Russian Culture

Russian Word of the Day: Пися-pee pee

ПИся-pisya This word, depending on the context, could be vulgar.  But it is usually the word parents use for little kids’ private parts. I was so excited when I learned this word! I have two kids and sometimes I like… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: Пропасть-to be lost/go missing

пропасть-prapast’ It was all the news stories about the disappearance of Dasha Popova that inspired this week’s theme for words of the day. But I always encountered this word while living in Moscow. In December I was getting ready to… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day:Oтсрочка-deferment

Отсрочка-atsrochka (‘a’ pronounced like a in fAther) So since I’ve dedicated this week to the various forms of bribery and cheating the system that one might find in Russia I though I would discuss another area where you are bound… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: взятка-bribe

Взятка-vzyatka Comes from the verb вязть-to take There’s a saying, “В России всё можно” (In Russia everything is possible) about how you can scoot your way around all sorts of laws.  This you can typically do with the help of… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: Гаишник-Traffic cop

Гаишник-gaishnik-traffic cop (slang) I never drove when I lived in Moscow so I never really had any encounters with гаишники.  But I was looking for an article about взятки (bribes) and came across this article in Komsomolskaya Pravda: “Гаишники научились… Continue Reading →

Russian Word of the Day: Гордиться -to be proud of

gordit’sya Gets instrumental case. I know I talk about Pasha a lot in this blog, but many of my memories of speaking the language began with him. He passed away last fall but today would have been his 28th birthday…. Continue Reading →

Don’t Afraid: My terrifying appendectomy in a po-dunk Ukrainian hospital, Part II

The following is the email I sent to friends and family after my surgery, written exactly eight years ago today: The parts in Italics are the parts I’m adding post facto. Read Part I here Hello, everyone, I have survived… Continue Reading →

Russian through Music: Mumiy Troll

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I taught myself Russian in a very unconventional way.  One of the things that really helped me with vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation was listening to and memorizing music.  I had been just listening… Continue Reading →

The ‘Sex Question’ Glass Floweth O’er: The Bolsheviks’ Insatiable Thirst For Answers

Everyone Loves a Movement Living in the United States these days you might have noticed an obsession with all things ‘green’.  What once might have been Irish pride has turned into a ‘movement’ towards ‘environmentally friendly living’.  This movement has… Continue Reading →

Soviet Woodstock; The ‘Free Love’ movement of the Bolsheviks

When I say “free love” and “sexual liberation” the image that comes to your mind might be one of nude, long-haired beauties with peace signs and flowers painted on their cheeks, rockin out to the tunes of Joan Baez and… Continue Reading →

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