Russian Culture Cuisine Theatre Literature Humor Music Famous Russians

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  • Russian CultureCuisineTheatreLiteratureHumorMusicFamous Russians

  • CuisineBasicsRussian cuisine has a rich and diverse historyIncludes a wide variety of soups and fish dishesMushrooms, vegetables, and fruit play a greater role than meat doesPrimordial Russian products such as caviar and buckwheat have had a profound world influence

  • CuisineOkroshkaOkroshka is a cold Russian soupIt usually has meat or fish in itAlways has two vegetablesIs eaten as an appetizerRussians keep ice on hand to keep it cold

  • CuisineShchiShchi is also known as cabbage soupHas been the main Russian first course for a millenniaConsists of cabbage, meat, carrots, herbs, sour components, etcIn cooking it is stewed on the stoveIt is eaten regularly over the course of the year

  • CuisineEntreesGolubtsy consists of stuffed cabbage rolls in cream sauceStuffed with beef, rice, tomatoes, etc

    Pelmini is a Siberian meat dumplingFilling is mainly of beef chuck and pork fat

  • CinemaBasicsRussian cinema came into prominence in the 1920sIn the beginning Russian films were predominantly propaganda typesUp through the early 1960s film was quite censoredFinally in the 1980s censorship was relieved and touchy issues could be talked about openly

  • CinemaEarly FilmsSergei Eisenstein was a famous director in the Stalinist eraSome of his greater films include Aleksandr Nevsky and Ivan GroznyIn the 1950s and 60s Ballada o Soldate and Letyat Juravli claimed increasing renown

  • CinemaModern FilmsThe collapse of the Soviet Union brought a virtual end to Russian cinema and literatureVery few noteworthy films were made for over a decadeRussian cinema now centers on profit makingLow quality action, comedy, and pornography features prevail

  • CinemaRussian ArkIn 2002, Aleksandr Sokurov filmed Russian ArkIt was the world's first unedited feature film: recorded in uncompressed high definition, shot in a single take and featuring the world's longest steadicam shotRussian Ark has been critically acclaimed around the world

  • LiteratureBasicsRefers to true Russian literature, or that of migrsmigrs were white Russians who fled after the Bolshevik RevolutionSome literature comes from countries that were once part of Russia or the Soviet Union

  • LiteratureSoviet EraSovietization of Russia affected her literature after 1917.Maxim Gorky, Mikhail Sholokhov, and Valentin Kataev were prominent writers of this periodSocialist Realism was the only official writing style supported by the UnionClassical Russian style literature had to be secretly written

  • LiteratureModernModern Russian literature currently is suffering through a difficult period, for few writers rise above the mass pulp fictionDetective stories and thrillers are very popular genres in RussiaGenerations of Winter (about a family struggling in the Stalin Era) by the Russian writer Vasily Aksyonov has been critically acclaimed and gained popularity in the US

  • HumorBasicsRussian humor exhibits much wit and flexibility due to the richness of the Russian languageLike other nations, Russias humor includes political satire, lewd jokes, wordplay, toasts, and anecdoteRussia also has it Chastuskas which are usually humorous Russian poetry(Russian Big Mac)

  • HumorSatireRussian humor expresses human spiritEven under communist oppression, humor flourished as a way to counter and ridicule the eliteIn the 70s and 80s satirical political wit addressed social shortcomingsIn the 90s Russia began to lament the decline of humor as a symptom of Westernization

  • HumorChastushkasChastushka are a type of traditional Russian poetryThey us an abab or abcb rhyme schemeChastushkas are often put to music as well, usually with a balalaika or accordionThe rigid, short structure parallels limericks in British cultureThe name chastushka originates from a Russian word meaning speak fast

  • MusicBasicsRussia is a large and extremely diverse country, with dozens of ethnic groups, each with their own forms of folk musicDuring the period of Soviet domination, music was highly scrutinized and kept within certain boundaries of content and innovationAfter the fall of the USSR, western-style rock and pop music became the most popular musical forms in Russia

  • MusicClassicalRussia has a long history of classical music innovationThe first major Russian composer was Mikhail GlinkaHe added folk and religious elements to classical compositions

  • MusicSoviet EraIn the 1910s, romances became very popularThis period saw the birth of Russian rock with the band Pojuschie GitaryWith Sovietism came samizdat, a grassroots strategy to sidestep imposed censorshipBulat Okudzhava and Vladmir Vysotskiy gained black market fame playing jazz and rock music

  • Famous RussiansBasicsFor a long time Russia has been a multinational country, and many people of different nationalities contributed to its cultureThey may be ethnic Georgians (like Stalin), Jews (like Trotsky), Poles (like Vaslay Nijinsky), Tatars (like Rudolf Nureyev), Ukrainians (like Nikolai Gogol), Germans (like Catherine the GreatSometimes we don't know their exact ancestry, for their formal nationality was written down at random or for political or other reasonsThey may have emigrated or immigrated, and thus may appear in other "Lists of...", but nevertheless their names are linked to the words Russia and Russian

  • Famous RussiansKonstantin ThonKonstantin Thon was an official architect of Imperial Russia during the reign of Nicholas IHis major works include the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Armory in MoscowKonstantin was a master of Byzantine Revival and Neo-Byzantine architectural styles

  • Famous RussiansIgor StravinskyIgor Stravinsky was Russian-American composer of modern classical musicHe wrote works in the neo-classical and serialist stylesStravinsky also wrote in a broad spectrum of ensemble combinations and classical formsStravinsky was one of the most authoritative composers in 20th century music, both in the West and in his native land He was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people of the century

  • Famous RussiansAnna KournikovaAnna Kournikova sports personality who achieved fame first as a tennis playerShe was born in Moscow, Russia but currently lives in Miami, Florida, in the United States She set her mark after she became a professional player. Kournikova debuted at age 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, still the youngest player ever participating Her serve was notably weak for a top-level tennis player but her variety of shots delighted the pure tennis fan

  • Famous RussiansGrigori RasputinGrigori Rasputin was a Russian mystic with an influence in the later days of Russia's Romanov dynastyRasputin was also known as the Mad Monk, although he was not actually a monk, but a religious pilgrimHe was believed to have been a psychic and faith healer. He can be considered one of the more controversial characters in 20th century historyHe played a small but extremely pivotal role in the downfall of the Romanov dynasty that finally led to Bolshevik victory and the establishment of the Soviet Union

  • Famous RussiansAleksandr PushkinAleksandr Pushkin was a Russian author, whom many consider the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literaturePushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling -- mixing drama, romance and satirePushkin's work shows the influence, among others, of the satire of Voltaire, of the poetry of Lord Byron and of the tragedies of Shakespeare

  • Famous RussiansVladimir LeninVladimir Lenin was a Russian revolutionary, the leader of the Bolshevik party and the founder of the ideology of LeninismRather than settle into a legal career, he became more involved in revolutionary propaganda efforts and the study of MarxismOn November 8, Lenin was elected as Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars by the Russian Soviet CongressLenin was shot twice in an attempted assassination in 1918

  • Famous RussiansAndrei RublevAndrei Rublev is considered to be the greatest Russian iconographerThere is little information about his life, but Andrei Rublev probably lived in the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra He decorated icons and frescos for the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Moscow Kremlin The only work authenticated as entirely his is the icon of the Old Testament Trinity (pictured)He was canonized in 1988. The church celebrates his memory on July 4 Back to Home