Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mystery Skypers

Yesterday we talked to a man we didn't know before. We had to guess the country he lives in. We had asked lots of questions and found out that he was from Russia. Mr Alexander Solyanik lives in the province of Moscow.  What a mystery! What a surprise!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The map of our global collaboration.

Look at the map.

Bridges of Friendship. Aban, Russia. на карте большего размера

Maslenitsa. Farewell to winter festival.

Sunday was named “forgiveness”. On that day people asked each other for forgiveness for all grievances and troubles; in the evening people went to cemeteries and “bid farewell” to the dead. On the last day of Maslenitsa comes the most interesting event – saying goodbye to Maslenitsa - a solemn burning of the stuffed figure of winter. People threw the remnants of pancakes and food to the huge bonfire explaining their children that all the nourishing food disappeared in fire to prepare them for the Lent.
(Russian artist Kustodiyev's picture, XIX century)

Maslenitsa celebration.

It is Russian Maslenitsa now.
On Monday Maslenitsa was welcomed. On that day people made the straw-stuffed figure of Winter, dressed it in old women’s clothing and singing carried it on sleigh around the village. Then the figure was put onto snow-covered slope that people used for tobogganing, which was considered not just fun, but the ancient rite, because it was thought that the one who came down the hill more than once was likely to have tall flax in summer

 Tuesday was called “zaigrysh” (game day). From that day on the whole village started all sorts of activities: sleigh riding, folk festivals, skomorokh (traveling actors) and puppet shows. The streets were full of people in carnival costumes and masks, who visited homes of their neighbors and organized impromptu concerts. Large companies rode troikas and simple sleighs.
 Wednesday - gourmand – opened feasts in houses with blini and other dishes. Each household had tables with delicious food, baked pancakes, and brewed beer. Tents selling all kinds of food appeared everywhere. They sold hot sbiten (drinks from water, honey and spices), nuts, honey gingerbreads and poured tea from boiling samovars.

Round the world conference.

What a week! We had four conferences with India, Taiwan, Pakistan. We had cultural exchange. We talled about Russian traditions, clothes. We also asked a lot of questions and answered too.