The outreach of the Russian language and interest in the Russian culture is growing worldwide. After the horrific discrimination to which Russian language was subjected in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldavia, and lately, in Ukraine, I am glad that Russian Ministry of Education and Science, previously often criticized for inactivity and inertia, is finally starting to make bold moves in the right direction.
I love this wonderful new initiative, whose popularity seems to be mushrooming nationally and internationally! Check it out!
Today, April 16, 2016, as dawn reached various cities and countries, scores took the voluntary Russian language exam. It began in the Far East and as the sun rose, it spread all over the globe. Regardless of age, education, occupation and nationality, people challenged themselves to test their grammar and ability to write in Russian. They took it on Russian subs and icebreakers, on planes and while on an exotic nature tour, in Moscow, Estonia, Japan and China…
This is a new Russian tradition, born a few years ago in Novosibirsk, Western Siberia. It’s called : ‘Totalny Diktant’ – Russian: “Тотальный диктант,” and its popularity is taking over the world. Language diktant in itself is a very old, tried and true Russian educational tradition, which stood the test of time for centuries, and perhaps, millennia.
Diktant is translated to English as: ‘Written exam during which a teacher, or designated reader, reads aloud the secretly pre-selected text to a class (sealed envelope containing text is opened in front of students). Each student listens and writes it down verbatim, while attempting not to make any mistakes. The exam is fully handwritten. What is tested: general erudition and literary language comprehension, attention span, fast reaction (you have to keep up with the speed of dictation), grammar, spelling and punctuation.’
Phew… out of breath just trying to describe in English the meaning of the little Russian word диктант.
‘Totalny Diktant’ is organized by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Organizers say that all top ‘students’ – everyone who makes only one mistake or zero mistakes – will receive prizes.
Totalny Diktant, in other words, ‘the total diktant,’ is so named because it is an all-encompassing simultaneous event, whose geography and outreach keep growing.
Here is a brief video with some of the exotic geography and broad outreach of today’s event – time stamps and my explanations/translation underneath the video.
At 0:25: totalny diktant taken by seamen serving on nuclear icebreaker Yamal, Murmansk; 1:00 sailors of the training tall ship Pallada, en route to Japan.
At 1:15: Listvianka village, Lake Baikal, Siberia – local adults and tourists writing their diktant at school desks. 1:20: Kungur, Permsky Krai – extreme Total Diktant: tourists write it in the wilderness of the ancient ice caves, with candles and lots of warm clothes. 1:30 Krasnoyarsk, Siberia – cozy setting of the local bar kinda clashes with this year’s diktant topic: ancient civilizations. 😉
1:40 Novosibirsk University – the birthplace of Totalny Diktant. This year’s topic and text were developed here.
At 1:50 Moscow – in this college diktant is read by Russian Minister of Education and Science, Dmitry Livanov.
Total Diktant this year is taken on all continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, S. and N. America, Australia and Antarctica. Total number of diktant venues: 2185, almost twice as many as in 2015.
At 2:18 Tallinn, Estonia – diktant gathered a record 2000 people, who packed the entire national hockey arena.
2:30 Diktant in the sky: flight Novosibirsk – Moscow.
2:36 – Totalny Diktant in China: “Russian language challenges for the Chinese: hard to tell ‘b’ from ‘p’, as well as ‘a’ and ‘o’ in those cases when they are with, or without, accent.”
2:52 Largest number of participants were in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the two capitals the diktant text was read by famous actors, politicians, scientists and artists.
The total diktant was followed by live TV/internet guidance, with detailed tips and analysis of common mistakes.
3:30 One of the many unusual venues: Donskoy Men’s Monastery, the text read personally by Father Superior.
3:45 Pushkin, St. Petersburg venue – text read by Sergei Naryshkin, Speaker of the Russian Duma.
4:00 Japanese and Chinese students in Vladivostock, the Far East.
4/17/16 Received a question where to find info on Totalny Diktantand and who can participate.
This is a voluntary global initiative, no restrictions on age or nationality. You can do it in any country, as long as you can write in Russian. As I said, this year the exam was taken on every continent. For those interested in participating or organizing it in your city next year, here is the site. The site also includes Russian language tutorials, and as far as I understand, you can also take the diktant online. Check it out and good luck!
Lada Ray novels set in Russia:
and much more @ LadaRay.info
That’s it! I am sick and tired of all the negativity, confusion and fighting going on between people and countries in this world! I declare a CHI-RAISING POSITIVITY DAY!
This is the post that will remind those who have forgotten, and open the eyes for those who have never heard it before. Simply put, below are some Soviet songs that are beautiful and famous in their own right, performed by some of the best voices you’ll ever hear. But there is something else about these songs that catches the eye: by their very existence they UNITE people, cultures and countries. The unique culture I am proud to have been born into had succeeded in performing a miracle no one else had been able to accomplish. At least for a short while we managed to unite different cultures in friendship and cooperation, instead of hatred and war! And that, in my book, IS the highest accomplishment this entire human civilization was ever able to achieve!
Since the Russian realm is such a UNIFYING force in the world, this is exactly why the West/NWO is itching to destroy it. Don’t believe me? Read and listen below – and judge for yourself! Perhaps those of my readers who are non-English speakers will easily recognize these gems from their childhood. The reason I am also confident my many English-speaking readers won’t know the songs below is because there always was a full-scale blockade of the Russian culture in the West, also referred to as the Iron Curtain. The reason the Iron Curtain was necessary was because the Russian ideas of friendship and cooperation were always too popular for the liking of the West. If such ideas took hold and people all over the world suddenly stopped fighting, how would they divide and conquer?
Warning, this is NOT American pop – this is live, positive, highly calibrated singing! Note: designation “Song of the Year” was given in the Soviet Union to the best songs written that specific year in the entire Soviet space.
In the Soviet Union, the ugly civil war based on pathological hatred taking place today in Ukraine, or in Nagorny Kharabakh (between Azerbaijan and Armenia), or such as was the 2008 war between South Ossetia/Georgia, or the frozen conflict between Moldova and Pridnestrovie, would have never happened. And if someone tells you that Russians oppressed other nationalities in the USSR, don’t believe such complete and total BS. I was there. It was, in fact, the other way around – Russians promoted every possible and impossible national minority, well before it became politically correct to do so in the US and EU. Sometimes, Russians did it to their own disadvantage.
But don’t believe me – just listen to the songs and watch videos below. Once you do, everything will become ‘crystal clear,’ as they say in Russia.
MEGA PARADE OF POSITIVE RUSSIAN SONGS THAT HAVE THE POWER TO UNITE!
Our Parents’ Home (the beginning of all beginnings) – ‘Родительский дом, начало начал.’ This is one of the lyrical gems from the 1970s. Performed by the famed buttery voice of the Soviet/Russian stage, Lev Leshchenko, who’s, as his last name indicates, is of Ukrainian heritage.
Nightingale Grove – Лев Лещенко, Соловьиная роща. (Nightingale is the national Russian bird). One of the famous songs of the 1970s. Older, but still popular, Lev Leshchenko singing in 2008. Russian lyrics
Echo of Love – Song of the Year 1977. Эхо любви – Performed by Polish singer Anna German and Russian singer of Ukrainian heritage, Lev Leshchenko – Анна Герман и Лев Лещенко
Lyrics: “And even in the land of the crawling darkness, beyond the circle of death, I know we won’t part – we are an echo, we are an echo, we are each other’s eternal memory.”
Hope – Надежда, Song of the Year 1975 – Polish singer Anna German, who was equally loved in Russia/USSR, singing the famous Russian song. Анна Герман
Melody – Song of the Year 1976 – performed by Muslim Magomaev, Azerbaijani singer, famous for his performances of Russian songs, who became the national treasure of Russia. Муслим Магомаев “Мелодия” 1976
The Best City on Earth (a song about Moscow – video with rare footage of the 1980s Moscow). Again by Azerbaijani singer Muslim Magomaev. Муслим Магомаев – Лучший город Земли
All the above songs, and some below as well, had been written by prolific Russian composer Alexandra Pakhmutova, lyrics by Russian poet Nikolay Dobronravov.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha – Song of the Year 1975 ( beautiful song about Bleovezhskaya Pushcha, or Forest – a massive nature preserve in Belarus which is famous for its unique flora and fauna and is a World Heritage site) – Performed by Belorussian band Pesnyari, famous for their high pitch, flowing voices. When I was little, the entire Soviet Union sang this song from the tiny republic of Belarus.
Vologda – Song of the Year 1976 (song about a Russian town called Vologda). Performed by Belorussian band Pesnyari.
Love Happened – Song of the Year 1979. By Kazakh singer Rosa Rimbaeva. Роза Рымбаева, “Любовь настала” Песня года – 1979
Maestro – early 1980s. Performed by the famous Russian singer Alla Pugacheva together with author, Latvian composer Raimond Pauls. Lyrics by Jewish/Russian poet, Ilya Reznik. Алла Пугачева и Раймонд Паулс – Маэстро.
A Million of Crimson Roses – 1983. Performed by Russian singer Alla Pugacheva. Author, Latvian composer Raimond Pauls. Milion Alykh Roz
Snow (Sneg) – contemporary song, performed by 8-year-old Anastasia Petrik from Odessa, Ukraine & famous Russian pop-singer Philip Kirkorov, from Bulgaria.
Alyosha – Алёша – 1970s. Performed by Bulgarian singers Г. Николова, Г. Кордов. Authors: Jewish/Russian composer Kolmanovsky, lyrics by Russian poet Vanshenkin. Legendary song about the monument to the Russian soldier, dubbed ‘Alyosha,’ who died freeing Bulgaria from fascism.
Here Birds Don’t Sing (aka, We Need One Victory) – legendary song from the 1970s film Belorussian Station about a reunion of several Great War vets, as they recall the old days and face new challenges. Performed by Armenian singer Зара, 2009. Music/lyrics by legendary Georgian author and singer, Bulat Okudzhava. Здесь птицы не поют. “Спасибо вам за Победу!”
Come Back, Forest Deer – performed by the Russian singer of Gypsy origin Aida Vedishcheva.
I Like It That You Aren’t Ill With Me – 1970s. Мне нравится что вы больны не мною. This is one of the songs from the beloved, world-famous mega-hit movie by Russian director Eldar Ryazanov Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath. I mention this movie on my Russian Films page and give it 5+ stars. Song performed by Russian Alla Pugacheva, starring are Polish actress Barbara Brylska (on screen) and Russian actor Andrey Myagkov. Music by Armenian composer born in Georgia, Mikael Tariverdiev. Original poetry by Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova.
Link to YT video (I just discovered that Mosfilm, who owns the rights, regretfully doesn’t allow the re-blogging of videos. I feel this is awfully shortsighted as all I am doing is promoting their work and the Russian culture. Too bad).
Somewhere Far Away – 1970s. Где-то далеко: Штирлиц встреча с женой. Song from the amazing series about the Russian spy in nazi Germany, 17 Moments of Spring (17 мгновений весны). Starring AMAZING Russian/Soviet actor Viacheslav Tikhonov. Written by Armenian composer born in Georgia, Mikael Tariverdiev. Song performed by Jewish/Soviet singer Iosif Kobzon.
(Also just discovered! Same goes for ‘Quiz group pro’ that appears to own the rights to this video, although I have no idea who they are. They also don’t allow blog reposting. I strongly feel these movies are the heritage of all Russian people, not of some obscure group set up in the restrictive Western way. By denying the fair use/non-profit re-posting, they don’t help anyone. I feel this is terribly shortsighted as all I am doing is promoting their work and the Russian culture). Link to YT video, if anyone’s interested.
In the future, I will have no choice other than to delete videos that have become restricted, as I have no time to repost links. This is a vivid illustration of how Russian showbiz has become way too westernized for their own good, and the good of the world. By such shortsightedness they are hurting no one but themselves. A vivid confirmation of everything I’ve been saying in my articles.
The world-famous Farewell of Slavianka (“Прощание Славянки”) subtitles in Russian/English. Wartime song, contemporary performance, 2010, by Armenian singer Zara and Russian actor Dmitry Pevtsov.
I Don’t Regret – Мне не жаль – Soundtrack from the acclaimed 2000s TV series, Poor Nastya, about Russian aristocrats, simple people, and young Alexander, future Emperor Alexander II. Brilliant song performed by Russian singers Arina and Anton Makarsky, and Russian-Korean Sergei Lee.
Darkey, the Moldavian Girl, or simply, Darkey. Famous song from movie Only Old Men Are Going to Battle. The movie is about a unit of military pilots during the Great War, who like to sing. The unit is very international, and its members are Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Ukrainian , Kazakh, etc.
Stadium of Our Dreams (Stadion Moei Mechti) – Very worth watching! The music that unites the world – rare footage of the Opening Ceremony of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Performed by Azerbaizhani singer Muslim Magomayev. During the ceremony, the giant flags of all 15 Soviet republics were carried in by groups of ethnic girls dressed in respective national costumes. Check out the symbolism! Also watch the parade of the Soviet Olympic winners! USSR only started participating in the Olympics in 1952. Watch how many winners and how many medals they already had by 1980! USSR usually swept the entire Olympics, both Summer and Winter!
Do you think that MAYBE the West was jealous? Do you think that MAYBE they were afraid, and that MAYBE they wanted to weaken the Soviet Union?
Farewell, Gentle Misha – So worth watching! The legendary 1980 Moscow Olympics closing ceremony song. With rare footage of the giant mascot, Misha the Bear, shedding a tear and flying into the sky. Beautiful song with Lev Leshchenko.
And this is an episode from the amazing 2014 Sochi Olympics closing ceremony. The grandson of the 1980 Mishka and his friends, Zaika the Hare and Snow Leopard, are closing the Games. Watch Mishka blow out the flame and again shed a tear. Beautiful music score by Russian composer Eduard Artemiev, 1974 – from film: Svoi Sredi Chuzhikh, Chuzhoi Sredi Svoikh – At Home Among Strangers.
For desert, I thought it would be nice to add some foreign performances of the famous Russian songs:
Farewell of Slavianka – performed by the king’s orchestra of the Royal Guard of Norway. Impressive Russian, by the way.
Farewell of Slavianka in Chinese
Farewell of Slavianka, Hebrew version (Israel)
Sacred War in Russian and Chinese – Choir of the People’s Army of the Republic of China
Katyusha in Chinese
Katyusha in Hebrew, Israel
Kalina in Bloom – China’s First Lady singing in Chinese and Russian, Ой, цветет калина.
By the Sea, by the Blue Sea in Japanese. У МОРЯ У СИНЕГО МОРЯ.
A Million of Crimson Roses – Alla Pugacheva’s song performed in Korean
Blue Carriage in Japanese – Голубой вагон. The beloved song of my childhood from the legendary children’s cartoon series, Adventures of Cheburashka, (Cheburashka is the beloved children’s character; for luck, Cheburashka toys accompany Russian athletes to every Olympics)
For comparison’s sake, this is the original Blue Carriage in Russian – Голубой вагон
War on All Fronts: McDonalds May Be Booted out of Russia; Latvia Bans Russian Superstars; Why did Yatsenyuk Resign; Repatriation of Russian Capital
McDonald’s to be Booted out of Russia?
The announcement I just saw says that Russia may ban some of the McDonald’s burgers sold in Russia due to the fact that nutritional values of the burger ingredients advertised do not correspond with actual nutritional value in the final product. The Public Health Control of the Novgorod Region initiated a lawsuit against McDonald’s in the Moscow court. Cheeseburger, the most popular burger sold by McDonald’s, may be the subject of this ban. There is a strong anti-McDonald’s movements in Russia. As profit margins plunge as a result of the network’s inability to sell its flagship burger, the Russian court sanctions may result in McDonald’s being squeezed entirely out of the Russian market.
Some of the McDonald’s drinks also fall into this category.
I say, about time! Get rid of this #GMO infested, full of plasticisers and artificial colors/flavors poison!
Latvia Blacklists Russian Showbiz Superstars
Those who read my articles know that I call Latvia one of the “Trojan Horses of the US in Europe.” And it strikes again. Latvia announced that it blacklisted three of the most famous Russian singers, whose songs are mega-popular not only in Russia and the entire Russian world, but in Latvia as well. These are Oleg Gazmanov, Valeriya, and Iosif Kobzon.
Valeriya is a pop-singer known for her angelic looks and strong voice, who’s popular internationally. Iosif Kobzon is a legend of the Russian stage. I remember him singing when I was just a child. Seems like he’d been there forever. Being Jewish, Kobzon is a huge patriot of Russia. Oleg Gazmanov appeared on Russian stage in the 1990s. I only discovered him a few years ago on YouTube, and loved this raspy voice, energetic presentation, and the power projected by his songs.
MOSKVA – (Moscow) by Oleg Gazmanov and the Alexandrov Red Army Choir (posted by a German fan):
The Sailor-girl by young Oleg Gazmanov, early 1990s. Check out his athletic somersaults! Олег Газманов – Морячка
Иосиф Кобзон – Я люблю тебя, жизнь – I Love You, Life – by Yosif Kobzon and the Alexandrov Red Army choir. This song is one of the beloved unofficial anthems of Russia.
This particular performance was probably recorded in the very beginning of the 2000s, when Russia just started recovering after Putin came to power. In the beginning, Kobzon says, “Thank you, all, for keeping the faith and for coming out of it with flying colors (out of the catastrophic 1990s – LR). Always love life!” In the audience you can see the singer Alexander Gradsky, whose song I mentioned in Russia’s NEW Ambitious Anti-Dollar Move: $150 bln Investment in Baikal-Amur Railroad. Also, singing along in the audience is the famous (infamous?) ex-mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov.
Иосиф Кобзон, Журавли – CRANES (original recording 1971). One of the most beautiful and legendary Soviet songs about the soldiers who perished in the Great War (WWII), turning into white cranes.
Valeriya – ВАЛЕРИЯ: Otpusti menya – Let Me Go
I love Russian songs & Russian movies, and so I try to share them with my readers whenever I get the chance. You can find much more beloved Soviet music hits here; best contemporary Russian songs here; I started posting Russian movies here; my articles, beautiful imagery, history, and lots of other cool stuff about Russia here.
Latvia is tiny and unimportant in the grand scheme of things. However, the problem with being blacklisted and banned from entry into Latvia for a Russian singer is this: the Baltic resort of Yurmala, near Riga, Latvia, traditionally hosts the international Russian song festival, The New Wave – Novaya Volna. The event attracts the best singers, as well as many Russian tourists. It is said that Latvia would have been bankrupt a long time ago, if not for the influx of cash left there by the Russian tourists and Russian festivals. It is well-known that Latvia has been teetering on the brink of an economic collapse for years, ever since it joined the EU. Fully 1/3, or more, of the country’s population works as guest workers abroad, while the industry built there by Russians during Soviet times has been destroyed after Latvia became independent. Latvian agriculture, which used to be pretty good, was destroyed so it couldn’t compete with Western European agriculture.
It appears the three singers irritated Latvian authorities by their patriotic stance. The problem is, all three are long-term fixtures at the Novaya Volna festival.
It is abundantly clear that this move by Latvian authorities is masterminded by the US and is part of the anti-Russian sanctions. Why? This is a signal and intimidation tactic for the sake of all other Russian artists. Don’t dare be patriotic, don’t dare support Donbass and Novorossia against the Kiev junta, don’t dare support Putin. Otherwise, you’ll be stonewalled. Of course it is clear that many Russian artists also have financial assets in the West. It could be bank accounts, villas on the French Riviera and more. This is a hint: you assets are next. This is yet another way to scare the Russian elites, be it political, business or artistic, into toeing the line prescribed by the US.
This is the old, known the world over, tactic by the West and the US. However, it doesn’t seem to be working any more. US power is waning and cracks in the lopsided US-centric system are starting to show everywhere, as I predicted since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis.
Russians are now talking about moving the massive Novaya Volna musical festival to a Russian city. Several cities expressed desire to host it. To me, #Sochi, or #Yalta in the #Crimea, would be a natural fit. Or it could be conducted in different cities every year. Just a thought.
There is another famous Russian festival that is conducted every summer in Latvia’s Yurmala. It’s called Muzikalny Kivin – the Musical Kivin – and it’s part of the KVN, which is the longest-running Russian humor/music/wit/young talent competition. KVN is older than me, and I watched it since I was a child. At one point, I even participated in it a little, when I studied at the Odessa University. At that time, the team of the Odessa University, called The Odessa Gentlemen, was the undisputed KVN winner for years. Muzikalny Kivin, the musical humor and wit competition just took place in Yurmala, Latvia. But I wouldn’t be too surprised if it were to be transferred somewhere else as well. I would certainly recommend it.
Further consolidation of the Russian society is the likely result of this affront. And Latvia? Well, it’ll eventually lose the life-saving income from the Russian festivals and summer tourists. When the US-dollar-denominated 30 pieces of silver dry up, what will they do?
On another, related note: I predicted previously that Russia will only benefit long-term from Western sanctions
Four biggest benefits are:
1. Consolidation of the Russian society.
2. A more realistic assessment of who is a friend and who isn’t.
3. Re-orientation of the Russian economy from the West to Asia and inwards, with more attention paid to inner infrastructure, domestic industry, development and financing (instead of dollar or euro denominated loans/financing predominant now).
4. Last but not least – the repatriation of the Russian capital located abroad, which will be accelerating as Russians stop trusting the Western banking and business climate. This eventually will turn into a huge exodus, resulting in a loss, if not a catastrophe, for the European banking/real estate and business.
Why Did Yatsenyuk Resign?
A quick remark on the resignation of the Ukraine PM, #Yatsenyuk. It is well known, and it was caught on tape, that Yatsenyuk was literally appointed as Ukraine Prime Minister personally by Victoria Nuland, the Asst US State Dept Secretary; the same Victoria Nuland who bragged publicly to the Washington Press Club in December 2013 that US spent $5bln to subvert Ukraine.
So, Yatsenyuk fulfilled the task entrusted to him by his Washington handlers: he successfully destroyed Ukraine. Ukraine industrial base is in a shambles after bombings of eastern Ukraine and mass exodus out of the country; Ukraine agriculture is in bad shape as a result of war; Ukraine will run out of gas by fall – and the entire country runs on natural gas; pensions and social benefits have been halved.
As a result of a crisis, war and economic collapse, in the spring, Ukrainian currency, grivna, started tanking mercilessly, resulting in hyper-inflation. I heard interviews in which people from different areas of Ukraine complained that inflation was 50-70% monthly, and the elderly couldn’t afford medicine and utilities. But Kiev’s friends and bosses from across the Atlantic promptly tweaked something in the fake financial markets they operate out of Wall Street, and oh miracle! – the worthless grivna of the bankrupt country suddenly became stable!
But if you can pretend collapse isn’t happening in the fake, computer-generated currency market, you can’t pretend in real life. The country is collapsing on all fronts and disintegrating at the seams. The new #maidan revolution is expected again by next spring. As a result of the Boeing 777 downing by the Ukraine military, all countries banned their planes from flying over Ukraine. Ukraine is an important international flight corridor; it gets $200mln annually in fees for the usage of its airspace. Add this loss to all other accomplishments of the Kiev junta.
Yatsenyuk, as Ukraine unelected PM, presided over the collapse of the country. He knows that retribution is coming. He doesn’t want to stick around when the collapse becomes visible to all. The biggest rat of all is leaving the sinking ship. He was there to destroy – someone else will have to clean up his mess.
Watch Lada Ray interview with The Plane Truth, which goes much deeper into the global geopolitical and mystical long-ranging predictions: Earth Shifters, Feng Shui and Global Predictions.
Subscribe to Lada Ray Live channel on YT