink a tablespoonful of sunflower oil. On his first visit to Moscow, Santiago Fonseca from Mexico made some thorough preparations for the New Year party he was going to have with his girlfriend’s friends, fearing that otherwise he wouldn’t be able to make it through the night. He said, “I’d read that fat prevents alcohol absorption, so, I drank several spoons of oil and ate two potatoes. It’s hard to believe it, but I remained sober… even having drunk a whole bottle of rather dubious vodka!” Having said that, it’s also very important not to overeat and not to eat too many starchy and sweet foods, despite the fact that fat helps you to stay sober, as they generate more work for the liver and pancreas, making it more difficult for them to process alcohol.

Vodka Etiquette and How to Avoid a Hangover

Anastasiya Knezhevich sells numerous varieties of vodka at her shop and spends a lot of time explaining to foreigners how people consume vodka in Siberia, where she’s originally from, saying, “I think the problem with foreigners is that they mix vodka in cocktails and sip vodka slowly. I keep telling them that you have to drink vodka in one go and exhale through the nose and not the mouth. That’s why Russians are capable of drinking a lot of vodka and remaining alive afterwards”.

According to Minayev, at a Russian dinner party it’s important for a foreigner to show that they’re a friendly person. To that end, it’s necessary to drink the first two or three shots, after which it’s possible to take a break to save energy for more to come. He observed, “When a foreigner is ready to have another shot of vodka, they need to take the bottle and fill the glasses of all those present. Once, I was at one dinner where a Japanese guest kept pouring vodka only into his own glass. It was so tactless that nobody wanted to invite him ever again. Incidentally, he never managed to sign the important contracts that he had come to Moscow to sign”.

If none of the recommendations above proves useful in your case, here is another piece of advice from RBTH… first thing the next morning, drink a glass of salty water or pickle brine. This is the most effective ancient remedy against hangovers and headaches… many Russians swear by it.

31 December 2014

Mariya Grigoryan

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://rbth.com/arts/2014/12/31/how_to_drink_vodka_42725.html

READ MORE:

The basics of the best Russian drinking toasts

Russian hangover remedies: Cucumbers, caviar, and a bath

The top 10 requirements for a stereotypical Russian New Year

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