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Russia's Classical Culture

Russia's culture has been changing for many years now, but that does not change it rich and historical importance. Come take a peek at some of the most famous pieces from Russia's culture. What is culture? Culture is the sharing of a group of people's customs, beliefs, traditions, social expectations, music, food, and family structure. How do you think Russia's culture differs from ours?

Basic Information:

Official Language - Russian is spoken by 81% of the population

Minority Languages - over 100; most popular: Tatar, Ukrainian, Chuvash, Bashir, Mordvin, and Chechen

Religion - Russian Orthodox (15 - 20%), Muslim (10 - 15%), Christian (2%)

Food - 5 major components: potatoes, breads, eggs, meat, and butter

Holidays - Easter, Christmas, Weddings, Russia Day, and Independence Day (, 2011)

Music/Dance - opera, folk, religious, and ballet

(CIA Factbook, 2011)


Translation for Everyday Sayings:

The video to the right has the most commonly used sayings in Russia. Listen to the video and try to pronounce them. Who knows, maybe you will be speaking a new language before the end of the video!

Example of a Church

Russian Orthodox -5,000 churches
Catholic -83 parishes
Muslim - 800 parishes and mosques
Protestant -1,150 communities
Buddhism - 8 datsan monasteries
Jewish - 42 communities
(, 2011)








Family Structure

A typical Russian family is dependent on all of its members. Most families live in small apartments with 2 to 3 generations all living in the same place. Can you imagine living with your parents, grandparents, and siblings all in a room slightly bigger than your classroom? Also most families only have one child because the mother works a full time job and is also the only person in charge of the household chores and raising the children.

There is another family tradition that takes place in Russia. The way two parents name their children is a tradition of the family. The child's first name is their given name, which means the name given to them by their parents. Their middle name is a version of their father's name. For a boy, you add the ending "-vich" or "-ovich" at the end of the father's name. For a girl, you add the ending "-avna" or "-ovna" at the end of the father's name. The child's last name is the family name, which is the same way we decide our last names. (, n.d.)


Russian Ballet

The video to the right is a video of the rising stars of the Russian ballet. The Russian ballet was founded in 1909 by Serge Diaghilev. The company had 13 members and they were held to high standard of dance. Today, the Russian ballet is one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world. The video will show you why.
(, 2011)

Modern Music From Russia
The video below gives an example of what music in Russia sounds like today. Today's music fits into the pop and techno genres of music. This clip comes from a music competition that is very similar to our American Idol. Each singer comes on stage and performs their song of choice. The only difference is that the performers competing are allowed to have back-up dancers on stage. It is really entertaining to compare the clip to American Idol. Try it yourself; find at least three similarities and differences between the two shows.

Classical Russian Music
A majority of Russia's music started with composers that composed classical masterpieces. The composer of the song below is Johann Strauss II and the piece is called the Russian March. Strauss' best known work is entitled The Blue Danube. Listen to this piece and compare the music from the past to the current music of Russia. What do you notice? (, 2005)


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Religion in Russia. (n.d.).
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CIA World Factbook. Retrieved December 3, 2011, from

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Russian Pirozhki. (n.d.).
Google. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from,r:13,s:0

Russian Traditions. (n.d.). Advantour. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

Sofia Rotaru. (2008, January 7). YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

StepsGurl. (2010, August 17). Today's Stars of The Russian Ballet (2010) - Flames of Paris 1 - YouTube . YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

The History of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes 1909-1929. (n.d.). Russian Ballet History. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

TheMCoSSy. (2008, August 13). Russian March - Johann Strauss II - YouTube . YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

Tree Hugger. (n.d.). Google. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from,r:7,s:0&tx=49&ty=40

Page Created by Jackie Pieroni ©
Created: 11/28/11
Last Modified: 12/9/11