Dear reader, thank you for the time you took browsing my Web-site. I assume that reading these pages you are trying to learn more about Russia and the Russians. I respect your interest and strive to provide you with as much information as I know. I sure would not want you knew about Russia only from the sensationalistic press. In addition to many links I put on my index English page, I offer my thoughts, findings, and information below.
First, I would recommend subscription to the Russian Life magazine that has been published for over 50 years. Russian Life is a bimonthly magazine of Russian history, culture, business and travel. Each colorful, 64-page issue contains fine features, news and photo journalism on all aspects of life in Russia, past and present. Regular departments include: Practical Traveler, Travel Journal, Russian Calendar (important events in Russian history that month), Russian Cuisine and Survival Russian, a guide to the Russian you really need to know.
If you are in search of your true love among Russian-speaking women, please make sure you are well prepared for a serous commitment; before the beautiful foreigner enters you life and your home. My fiance Bruce did his homework precisely; that is why being together for over five years we still consider our marriage life as "honey moon." Good luck in your search too!
In the beginning of his quest for a Russian bride, Bruce "Wedded Strangers: The Challenges of Russian-American Marriages" by Lynn Visson and "Intercultural Marriage: Promises & Pitfalls" by Dugan Romano. I read the Russian translation of the books while in Russian and my fiance read the English edition. In our letters we discussed many of the topics raised in these books. The discussions made our correspondence more interesting and cognitive. We each learned about the distinctions and problems of interethnic families. Consequently, we have better learned and understood each other.
Hippocrene Books Online is a publisher with a strong international and ethnic orientation. My husband, Bruce, found here a big choice of inexpensive books. While living in Russia, I received many cards from Bruce with beautiful Russian poetry which Bruce borrowed from the book "Treasury of Russian Love" edited by Victoria Andreyeva, 1995, Hippocrene Books, Inc.
The interest did not disappear and the learning process never stopped after my arriving to the US. I have had a lot of English practice for the past years. Amazingly, I'm able to understand English books and movies! My husband and I hunt for and find interesting and thoughtful Russian movies with English subtitles or with a good translation. Bellow is a short list of the best movies and books we have found on-line, at book stores, local libraries (UAF and public), and the Blockbuster Video.
I like visiting our local Gulliver's Books store that sells new and used books. Wandering between Gulliver's shelves I found rare books such as Barl McDowell's "Journey Across Russia" prepared by the Special Publications Division National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C., and an antique book "The Folk history of Rus from the oldest times to today," New York, 1911.
"Life In Russia" by Michael Binyon introduces the Russia most Americans have never seen before. Not the politics. The people. "First-rate...superb... The author writes about average people with a wonderful sensitivity to the Russian that lurks behind the stern visage of official life. An honest, refreshing and illuminating book." Dusko Roder, Moscow Bureau Chief, Washington Post.
If you don't know any stores in America with a big choice of movies and music, here is my favorite Russian music & video store. To find a Russian movie with English subtitles or double sound in English type in "Artist/Title" window the word Ruscico (Russian Cinema Council) and choose.
The National Geographic magazine employs amazingly talented writers and photographers. They bring the place you want to discover right to your screen; just type into their search window the key word. I typed "Kazakhstan" and found many stories and photo reportages about the country where I was born. Try your own search and have fun with the discovery of unknown before world.
Hollywood made a very good movie "White Nights" with the famous Russian (now American) ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov about the old Soviet regime. Baryshnikov's dancing is spectacular, and the story has a happy end.
Mikhail Baryshnikov is a producer of 16 stories serial "Stories From My Childhood, Vol. 1: The Snow Queen". I love the old Soyuzmultfilm cartoons with their beautiful music from famous composers and stories translated into English. All my family enjoys each of the stories.
"Siberiada" is a drama that takes place in a small village in Siberia from early 1900s to late 1950s and brings upon your eyes three generations of villagers and their ordeals.
Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears is a classic melodrama about life in Moscow in the 1960-80s. The story of three girlfriends with different life only because they had different values in their lives is one of my favorites. S
If you will find any movies of producer "Nikita Mikhalkov, watch them. My husband liked "Burnt by the Sun," "Barber Of Siberia," and "Close to Eden" (Russian version is "Urga Territory of Love") by Mikhalkov.
"K-19: The Widowmaker," Paramount Pictures. The true story. When meltdown threatens the first Soviet nuclear ballistic submarine in 1961, its crew must devise a way to survive--or die trying. National Geographic: K-19 History.
"Enemy at the Gates," Paramount Pictures, a love story and a battle. It takes place during the battle of Stalingrad, which pitted Germans against Russians in World War II. The movie shows fight between two snipers as sort of an allegory of the larger battle, succeeds. The character of Vassili Zaitsev is historical, but Enemy of the Gates gives him a fictional opponent. Home Video/DVD - Ivana Redwine's Review.
I found on a Russian bookshelf in the public Library three beatiful tapes featuring "Face of Russia (3pc)," 2000.
A serial "Families of the World" by Master Communications, Inc., 2002, takes you on a fantastic journey to another country where you view the unique lives of two children and their family. Visit "Families of Russia (Families of the World)." "There is no hype, no Hollywood, just a surprisingly enticing behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in another land from a child's perspective, " writes Parenting Magazine. Ask in local library about these movies and books.
I really enjoyed reading "From Nyet to Da: Understanding the Russians (Interact Series)," Intercultural Press, Inc., Yarmouth, Maine, written by Yale Richmond. The book is based on Richmond's experience of working with Russians for more than twenty-five years. It is a trustworthy, interesting, and very informative book. Type into search box "Yale Richmond" provided above to find more of his interesting books.
Dale Pesmen, in his "Russia and Soul: An Exploration," Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2000, tries to find out what is the mysterious Russian Soul (dusha), to describe a Russian national character and fragmented, messy Soviet and post-Soviet life.
"Who are the Russians?: A history of the Russian people" by Wright Watts Miller is an another attempt to understand Russians and the differences between them and Englishmen. I enjoyed the beginning of the book from Vikings to Kievan Rus' to Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great. I've learned a lot about who we Russians are through a comprehensive tour to the history of Rus' and the Russians. Second half of the book starting with socialists' movements was more difficult to read because I disagree with Mr. Miller's worshiping veche-communal (pseudo-Russian) way of living. However, it is the first and only book that presented a very solid analysis of the mysterious Russian soul, what historical moments influenced Russian way of living and thinking the most, and made huge impact on the national character of Russians. The book is filled with quotes to well respected Russian and non-Russian writers, philosophers, historians. I, who read tons of books while in Russia, was embarrassed to not recognize half of the mentioned authors and their works. Despite our with Mr. Miller political disparity, I would encourage you to read the book "Who are the Russians?" if you want to have a strong understanding of Russians, who they are and why they are different.
If you decide to start studying Russian language I would recommend you to visit LearningRussian.com: The Online Russian Language Center which offers educational resources on learning Russian as a foreign language for all levels of students who want to master Russian independently. Free lessons are here. The online Russian Library features great works of major Russian authors, such as Pushkin, Lermontov, Fet, Yesenin, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Krylov, Chekhov, etc. Do not know anything? Just stast seaching the Internet and you will find lots of schools, courses, and books. Being bilingual is very beneficial. You could understand people, you could read books in originals, you could learn different culture and philosophy.
I hope my advice will help you discover my country. I believe, with your desire, Russia will become closer and better understood.
Since I came to Alaska, I have learned a lot about life in this country. I have had so many impressions that were enough for a big Web page describing the real life of a Russian woman in America with advice for those who are planning to emigrate or just have arrived to the US. I have written what I have learned to my friends and colleagues.
Yes, I had to learn to leave behind the typical Russian attitude that finds fault in everything and everyone. I remember all too well the exchanges of greetings and idle chatter--and how it was filled with the negative. "Oh, my husband is so demanding." "Ah, but mine has lost all his hair and is no longer beautiful." Yes, seeing the faults in everyone around us is so easy, but it is not American. Idle chatter does not breed success; perhaps that outlook is the long term effect of a social structure that wanted to control every piece of a person's life. Life is so much more interesting when one has the security to see what is good about what one has and to be able to plan for the future with hope a certainty.
Soon after my arrival here, I realized that life in America is not about great wealth or fancy things, it is life just like life anywhere else; it is about the work you put into building your relationship into a permanent love affair. It takes work!
But life within a multi-cultural family is also fascinating. Since cultural differences invade every aspect of life, amazingly, two cultures can have much in common and yet be so very different at the same time. Moreover, an intercultural marriage is like a window opened into a different world. Discovering the new world is easier because the spouse acts as a guide though everyday life. This mix of different cultures, traditions, and modes of life makes a family's existence more interesting. My husband has the opportunity to learn more about Russia, not only as a tourist, but as a member of my family, in the circle of my relatives.
Here are my Essays--a window into the world of a Russian Woman as she becomes an Alaskan. I'm working hard to improve my language skills taking course after course at local university. You or your Russian-speaking bride can find in the end of the essay page useful links to free on-line sources to learn or brush up English.
My husband Bruce compares me with the "Songbird of Alaska" Judy Merril, who said: "All you need is the courage and ambition to take off." The quest for happiness abroad might be adventurous and one needs some courage. I do not regret about "taking off" to this adventure.
I wish your work will pay you back too.
Note: You might need some of the usefull items that I list below:
* To view Russian movies you might need a Multi Region Code Free Multi Zone Pal/NTSC DVD Player that would play DVDs, DivXs, CD's, and other video content. There are many choices on Amazon.com of highly recommended and fairly priced players. You can choose between items based on price or brand preference. DVD players: Toshiba SD-3990 for $149.99 (Amazon.com sale price $78.99), Philips DVP642 for $149.99 (Amazon.com sale price $49.99), CyberHome CH-DVD 300S for $49.99 (Amazon.com sale price $27.99), AKAI 3850 for $89.00, Pioneer DV-393-S for $159.99 (Amazon.com sale price $83.69), or purchase Toshiba SD-37VSR 110-220 Volts Multi-System PAL DVD/VCR Combo for $160.00.
* If you study Russian or have your Russian bride to come over it would be useful to have Russian fonts and settings working on your computer. Teaching your computer Cyrillic is very easy. Paul Gorodyansky 's Web-site has detailed instructions on how to change encoding, install Russian fonts, and make Russian texts readable on your computer.
* Russian Laminated Transparent Keyboard Stickers for All PC & Laptops with Red Lettering is another very necessary item for those, who want to type in Russian. This link will bring you to self-adhesive stickers with Russian letters for $4.80 only from Amazon.com
Sincerely yours, Eve.
Wish List or Usefull Items from Amazon