the only thing I really knew about Russia was what I heard in the news about Putin.
But now that I have thoroughly researched Russian culture and literature, I feel I am better
educated on the culture of the Russian people.
In my research I have in fact learned a lot more than what I originally believed, like the
Russian's are a people that that values an education. Their youth like to read and write and
that is why so many famous literary works come from Russia. Russia also places a high
value on the arts such as the ballet, and music. Some of the best composers have come
from Russia such as Dmitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky. But there is still something
that is more important than all of these other amazing things. The Russians have always,
and continue to place a large emphasis on family. Not just direct family, but also extended
family and close friends. They have done this ever since the Soviet era when they could
trust no one. And most of all Russians have a great sense of pride not only for themselves
but for the Motherland.
The Russians have a complex culture that is displayed in their music, their writing and
more. They have great core values that seems to be what hold this giant, spread out
country, together as one.
reflected in a lot of the literature from that part of the world, from the folk tales that have
been told for centuries to the novels that are written by aspiring Russian writers today.
Another big part of Russian culture are the arts, specifically music. Ever heard of Pyotr
Ilyich Tchaikovsky? Probably not but you have most likely heard of his piece the
Nutcracker suite that seems to play on repeat throughout the Christmas
season. Other famous Russian composer are Dmitri Shostakovich who wrote
The Fire Of Eternal Glory, or Igor Stravinsky who wrote The Firebird Suite.
Another big part of Russian culture is the ballet, two of the most famous from
Russia are The Firebird, and the more Familiar Nutcracker suite both using the
music from the composers listed above. This shows how one medium such as
folklore can then spark an idea, which blossoms into a song, which then inspires
a ballet that the entire world can enjoy. And I think in a way that's how this
culture has developed, just ideas blossoming into something more, to where
they are no longer ideas but traditions to pass on for generations to come.
short story The Bet by Anton Chekhov. In the story two friends are arguing about whether
capital punishment should be allowed, and if there is a difference between taking
someone's life or rotting in prison until death. One man argues that "Capital punishment
kills a man at once, but lifelong imprisonment kills him slowly. Which
executioner is the more humane, he who kills you in a few minutes or he who
drags the life out of you in the course of many years?" And so they make a bet,
as to who will last longer in solitary confinement, one says five years, the other
says 10, and finally the first says 15 years in solitary confinement, with only a
piano, books, and paper to write letters, and story's. The prize if he stays there
for fifteen years is two million dollars from his friend.
The story has a lot of elements from Russian culture such as the things he is
locked up with. First a piano, this represents how in touch Russians are with
music and the effect it has on them to keep the man entertained throughout his
confinement. And books and paper to write, this represents how In touch
Russians are with education, and literature.
It's amazing how such small elements in literature can reflect such big values in a culture, and their significance.