Losiny Ostrov National Park

Green Moscow

What do you think when you think of Moscow? Do you think of tall buildings, boulevards, lots of cars? Do you think of the Red Square? Do you think of mountains of snow? Well, you’re probably right. Except that you’re forgetting that it is summer now… a time of the year when the city transforms. In just a couple of months, Moscow changes its covers from white to green, becoming…

Maslenitsa Kustodiev 1916

Maslenitsa

As some of you may know… this week it’s Maslenitsa Week in Russia (March 11th to March 17th). Originally a Slavic pagan tradition, Maslenitsa (derived from maslo, meaning butter or oil in Russian) is still celebrated today but with different purposes. During pagan times, it was a sun festival celebrating the imminent end of winter and welcoming of spring. However, throughout the years much of these Slavic traditions were absorbed…

Fragments of the iron meteorite

Russian Meteors

Good day, dear readers. I’ve missed you *kisses&hugs*! Something has forced me to wake up from my winter hibernation and reunite with the blogosphere. It’s this meteor thing. Yeah, so let’s talk about it. On February 15th, what seemed to be a regular winter morning, soon became a world phenomenon and sensation as a meteorite streaked across the sky over Chelyabinsk before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered…

Vera Brezhneva

Introduction to Russian Music: Part 2

Earlier, I had promised I would introduce some of the best ladies of our music industry (IMHO). Some got famous for talent, some for beauty, and others for both talent and beauty. That is why, I am inviting you to check out my five favorite Russian female singers in today’s music industry! Elka (Ёлка) Elka (Russian for pinetree) is a young singer at the top of her career. She became popular for…

eastern europe landscape

Infinite Yellow

A day without you, Is like an eternity, Without sunshine. I am passionate about sunflowers. They bring me happiness for some reason. I think it’s the color; it must be the color. In Eastern Europe, everywhere you look are sunflower fields dotting the landscape in yellow, my favorite color. I want to get lost in the infinite yellow, In the sea of gold and green, Eternal sunshine of the soul.…

Snegurochka

New Year Russian Style!

Holidays are considered to be the most magical time of the year… a beautiful time to gather together and celebrate… celebrate happiness, love, prosperity, relationships. New Year’s is possibly the favorite holiday of all Russians, symbolizing the goodbye of the past year and the welcoming of a new one. In Russia we often say, “The way you spend New Year’s Eve is the way you will spend the rest of…

Queen of the gypsies

Queen of the Gypsies

It is quite impossible to imagine Russia without Gypsies in their bright flowery clothes, with their passionate songs and sizzling dances. A symbol of nomadic life, these bright individuals became characters of many Russian writers, including Alexander Pushkin and Leo Tolstoy. Pushkin was one of the first to introduce and popularize the Gypsy culture among the educated people. His poem titled The Gypsies became a fine representation of the culture of these…

maya plisetskaya

Dance Away

No one is born a dancer. You have to want it more than anything. Living overseas, not once, not twice, not thrice, did I hear the names of Maya Plisetskaya and Mikhail Baryshnikov. And every single time my heart manages to inflate with pride. Pride because our ballet is recognized all over the world. Pride because our dancers are legends, true legends. Pride because so many look up to them.…

rose on snow

White Flames

With throbbing craving, I hunt for you, Beneath the wintry skies, Tucked into the snow Looking for your eyes. Softly laying on the ground, Under the birch tree’s shadow, I lose my last of rationality As I seek to draw your face… But your face is pale, like winter Your lips chilly, like frost Your touch, paralyzing, And your stare, Trenchant, haunting. Those emerald eyes, In whose depths, I so…

auto big-eared zaporozhets

Rolling In Style

The Soviet Union was manufacturing cars from its earliest days. The first of them was Pobeda (Victory in English), a much respected car made after World War II. Today, the streets of Russia are flooded with some of the best foreign automobile brands. Well, that escalated quickly, didn’t it? Don’t worry, I will make sure to fill out the missing information. Named in honor of victory in the Battle of…

russian delicacies

Food, At Last!

Ah, food, at last. I can’t believe I got over twenty posts in my blog… and this is the first time I am going to mention food, Russian food. See, Russian cuisine is a very important part of Russia and its history. Since I live abroad, a number of people always ask me and my family, “So what is it that you eat in Russia?” and “What’s the most typical Russian food?” to…

Ivan Rebroff

Where art thou, my muse?

Dear readers, I have been receiving complaints of my blogging unproductiveness.. but what do you write about when your muse is missing?!? Her lacking presence seems to have left me dried. I’ve got things to write about, but I don’t feel like it, I have a particular difficulty of spitting out words and forming sentences. A problem, indeed. Well, what is it that a writer like me does to get…

russian blue cat

Cats here, cats there

The Hermitage Museum, in St. Petersburg, has a staff of hundreds of specialists, in painting, sculpture, history. But in the lower levels of the museum, there are specialists of a different kind… the four-legged kind. Cats have been working for the museum since the 18th century. The drafty hallways of the palace of the time were being overrun by rats and mice. As a solution, Empress Elizabeth ordered to import…

red folk dance

Weekly Writing Challenge: Russian Red

Recently I have discovered a very lovely Spanish Indie singer called Russian Red, who served as an inspiration for this post. I must also add that I absolutely fell in love with her last album Fuerteventura. You may wonder why she chose her artistic name to be Russian Red, when in fact she has nothing to do with Russia. Well, the explanation is real simple. Russian Red is the name of…

russian photographers

An Ode to Bears

You like bears? Well, let us embrace our inner bears! As the saying goes, “Inside all of us is a wild thing.” I personally love bears, and they ought to be my second favorite animal (sorry, I am a loyal Leo at heart). How often have you heard the story of bears wandering around Russia’s streets? Hah, probably more than a couple… always amused me. I mean, it’s no big…

Vasnetsov - Ivan Tsarevitch riding the Grey Wolf (1889)

Gzhel and Ivan Tsarevitch

Many times have I heard people calling matryoshka dolls babushkas. Thing is that, matryoshkas are matryoshkas… they’re not babushkas (grandma in Russian). People may not know its correct name, but they DO know that it’s the most famous Russian souvenir. Ah, matryoshka dolls, who doesn’t wish to buy one when traveling to Russia? It’s definitely a must-buy for every foreign tourist. Sadly, it is my duty to inform you that there are many…

borat still

…Some Thoughts on Borat

Last night, I was invited to a very chic movie night with my boyfriend. It was decided we would watch an epic classic of the past decade “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” due to the fact that some of us haven’t seen this masterpiece of cinematography (more specifically, the lovely host). I took this occasion to refresh my memories of this movie, because…