Voices from Russia

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2 January 2016… New Year… A Holiday for ALL People… ALL Peoples… ALL Beliefs… URA!

00 Yelena Uvarova. Yolka. 2000s 020116


Yelena Uvarova

undated (early 2000s)


The New Year is a holiday for all of us… believers and secularists… Russians, Americans, Europeans, and Aussies… men and women, kids and oldsters, rich n’ poor… it’s for ALL of us. It’s a special day when we celebrate our common humanity. My only question is, “Why do some religious believers put on a prune face and refuse to honour the day?” Yes… I’d like to know the answer to that one…



Sunday, 13 December 2015

13 December 2015. Yolka at Kazan Cathedral in Piter

00 christmas tree st petersburg 131215

“2016 To the New Year and the Nativity of Christ”


Literally, “Yolka” in Russian means “fir-tree”… it has no relation to Christmas at all. Ergo, the best “Englishing” of this would be “Holiday Tree”, as it mostly symbolises the secular holiday of the New Year.


“In the Forest Grew a Yolochka (Holiday Tree)”

00 Ded Moroz. 09.12.12


Here’s a sweet little song from Dede… he’s not Santa Claus… he’s the New Year’s Wizard.


In the forest grew a Yolochka, 
In the woods it grew up tall. 
It grew both winter and summer, 
It grew so green and tall.

The lyrics for this song date before the Revolution. Raisa Adamovna Kudashyova, née Gidroyts, was the author of many beloved holiday verses, loved over many generations. Raisa Adamovna grew up in a family of a Moscow postal official. She graduated from the M B Pussel Girls’ Gimnaziya, later working as a governess, a teacher, and a librarian. She wrote poems from her early childhood, but only dared to send one of them (entitled Rucheiku (Brook)) to Malyutka (Little One) magazine in 1896. She was only 18-years-old when the periodical published it. After that, her poems began to appear in many children’s magazines, such as Malyutka, Svetlachok (Firefly), and Podsnezhnik (Snowdrop), using pseudonyms such as “A E”,”A Er”, and” R K”. Yolochka saw its first publication by Malyutka in its 1903 holiday issue (the one right before New Year’s and Christmas). Instead of her name, it appeared under the modest alias “A E”. interestingly, it doesn’t contain a single “holiday” verse, yet it became a staple of children’s holiday celebrations.

13 December 2015

Fairy-Tale Map of Russia


Sunday, 6 December 2015

6 December 2015. New Year Nostalgia… “Just Like When I Was a Kid!”

00 New Year Yolka USSR Russia 061215


Most people have GOOD memories of the Sov days. Anglo Americans get misled as they only talk to a small minority that speaks English and supports neoliberalism. They don’t know or care about the actual reality… but reality does have a way of making itself known… the Anglos, I fear, will find that out the HARD way…


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