1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What is special about New Year celebration in Russia December 30, 2008

 

image of a poster in Moscow

What is special about the New Year celebration in Russia? – No, not the amout of vodka being taken upon, although Russia is  notoriously famous for that.

There is something just opposite to the vulgar tradition of collectively getting drunk – there is a tradition of a sweet innocence, accopanying the arrivial of the New Year… So what is it then?

Ded Moroz (“Grandfather Frost”) is pretty much similar to Santa Claus, However, unlike the secretive ways of Santa Claus, he often brings presents in person, at the celebrations of the New Year, at New Year parties for kids by the New Year Tree. Generally, the traditional appearance of Ded Moroz has a close resemblance to that of Santa Claus, with his coat, boots and long white beard. Specifically, Ded Moroz wears a heel-long fur coat, a semi-round fur hat, and white valenki or high boots (sapogi), silver or red with silver ornament. Unlike Santa Claus, he walks with a long magical staff, does not say “Ho, ho, ho,” and drives no reindeer but a troika.

These are basically some differences which are rather understandable. But there is a female figure next to Ded Moroz – which is a very Russian tradition, not known anywhere around the Chrisitian world (didn`t I mention in my earlier posts, the attitude to women is special in Russia?)…

Ded Moroz is being accompanied by Snegurochka(” Snow Maiden”, his granddaughter). She is a beautiful (young) girl with a long blond plate wearing white or light blue fur-coat. (more…)

 

If Sharks were Men

 

“If sharks were men,” Mr. Keuner was asked by his landlady’s little girl, “would they be nicer to the little fishes?”

“Certainly,” he said. “If sharks were men, they would build enormous boxes in the ocean for the little fish, with all kinds of food inside, both vegetable and animal. They would take care that the boxes always had fresh water, and in general they would make all kinds of sanitary arrangements. If, for example, a little fish were to injure a fin, it would immediately be bandaged, so that it would not die and be lost to the sharks before its time. So that the little fish would not become melancholy, there would be big water festivals from time to time; because cheerful fish taste better than melancholy ones.

“There would, of course, also be schools in the big boxes. In these schools the little fish would learn how to swim into the sharks’ jaws. They would need to know geography, for example, so that they could find the big sharks, who lie idly around somewhere. The principal subject would, of course, be the moral education of the little fish. They would be taught that it would be the best and most beautiful thing in the world if a little fish sacrificed itself cheerfully and that they all had to believe the sharks, especially when the latter said they were providing for a beautiful future. The little fish would be taught that this future is assured only if they learned obedience. The little fish had to beware of all base, materialist, egotistical and Marxist inclinations, and if one of their number betrayed such inclinations they had to report it to the sharks immediately.

“If sharks were men, they would, of course, also wage wars against one another, in order to conquer other fish boxes and other little fish. The wars would be waged by their own little fish. They would teach their little fish that there was an enormous difference between themselves and the little fish belonging to the other sharks. Little fish, they would announce, are well known to be mute, but they are silent in quite different languages and hence find it impossible to understand one another. Each little fish that, in a war, killed a couple of other little fish, enemy ones, silent in their own language, would have a little order made of seaweed pinned to it and be awarded the title of hero.
(more…)

 

Social Advertisement in Moscow December 27, 2008

Russians have always been very good at idealistic motivation and inner-propaganda. May be because Russian people are easily inspired by values rather than materialistic ads, the phenomenon of Social Advertisement is very popular and effective in Russia.

Social advertisement (do not mix with advertising in social networks!!) has been around for years and it’s about applying marketing and advertising principles to promote health and social issues and bringing about positive behavior change.

During my trip to Moscow, it was one the things that stroke me and gave food for thought:  the social ads along the escalator in the Moscow tube. I have made some snapshots to illustrate that wonderful phenomenon.

FAMILY:

This ad goes hand in hand with the presently strong state campaign for family life  -the poster quotes a philosopher saying “Family is one of the masterpieces of nature”.  Please note the figures on the poster – the grandparent` look is very modern and rather untypical for Russia, but probably getting closer to the modern urban grandparents… Also both ladies looking rather masculine – a new tendency but still not very typical. (more…)

 

The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan December 25, 2008

image by axinia

Sufism fascinates me since I know about it. Apart from my spiritual practice of Sahaja Yoga, Sufism is probably the closest to my heart.

 What is Sufism? Here is the beautiful explanation by a great Sufi-master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927).

“Sufism is not a religion, for it is beyond the limitations of faiths and beliefs which make the diversity of religions in the world. Sufism, in short, is a change of outlook on life. It is like viewing from an aeroplane a town, the streets of which one has known and walked through, and yet one has never before seen the whole town at a glance.

    The Sufi’s idea is to view life by raising himself above it. If a man is in pain, how can he relieve the pain of another? If a person is already burdened with a load, how can he take on another person’s burden? If a person is quarrelsome himself, how can he bring peace between others who are fighting? Therefore a Sufi considers it necessary to live in the world and at the same time to be not of the world. Where the Yogi lives the life of an adept in the forest or in a mountain cave, the Sufi lives it in the world. For he considers that to awaken one’s heart to human sympathy, one must experience oneself the struggles and responsibilities of life in the world, and realize that man lives not for himself alone, but that his greatest joy must be to share every benefit and bliss he has in life with others.

This process of viewing life both from below and from above makes his sight keen. He not only knows the law of nature, known to all, but he understands the inner law which is working behind everything, which gives him an insight into things and awakens his sympathy for others. (more…)

 

Russian cold and Russian food December 24, 2008

Since many years I keep visiting Russia in the cold time, mostly in winter. This time I suddenly realised that I actually enjoy that and I really love feeling the frost on my cheeks! Russian cold is very different from the European – even the very low temperatures feel not that nasty because of the dry climate. Russian -10 degree C would feel like European zero degree C.

It is great to visit Russia in winter, especially when it is dry or full of snow. Then you will enjoy Russia as a frosty fairy tale:

If the weather is not that clear, then you will have to enjoy a different look:

I guess it is due to the soil that streets of every Russian town and villages are very dusty, no matter how they clean them.

Russians are basically simple people and they love to eat simple food like bread – the variety of bread is vast and looks tasty, isn`t it? (more…)

 

My Moscow impressions December 23, 2008

As promised, I am back with my Moscow impressions. Being a tourist in my “own” country gives me an interesting perspective to understand the background of things, but still see them detached and curious.

What is always breathtaking for me – sorry for the trivial take -is the Red Square. It is not only huge but it reminds me of a fairy-tale, see for yourself:

 ( me walking down the Red Square)

The oldest shopping center in Moscow (on the Red Square, facing Kremlin):

The figure-skating place directly on the Red Square: (more…)

 

One Week in Moscow December 14, 2008

Filed under: blogging,communication,жизнь,personal,Russia,thoughts,Travel — axinia @ 8:49 am
Tags: ,

image by axinia

I will be visiting Moscow for one week and most probably will not be blogging. Instead I promise to get you lots of pictures and the true feeling of Russia…

All my love and hug to everyone! 🙂

axinia (more…)

 

 
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