Russia has a long and rich in events history that moulded the national mentality and gave birth to original Russian culture. It comprises Russian literature, poetry and folklore, Russian art, language, architecture, traditions and beliefs as well as superstitions, Russian cinema, TV and radio, music, ballet and animation. Russian holidays and national cuisine, clothing traditions, social etiquette, Russian sense of humour, proverbs and sayings, Russian marriage and Russian banya among other things.
The culture of Russia is both a point of pride for Russians themselves and a major draw for travellers who plan trips to Russia.
Russian culture a unique symbiosis of European and Asian traditions Russia has part of its roots in European culture. Russian culture started from that of the East Slavs, with their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded areas of Eastern Europe. Scandinavian Vikings, or Varangians, also took part in the forming of Russian identity and Kievan Rus' state in the late 1st millennium AD. Kievan Rus' had accepted Orthodox Christianity from the East Roman Empire in 988, and this largely defined the Russian culture of next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures.
Christianity not only modified the way of life. It became the source of inspiration for artists, writers, poets. The Bible themes and topics became the subject of famous works of art like Andrew Rublev's icons, Vasiliy Polenov, Vasiliy Surikov, Konstantin Makovsky paintings. The today's hits on international auctions, Faberge eggs are the Christian symbol of resurrection.
Novels of famous writers and poets from the classics like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov to modern ones like Lyudmila Ulitskaya and Lyudmila Petrushevskaya have either biblical motives, express religious seeking or meditations on spiritual, moral and ethical problems.
The religion introduced new holidays, modified common traditions and rituals. Many Orthodox cultural traditions are observant in modern Russia.
The Mongols conquered Moscow in 1234 and Kiev in 1240, and controlled Russian lands for over 200 years. That brought Tatar blood into Slavic mix, creating modern Russian nation. A mix of Slavic and Tatar blood also produced tall, strong, beautiful women. Russia arguably has the most beautiful women in the world.
When Moscow liberated itself from the Tartars in 1480, the modern Russian state was born. The Moscow Kremlin became an important centre for the Orthodox, as the "third Rome," in the 15th century at the fall of Constantinople. It's mission as the new centre of Christianity was to unite the people of the East and West.
At different points of its history, the country also was strongly influenced by the European culture, and since Peter the Great's reforms and Catherine's politics Russian culture largely developed in context of the Western culture.
For most of the 20th century, the Communist ideology shaped the culture of the Soviet Union, where Russia, or Russian SFSR, was the largest and leading part.
Russian art and architecture from icons and onion domes, Russian Lacquer Boxes and Nesting dolls to Petrine baroque, Russia's avant-garde and Stalin's monumentalism embody the ages of Russian history, culture and personality of the entire country and makes a significant part of the world cultural heritage.
The contribution of Russian culture into the world culture cannot be denied. The whole world admires the music of Tchaikovsky, enjoys reading Pasternak and Brodsky, amazes at the magnificent view of Kazansky Cathedral in St-Petersburg, gets puzzled by Russian mentality and does not miss the chance to try Russian borsch.
The revival of Russian culture is what the modern society is concerned of. This is not only the holidays and restoration of celebrating traditions, but the focus on the national cultural values and traditions in children's education and upbringing.
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