May 19, 2021

Take This to Your Grave



Take This to Your Grave
Perhaps this competition is the only time that it's a good thing to take to an early grave.  Photo by Lukas via pexels.com

Cemetary work is usually seen as a rather glamourless job, but now there is some grave competition in the industry.

Recently, Novosibirsk's crematorium hosted a timed gravedigging tournament for diggers from all over the Siberian region. Each team of two had to dig a proper 200-centimeter-long, 80-centimeter-wide, and 160-centimeter-deep burial pit in the fastest time possible.

Participants were graded on how fast they worked, as well as on the technique and accuracy of their creation. In the end, it was the team from Omsk that took first place, followed by the home team from Novosibirsk, with Tomsk and the Altai region close behind. 

As seen in the video detailing the event, the competition even had spectators (creating what may have been the most lively crematorium audience ever). 

The real purpose of the event was to encourage current grave diggers to develop their skills and to help attract young people to the otherwise morbid career path. 

You Might Also Like

Omsk: Siberia's Southern Outpost
  • September 01, 2000

Omsk: Siberia's Southern Outpost

Founded on bloodshed, a crossroads for exiles and a crucible of the Civil War, this Siberian city is now a model of diversity and perserverence.
Don't Diss the Dog Days
  • May 10, 2021

Don't Diss the Dog Days

As spring heats slowly to the rapid days of summer, the canines of Russia are kept on their paws with special challenges of their own.
Equus Asinus Asinus
  • March 15, 2021

Equus Asinus Asinus

Evidently, sick burns can get you into trouble in Russian legal court— even if they are delivered in a dead language.
Rapping for Russia
  • March 09, 2021

Rapping for Russia

With Russian teenagers in mind, plans are being made for "The First All-Russian Festival of Patriotic Rap." 
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955