Voices from Russia

Thursday, 3 January 2013

3 January 2013. Happy Holidays from Belarus… With an Excursus on What “Holiday Season” Means…

00a Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. Ded Moroz. Snegurochka

A Ded Moroz/Snegurochka parade in Minsk (Minsk Urban District) BELARUS


00b Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. Wedding Couple

A New Year couple marries in Minsk (Minsk Urban District) BELARUS


00c Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. Ded Moroz. Snegurochka.Vitebsk maternity home

Dede and Snegurochka give over a baby daughter to her parents at a maternity home in Vitebsk (Vitebsk Oblast) BELARUS


00d Happy Holidays. Belarus Style. 03.01.13. revellers. Vitebsk

New Year’s Eve revellers in Vitebsk (Vitebsk Oblast) BELARUS


I’m saying “holiday season” with malice aforethought. It’s not just Christmas, kids… for instance, the “Holiday Season” in the USA begins after Thanksgiving, goes through Catholic Christmas, and ends on New Year’s Day. In Canada, it’s similar, but it begins in the last week of November, as Canadian Thanksgiving is more of a proper Harvest Thanksgiving, so, it’s in October. That’s the Secular Holiday Season, and, yes, “Season’s greetings” is quite appropriate.

Catholic Christmas is broke into two seasons… Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas. Advent centres on the four Sundays preceding Christmas; it’s a season of preparation. The Christmas season proper begins on 25 December and runs until Epiphany on 6 January. St Nicholas Day on 6 December and Secular New Year’s on 1 January overlap this period.

Orthodox Christmas, like Catholic Christmas, has a Lenten period preceding it. For forty days before the Nativity on 7 January/25 December, Orthodox prepare for the feast. After the Nativity, comes the Svyatki (Holy Days), which are equivalent to the Twelve Days of Christmas. The Christmas season ends with Epiphany on 19/6 January. Like Catholic Christmas, St Nicholas Day (19/6 December) and Secular New Year’s overlap the season.

If that’s not enough, the Russian New Year Period begins on New Year’s and ends on 10 January, three days after Orthodox Nativity. To add further spice to this already simmering slumgullion, Jewish Hanukkah season overlaps the holiday period, and the Islamic Ashura and Islamic New Year can overlap the period (the Islamic calendar is lunar and the dates “wander”… as does the Jewish calendar, but not as badly).

Whew! There’s a whole lot of partying going on, for all sorts of reasons, all overlapping the same season. Ergo, “Happy Holidays”… Christmas isn’t the only game in town… and Christians aren’t the only ones celebrating.

BMD barbara-drezhloBarbara-Marie Drezhlo

Albany NY

3 January 2013


3 January 2013. You Can’t Make Shit Like This Up… Russian Christmas Party at Thai Resort

00 Pattaya resort hotel. Thailand. 03..01.13


Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort in Pattaya invites you to celebrate 2013 Russian Orthodox Christmas on Sunday, 6 January at the Oasis Restaurant. Our Executive Chef, Chef Peter Held, will create a special Russian Christmas buffet consisting of international cuisine and Russian dishes. Prices start at THB 2,000 (1,992 Roubles. 66 USD. 51 Euros. 41 UK Pounds) for adults and THB 1,000 (996 Roubles. 33 USD. 25.50 Euros. 20.50 UK Pounds) for children 6-12 years old, including free soft drinks and a special offer of a half-price bottle of Absolut vodka. Oasis Restaurant is located in the lower main lobby near the water park of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort in Pattaya. Open daily from 06.00 to 22.30.

3 January 2013

Thailand Press Release News


Editor’s Note:

This feed at a luxury resort costs two-thirds of the fee demanded by Lyonyo et al for the OCA enthronement bash meal. I’ll betcha that it’s twice as good but it only costs about half as much. Now, if you’re looking for value for money, you’d cancel your booking for Mollard’s enthronement and fly out to Thailand tout suite…


3 January 2013. Ray Velencia’s Lawsuit Against Mike Regan Quashed… For Now



Sir Ray received a blow on 13 December. The court dismissed his suit against Mark Stokoe and Fr Michael Regan for lack of jurisdiction, etc. Unfortunately, the dismissal was without prejudice, which means that he can refile if he can fix the defects, and he can always appeal the ruling, but it means he’s lost momentum, and he’ll have to spend much more money. Besides all that, Howard Needle, his attorney, may well decide that it’s time to stop milking this particular cow. He didn’t take the case on contingency, as is usual in such cases; he demanded that Sir Ray pay as he went… that tells me that Needle didn’t think much of Sir Ray’s chances. Now, that Ray’s protector JP is out of the mix, well, that means that Ray’s all alone. I don’t think that Bobby wants to get entangled further in this mess and I don’t think that any other potential sugar daddy wants to keep funding a loser. God willing, Mike Regan’s out of the woods. After all, the very thought of a suspended clergyman suing a clergyman in good standing in a court of law without putting it before the Holy Synod first is obscene and beyond the pale. Mike Regan deserves an apology from the Synod… Ray Velencia deserves deposition… don’t hold your breath…



3 January 2013. A Tale of Two Enthronements…

01e Orthodox China Dome of the Mission Church Shanghai

God DOES see and judge…


Compare this and this. The first is the enthronement of Tikhon Mollard in the District; the second is the enthronement of Antony Scharba in Silver Spring MD, just three loud farts away. According to Google Maps, the road distance between St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in the District and St Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring is only 26 kilometres (16 miles). Those of us who know the shitty roads and the wretched traffic in that neck of the woods know that it takes forever to get anywhere; it takes about 50 real-world minutes to drive between the two churches (38 minutes? Get real… this is the District; with traffic arrangements (un)funded by the US Congress and designed by Satan himself).

Scharba’s being enthroned on Saturday 26 January… Mollard’s being enthroned on Sunday 27 January. Of course, neither website acknowledges the existence of the other enthronement, so, obviously, one can’t tell if it’s a snub or just plain ol’ hutsky-klutsky (my vote is for a combination of the two, with most of it being hutsky-klutsky). Since both enthronements are taking place in the same metro area, we can draw direct comparisons between them and declare a “winner” as far as po-nashemu pragmatism’s concerned.

In this, the Ukies win hands down. There’s no contest. Of course, the fact that Lyonyo, Jillions, and Tosi (with input from Potapov, no doubt) planned the OCA hootenanny guaranteed that it would end as a gigantic tits-up, overpriced and not good value for money. Firstly, the OCA dinner costs 100 bucks (3,000 Roubles. 77 Euros. 62 UK Pounds) a head, no exceptions. The Ukie feast costs 50 bucks (1,500 Roubles. 38.50 Euros. 31 UK Pounds) a hit, half as much, plus they have student discounts and it’s free for the kids. This means that Tony Scharba wants as many people about him as possible… and bring the kids, please! It means that Tikhon Mollard is a putz manoeuvred by his puppeteers… only the right people are coming to his dinner… Lyonyo, Behr, Jillions, and Tosi will see to that. The Ukies kept their meal at their Cathedral hall, which means that they kept control of the premises and costs… the OCA is holding theirs at an outside venue, which means that they have NO control over the event. What a buncha losers.

Then, when it comes to hotel discounts, the Ukies win again. The OCA “discount” is 139 smackers (4,200 Roubles. 107 Euros. 87 UK Pounds) a night… that’s no discount; it’s the usual price for a half-ass room in the District and its surrounding burbs. The Ukies got 79 bucks (2,400 Roubles. 61 Euros. 50 UK Pounds) a night per room at Holiday Inn, no Motel 6 that. That is, the Ukies are paying 57 percent of the rate that the OCA crowd’s paying. That’s some steep difference. Is Lyonyo et al getting skunked on the rate? Is Lyonyo et al getting a kickback? I’ll betcha any amount that it’s a combination of the two.

The OCA enthronement is going to end as High Comedy, whilst the Ukie enthronement is going to be a smoothly-functioning affair. Oh, one last thing… the choir at St Andrew Cathedral is a well-rehearsed lot, under the expert direction of a former OCA director from the District. The choir at the OCA Dixie Fry will consist of a poorly-prepared pickup choir under the direction of David Drillock (the old overrated and undertalented SVS music guru… he must be pushing 80… he’s bluffed his way through life as he was Ledkovsky’s flunky in his youth). Yowza…

BMD barbara-drezhloBarbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 3 January 2013

Albany NY

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