Who is Mr. Medved’? Russian Proverbs about Bear

Vinni Pukh aka Winnie-the-Pooh
Vinni Pukh aka Winnie-the-Pooh

This post is an introduction to the post I’m currently writing – on Russia’s archetypal image as a bear. Some of the facts seemed too specific and I decided to create a separate post dealing with medved’ (Russian word for bear) and proverbs related to this animal.
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170th Birth Anniversary of Rimsky-Korsakov

Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov by Valentin Serov
Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov by Valentin Serov.

Today is the 170th birth anniversary of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), a great Russian composer. No words are needed. Just listen! Continue reading

Russian Universe Is 1 Year Old!

A  year ago I published my first blog post as Russian Universe. I would like to thank you for your support and feedback! Spasibo :-)

I think it’s the right time to sum up my first year as a native Russian speaker blogging in English – in this 36th post. The most popular post on my blog is about Russian stereotypes in the West (it has more than 100 Facebook likes). Along with the following post in the Russian stereotypes series it was shortened and translated into French. Continue reading

To Live Life Is Not To Cross a Field.

Ivan Shishkin Rozh (A Rye Field), 1878
Ivan Shishkin – Rozh (A Rye Field), 1878.

Жизнь прожить – не поле перейти (zhizn’ prozhit’ – ne pole pereyti). Literally: to live life is not to cross a field or living life is not like crossing a field. Continue reading

Ushanka Syndrome, #SochiProblems & Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.

Russian Stereotypes: Western Perception of Russia as seen through Russian’s eyes. Part III.

Through the Looking Glass: Western Media Coverage of Russia.

Ivan Bilibin - Illustration to the Tale of Tsar Saltan, 1905.
Ivan Bilibin – Illustration to the Tale of Tsar Saltan, 1905.

Foreword.

The first post on ‘Western media coverage of Russia’ (and the third in ‘Russian Stereotypes’ series) reveals some reasons behind the #SochiProblems popularity. The second one will cover the relation between the image of Russia in the West and the collective self-image of Russians… as well as what I call the ‘Pussy Riot effect’.

Media clearly plays a very important if not crucial role in the process of constructing the image of a country and its people. Moreover, stereotypes and media are a match made in heaven. Russian stereotypes aren’t an exception. Certain agenda, (confirmation) bias, lack of knowledge or misconception of Russia(ns) in the Western media form a perception’ iron curtain, invisible yet rigid blinkers on the eyes which produce a simplified demonization or mystification picture. I refer to the external manifestation of such phenomenon as ushanka syndrome. Continue reading

Lolita’s Butterfly

Russian Universe:

Looking forward to seeing it!

Originally posted on SWiMs Blog:

Lolita’s Butterfly is a film I am currently making, it will be released in 2015 on Swim Cinema. This film tells the story of novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s amazing work with butterflies.

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Russian Saying about Death… & Life.

  •                                                                         [see Part II.]

На миру и смерть красна (na miru i smert’ krasna). Literally: death is red in the world.

Andrei Ryabushkin - Khorovod (aka A Young Man Breaking into the Girls' Dance, and the Old Women are in Panic), 1902.
Andrei Ryabushkin – Khorovod (aka A Young Man Breaking into the Girls’ Dance, and the Old Women are in Panic), 1902.

Mir” means either “world” or “peace” in Russian. Continue reading

Russophobia: The Discreet Charm of Cultural Racism & the Legacy of Hate.

Russophobia vs. Westernophobia. Part I. Russophobia: The Discreet Charm of Cultural Racism & the Legacy of Hate.

Ivan Bilibin - Zmey Gorynych, 1912.
Ivan Bilibin – Zmey Gorynych (aka Slavic Dragon), 1912.

Foreword.

The meaning of the word ‘Russophobia‘ is very broad and vague. For centuries the term has been a part of political and cultural discourse and has been used in Russia and in the West for various reasons. The aim of my series of posts on Russophobia vs. Westernophobia is to reveal some of the reasons behind the on-going popularity of ‘Russophobia’ in the West (as well as ‘Westernophobia’ in Russia). The post on ‘Westernophobia’ in Russia will be one of the next in the series.
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Native Russian speaker on Russian culture in English

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