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The graceful and tender pearl of The Soviet Red Stars are also encountered, often on military equipment and war memorials. By Siofra Brennan For Mailonline.
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Russian culture has a long history. Russia claimed a long tradition of dividend in many aspects of the arts,  especially when it comes to literature philosophyclassical music  ballet architecturepaintingcinema animation and politicswhich all had considerable influence on world culture.
The country also has a flavorful material culture and a tradition in technology. Russian culture grew from that of the East Slavswith their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded areas of far Eastern Europe. Early Russian culture was much influenced by neighbouring Finno-Ugric tribes and by the nomadic peoples of the Pontic steppe mainly of Kipchak and Iranic origin. In the late 1st millennium AD the Varangians supposedly Scandinavian Vikingsalso took part in the forming of Russian identity and the Kievan Rus' state.
Orthodox Christian missionaries began arriving from the Eastern Roman Empire in the 9th century, and Kievan Rus' converted to Orthodox Christianity in This largely defined the Russian culture of the next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures.
At different points in its history, the country was also strongly influenced by the culture of Western Europe.
Since the reforms of Peter the Greatfor two centuries Russian culture largely developed in the general context of European culture rather than pursuing its own unique ways. The situation changed in the 20th century, when the Communist ideology became a major factor in the culture of the Soviet Unionwhere Russia, in the form of the Russian SFSRwas the largest and leading part.
Nowadays, Russian cultural heritage is ranked seventh in the Nation Brands Indexbased on interviews of some 20, people mainly from Western countries and the Far East. Due to the relatively late involvement of Russia in modern globalization and international tourism, many aspects of Russian culture, like Russian jokes and Russian art, remain largely unknown to foreigners.
Russia's ethnic groups speak some languages. Russian is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken Slavic language. Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian. New Russian folklore takes its roots in the pagan beliefs of ancient Slavs which is nowadays still represented in the Russian fairy tales.
Epic Russian bylinas are also an important part of Slavic mythology. The oldest bylinas of Kievan cycle were actually recorded mostly in the Russian Northespecially in Kareliawhere most of the Finnish national epic Kalevala was recorded as well. Many Russian fairy tales and bylinas were adapted for animation films, or for feature movies by famous directors like Aleksandr Ptushko Ilya MurometsSadko and Aleksandr Rou MorozkoVasilisa the Beautiful. Some Russian poets, including Pyotr Yershov and Leonid Filatovcreated a number of well-known poetical interpretations of classical Russian fairy talesand in some cases, like that of Alexander Pushkinalso created fully original fairy tale poems that became very popular.
Folklorists today consider the s the Soviet Union 's golden age of folklore. The struggling new government, which had to focus its efforts on establishing a new administrative system and building up the nation's backwards economy, could not be bothered with attempting to control literature, so studies of folklore thrived.
There were two primary trends of folklore study during the decade: Formalism focused on the artistic form of ancient byliny and faerie tales, specifically their use of distinctive structures and poetic devices.
Once Joseph Stalin came to power and put his first five-year plan into motion inthe Soviet government began to criticize and censor folklore studies. Stalin and the Soviet regime repressed folklore, believing that it supported the old tsarist system and a capitalist economy. They saw it as a reminder of the backward Russian society that the Bolsheviks were working to surpass. The RAPP specifically focused on censoring fairy tales and children's literature, believing that fantasies and "bourgeois nonsense" harmed the development of upstanding Soviet citizens.
Fairy tales were removed from bookshelves and children were encouraged to read books focusing on nature and science. In order to continue researching and analyzing folklore, intellectuals needed to justify its worth to the Communist regime.
Otherwise, collections of folklore, along with all other literature deemed useless for the purposes of Stalin's Five Year Plan, would be an unacceptable realm of study.
InMaksim Gorky gave a speech to the Union of Soviet Writers arguing that folklore could, in fact, be consciously used to promote Communist values. Apart from expounding on the artistic value of folklore, he stressed that traditional legends and fairy tales showed ideal, community-oriented characters, which exemplified the model Soviet citizen. Yuri Sokolov, the head of the folklore section of the Union of Soviet Writers also promoted the study of folklore by arguing russian dating sites toronto folklore had originally been the oral tradition of the working people, and consequently could be used to motivate and inspire collective projects amongst the present-day proletariat.
The attitudes of such legendary characters paralleled the mindset that the Soviet government wished to instill in its citizens. The Union handpicked and recorded particular stories that, in their eyes, sufficiently promoted the collectivist spirit and showed the Soviet regime's benefits and progress.
It then proceeded to redistribute copies of approved stories throughout the population. Meanwhile, local folklore centers arose in all major cities. Apart from circulating government-approved fairy tales and byliny that already existed, during Stalin's rule authors parroting appropriate Soviet ideologies wrote Russian dating sites toronto folktales and introduced them to the population.
These contemporary folktales combined the structures and motifs of the old byliny with contemporary life in the Soviet Union. Called noviny, these new tales were considered the renaissance of the Russian epic.
They also explained to the performers the appropriate types of Communist ideology that should be represented in the new stories and songs  As the performers of the day were often poorly educated, they needed to obtain a thorough understanding of Marxist ideology before they could be expected to impart folktales to the public in a manner that suited the Soviet government.
Besides undergoing extensive education, many folk performers traveled throughout the nation in order to gain insight into the lives of the working class, and thus communicate their stories more effectively.
A number of them, despite their illiteracy, were even elected as members of the Union of Soviet Writers. These new Soviet fairy tales and folk songs primarily focused on the contrasts between a miserable life in old tsarist Russia and an improved one under Stalin's leadership. These new folktales replaced magic with technology, and supernatural forces with Stalin. If the character followed Stalin's divine advice, he could be assured success in all his endeavors and a complete transformation into the "New Soviet Man.
Descriptions of the Whites in noviny mirrored those of the Tartars in byliny. Once Stalin died in Marchfolklorists of the period quickly abandoned the new folktales.
Written by individual authors and performers, noviny did not come from the oral traditions of the working class. Consequently, today they are considered pseudo-folklore, rather than genuine Soviet or Russian folklore. Specialists decided that attempts to represent contemporary life through the structure and artistry of the ancient epics could not be considered genuine folklore.
Russian literature is considered to be among the most influential and developed in the world, with some of the most famous literary works belonging to it. This period and the Golden Age of Russian Poetry began with Alexander Pushkinconsidered to be the founder of modern Russian literature and often described as the "Russian Shakespeare" or the "Russian Goethe". Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in particular were titanic figures, to the point that many literary critics have described one or the other as the greatest novelist ever.
By the s Russian literature had begun to change. The age of the great novelists was over and short fiction and poetry became the dominant genres of Russian literature for the next several decades, which later became known as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry.
Previously dominated by realismRussian literature came under strong influence of symbolism in the years between and Following the Russian Revolution of and the ensuing civil warRussian cultural life was left in chaos. Some prominent writers, like Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov left the country, while a new generation of talented writers joined together in different organizations with the aim of creating a new and distinctive working-class culture appropriate for the new state, the Soviet Union.
Throughout the s writers enjoyed broad tolerance. In the s censorship over literature was tightened in line with Joseph Stalin's policy of socialist realism. After russian dating sites toronto death the restrictions on literature were eased, and by russian dating sites toronto s and s, writers were increasingly ignoring official guidelines. The Soviet era was also the golden age of Russian science fictionthat was initially inspired by western authors and enthusiastically developed with the success of Soviet space program.
Some Russian writers, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevskyare known also as philosophers, while many more authors are known primarily for their philosophical works. Russian philosophy blossomed since the 19th century, when it was defined initially by the opposition of Westernizersadvocating Russia's following the Western political and economical models, and Slavophilesinsisting on developing Russia as a unique civilization.
The latter group includes Nikolai Danilevsky and Konstantin Leontievthe early founders of eurasianism. In its further development, Russian philosophy was always marked by a deep connection to literature and interest in creativitysociety, politics and nationalism; cosmos and religion were other primary subjects. In the 20th century Russian philosophy became dominated by Marxism. Russia owes much of its wit to the great flexibility and richness of the Russian language, allowing for puns and unexpected associations.
As with any other nation, its vast scope ranges from lewd jokes and silly word play to political satire. Russian jokesthe most popular form of Dating me is like dating a sour patch humourare short fictional stories or instant messenger dating sites with a punch line.
Russian joke culture features a series of categories with fixed and highly familiar settings and characters. Surprising effects are achieved by an endless variety of plots. Russians love jokes on topics found everywhere in the world, be it politics, spouse relations, or mothers-in-law. Chastushkaa type of traditional Russian poetryis a single quatrain in trochaic tetrameter with an "abab" or "abcb" rhyme scheme, russian dating sites toronto.
Usually humoroussatiricalor ironic in nature, chastushkas are often put to music as well, usually with balalaika or accordion accompaniment. The rigid, short structure and to a lesser degree, the type of humor these use parallels limericks.
Russian architecture began with the woodcraft buildings of ancient Slavs. Since the Christianization of Kievan Rus'for several centuries Russian architecture was influenced predominantly by the Byzantine architectureuntil the Fall of Constantinople.
Apart from fortifications kremlinsthe main stone buildings of ancient Rus' were Orthodox churcheswith their many domes, often gilded or brightly painted.
Aristotle Fioravanti and other Italian architects brought Renaissance trends into Russia. The 16th century saw the development of unique tent-like churches culminating in Saint Basil's Cathedral.
By that time the onion dome design was also fully developed. In the 17th century, the "fiery style" of ornamentation flourished in Moscow and Yaroslavlgradually paving the way for the Naryshkin baroque of the s.
After Peter the Great reforms had made Russia much closer to Western culture, the change of the architectural styles in the country generally followed that of Western Europe. The 18th-century taste for rococo architecture led to the splendid works of Bartolomeo Rastrelli and his followers. During the reign of Catherine the Great and her grandson Alexander Ithe city of Saint Petersburg was transformed into an outdoor museum of Neoclassical architecture, russian dating sites toronto.
The second half of the 19th century was dominated by the Byzantine and Russian Revival style this corresponds to Gothic Revival in Western Europe. After Stalin's death a new Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchevcondemned the "excesses" of the former architectural styles, and in the late Soviet era the architecture of the country was dominated by plain functionalism.
This helped somewhat to resolve the housing problem, but created the large massives of buildings of low architectural quality, much in contrast with the previous bright architecture. After the end of the Soviet Union the situation improved. Many churches demolished in the Soviet times were rebuilt, and this process continues along with the restoration of various historical buildings destroyed in World War II.
As for the original architecture, there is no more any common style in modern Russia, though International style has a great influence. Matryoshka doll is a Russian nesting doll. A set of Matryoshka dolls consist of a wooden figure which can be pulled apart to reveal another figure of the same sort but somewhat smaller inside.
It has in turn another somewhat smaller figure inside, and so on. The number of nested figures is usually six or more.
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