Facts about the Russian language
Lesnoe Ozero, Concordia Language Village’s Russian Language Village, is located in beautiful Bemidji, MN. Here we immerse children (in the summer) and families (in the winter) in the amazing Russian language and cultures of the Russian-speaking world.
Why Learn Russian?
· Because you have a spirit of adventure. Learning Russian connects you to 153 million people who list Russian as their mother tongue and another 61 million who speak it fluently as a second language.
· Because you want to prepare for your future. Russian is one of the major languages of the world and is also one of the official languages of the United Nations.
· Because you’d like to understand your past. Maybe you have family or friends with Russian heritage. Learning about Russian language and culture will give you a deep appreciation for the people who live in this vast region that spans 11 times zones and borders 16 countries.
· Because you like having fun! Give your curiosity and your sense of fun free reign as you savor pelmeni, play shakhmaty, or greet your new friends with “Kak dela?” Authentic Russian activities mixed with camping favorites like canoeing, swimming, and marshmallow roasting guarantee that every minute of your experience will be a treasured memory in the making.
Music and Dance Styles
The Russian-speaking world features a diverse array of traditional music and dance. Even Russian folk songs are full of Romany (gypsy) and Jewish influences. Traditional Russian dances include the troika, at three-person dance that is named after a sled drawn by three horses, and khorobushka or korobeiniki, a dance in pairs set to a traditional tune. Some of the most famous traditional Russian instruments are the balalaika, a three-stringed triangular guitar, and the domra, a four- or five-stringed instrument used to play melody.
During the late Soviet era, Russian rock groups like Nautilius Pompilios, Kino, and DDT arrived on the scene, to the great distress of the Soviet authorities. After a brief period in the 90s when the music scene was dominated by pop and dance music, rock reggae and other styles are experiencing a resurgence.
The most famous Russian folk art items are probably Matryoshki, or nesting dolls. Other folk art — generally referred to by the name of the city where it is traditionally produced — includes khokhloma, or red and gold lacquer painting; palekh, black lacquer painting; gzhel, blue and white ceramics; carved and painted wooden toys; and brightly colored toys made of clay. Shawls are also a traditional folk art, with different regions known for different styles — the most popular being the flowered shawls from Pavlovskii Posad and delicate knit goat’s wool shawls from Orenburg.
The most popular Russian holiday is Noviy God, or New Year’s. This is an important family holiday, much like Thanksgiving is in the U.S. Everyone gathers together to celebrate around a festive table.
Maslenitsa, or butter week, is a favorite celebration marking the end of winter. Thin pancakes with various fillings are consumed in abundance, and carnival atmosphere prevails.
International Women’s day, March 8, is also a major holiday. Like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day in one, this national holiday involves candy, gifts, banquets, and assorted celebrations of women from co-workers to wives to mothers.
Due to the many years of communism, religious holidays are not widely celebrated, although Russian orthodoxy has become something of a de-facto state religion. Easter and Christmas are becoming more popular, though, with both being celebrated two weeks after their western counterparts. Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist holidays are also celebrated by members of those religions, which have longstanding communities in Russia.