Myths and facts about Russia I
I'd bet you heard many facts about Russia, including plain nonsense. Can't blame you - Russia was, and still is, sort of isolated from the world around. People have to fill the void with something!
You won't believe the rumors I've heard from my foreign friends! While some of them are close to reality, most are outright gibberish that made me nuts, and that's why I feel a terrible urge to fight back.
Well, since the "iron curtain" is no more - it's time to bust some myths!
Yeah, yeah, the credit goes to "Myth Busters" (my favorite show). Hey, maybe I'll even get aired on "Discovery Channel" someday?
The image of vodka has been ruined by people who abuse it. But hey, same goes for everything else, right? You eat too much - you get fat, you drink too much - you become alcoholic. As simple as that!
Did you know vodka was created by the famous Russian chemist Mendeleev? Yes, yes, the one who invented the periodic table of elements. And he was not a drunkard for sure!
Truth is there's a whole culture about drinking in Russia. There's the how, the when and the why - and mind you it's not about lying drunk on the pavement!
Vodka is no exclusion - in fact it's good to drink some 50 grams before dinner (although I don't do that).
Russians also drink home-made spirit called "samogon". During "Perestroika", when vodka was in deficit, people started making some of their own. "Samogon" is prohibited, but it doesn't stop anyone. Can be really good - at least that's what people say.
I wouldn't check...
No, I don't play balalaika. Neither does my wife and neither do my friends.
Balalaika is part of Russian folklore, although I've never seen someone who plays it for fun rather then on the stage.
In fact I haven't seen balalaika players even in remote Russian villages. My experience is surely limited, but I doubt we have any left. I guess it's just too old.
What I do know is there are many people who play "accordion" - a popular Russian instrument. Very widespread in villages - no marriage can do without it. Plus, of course, lots of drinking.
...and no, I don't know how to play it, either
What did they tell you? Come on, be honest! Let me guess - "it's freezing cold and snowy all year long".
In summer, it can be blazing hot almost anywhere in Russia. Heck, you can get nearly fried in Siberia! Same Siberia that's always covered with snow and ice in the movies.
I'm not saying Russia is tropic paradise, but it's no North Pole for sure! If you're interested - visit my little Moscow weather page. It doesn't deal with petty rumors - just the cold, hard facts.
- Moscow Expansion
- Russian KGB
- Moscow Metro 2 - the dark legend of Moscow
- Kalinka malinka
- The history of Perestroika - my personal experience
- Myths and facts about Russia - page 2
- The story of Cosmonaut Gagarin
- 10 facts about Russia
- Balalaika - a symbol of Russia!