Images from the edge of Russia

Imagine looking over the Sea of Japan from your office window. For Natie, author of Living on the edge of Russia it’s an everyday reality. She lives in from Vladivostok – where Russia meets Asia. Natie’s blog hasn’t been updated recently, but shows some interesting photos of everyday life from this part of the world.

We still have trams and it could be so interesting and (somehow) beautiful inside.

Read more
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My city: Bishkek – post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan
Russian tea time

May 10, 2011 2 comments

A blog for new immigrants to the USA

The blog America for beginners aims to ‘bring American culture closer to new immigrants’. It’s written by Anna Kudryashova, a Russian in Boston who is also a linguist specialising in cultural diversity. And although it’s a new blog, there’s already a fair bit to read here.

Maybe because of her background in cultural studies, Anna tends to approach the cultural differences she finds in the USA in an analytical way, and as you might expect there is a focus on comparison with Russian culture. But I found it interesting reading despite not being Russian.

These ‘difference of the week’ sketches are a fun way of showing cultural differences.

Read more:
More blogs from the USA on Blogs of the World
Dance and cultural identity in Lower Silesia, Poland
Test your cultural expertise with our weekly quiz

March 15, 2011 Comments disabled

Show me the way to Russia

Way to Russia describes itself as an online travel guide, but it’s got a lot of insights into Russian culture as well. There’s a romantic story behind the site: it started after the founder (Dmitry) made a trip to Europe in 2000.

“During his trip Dmitry met a beautiful girl (Celine), who wanted to visit him back in Russia. She had to get the Russian visa, but it seemed nearly impossible then. Step by step we (Dmitry, Dan, and Celine) learned everything about the process and put all this information online, so that nobody runs into the same problem again”


November 30, 2010 Comments disabled

Meet Anna and Ailo

Where are you from?

My name is Anna, and I’m Russian, my boyfriend is called Ailo and he’s Norwegian.

Where did you meet?

We have known each other for 5 years, we’ve been internet friends. Last year I just went to Norway to study and we started dating.

What language do you speak at home?

We speak English.

Do you try to cook food from each other’s countries?

I cook Russian food, he likes it a lot,he cooks different meals like Mexican, Italian, American so, nothing in particular. But not Norwegian as it’s more for holidays, than everyday meals.

Can you explain one part of your partner’s culture that you found surprising?

Yeap, he’s not very emotional all the time, but I learned how to tell what he feels by his face and body language. He doesn’t talk about love a lot, but if he tells that he loves me it means that this is very serious, not just words, So it’s new, but I really appreciate it.

What’s the best thing about being in a cross-cultural relationship?

It’s that everything is so different and interesting, not routine. It’s so interesting to talk about differences in our cultures, make jokes about them, it’s fun!

I just like Norwegian culture, I know a lot about it, so it’s more a nice thing that we’re from different countries than a problem causing thing.

What’s the hardest thing about being in a cross-cultural relationship?

Hmm, I guess it’s language that can cause misunderstanding… but in fact it’s not. it’s all about respect and value. If I misunderstood my boyfriend, we would always sort the problem out and we’d see what was the root of the problem. So it’s probably the language and cultural differences, but you can always avoid big problems if you learn the language better, learn each other’s cultural peculiarities and simply respect each other.

Do you have any advice for other cross-cultural couples?

Yeah, learn as more as you can about the culture of your partner, listen to each other, appreciate and respect each other.

UPDATE (13 Jan): the original version of the interview didn’t have Ailo’s name, and has been updated.

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January 8, 2010 Comments disabled

Yaroslavl: provincial Russia

Look at to visit the Russian city of Yaroslavl, a town in North-West Russia.

Yaroslavl is a provincial town with a lively social life including street poetry, rock bands and free wi-fi.

September 1st is a holiday in Russia and also the first day of the new school year. Yaroslavl celebrated with an outdoor festival where every child released a balloon into the air. You can see photos of the event on this post.

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Russian tea time
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October 7, 2009 Comments disabled

Favourite online hangouts around the world

Which social network should you use if you want to keep up with friends from other countries? This map, developed by Vincenzo Cosenza from Italy, shows which networks are most popular in different countries around the world.

You probably guessed that the green colour dominating the Anglophone world as well as Europe and many other countries represents Facebook.

In fact Facebook has made impressive moves towards world domination in the last 8 months – compare with this map from November 2008 to see how much progress it has made since then.

Other areas are more divided, often along language lines:

- China prefers QQ

- Several other Asian countries are equally independent in their choices: Mixi is number one in Japan, Hi5 in Mongolia and Thailand and Friendster in the Philippines.

- Russian speakers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan choose to use V Kontakte

- Indians and Brazilians like Orkut

- Most of the Arab world uses Facebook, apart from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria and Oman where Maktoob is the favourite. How long before Facebook dominates?

- Facebook is also popular in Latin America, although in some countries Hi5 has the number one spot

So what about Africa? According to this map, many sub-Saharan African countries do not yet have a favourite social networking site. Probably because many parts of Africa still do not have easy internet access. Let’s hope that projects such as this one will help to change that.

(Via ReadWriteWeb )

Where are you from and what social networks do you use?

Read more:
Wired Africa? Africa prepares for its surge online
Is there an easy way to blog in a different language?
Top 20 Languages of the World: which second language will get you talking to the most people?
Which are the most religious countries?

August 25, 2009 Comments disabled