Tag: language

Victory Day 2016 at Union

On May 8, 1945, Nazi high officers signed documents to officially surrender to Allied forces. In most of the world, May 8 is celebrated as Victory in Europe Day. In Russia, Victory Day is celebrated on May 9. This is because in Moscow, it was already May 9 by the time the Nazi generals surrendered in Berlin. May 9 is a national holiday in Russia, a day taken to honor veterans of World War II and to remember the sacrifices of Soviet soldiers and citizens during the war. In Moscow, they still hold a military parade in Red Square every...

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In Eastern Orthodox religions, this week is called Maslenitsa. This is the week before lent and in some religions it means no dairy until Easter. In Russian masla means butter, so that’s where the root of the word comes from. To celebrate this holiday, in much the way fat Tuesday is celebrated, Russian and East European culture club hosted a maslenitsa event in Beuth Minerva where we made blini and ate them with a variety of toppings including strawberries, jams, raspberries, and sweetened condensed...

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Pierogi Party

Russian and East European Culture club holds a pierogi party each term. It is generally considered our most popular event, and each time it comes around there are more and more people. We keep purchasing more pierogi and then no matter what, it all disappears. I’d guess that we had about 50 people at Beuth Minerva last week to chow down on pierogi. The secret to getting fed is to stay all the way until the end because most people leave when they see so many people and assume there won’t be enough....

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Russian WinterFest

Every winter term the Russian and East European Culture Club hosts Winter Fest. At this event there is Russian food and candy. This year it was held at Wold Minerva. The main dishes were a Borscht made by our very own Professor Pease and olivier salad. The club helped prepare the tradition eastern European soup and salad before the event. The beet soup was served with smetana (sour cream) and dill....

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An Anecdote from Abroad: Buddhism in Russia

I’d like to share an anecdote from my time in Russia. I went abroad to Irkutsk, Russia last Spring with Union College students, and while we studied at the Irkutsk State Linguistics University, we had plenty of downtime and excursions that let us really experience Russia. I was reminded of one of these excursions the other day in my anthropology class when Professor Cool spoke about her time in Corsica and how she came to her neighbor when she began to have terrible headaches. Her neighbor was a revered healer who deduced with blessed oil and holy water that...

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REECC’s Red Party

Last night the Russian and East European Culture Club hosted our annual Red Party event in Beuth Minerva. In commemoration of the anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917, we ordered food from dining services and the Russian TA gave a short presentation. For food we had pierogi, chicken kiev, mini blini, potatoes, and rice (a starch heavy meal). The presentation focused on what the October Revolution was (when the Russian monarchy was overthrown) and current ideas about the implications of the revolution....

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Russian Club presents: real musicians

  Every Monday, the language department hosts Russian Table. Usually it is international students, students with Russian heritage, students studying Russian, and faculty. This past week a member of the local Russian community who is very involved in Russian events on campus, Boris, invited a Russian couple to come and play music for us in Wold Minerva. They played Tchaikovsky, Glinka, and the like. It was amazing.   [youtube...

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Duolingo: Learn a Language On Your Own

In part because my girlfriend is Chilean and in part because I should have done this much earlier, I took it upon myself to start learning Spanish independently. I’m using the app Duolingo, which also has a website, to work my way through learning Spanish grammar and vocabulary. The app is set up like a game, letting you pass through different levels of the Spanish language by learning new words and applying them in different activities. The app reminds you to practice, something that’s very important if you want to really get good at a language. Duolingo also offers...

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Reflections on Russia

I spent my sophomore spring in Irkutsk, Russia. It is a city of about 600 thousand people in Siberia. I went on a Union program. It was the first time the program went, and this trip is going every two years, tentatively. I had the time of my life. Irkutsk was so different than Schenectady, NY. But I learned so much and saw the most beautiful sights. I’ve always been really into Russian history (that’s why I decided to take Russian language and ended up going on the trip) so it was thrilling to see real Russia. Some questions...

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