вторник, 31 марта 2015 г.

Nikolai Gogol, the great writer of the XIX century

2015 was declared as The Year of Literature in Russia. The relevant decree was signed by Vladimir Putin last summer. On the 31st of March, 1809 one Russian wrtiter, dramatist, novelist Nikolai Gogol was born. He was considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism. Later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism and the grotesque. The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", round out the tally of his best-known works.
Gogol was born in the Ukrainian Cossack village of Sorochyntsi. His mother was a descendant of Polish landowners. His father Vasily Gogol-Yanovsky belonged to the 'petty gentry', wrote poetry in Ukrainian and Russian, and was an amateur Ukrainian-language playwright.In 1820, Gogol went to a school of higher art in Nizhyn and remained there until 1828. It was there that he began writing. He was not popular among his schoolmates, who called him their "mysterious dwarf", but with two or three of them he formed lasting friendships. In 1828, on leaving school, Gogol came to Saint Petersburg, full of vague but glowingly ambitious hopes.
In 1831 he brought out the first volume of his Ukrainian stories (Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka), which met with immediate success. He followed it in 1832 with a second volume, and in 1835 by two volumes of stories entitled Mirgorod, as well as by two volumes of miscellaneous prose entitled Arabesques.
Between 1832 and 1836 Gogol worked with great energy, and though almost all his work has in one way or another its sources in these four years of contact with Pushkin, he had not yet decided that his ambitions were to be fulfilled by success in literature. From 1836 to 1848 Gogol lived abroad, travelling through Germany and Switzerland. Gogol spent the winter of 1836–1837 in Paris, among Russian expatriates and Polish exiles, frequently meeting the Polish poets Adam Mickiewicz and Bohdan Zaleski.

He eventually settled in Rome. For much of the twelve years from 1836 Gogol was in Italy. He studied art, read Italian literature and developed a passion for opera. Pushkin's death produced a strong impression on Gogol. His principal work during years following Pushkin's death was the satirical epic Dead Souls. Concurrently, he worked at other tasks – recast Taras Bulba and The Portrait, completed his second comedy, Marriage (Zhenitba), wrote the fragment Rome and his most famous short story, The Overcoat.
In 1841 the first part of Dead Souls was ready, and Gogol took it to Russia to supervise its printing. It appeared in Moscow in 1842, under the title, imposed by the censorship, of The Adventures of Chichikov. The book instantly established his reputation as the greatest prose writer in the language.
After the triumph of Dead Souls, Gogol's contemporaries came to regard him as a great satirist who lampooned the unseemly sides of Imperial Russia. In April 1848 Gogol returned to Russia from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and passed his last years in restless movement throughout the country. Exaggerated ascetic practices undermined his health and he fell into a state of deep depression. On the night of 24 February 1852 he burned some of his manuscripts, which contained most of the second part of Dead Souls. He explained this as a mistake, a practical joke played on him by the Devil. Soon thereafter, he took to bed, refused all food, and died in great pain nine days later.

понедельник, 30 марта 2015 г.

Karelian pies or Kalitki

Kalitki is a traditional Karelian pastry. The word itself came from Finnish “kalittoa”. The fact that it is traditionally made of non-fermented dough proves they were created at least before the IX century. Still there is no evidence they were known somewhere except Karelia before the XX century. Karelian women used to say: «Alito — kyzyy kaheksoa» - “Kalitka needs eight”. That means initially they needed eight ingredients to cook it. Today the recipe is a little bit easier than in the past. Here it is.

Ingredients (for 12 pies)
Rye flour      500 g
Sour cream 125 g
Milk    125 g
Salt 1,4 tea spoon
Egg    1
Butter          2 spoons
Potato         6

The cooking takes about hour and a half.

1. Peel and boil the potatoes , mash into a puree , add a little loosening of the egg, melted butter , salt from the heart , stir and leave aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, mix in a glass of milk and sour cream: a distinctive feature of kalitki is that for the dough, as a rule, they do not use water , but the dairy products - yogurt, yogurt or sour cream, as in this recipe.
Sift the flour, add salt and gradually add the milk and cream mixture, stirring. Our goal is to add as much cream and milk as the flour can take, creating a flexible, pliable dough. Knead the dough, wrap in foil and let it "rest" for 20-30 minutes.

3. Make a sausage form of the dough, cutting off a piece of it the size of a walnut, roll them on a floured surface into a round scones thickness 1-1.5 mm . Place in the middle of each 2 tablespoons of mashed potato on both sides tucked scones edge to the middle, stung them with an interval of about 1 cm

4.  Put kalitki on a greased baking sheet and bake 20 minutes at 200 degrees .

Learn more about Karelia

пятница, 27 марта 2015 г.

четверг, 26 марта 2015 г.

Read essay of the 8th candidate from Indonesia.

Hallo. My name is Muhammad Rizal, I come from the country of Indonesia. I was a student university Syiah kuala Aceh, Indonesia. I am very interested in the program "enjoy russia" organized by the Russian language institute ("enjoy russia") in the area Petrozavods. I am interested in because of language learning russia historical background Indonesian relations with Russia (formerly called the Soviet Union). I think Russia has a culture that is almost equal to Indonesia and there are some who entered into the Russian language Indonesian dictionary. Although I do not speak Russian well and good. I hope with this prorgram I could learn the culture, education, Russian language as a whole (to know Russian culture closer). For me, the Russian state is a brother to the State Indonesia in everything good information, technology, education and culture. For me the Russian community is very friendly and kind to foreigners who study Russian culture and language. I've read the history of good relations with the state Russian Indonesian state (the Soviet Union). Where the Indonesian president that President Soekarno had a good relationship with Nikita Khrushchev. in the history of Indonesian relations with Russia very closely and well. Historically many Indonesian students studying in the Russian (Soviet Union) as the cultural, economic, educational and cultural russia. I think that Russia is a favorite place for Indonesia. Through prorgram "enjoy russia" I hope this relationship will be even better in the future Indonesia.

By Muhammad Rizal, Indonesia

Read other essays here

Unique bird’s eye panorama pictures of Petrozavodsk!

Enjoy Russian language school is located in Petrozavodsk, Karelia. The cozy peaceful town lies along the picturesque Onego Lake. You can cognize the scale of its beauty watching the unique bird’s eye panorama pictures of Petrozavodsk

Learn more about Petrozavodsk here!

среда, 25 марта 2015 г.

Enjoy Russian language school stuff present some useful phrases in Russia

Come to Petrozavodsk and learn more! Apply here 

Great grandfather of Russia Korney Chukovsky

2015 was declared as The Year of Literature in Russia. The relevant decree was signed by Vladimir Putin last summer. On the 25th of March, 1882 one of the most popular children's poets in the Russian language Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky was born. He is loved by generations of Russian children for his catchy rhythms, inventive rhymes and absurd characters. The mosr popular Chukovsky's poems are Tarakanishche ("The Monster Cockroach"), Krokodil ("The Crocodile"), Telefon ("The Telephone") and Moydodyr ("Wash-'em-Clean").

He was born Nikolay Vasilyevich Korneychukov, which he reworked into his now familiar pen-name while working as a journalist at Odessa News in 1901. He was born in St. Petersburg, the illegitimate son of Ekaterina Osipovna Korneychukova (a peasant girl from the Poltava region of Ukraine) and Emmanuil Solomonovich Levinson, a man from a wealthy Jewish family whose legitimate grandson was mathematician Vladimir Rokhlin). Levinson's family did not permit his marriage to Korneychukova and the couple eventually separated. Korneychukova moved to Odessa with Nikolay and his sibling. Levinson supported them financially for some time, until his marriage to another woman. Nikolay studied at the Odessa gymnasium, where one of his classmates was Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky. Later, Nikolay was expelled from the gymnasium for his "low origin". He had to get his secondary school and university diplomas by correspondence.

He taught himself English and, in 1903-05, he served as the London correspondent at an Odessa newspaper, although he spent most of his time at the British Library instead of the press gallery in the Parliament. Back in Russia, Chukovsky started translating English works, notably Walt Whitman, and published several analyses of contemporary European authors, which brought him in touch with leading personalities of Russian literature and secured the friendship of Alexander Blok. He also published a satirical magazine called Signal (1905–1906) and was arrested for "insulting the ruling house," but was acquitted after six months of investigative incarceration.

It was at that period that Chukovsky produced his first fantasies for children. They were adapted for theatre and animated films, with Chukovsky as one of the collaborators. Sergei Prokofiev and other composers even adapted some of his poems for opera and ballet. His works were popular with emigre children as well, as Vladimir Nabokov's complimentary letter to Chukovsky attests.
During the Soviet period, Chukovsky edited the complete works of Nikolay Nekrasov and published From Two to Five, a popular guidebook to the language of children. As his invaluable diaries attest, Chukovsky used his popularity to help the authors persecuted by the regime including Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Alexander Galich and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He was the only Soviet writer who officially congratulated Boris Pasternak on winning the Nobel Prize.

Starting in the 1930s, Chukovsky lived in the writers' village of Peredelkino near Moscow, where he is now buried.For his works on the life of Nekrasov he was awarded a Doctor of Science degree in philology. He also received the Lenin Prize in 1962 for his book, Mastery of Nekrasov and an honorary doctorate from Oxford University in 1962.

Here is the list of the cartoons taken on the basis of Chukovsky’s poems

вторник, 24 марта 2015 г.

Miroslava about her live in Petrozavodsk

Volunteering is becoming extremely popular in Petrozavodsk. Local volunteers participate in huge sport and entertaining events. Lots of foreign volunteers come here to work in different directions.  Miroslava Kedrovska is a volunteer from Poland. She loves Russian language. She came to Petrozavods to teach English. Today she works with pupils in several schools and actively participate in Enjoy Russian events. Here is her short essay on living in Petrozavodsk.

Завтракс книгой в руке. Поездка на троллейбусе – несколько прочитанных страниц. Перерыв между занятиями – очередное путешествие в мир воображения. Да, я книголюб, для которого жизнь без романов, рассказов, репортажей – это вовсе не жизнь! Поэтому, чтобы мне легче дышалось, я присоединилась к литературному проекту, реализуемому Центром гуманитарных игр (МОУ Лицей №1). Помогаю ученикам – как пятиклассникам, так и девятиклассникам – подготовиться к соревнованиям, а как член жюри оцениваю их работу и ответы на сложные конкурсные вопросы.

Если бы не встречи литературного клуба, я, возможно никогда, не узнала бы судьбу Шарля Лонсевиля, не услышала бы историю Александровского завода (нынче Онежского тракторного завода), не смогла бы объяснить значение фразеологизма „за семь вёрст киселя хлебать”.
Когда смотрю на блестящие глаза участников игр, понимаю, что благодаря им война между компьютером и книгой всё ещё продолжается. Ученики – молодцы! Скоро новые игры. Интересно, чему ещё вместе научимся…? :)

Мирослава Кедровска, волонтер Центра "Инициатива" из Польши

Lessons, welcome tea-party and excursion with volunteer – that was the first day of new students!

First intensive lessons of Russian, meeting host families, welcome tea-party and excursion round city center – that is how our new students from Scotland have spent their first day in Petrozavodsk!

Four students of from Glasgow have arrived in Petrozavodsk early in the morning by train. First of all they met their host families and were pleased to find them nice and friendly. At 9 o’clock the first Russian language lesson started. The students met their teacher Olga Eliseeva. They were given all needed materials that had been created by Enjoy Russian language school teachers. Although our guests had to wake up very early the first lesson turned to be very productive.

After the lessons new students were welcomed on a tea-party by Enjoy Russian and Initiative center stuff. Everybody told a few words about themselves. David who is 35, works as a real estate appraiser, decided to learn Russian as he is deliberating the opportunity of making his business here. Besides that he is fond of travelling (he has been to Poland, Roman and Spain) and believes that the language skills are always useful. That is not his first time in Russian, but the first time in Karelia.

Stiven, 30, is a film-editor from Scotland. He studies Russian as he would like lo learn more about Russian movies and Russian film industry. This trip is his first coming to Russia. Thomas, 24, was born in Liverpool but nowadays is studying Philosophy in Glasgow. He is very interested in Russian culture. That is his second trip to Russia. Sara is learning Russian as she is dreaming of being able to read Russian literature in original.

One of the meeting participants was Yana Larina. Yana is 19. She is a student of Petrozavodsk state university. Yana major in English language. History of Petrozavodsk used to be her hobby since school time. She was glad to show the students Petrozavodsk city center. The students even were desperate enough to walk on the Onego Lake that is covered with ice nowadays!

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понедельник, 23 марта 2015 г.

Must visited events in Petrozavodsk in June, 2015

Must visited events in Petrozavodsk in June, 2015

Looking for effective Russian language courses this summer? Still not sure what time is the best to come to Petrozavodsk? Why not try studying in June! The first summer month in Petrozavodsk is truly amazing. The town is getting greener day by day. The weather is usually sunny and warm. It is a period of unforgettable white nights – you can enjoy walking with friends 24/7. But staying in Petrozavodsk is far from just enjoying its views. June is full of exciting events that must be visited by any guest of the town.


Republic Day – June, 8th  2015
The 8th of June, 1920 is the date of creating of Labor Commune. This date was chosen to be named officially as Republic Day in 1999. Since that time it has become one of the most favorite public celebrations in Karelia. Lots of entertaining events are held all over the town. Craft market and folk bands performances are among the most popular of them.


VOZDUH (The Air) – June, 19-21th 2015
Three days of personal freedom and live music – that is the atmosphere of the open-air rock festival that has been the essential part of Karelian summer since 2005. Dozens of Russian and foreign musicians are coming to Petrozavodsk to perform on two stages on the former airport field near the picturesque Onego Lake. Three days of live shows, thousands of viewers and tons of positive emotions!


Petrozavodsk’s Birthday – June, the 27th 2015
As you may already know Petrozavodsk appeared in 1703, when Peter the great had founded an ordnance factory neat the bottom of the Lossosinka river. Although it gained the statues of town later, this year is commonly believed as Petrozavodsk’s foundation. The Birthday is widely celebrated. The historical center of the city becomes a pedestrian area. Lots of stages are built in every town neighborhood. Lots of concerts and performances are held. The celebration ends up with impressive fireworks on the Onego Lake embarkment.


White nights period – every June

Belye Nochi (as it is called in Russia) is the incredible northern midsummer phenomenon, when the sky remains light during the whole night. White Nights in Karelia are longer and brighter than in St. Petersburg. During this period the sun does not descend below the horizon enough for the sky to grow dark. Nights become light that the authorities never need to turn the city's streetlights on! You can enjoy walking with your friend all nights long. 

пятница, 20 марта 2015 г.

10 Must Seen Russian Movies

If you have several favorite movies that you can watch time after time, don’t waste your time and watch it in the language you learn. Even better – with subtitles. That is a piece of advice from our Russian language teacher. If you are not sure what to start with – here you would find a list of the most popular movies in Russia.

The Cranes Are Flying, 1957
It won the Palme d'Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, the only Soviet film to win that award.
Fyodor Ivanovich is a doctor who lives with his son, Boris; his daughter, Irina; his mother; and his nephew, Mark. The film centers on Boris's girlfriend, Veronika, during World War II.The character of Veronica represents Soviet women in the context of the aftermath of the aforementioned war.The call to war sounds, and the country responds with great patriotic fervor.

Destiny of a Man, 1959
It is an adaptation of the novel by Mikhail Sholokhov. The film begins in the Soviet Union in spring of 1946, as truck driver Andrei Sokolov and his young son travel along a road in the country and run into a man Sokolov recognizes as a fellow military driver. Sokolov begins to tell the story of his experiences upon returning from the Russian Civil War and the famine of 1922. A flashback reveals Andrei building a house in Kuban, where he meets and falls in love with his future wife Irina. Soon the pair are married and have a son, Anatoly, and two daughters. Andrei leads a happy family life for 17 years, until the Second World War.

The Diamond Arm, 1968
The boss of a black market ring wants to smuggle a batch of jewelry from Turkey into the Soviet Union by hiding it inside the orthopedic cast of a courier. The Chief sends a minor henchman named Gennadiy Kozodoyev to serve as the courier. Kozodoyev travels to Turkey via a tourist cruise ship. The Turkish co-conspirators do not know what the courier looks like; they only know that he is supposed to say a code word to identify himself. Due to a mix-up, they mistake Kozodoyev's fellow passenger from the cruise ship, the "ordinary Soviet citizen" Semyon Gorbunkov for the courier.
The Dawns Here Are Quiet, 1972
The film is set in Karelia in 1942 during World War II and was filmed near Ruskeala. Senior Sergeant Vaskov is stationed with a group of young female anti-aircraft gunners in a railway station far from the front line. Vaskov is not used to these gunners' active, playful personalities and therefore clashes with them over daily issues. But Vaskov, being the only man in the village, has to accommodate them in many cases.

Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession, 1973.
The story begins in 1973 Moscow, where Engineer Aleksandr Timofeev working on a time machine in his apartment. By accident, he sends Ivan Vasilevich Bunsha, superintendent of his apartment building, and George Miloslavsky, a small-time burglar, back into the time of Ivan IV "The Terrible". At the same time, the real Ivan IV is sent by the same machine into Shurik's apartment, he has to deal with modern-day life while Shurik tries to fix the machine so that everyone can be brought back to their proper place in time.

They Fought for Their Country, 1975
The film is based on the eponymous book by Mikhail Sholokhov. Action is set in Russia in July of 1942 during the Second World War. The advancing Nazi Armies are approaching Stalingrad. The Russians are exhausted and outnumbered. But in a bloody battle the invading Nazi Armies are stopped at Stalingrad.

White Bim Black Ear, 1976
The film is a touching story about a Scottish Setter with a black ear, who becomes homeless because of his master's illness. Ivan Ivanovich, an older man who is fond of hunting and nature, adopts a puppy despite the dog's improper coloration and black ear, which are considered faults in terms of its breed standard. The man names his dog Bim (diminutive form: Bimka), and often takes him hunting in the country. Ivan Ivanovich begins to develop heart problems, and when the disease becomes worse, he is taken to a hospital.

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, 1979
The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. It is set in Moscow in 1958 and 1979. The plot centers on three young women who come to Moscow from smaller towns: Katerina, Lyudmila, and Antonina. They are placed together in a university dormitory apartment and eventually become friends.

The Hound of the Baskervilles,1981
Soviet film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was the third installment in the TV series about adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. A potent streak of humour ran through the film as concerns references to traditional British customs and stereotypes, ensuring the film's popularity with several generations of viewers.

Heart of a Dog,1988

It is based on Mikhail Bulgakov's novel Heart of a Dog. The film is set in Moscow not long after the October Revolution where a complaining stray dog looks for food and shelter. A well-off well-known surgeon Phillip Phillippovich Preobrazhensky happens to need a dog and lures the animal to his big home annex practice with a piece of sausage. The dog is named Sharik and well taken care of by the doctor's maids, but still wonders why he's there. He finds out too late he's needed as a test animal: the doctor implants a pituitary gland and testicles of a recently deceased alcoholic and petty criminal Klim Chugunkin into Sharik. Sharik proceeds to become more and more human during the next days.

Learning Russian, watch more movies in Russian!

Russian language school “Enjoy Russian” teachers are always ready to give you a piece of advice on ways of studying Russian. Olga Khanaeva has been working in our school for several years already. She is an inspired tutor who considers teaching as creative process. Here is what she says about alternative ways of language practice.

My advice  to the students is to watch more movies in Russian! I recommend it first-hand, as I am not only a teacher, I do learn foreign languages as well.
If you have several favorite movies that you can watch time after time, don’t waste your time and watch it in the language you learn. Even better – with subtitles. Thus you would be able to shoot two hears (as we say in Russia). You will be able not only to hear the pronunciation of the word, but its spelling as well. It would be just great, if you pause sometimes to speak new phrases aloud and to write them down.
It is not compulsory to watch Russian movies. Any picture translated in Russian would be suitable. Of course if you watch a movie shot in Russia, you will learn more about Russian culture and life style. But the main idea is to watch and hear to the movies you really enjoy.

By Olga Khanaeva, Enjoy Russian School teacher.

If you are not sure what to start with – here you would find a list of the most popular movies in Russia.

четверг, 19 марта 2015 г.

Rachel McPhee' essay about Russia

Growing up, I had heard all about the “typical” Russian stereotypes. That all Russians were championship gymnasts or ballerinas, and carved handmade nesting dolls in their free time. Even that Russia itself is a country in a state of year-round winter. However, I was always aware that these were just stereotypes, and I want to get past those and see who the real Russian people are. I had always thought that the Russian way of living seemed to simple and carefree. For a country that had seen many hard times, and has gone through many changes in the last hundred years, the people always seemed to be adventurous and hopeful. At the beginning of this school year, I met my neighbor and floor mate, Masha. We bonded quickly and I soon realized that while some of my beliefs about Russians and Russian culture was true, there was still a lot I didn’t know! For instance, there was a feeling in the back of my mind that Russians would not like me because I am an American. However, after meeting many wonderful Russians I soon realized that these people are accepting, non-judgmental, and full of warmth.

By Rachel McPhee, USA

Read other essays here 

Kondopoga, the second largest Karelian town

Studying Russian at Enjoy Russian School gives you an opportunity to explore the republic of Karelia. There are 13 cities and dozens of villages in the region. The vast majority of population here speaks Russian.
The second largest town in Karelia is Kondopoga, located by the northern tip of the Kondopoga Bay of Lake Onega. You will find the mouth of the Suna River and Kivach Nature Reserve nearby. There 54 km between Kondopoga and Petrozavodsk. According to the Census of 2010, the town population is 32,987of people.

Modern Kondopoga originates from a village with the same name. The very first written reference well-known to historians dates back to 1563.
1757 large deposits of marble were discovered near K. That marble was widely used for building palaces in St Petersburg.
During World War I Main Artillery Administrative Department of Russian Military Ministry started building of a nitric acid plant, which was essential for gunpowder production. A hydroelectric power station was designed to meet a considerable demand in energy. The building of the plant was started near K to exploit the difference in water-levels of Nigozero and Onezhskoe Ozero. Planned power of the plant was 30 MWt, and it was to become the largest in Russia. During the Russian revolution and Civil war the project was stopped and all the equipment taken away.
The project was revived in Soviet time according to GOELRO plan (1920), which considered K hydroelectric power station as one of the most urgent elements in the country electrification scheme.
In 1927 Kondopoga became a regional centre, which was given a status of the town in 1938. At that moment the population of Kondopoga was about 14,000 people.
During World War II Kondopoga was occupied by Finnish troops and totally destroyed. Plants and factories were out of order, houses and blocks of flats were demolished along with concert halls and museums. After the war everything was rebuilt.
In 1957 Kondopoga was declared the all-Union Komsomol building site. After that a number of new plants were built in the town - a stone-working plant, stoneware and mineral plant. Kondopoga pulp and paper mill was also developed.
Nowadays Kondopoga is considered to be one of the most important industrial centres of Republic Karelia. Leading industries include paper production, woodworking industry, stone-working industry and building-material industry. Kondopoga is the administrative centre of the region with the population of 50,000, the population of the town being 38,000. There are 75 settlements in the region.

Administrative and municipal status
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Kondopoga serves as the administrative center of Kondopozhsky District, to which it is directly subordinated.As a municipal division, the town of Kondopoga, together with three rural localities, is incorporated within Kondopozhsky Municipal District as Kondopozhskoye Urban Settlement.

Economy and transportation
Kondopoga has a railway station on the Moscow–Murmansk railroad, some of the largest pulp and paper mills in Eastern Europe, a medical college, and facilities for the manufacture of building materials.

Dormition Church in Kondopoga

First recorded as early as 1495, Kondopoga retains a rare monument of Russian wooden architecture — the Dormition Church (Успенская церковь), built in 1774. The central column of this church is crowned by a hipped roof, 42 m in total height. The column is based on a central rectangular framework, with adjacent frameworks for the refectory and altar. The altar framework is covered by a traditional wooden roof, called a barrel roof.

Read about other Karelian towns here 

среда, 18 марта 2015 г.

Alexander Belyaev, a "Russia's Jules Verne"

2015 is named The Year of Literature in Russia. The relevant decree was signed by Vladimir Putin last summer. On the 17th of March, 1884 Russian science fiction writer Alexander Belyaev was born. His works from the 1920s and 1930s made him a highly regarded figure in Russian science fiction, often referred to as "Russia's Jules Verne". Belyaev's best known books include Professor Dowell's Head, Amphibian Man, Ariel, and The Air Seller.

Alexander Belyaev was born in Smolensk in the family of an Orthodox priest. His father wanted him to continue the family tradition and enrolled Alexander into Smolensk seminary. Belyaev, on the other hand, didn't feel particularly religious and even became an atheist in seminary. After graduating he enrolled into a law school.

After graduating from the school in 1906 Belyaev became a practicing lawyer and made himself a good reputation. Literature, however, proved increasingly appealing to him, and in 1914 he left law to concentrate on his literary pursuits. At the same time, at the age of 30, Alexander became ill with tuberculosis. In search for the right treatment he moved to Yalta together with his mother and old nanny. During his convalescence, he read the work of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and began to write poetry in his hospital bed.

By 1922 he had overcome the disease and in 1923 he moved to Moscow where he started to practice law again. At the same time Belyaev began his serious literary activity as writer of science fiction novels. In 1925 his first novel, Professor Dowell's Head was published. In the last years of his life Belyaev lived in the Leningrad suburb of Pushkin. At the beginning of the German invasion of the Soviet Union during Second World War he refused to evacuate because he was recovering after an operation that he had undergone a few months earlier. Belyaev died of starvation in the Soviet town of Pushkin in 1942 while it was occupied by the Nazis. A German officer and four soldiers carried his body from his home and conducted a burial.

Illustration for the Amphibian Man

Illustration for the Professor Dowell's Head

Learn more about Russian geniuses 

вторник, 17 марта 2015 г.

Effective Russian language courses in Petrozavodsk!

Looking for the effective summer courses? Do you want to start speaking Russian fluently in 4 weeks? Interested in full Russian language immersion?

Russian language school "Enjoy Russia" (Petrozavodsk, Russia) present you Summer Courses 2015. Explore new opportunities, make with Russian volunteers, live with Russian family and learn the language! You can choose the way of learning that is most suitable for you – group or individual lessons. Living in Russian host-family will give you opportunity to practice speaking all day long. And we offer you a various exciting activities and events, including national food parties, excursions to Kizhi and Valaam, rafting, hiking and others! 

Read more and apply here 

Mikhail Vrubel, the mysterious artist of Russia

Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel (1856 – 1910) is usually regarded amongst the Russian painters of the Symbolist movement. In reality, he deliberately stood aloof from contemporary art trends, so that the origin of his unusual manner should be sought in Late Byzantine and Early Renaissance painting.

Vrubel was born in Omsk, Russia, into a military lawyer's family. He was studying at the Faculty of Law at St Petersburg University, when his father had recognized his talent for art. In 1881 Vrubel entered the Imperial Academy of Arts. Even in his earliest works, he exhibited great talent for drawing and an idiosyncratic style. In 1884, he was summoned to replace the lost 12th-century murals and mosaics in the St. Cyril's Church of Kiev with new ones...

Learn more about the artist here!

Demon, 1890

Princess Swan, 1900

Lilac, 1900