Voices from Russia

Sunday, 31 July 2016

31 July 2016. Krokodil Gena Shows the Way…

00 Krokodil Gena centrepiece 310716

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Now, this is the ticket… have Krokodil Gena (Cheburashka’s sidekick) as your centrepiece at your party…

I saw this on the RuNet… good, no? You can even eat it with your vodka… we’re not a bunch of drunks, are we?

BMD

Friday, 8 July 2016

The Bear in the Slavic Imagination

00 Russian Bear. Viktor Britvin 080716

Illustration by Viktor Britvin

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Amongst the Slavic peoples, the bear is one of the main characters in folklore zoölogy, being a symbol of fertility, health, and strength. The Slavs have always respected bears… they considered them the masters of the forest. The Slavs dated the coming of spring with the bears waking up from hibernation. They believed that bears had special wisdom, which could protect them from witchcraft, disease, and all sorts of bad things.

7 July 2016

Slavyanskaya Kultura

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Saturday, 7 May 2016

7 May 2016. Old Russian Wisdom… Our Ancestors Weren’t Angels

00 Marina Ruslanova. Our Ancestors Weren't Angels. 2016

Our Ancestors Weren’t Angels

Marina Ruslanova

2010s

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“Our ancestors weren’t angels and our kids won’t be devils” is a free (idiomatic) translation of the above aphorism. In other words, “Our ancestors were all-too-human… so were we… so, why does it surprise you that our kids are the same?” It’s a gentle cynicism of the better sort… that is, “Why do you expect them to be any better than we were and our parents were? The Circle of Life goes on”. What amuses me is to see the young ‘uns led astray by this-or-that Pied Piper. Didn’t we do the same in our day, too? Didn’t we get carried away by our enthusiasms and try to “save the world?” Well… the world went on its merry way and we grew up. So will the kids. Of course, they’re a royal Pain-in-the-Arse in the meantime… but so were we! The Church has survived earnest young priests in the past… it’ll continue to do so. We’ll just have to be there to catch them when they (inevitably) fall flat on their ass…

BMD

Saturday, 30 April 2016

30 April 2016. Old Russian Wisdom… An Egg is Priceless on a Holy Day

00 Marina Ruslanova. An Egg fis Priceless on a Holy Day. Marina Ruslanova. 2010s

An Egg is Priceless on a Holy Day

Marina Ruslanova

2010s

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This is in the style of “folk” popular luboks (crude prints for mass distribution). It’s an Old Russian proverb… Дорого яичко к святому дню literally is “An egg is priceless on a holy day”, which carries the meaning of “Anything done at the right time is appreciated”.

BMD

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