"A few fun facts about Russia & Russian, the worlds largest country & language"
Did you know Russia is the largest country on earth, it constitutes one seventh of the world’s landmass &
it spans over eight time zones. Russia's expansive mass lets it neighbor more countries than anyone else. As well did you
know she borders twenty two bodies of water & maintains twelve seas inside of its borders. Russia (pronounced
"roasiya") has a vast array of landscapes that's created a diverse mix of national parks through deserts, glaciers,
valleys and volcanoes. You will also find the oldest mountains in the world along with the deepest lake in on earth. Travel to this massive land for many adventures.
A lot of these facts and tid-bits you will be reading came straight from the source. We had several meetings with many different Russian's both in Russia and abroad in the United States. A special thanks to Vira and her mom from St. Petersburg and Mr.Begmeta from Siberia!
- Cava. In Moscow, a Coffee costs between 10 and 25 US Dollars.
- Propaganda. During the cold war, schools taught children that America enslaved its people and still had black slaves stolen from Africa!
- Good gas milage. One of the most popular things in Russia is a Ural which is a type of sidecar motorcycle.
- Muslces!. In the 1980's, The United States olympic body builders could not keep up with the Russians. It was later learned the American's were over training where as the Russian's understood how the body worked and importance of down time for Muscle recovery.
Russian consist of the Cyrillic alphabet. According to the U.S. Military it is classified as a level 3 language, meaning it is a hard one to learn. However, there are some similarities between Russian and English. One of them being it is one of the top 5 most common languages in the world.
Well, how can we put this; It's like explaining the weather in America rather than by each state. A lot of Russia however has normal weather patterns of warm and cold that increases as you travel east. Moscow, St. Petersburg and the surrounding territories usually see summers in the 32's (or 89.6 F) and winter chills of 25 below (or -13 F). A lot of the country is similar to Canada. Buildings in Russian may share vast networks of large insulated tubes providing heat and ventilation. Another thing you may be used to seeing are all the fur coats and hats. These serve more of a practical need than they do social statement.
A Russian Economy
Because of the great abundance of natural resources Russia does a lot of mining. However many area's of the Russian economy include energy production and technology. Although many Russian corporations have gone public the prices on energy have not yet been established by such markets. Corruption, as with many countries, is not un-heard of. After the collapse of the Soviet Union living standards seemed to have plunged for many. Since then and as Russia opens its doors to developed countries, standards continue to improve greatly. Moscow for example is one of the most expensive places to shop in the world! Credit however is still a growing and somewhat evolving process. This is not necessarily a bad thing though; As much freedom and possibilities credit provides to many look at all the debt and other credit related problems seen within the United States. Want to know what the Wal-Mart equivalent for Russia is; It's a company called "carousel".
Cultural facts about Russia
Larger Russian cities have social scapes comparable to New York City. Russia Art has continued to occupy a strong grasp through out the culture and Russia has some of the best art institutions in all of the world. St. Petersburg has over 2,000 libraries, 301 museums & theaters, 145 concert halls and art galleries with at least another 86 nightclubs. Russian's like American's enjoy theatre and movies. As well they, generally speaking, enjoy such things as American's as picnics, camping, hiking, hunting and fishing! As mentioned above, Russian culture value's family over all else. Slavic's account for 75% of the population with the Ural Mountains & the Siberian regions being less populated. Comparable to Alaska for the United States.
Russian Orthodox (Very similar to what you know to be Catholic)
"Gody" is an understatement for the interior decor of a typical Russian church. But man can they be spectacular. So, yes, Russian Orthodox is the official and most common religion of Russia. Most of Russia's most well known buildings are present day churches with great historical value and preservation. Attention was taken away from the Church during the Cold War and U.S.S.R era. The popular (Famous rather) church in St. Petersburg literally translated as "The Savor of the Blood", was closed for a 30 year restoration. In 2004 the city celebrated 300 years and the mayor spent millions "rebuilding the entire city"!
International travel - A stuartist asks, "do you want water with or without gas?"
Getting a Visa for Russia is an individual case basis and a new visa will be needed for each visit and / or reason of entry. Moscow (as well St. Petersburg) is exactly eight hours ahead of New York City. As a reference when its 12 noon in California, it's 12 midnight in Moscow. It takes approximately nine hours fly time from New York to Moscow. Prices range greatly, but the sooner you can buy your ticket (months in advance) the cheaper it will be! When you get there, don't be caught off guard by how people do not seem to SMILE at you as much as in the United States. It is also not a social standard to say excuse me when walking to close or front of someone like in a shopping isle. They are not being rude, it is just a different world in Eastern Europe. Sparkling water is common, and they call it "gas". So don't do what I did once and look at the stuartist like she's crazy if you get this question.