Culture and Customs of Russia

Culture and Customs of Russia

Culture and Customs of Russia

Culture and Customs of Russia

Synopsis

Culture and Customs of Russia is a splendid introduction to the largest country in the world. This timely volume gives the scope of the country from earliest history to the breakup of the Soviet Union and beyond. Students and a general audience will learn about the land, history, thought and religion, social customs, marriage and family, education, cuisine, fashion, literature, media, film, the arts, and architecture. The authoritative breadth of coverage, accessibility, and engaging writing style are truly outstanding.

Excerpt

In 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics disintegrated. The Russian empire that stretched from Poland to the Pacific suddenly lost much of the land acquired over centuries of expansion. No longer could one look at a map of "Russia" and include the Baltic Sea republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; in the south, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan; in the west, Moldova; or the five "stans" in central Asia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Even the other East Slavic-speaking lands of Belarus (which means "white Russia") and Ukraine (which means "bor derland," also known as "little Russia") could no longer be thought of as part of the Russian empire. Russia nominally still belonged to, and to some extent dominated, a postcommunist entity called the Commonwealth of Independent States, but that was a very fluid and loosely organized arrangement and could not really be thought of as a unified country any longer.

Russia (Rossiia,) or Russian Federation (Rossiiskaia Federatsiia) as it is officially called, seems almost shrunken on the new maps, yet it is still the largest country in the world, with a total of 6,592,741 square miles, nearly 1.8 times the size of the United States. Distances are huge. Americans travel from Maine to California and cross four time zones. Russia spreads across eleven time zones, sprawling nearly halfway around the world. Population centers are linked by air, rail, water, and road, although the roads are often poor. Riding the Trans-Siberian railway is one of the great rail adventures in the world, crossing thousands of miles on a six-day journey across most of . . .

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