Voices from Russia

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Thanksgiving Day in the USA


27 November marks Thanksgiving Day in the USA, one of the favourites on the list of national holidays. Many Americans refer to the holiday as Turkey Day. Under a tradition that goes back centuries, a roasted turkey is a necessary feature of Thanksgiving in every household. About 50 million turkeys go into the oven on Thanksgiving. So, the holiday makes a great day for turkey farmers. The two fattest birds are spared and become famous all over the country. The solemn ceremony to spare the birds is held by the president on the lawn near the White House. The tradition is all about paying tribute to the turkey, which the local Indians gave to the first settlers, thereby saving them from death of starvation. Springing from this tradition is another one, under which Thanksgiving Day is a time of free meals for the homeless and for the poor distributed by charities with the traditional turkey on the menu. Those willing are encouraged to vary the menu by bringing something from the family table.

A sad fact, but, the number of needy amongst Americans is growing, which has become particularly noticeable in the conditions of the current world crisis. Only this month alone, big companies across the US laid off about 100,000 workers, the largest number in 20 years, so, a record number of Americans had to apply for unemployment benefits. More and more are joining the ranks of more than 10 million unemployed officially registered in America. As small companies shut down, banks are next on the list, with 22 gone bust and over 170 experiencing serious difficulties. Those thinking of themselves as stable have felt the effect of the crisis too. Whilst well-off and rich families can afford turkey and more than one, they had to abandon hopes of getting the habitual end-of-the-year bonuses. Those with a business of their own are afraid of losing it. As a result, moods across the US, even though it’s Thanksgiving, are far from high and are unlikely to change in the near future.

Nearly all countries are now experiencing the same, having found themselves in the clutches of financial crisis. The US, where the crisis started, was hit the worst. As the holiday season comes near, it is clear that there will be fewer presents, particularly if they are expensive. But, the hopes will stay as high as ever and will grow stronger. It’s just in human nature to believe in a better future, no matter what.

27 November 2008

andrei-ptashnikovAndrei Ptashnikov

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

I have seen too much bile expressed both in the American media and by certain right-wing individuals against Russia that I feel I must state a “home truth”. Russians do not hate America, nor do they hate Americans. Mr Ptashnikov does not feel that America is evil. He looks to a better future… shouldn’t we do the same? Russia stretches out its hand in genuine friendship… shall you spurn it or shall you grasp it with joy? The choice is yours.



The Pokrov Chamber Chorus shall perform at the Russian Mission of the UN at Geneva


The traditional Christmas-season tour of the Pokrov Chamber Chorus under the direction of Andrei Gorachyov shall start with a concert in Geneva. The members of the UN mission and General Consulate of the RF, the Russian clergy and members of the Russian diaspora in Switzerland, and anyone who is interested in Russian spiritual musical culture are invited to the concert. On the programme shall be Russian church music, Christmas kolyadki (carols), and Russian folk songs. The chorus shall visit the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Holy Cross (ROCOR) in Geneva and the European Broadcasting Union, where the Pokrov chorus is already well-known because of its recordings, which have often been included in projects of the EBU. This is the first visit of the chorus to Geneva, and it was made possible by an invitation from V. V. Loshchinin, the Permanent Representative of the RF to the UN Department in Geneva, and A. G. Lopukhov, the Consul General of the RF in Geneva. The tour of the chorus shall last until 15 December, during which time it shall give 11 concerts in Switzerland and Austria, and it shall also perform after the Divine Liturgy at the Russian Orthodox parish of the Resurrection in Zürich.

28 November 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


An Old (Romanian) Christmas Carol

In all the Orthodox lands, there are special songs celebrating the Nativity. Some shall tell you that they are a regional thing only. That is not true. All Orthodox do this, and some of the songs are nearly identical in the different dialects. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Rural Russia… a video

Filed under: cultural,inspirational,patriotic,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

This is a moving evocation of the eternal landscape of the Russian Motherland. The Rodina lived, it lives, and it shall live. Russia is more than a name, more than just a collection of atomised individuals, it is the living soul of our people and of our Faith.

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