RUSSIA Zaira Ventura
The Arts • Russia has a strong history of art. • Realistic, romantic, political, and psychological themes are common throughout Russian novels, poems, and plays. • Some of the most well known symphonies, ballets, operas and other musical works come from Russia. • Renowned ballet company, The Bolshoi Ballet, started in 1776 • Some Russian folk crafts include lace making, lacquer painting ,wood carving, and nested dolls.
Geography • At 6,601,668 square miles (17,098,242 square kilometers), Russia is the largest country in the world. • The deepest freshwater lake(Baikal), and four of the largest rivers (Lena, Ob, Volga, and Yenisey) are in Russia. • Russia is mostly covered in plains, but most of the north is covered in a large frozen tundra. • Russia’s Asian and European side is divided by the low Ural Mountains. • Russia’s climate varies on the region. • Winter typically last form November to March, but in Siberia it can last for up to nine months.
Customs • Visiting and having guest is common. • When visiting it is common to give gifts. • For casual visits, it is common to give, but not required, to bring simple gifts. • The friendship shown is more important than receiving a gift. • In Russia, one eats with a fork in their left hand and a knife in their right. • People are to keep their hands above the table rather than on their lap. • When entertaining, more food than can be eaten is made to indicate that there is an abundance of food in the house. • When finished with the meal, guest show that they have eaten well by leaving some food on their plate.
Holidays • The most celebrated holiday is New Years • Almost everyone decorates a New Years tree. • This is the time of year when Grandfather Frost leaves presents for children. • May 9 is Victory day commemorates the end of WWII, which is important to most Russians • Since 1991, Russian Independence Day( June 12) has been celebrated. • Every profession has its own holiday.
School • Children are required to attend school from ages 6 to 17. • Due to the lack of money, schools lack supplies, facilities, and other necessary tools. • If students have other special interest, they attend other schools for music, dance, and other hobbies.
Economy • Russia has many natural resources (oil, natural gas, coal, timber). • Despite its abundant natural resources, Russia still struggles economically. • 40% of Russians live in poverty. • The currency is the ruble. • When short on money, people trade items or jobs for another.
Fun Facts • According to tradition, if someone steps on your toes accidently, you have to step on there feet. If not most likely a fight will beak out. • During the 17th and 18th Century, during Peter the Great’s rule, men were required to shave off their beard or be taxed. • In Russia, it is believed unlucky if one shakes hands through a door way.