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27 May 2015


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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Ideas

Russian Life Annual Gift Buying Guide

 

It's that time of year again. Time to find something for the Russophile in your life. Or time to find something russophilic for friends yet to be bitten by the bug. So we have pulled together information on some great ideas that are sure to satisfy.

Of course, it goes without saying that you will have gotten Russian Life subscriptions and Wall Calendars for everyone on your list! But that's just a start.

Books always make great gifts. And there never seems to be a shortage of books on Russia. Suzanne Massie's Land of the Firebird is a fabulous introduction to Russian culture and history, and her profile of Pavlovsk palace is an intimate glimpse at an interesting facet of Russian history (207-374-5748).

A new book on the brothers and artists Sergei and Aleksei Tkachev, Masters of Russian Impressionism, has been published by The Museum of Russian Art (952-914-0200). It is a wonderful art book filled with beautiful examples of the Tkachev's art, plus an insightful introduction. The Museum also has another fine book, Soviet Impressionism; be sure to ask about that one as well!

Stanford University Press has a new book out (The Big Show in Bololand) on the little known chapter of Russian history that was the US rescue effort after the Russian Civil War (the period after that covered by our article on page 50).

How about videos? For videos on the Second World War and some little-known chapters in Russian history, you'll want to contact International Historic Films (773-927-2900).

The company Portable Film Festivals (877-477-2835) has rediscovered four interesting Russian films and added subtitling in English. This makes them a great way to study Russian, aside from the fact that these are nice films.

Looking for a broader selection of films in Russian and don't need subtitling? Try St. Petersburg Publishing or RBC. Both also have growing DVD selections. 

Of course, if you have a real Russian film lover on your hands (the technical term is Russofilmophile), you could get them a year's subscription to the Russian Television Network, and they can watch Russian films, news and TV serials-direct from Russia! (800-222-2RTN; a Russian movie channel is available)

What about music? For those with a special interest in Russian choral or church music (including sheet music), check out Musica Russica.

Finally, there are gifts of beauty and color. For lacquer boxes, start with Russian Sunbirds (619-220-7172) and Kremlin Gifts (207-649-7853). Both offer quality crafts and an excellent selection.

At Sunbirds' website you can search by artist, era, subject, price range and more. They specialize in lacquer boxes, but also offer lacquered eggs, matryoshkas, carved gifts, brooches, plates and more.

Kremlin Gifts also headlines with their lacquer boxes, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. They offer fine shawls, Gzhel, matryoshkas, Khokhloma, dolls, icons and more.

Call, email or browse through what both these fine companies have to offer - you are sure to find just the right gift for someone special.

Exclusive Collections offers authentic Russian perfumes and beauty products on its website and in its New York showroom (888-870-5437). They offer everything from colognes for men to body splashes and perfumes for women, to fun shampoos for kids.

Happy Holidays.

-The Editors

May 8, 2015
70 Years After Victory, the Battle for Stalingrad Rages On
70 Years After Victory, the Battle for Stalingrad Rages On
By Alice E.M. Underwood

The Battle for Stalingrad turned the tide of WWII in the Allies’ favor. Marked by the loss of nearly 2 million lives, it is one of the most devastating battles of human history. Yet it also continues to be embroiled in controversy, given the complex relationship Russians have toward Josef Stalin. 

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Tags: stalin, wwii, war, stalingrad
May 7, 2015
The Controversial Composer
The Controversial Composer
By Richard Taruskin

The personal and professional have become increasingly intertwined in considerations of the life and work of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Music historian Richard Taruskin shows that this is nothing new – it all began shortly after the master composer's death.

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Tags: music, history, tchaikovsky
May 7, 2015
The Most Useful Russian Inventions
The Most Useful Russian Inventions
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

What do radio, television, the periodic table, and helicopters have in common? Russians were involved in developing all of them – and more!

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Tags: inventions, science
April 17, 2015
How Well Do You Know Russian Fairy Tale Characters?
How Well Do You Know Russian Fairy Tale Characters?
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Sure, everyone knows the name Baba Yaga. But do you know where she lives? Do you know Koschey the Immortal, or Zmey Gorynych? How well do you know the spirits of the forest? Read up on these key characters of Russian fairy tales!

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Tags: fairy tales
March 28, 2015
Smoktunovsky: Portrait of an Actor
Smoktunovsky: Portrait of an Actor
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

A generation of Soviets grew up seeing the face of actor Innokenty Smoktunovsky in his varied roles, both on screen and on stage. But what was his actual life like? In this snippet, he gives a taste of the trials he underwent as a soldier fighting the Nazis.

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Tags: world war ii, smoktunovsky, memoir
March 8, 2015
International Women's Day: A Look Back
International Women's Day: A Look Back
By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Tired of having to do Valentine's Day and Mother's Day separately? Try it the Russian way and combine them into International Women's Day! A closer look at this convenient holiday's socialist origins and not-so-socialist present form.

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Tags: russia, holiday, women, socialism