Maslenitsa Through the Eyes of American Students, 2018

On February 17, squares, avenues and parks in every corner of Russia celebrated Maslenitsa, a traditional Russian holiday that marks the imminent end of winter with mountains of hot, delicious blini and revelry. Originally a pagan holiday celebrated as early as the 2nd century A.D., Maslenitsa has been somewhat folded into Orthodox Christian traditions and […]

Read more

New Year’s Celebrations in Irkutsk

One of the most amazing things I’ve done in Russia is to celebrate the New Year here. This is Russia’s main holiday. In Russia, Christmas (celebrated on Jan 7 rather than Dec 25) is a religious holiday without gifts and parties. The New Year is more like our Christmas and when the Russian version of […]

Unity Day in Irkutsk

Unity Day (День народного единства) is held on November 4 every year across Russia. It commemorates the uprising which kicked out the Polish occupying forces from the Kremlin in November of 1612 at the end of the Polish-Muscovite War. The holiday was recognized during Imperial times, but after the 1917 Revolution, the Soviets replaced the holiday with […]

Discovering the History of the Uprising

Warsaw Rising Museum Grzybowska 79 See Website for Details During a class taken as part of my Security and Society program, a professor noted that the Poles were great at two things: “Uprising, and terribly failing at it”. Since the city of Warsaw is history everywhere you look, I decided to go to the Warsaw […]

In Memory of the Warsaw Uprising

The Minute Warsaw Stood Still Marking the Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising Every August 1st at 5:00 PM Place: Any Busy Street in Warsaw Walking around Warsaw on a daily basis, I have not become a stranger to witnessing memorials or places where something important in history has occurred. Everywhere in Warsaw it seems to […]

Going to Catholic Mass in Warsaw, Poland

Catholic Mass in Warsaw, Poland at Holy Cross Church Krakowskie Przedmieście 3 Sunday Mass Times: 6:00, 7:00, 10:30, 11:45, 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 Before I ventured over “The Pond” to Europe, I made a promise to my mom that I would go to at least one service in a Catholic Church while I was there. Keeping […]

Corpus Christi in Lowicz – Day Trip from Warsaw

Celebrating Corpus Christi—In the town of Lowicz All day event Budget: 150zl for food and souvenirs (trip included in SRAS cultural program for Warsaw for Summer, 2017) Corpus Christi is a Catholic holiday celebrating the Blood and Body of Christ. Since Poland is majority Catholic, most stores and eateries in the country are closed for […]

The Importance of Living Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Studying by itself can be challenging, which puts studying in a foreign country in a whole different level of difficulty. This past summer has been one of the most formative and informational experiences that I have ever had; but it may not have ended that way unless I took the advice from my professor before […]

Masha’s Dacha – Featured SRAS Excursion out of Moscow

Masha’s Dacha Included as part of SRAS’ Cultural Program Summer, 2017 This summer, the students enrolled with SRAS Moscow had the opportunity to visit the outskirts of the city and spend the day at a very generous Russian family’s dacha. A dacha is similar to a country house, and they are a hugely important part […]

Happy Russia Day from Moscow

Moscow Day Celebrations June 12th – multiple locations throughout Moscow Guided excursion included as part of SRAS’ Summer, 2017 cultural program ~1000 rubles for food, drink, and souvenirs С Днëм России! This holiday is a very exciting time not only for native Russians, but for visitors as well! This year, celebrations were particularly extensive in […]

History and Art Off the Beaten Path in Warsaw

Most foreigners in Warsaw tend to the stick to the center of the city and Old Town, with some maybe venturing as far as the Praga district. Being that these areas are mostly discovered and easy to tour — along with being packed with tourists and locals — I decided to start taking trams to […]

Izmailovin’ – A Beginner’s Guide to Enjoying the Vernisazh in Izmailovo in Moscow

Vernisazh Souvenir Market at Izmailovo Izmailovo Park (Metro Partizanskaya) Wednesday-Sunday from 10am to 8pm Closed Monday and Tuesday Budget: 40 rubles – infinity   Calling all tourist trap victims who are simultaneously balling on a budget: Put down that overpriced Matryoshka doll that you found in Red Square and back away slowly. If you’re as […]

Travel from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Travel from Warsaw to Auschwitz-Birkenau An Eye-opening Experience ~$80 for a day trip While in Poland, I decided to take in one of its most famous tourist sites – which also happens to be the site of one of the 20th century’s most horrific and painful events. In terms of budget, if you are looking […]

Buryat Cooking Lesson at Ulus in Irkutsk

Ulus, Buryat-Mongolian Restaurant (Улус) Buryat Cooking Lesson Part of SRAS Cultural Program, Spring, 2017 130 Kvartal, ul. 3 Iyulya 23 One of my favorite things about living in/traveling to other countries is getting to know the national cuisine. Irkutsk is located right next to the (Russian) Republic of Buryatia, and as such has a large […]

Khmelnoe Podvorye in Irkutsk

Khmelnoe Podvorye (Хмельное подворье) 130 Kvartal, Sedovaya 10 12–12 (2 on Thurs, Fri, Sat) I dragged my friends to Khmelnoe Podvorye for a late lunch after an arduous bike ride one Saturday afternoon. It’s a brew pub, with a big selection of housemade beer, but I wanted to go because I’d heard they also make […]

Earning a Living on the Streets of Ukraine

From Busking to Animal Suits: the Shady and Skilled of Ukraine’s Streets  Month of March, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Ukraine is a beautiful country with a fascinating history. It also has an impossibly cheap cost of living. Between those two facts, it is a rapidly growing tourism center for Europe. In fact, it ranks […]

Controversial Theater in Warsaw: Curse

Curse Teatr Powszechny Powszechny.com Throughout my stay in Poland, I have found that one of the most pressing concerns in society is the role the Catholic Church plays in state and public affairs. A Croatian theater director, Oliver Frljić, known for creating theatrical productions that focus on pressing contemporary problems in specific countries, has now […]

International Women’s Day Eve in Kyiv

Pre Women’s Day Festivities in Kyiv, Ukraine Every March 8th, but really March 7th, too.  Perhaps no one in the world takes the celebration of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, as seriously as those in Kyiv. It makes sense that the day is especially heralded in Ukraine and Russia, as it was a […]

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Anniversary of the Shooting of 100 Protesters in Kyiv Remembrance Event Independence Square, Kyiv February 18, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for the third anniversary of the day snipers killed 100 protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on February 18, 2017. The deceased […]

Holidays in Russia

Holidays in Russia with descriptions, histories and official days off for 2017 A list of those holidays of cultural importance in Russia. Dates, days off, and histories of the holidays are all listed. New Year / Новый Год December 31, 2016 – January 1, 2017 (days off: Jan 1, 2017 – Jan 8, 2017) Russians will have […]

City Dump Museum in Irkutsk

Irkutsk City Dump Museum Fifth kilometer of Aleksandrovskiy Highway Free The Irkutsk city dump museum is one of the strangest places I have ever been in my life—not just for the fact that it exists, which is weird enough in and of itself, but for what’s in it. The dump/museum is probably about a 20-minute […]

Literary History on the Trans-Siberian Railroad

This article originally appeared on SRAS.org in 2007. It is reproduced here, in updated format, as an excellent guide to using travel to bolster cultural understanding and professional insight.  It was written by Sarah Kapp, who studied Russian as a Second Language in Moscow through The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS). She also […]

Victory Day in Vladivostok

Behind New Year’s, May 9th is the largest holiday in Russia. Victory Day celebrates the Soviet victory in World War II over the German Reich. This year marked 71 years since hostilities ceased in that war, but it seems that time has done little to weaken the remembrance of that great event. The main event […]

Preparing for and Coping with Culture Shock

Some of our students report not feeling culture shock at all. Some are surprised by how much culture shock they experience. Often, those most affected by culture shock are those who did not expect to experience it. So how can you prepare to live in a new culture in order to get the most out […]

Why Do Russians Shout «Горько!» (Bitter!) at Weddings?

The following information originally appeared as part of a longer article on The Village, a Russian-language lifestyle publication.  It has been adapted by SRAS and translated here by SRAS intern Mae Liou.   Gerda, a professional Russian wedding emcee: People often ask me about this, so for some time now I’ve been aware of several […]

Russian Greetings Through the Ages

The following information originally appeared as part of a larger article on Russkaya Semyorka, a Russian-language history and culture site. The information has been translated and adapted here by SRAS. According to one legend, the name “Slavs” comes from the verb “славить” (slavit’; to praise, to give a blessing). This seems unquestionable, actually, as nearly […]

History of Vegetarianism in Russia

The following article originally appeared in Russian on Vegetarianskij.ru. It has been translated and adapted by SRAS for presentation here. History of Vegetarianism in Russia The official coming of vegetarianism to Russia was inaugurated with the opening of the first vegetarian society. This was in Saint-Petersburg in the mid-1860s. The society was humorously called “Ни […]

Icy Pastimes in Vladivostok

After a nice winter break and going home for the holidays, I have arrived back in Vladivostok. Unfortunately, I missed the big snowstorm here by a week or so, but there is still plenty of snow in heaps around the city and it is still quite cold here. Coming from a warmer climate like the American […]

A Frozen Thanksgiving in Vladivostok

One of my Russian friends asked me a few weeks ago what I miss about America. As I thought about it, there were the evident reasons of family and friends, but two particular foods sprang to mind as well. Peanut butter and turkey. Although the former will have to wait until my return home, I […]

A History of Sayings and Expressions about Moscow

Russian has many sayings and expressions that revolve around Moscow and places within or near Moscow. The most famous for foreigners is probably “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” but there are many others such as “to yell to the whole of Ivanovskaya” and examples that might not seem to refer to a specific place […]

Exploring Russian Traditions in Vladivostok

The international department at VGUES has, throughout the semester, taken us on various excursions around Vladivostok. This week, we ventured back into time to explore some of the old Russian traditions. At a rather nondescript apartment building near the city center, a kind babushka beckoned for our group to come inside. We were then ushered […]

The Art of Daily Practice and Conversations

It’s a little bit surprising to look at the calendar and think that half of my first semester in Vladivostok is already gone. Seven weeks seem to have effortlessly drifted by in strict contention with my own efforts at learning the Russian language. I can say that my knowledge of Russian when I arrived in […]

1 2 3 5