Entertainments fulfill our lives with emotions and background which help us to go through rough times. Nowadays when the majority of people are isolated because of lockdowns, it`s nice to remember our «old good days» and plan the coming future without any restrictions, that`s why we decided to share five typical Russian ways of entertainments to give you an idea how to spend time being Russian.
If you think that tea is just an ordinary product of everyday life, it means that you have never been to Russia. Russians love tea and this love is incredibly strong. A cup of tea during breakfast, a cup of tea when people come to work, a cup of tea during the work day because tea gives energy, a cup of tea when it`s cold because you need to warm up, a cup of tea if there`s nothing to do…As you can see Russians find a lot of reasons to drink tea. It`s especially remarkable for foreigners who don`t get used to such a big amount of tea or prefer coffee. Also, we should mention that during tea drinking (чаепитие) candies, biscuits, cakes etc. are served to make this time spending better. At schools for children or just at home tea drinking are regularly organized to give people an opportunity to talk in a good company while drinking nice hot tea and eating tasty candy. Would you like to experience the Russian tea drinking?
Of course, reading is not national Russian entertainment. But books in Russia have a specific power which can`t be understood even by Russians. Despite the worldwide trend of setting technologies books remain the most favorite way to spend time even if there`s luck of it. If you take subway in Russian cities, you definitely see a lot of people in trains who read books. For many foreigners this picture of bunch of people holding in their hands paper books, e-books, tablets during their way to work or to university, is unusual because this scene looks like as if people are in a park or on the beach. It`s also interesting to observe how a person who sits near a reding man or woman begins to read the book of this person. So reading is a very popular entertainment even when it can be done in the subway.
Gathering of berries and mushrooms
I`ve lived in Germany an entire year and I remember the day in autumn when I asked my friends whether it was allowed to gather berries and mushrooms in forests. My friends looked at me so as if I was absolutely crazy. They explained me that almost all western people go for a walk-in forest and they ignore gathering berries and mushrooms because they can buy them in supermarkets or markets. In compare to this Russians can`t imagine their lives without it. Nature gives people invaluable source of food and vitamins which can be obtained for free. We strongly advise you to ask your Russian friends or your Russian family to bring you to forests where you can experience gathering berries and mushrooms and spend time in a Russian way while going through a nice landscape with a basket in hands.
YouTube is full of videos about Russians who of theirs own free will jump into ice-hole during winter. Usually, foreigners ask just one question: Why? Well, we can`t say that this entertainment suits to everyone or that all people like it but jumping in ice-holes needs a good preparation. To know how to do it properly there`re a lot of organized clubs for people where they are trained to breath or where they are explained how to regulate the temperature of water while they get used to ice-water at home. After all these preparations people find a place where they can have their ice bath and where they go with friends to. This kind of entertainment is pretty specific so don’t try it alone.
After long, dark and cold winter when the spring comes and the sun shines more often it`s typical for Russians to have picnics outside cities. People are full of excitement to spend time outside, to feel the power of nature and to relax while eating a tasty shashlik (шашлык). This special way of cooking meat isn’t the same as grill or barbeque and usually is cooked by men because there`s a proverb that shashlik doesn`t like hands of women. Except shashlik people take a lot of vegetables, fruits, sauces, candies, drinks (and of course, tea) to spend the whole day outside and to cook on the fire. Also, people play different sport games or cards when somebody cooks. When the weather is good and warm people can also swim in lakes or rivers because this type of picnic (in Russian it`s called «поехать на шашлыки») usually is organized somewhere near water. The best spot for shashlik is a forest near lake. So this way of entertainment is the most relaxed and probably all of you would like to experience this.
Today it is hard to imagine tea drinking with a big group of friends or picnic with family or friends because our lives have transformed dramatically during last year. But as the history shows, after all bad and dark times the life become better and better. So, we believe that very soon we will be able again to have fun and we will have a big choice of entertainments. Now you have a bit of time to know some Russian ways of spending time and who knows! maybe you will organize something in a Russian way. We hope, you enjoy our article!
Author: Alexandra Shilovskaya