Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Конспекты / Разработка внеклассного мероприятия по английскому языку “Tell me about Russia”

Разработка внеклассного мероприятия по английскому языку “Tell me about Russia”

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Разработка внеклассного мероприятия

Tell me about Russia

Цель: Формирование социокультурной компетенции, осознания культуры своей собственной страны, умения представить свою страну средствами иностранного языка, включение школьников в диалог культур.


  1. Образовательная. Применение на практике своих знаний о родной стране, её истории, о её сегодняшнем и завтрашнем дне, о достижениях выдающихся деятелей нашей страны.

  2. Воспитательная. Формирование у школьников понимания важности изу­чения иностранного языка в современном мире и потребности пользоваться им как средством общения, воспитание качеств гражда­нина, патриота. Эмоциональное восприятие родной культуры, осознание значимости культуры родной страны, её вклада в мировую науку и культуру.

  3. Развивающая. Развитие национального самосознания, стрем­ления к взаимопониманию между людьми разных сообществ, толерантного отношения к проявлениям иной культуры, умение взаимодействовать с аудиторией.

Оформление мероприятия: карта России, государственная символика, портреты выдающихся деятелей страны, изделия народных промыслов, национальные русские костюмы.

Формы работы: Диалогическая и монологическая речь.

Сюжет: Англичанка Стелла Маклайн и русский студент Иван Вологин летят на самолёте из Лондона в Москву. Стела интересуется Россией и говорит Владимиру «Расскажи мне о России…»

Stewardess: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you aboard KRAS – airlines, to Domodedovo Airport in Moscow from London. We are currently flying at an altitude of 11,000 me­ters. Our flight time today will be approxi­mately 3 hours and 30 minutes. We will arrive in Moscow at about 6 p. m. Fasten your seatbelts, please. But, when you are in your seat, please keep your seatbelts fastened at all times. The pilot is preparing for take off. Once we are in the air, we will be serving a light snack and something to drink. If there is anything we can do to make your trip with us more comfortable, please let us know. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the flight. Thank you for flying our company.

Ivan: Hello!

Stella: Hello! Are you fling back home?

Ivan: Yes, I am.

Stella: I’m going to Moscow on an exchange visit. My name is Stella Mcline.

I’m from London. I am a third-year student at London University. I specialize in History.

Ivan: Oh, I’m sure you will enjoy your stay in Moscow. I live in Moscow. My name is Ivan. Glad to meet you, Stella. How long are you going to stay in Moscow?

Stella: For two months.

Ivan: What places of interest would you like to visit?

Stella: I would you like to visit Kremlin, the Bolshoi Theatre and many other places. I don’t know much about Russian. Could you tell me about Russia?

Stella: With pleasure. But I don’t know where to start. May be to tell you about our beautiful nature, or about people? No, I guess let’s begin with history.

Student 1: In medieval Russia, Rus (980-1584) people were very close to nature. They settled on plains near rivers and lakes. These places contained a lot of fish, so that, not surprisingly, many Russians were skillful fishermen. Rus was rich in forests in medieval times and almost everything was made of wood. People lived in wooden houses, used wooden cutlery and made wooden furniture. There was even a wooden Russian tsar’s palace in the village of Kolomenskoye that was known as the eighth wonder of the world. Russian craftsmen built houses and churches using only axes and no nails. The diet of the people at this time was healthy, but not very rich. Russians grew wheat and rye. Grain was very important and the basic ingredient for black rye bread, buckwheat kasha and kvas – a drink that was also used as stock for vegetable soup. Black rye bread and buckwheat kasha remain popular; in fact black rye bread is enjoyed in many other countries today. Animals were very important to medieval Russians. Horses were used to plough and pull sokhas, cows gave milk and furs were high-value animal products obtained from the forests. Fur was a significant Russian export and it still is. Medieval Russians were pagan before 988 AD. They believed in many gods instead of one and were nature worshippers whose gods were associated with the sun, the thunder, the wind, animals and birds. Russian fairy tales are rich in supernatural characters like Baba Yaga, Kashchey, the firebird, etc. Goodness and kindness were regarded as very important features of human beings. Although old Russia was not a perfect world, it was a very human one.

Student 2. All Russian explorers were driven by the same belief, discovering new lands serves Russia and makes it stronger. Russian exploration started with Yermak soldiers conquering Siberia, and it continued with Russians settling in the Far East. From the Far East Russians went on to discover the lands known as Russian America: Alaska (which was sold to America in 1867 along with some islands), The Aleuts, The Commander Islands and other lands around the Pacific Ocean. The natives in these newly discovered places were often nomadic hunters. They lived alongside the Russians and benefited from the more developed Russian economy. The most famous Russian explorers are Semen Dejnev was a Cossack who explored North-Eastern Siberia and made its first maps in 1641-1643. Today there is Cape Dejnev in the Far East of Russia.

Vitus Bering headed two Kamchatka expeditions as a commander during the time of Peter the Great (1725-1733). The Bering Strait and the Bering Sea were discovered as a result. The Commander Islands in Russian America were also named after him.

Dmitry and Khariton Laptevs. These ordinary Russians took a very active part in the Great Northern Expedition (1733-1743). It was very risky, with difficult conditions, diseases and dangers. The aim of the expedition was to study the very Northern and Eastern parts of Russia. Lots of common people proved to be strong and dedicated on the expedition. The Siberian Sea was renamed the Laptevs Sea.

Faddei Bellinsgauzen and Michael Lazarev, these Russian skippers were the first explorers to reach the sixth continent of Antarctica in 1820. Many other explorers had failed to find Antarctica. In fact James Cook, a famous English explorer, said in 1744, “I’m convinced there is no land South of the Pacific.” Finding Antarctica was a great achievement, as were all the Russian discoveries.

Stella: How interesting! I don’t know that there were so many famous explorers. But I’ve read much about the role of Peter the Great in the history of Russia.

Ivan: Really? And do you know that …

Student 3. Peter I, or Peter the Great, was born in Moscow in 1672. He was tsar of Russia for 43 years. He was the first Russian emperor. Peter I made history in many ways. He was the first Russian ruler to travel in Europe. He went to Holland and saw new ways of making ships. The Dutch people were amazed to see this tall, strong man building ships with his own hands.

At the beginning of the 18th century, Peter I joined in the Great Northern War in Europe. He hoped to win some new lands near the Baltic Sea. He wanted to give Russia what he called “a window into Europe”. When he lost the Battle of Narva against Charles XII of Sweden, Peter I made his army stronger, gave his soldiers better weapons and won the Battle of Poltava.

Peter the Great built a powerful fleet of ships. He also made the rich people in Russia go to school and work for their country. Russia improved a lot and began to trade with other countries.

People remember Peter I for his victories in wars and the great changes he made to his country. He gave Russia many new things, including the city of St Petersburg, and helped the country to become the great power that it is today.

Ivan: The official name of our country is the Russian Federation.

Student 4. Russia has been officially known as the Russian Federation since 12th December, 1991. Before that Russia was one of the republics of the USSR. Its name was the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR).

Russia is the largest country on Earth. It is nearly twice the size of the USA and it spans ten time zones and two continents. Recent figures show that nearly 148 million people live in Russia, giving it the fifth largest population in the world after China, India, the USA and Indonesia. The people consist of around 130 different nationalities, the largest of these being Russians – with 81.5% of the total. The territory of Russia covers just over 17 million sq. km and its largest subject is the republic of Sakha-Yakutia at over 3 million sq. km. One of the smallest is Moscow at only 1,000 sq. km. Strangely, it is one of the most densely populated regions with nearly 9 million citizens. Evenkia is the smallest region of Russia in terms of the population and has only 18,000 residents. Russia now consists of 89 entities – “'subjects of the Russian Federation” – and within the constitution they appear in alphabetical order: 21 republics; 6 krays (territories); 49 oblasts (regions); 2 cities of federal significance: Moscow and St Petersburg; one autonomous oblast (autonomous region) and 10 autonomous districts. Each of the above subjects is further divided into raions (sub-regions) or administrative okrugs in Moscow. The latter are split into elementary administrative units. In the countryside these elementary units are typically called volosts. In Moscow the districts are broken down into upravas. At the present time every city in Russia has a Mayor and a Mayor’s office. On 13th May, 2000 7 federal Districts were created by presidential decree. This reform aimed to make the federation function in a more controlled way. It is the job of the President to appoint their representative in each district. The federal districts are: Central (around Moscow); North-Western (St. Petersburg); Volga (Nizhniy Novgorod); Urals (Yekaterinburg); Siberian (Novosibirsk); Far Eastern (Khabarovsk) and Southern (Rostov-On-Don).

Executive power in most of the regions is exercised by the highest official elected by citizens: the head of administration, the governor, the president, or the chairman of the government. However, a parliamentary system still exists in Udmurtia. In Dagestan, the head of state is elected by special representative assembly. In most krays, oblasts and okrugs, governors were elected for the first time in 1996-1997. Before that, the regions were ruled by heads-of-administration appointed by the President. The term of office is usually four to five years.

Stella: I know that the president of Russia is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, but I don’t know much about him.

Ivan: So listen …

Student 5. The President of the Russian Federation, known commonly as the President of Russia is the highest position within the Government of Russia. The president is elected every six years by a direct vote of the Russian population. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born October 7, 1952 is a Russian politician, and the current President of the Russian Federation. Putin was born in Leningrad. Putin graduated from the International Department of the Law Faculty of the Leningrad State University in 1975 and was recruited into the KGB. From 1985 to 1990 the KGB stationed Putin in Dresden, East Germany. Putin was appointed Chairman (or prime minister) of the Government of the Russian Federation by President Boris Yeltsin in August 1999. In May, 2012, Putin won re-election to the presidency for a third term, earning 66.3 % of the vote.

The Russian Flag first appeared in 1668. It was the symbol of Russia for more than 300 years. It reappeared as the modern flag in 1991. The flag has three wide stripes on it. The colours of the flag are symbolic. White is faithful and sincere, blue is honest and loyal and red is brave. When Russian people celebrate their national holidays you can see the national flag in all the streets, squares, official buildings, blocks of flats and houses in big cities, small towns and villages.

The Double-Headed Eagle is the emblem of Russia. Above the heads there are three crowns. The eagle carries a sceptre, the sign of state power, and an orb, the sign of unity. You can see St George on the breast of the eagle. It is the oldest Russian symbol of love for the Motherland.

Ivan: Look! You can see the eagle on the back of modern Russian coins.

Stella: I know some Russian cities: St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Ufa, Rostov-on-Don, Vladivostk.

Ivan: But have you heard about the Golden Ring of Russia?

Student 6. The Golden Ring is a group of ancient Russian towns and cities that form a curved line that begins and ends in Moscow. These towns and cities are an important part of Russian culture as they are places that have seen the main events of Russian history. A tour of the Golden Ring gives visitors the opportunity to learn about Russia’s past, culture and traditions.

Many people believe that the best way to travel around the ring is in an anti-clockwise direction. If you take the “classical” route, these are the towns and cities you would see in the order you would see them:

VLADIMIR – Vladimir was founded by Prince Vladimir Monomach in 1108 and became the capital of North-Eastern Russia in the 12th century. It is famous for its beautiful architecture and its peaceful atmosphere.

SUZDAL – Suzdal was established in 1024 and is one of the best-preserved towns in Russia. Visitors will see building styles from different epochs and will enjoy exploring the city on foot. If you like camping you can pitch your tent the banks of Kamenka.

KOSTROMA – Founded in 1152 and located on the Volga River, Kostroma was the birthplace of the Romanov Dynasty. It is well known for its Fire-Watch tower and the Church of the Resurrection.

YAROSLAVL – This town was founded at the beginning of the 11th century (1010) in the place where the Volga and Kotorosl rivers meet. The city has wonderful architecture and a heroic past. One of the main tourist attractions of this town is the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour.

ROSTOV THE GREAT – Founded in 862, this ancient Russian town is located on lake Nero. The Rostov Kremlin, the Cathedral of Assumption and the Bell Tower will impress visitors. The largest of the Rostov bells weighs 32,000 kg and the sound of its chimes can be heard for 20km!

PERESLAVL–ZALESSKY – Established in 1152 and halfway between Moscow and Yaroslavl, on the bank of the Pleshcheevo Lake is Pereslavl-Zalessky. In 1693 Peter the Great constructed a prototype of the first Russian fleet here. Now the lake has National Park status.

SERGIEV POSAD – Founded in 862 and named after Saint Sergius who founded the largest Russian monastery, The Holy Trinity – St. Sergius Lavra. The monastery contains a huge library of religious books as well as icons and other treasures.

Stella: I’ve heard that Moscow is the heart of Russian and Red Square is the heart of Moscow.

Ivan: Right you are.

Student 7. Moscow is an old city. Prince Yuri Dolgoruki founded it in 1147. In the early 12th century, Prince Yuri was Prince of Vladimir and Suzdal, and Prince of Kiev, too. In those days, Kiev was the capital of a country called Kievan Rus. Kiev was in the South and Vladimir was in the North, so it was difficult to live and rule in both towns at the same time. Yuri lived and ruled in Kiev and his son Andrey in Vladimir. Many years passed. Prince Yuri was an old man and he decided to visit his son. He and his men set off to Vladimir. Their journey was long and difficult. One day, when they were in a dark forest, Prince Yuri suddenly saw a large white cloud. The cloud slowly turned into a huge animal with three heads. Then, it disappeared. “It’s a sign!” said Prince Yuri’s adviser. “This is the place for a great city.” Everyone laughed at him. A few hours later they reached a small village on the bank of the Moskva River. The ruler of the place was boyarin Stepan Kuchko. He did not open the gates and a fight began. Prince Yuri and his men won the battle. It was then that the Prince said, “This is a place for a new town. I will build it here and call it Moskva”. Today, Moskva, or Moscow, is the capital of Russia and one of the most famous cities in the world.

Stella: What should be the starting point of my sightseeing?

Ivan: Red Square and the Kremlin. I think it’s the most interesting place in Moscow.

Stella: When was it built?

Ivan: Moscow began with the Kremlin. And it was founded in 1147.

Stella: I was told that the Kremlin had been rebuilt many times.

Ivan: Yes, it was. Originally the Kremlin was a fortress. Its walls are very high and thick.

Stella: What is the biggest tower of the Kremlin?

Ivan: Spasskaya. It often serves as a symbol of the country. We can hear the bells of the clock on the radio.

Stella: Just like Big Ben in London. May I go inside the Kremlin?

Ivan: Of course. You’ll see many interes­ting things there.

Student 8. Red Square is the heart of Moscow. It got its name in the 17th century. In old Russian the word red means beautiful. Red Square is very large. There are interesting landmarks in it.

In the centre of Red Square, by the Kremlin wall, you can see the Lenin Mausoleum designed by the architect Alexey Victorovich Shchusev. To the left there is the Spasskaya Tower, the tallest of the Kremlin towers. It is 67.3 metres high. The tower is famous for its clock, the Kremlin clock, made in the 16th century. The clock strikes every hour, half hour and quarter hour. The minute hand is 3.38 metres long.

In the square you can also visit the State History Museum and the State Department Store (GUM). The most famous building in Red Square is St Basil's Cathedral. There are eight smaller churches around the tallest ninth church. Next to the Cathedral, there is a monument to citizen Minin and Prince Pozharsky. They were heroes in the war against Poland in 1612. It was the first monument built in Moscow.

Student 9. Welcome to the Russian Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts. Its collections comprise about 40,000 exhibits representing wood carving, painting on wood, weaving, pottery and porcelain, embroidery, lace, finifit jewellery, painted lacquerwork and many other items from traditional Russian craft centres. Hand-carved and hand-painted figurines have always been popular. They were used as toys and for decoration. Here is a fine display of birchbark items from Northern Russia. The famous Khokhloma style is remarkable for its lavish patterns inspired by folk tableware. This style is distinguished by the characteristic gold background and fine brushwork.

The museum’s large collection of Russian lace from Vologda, Yelets and Mikhailov is fascinating. Russian lace makers have won recognition at international fairs for their masterpieces. Here you can also admire Pavlov-Posad shawls. Shawls have always been an important part of a Russian woman’s national costume. Although they originated in Kashmir, India, in the 18th century, Russian manufacturers started using worsted weaving yarn and producing their own cloth.

The pottery section displays a wide variety of shaped vessels and toys. The Dymkovo toys have extremely simple forms.They are painted in bright ornamental patterns against a white background.The tradition of Dymkovo comes to life in the figures of red-cheeked nannies and scenes of tea drinking and public merry-making. The display of pottery toys is complemented by those of Filimonovo and Abramtsevo.The Filimonovo toys have elongated shapes and are painted in green, yellow and blue stripes. The glazed toys from Abramtsevo have rather heavy primitive shapes.

The painted lacquerwork section displays items from all the major craft centres: Fedoskino, Palekh and Mstera. These items are known all over the world. The tradition of lacquer-painting came to Russia from the West. The craftsmen carry on the tradition of miniature painting which dates back to the 18th century. The items are painted in oil and to achieve a highly decorative effect, gold leaf, mother-of-pearl and metallic powder are used. Palekh articles are the most famous. Palekh craftsmen succeeded in developing a highly original painting style which includes a black background, gracefully silhouetted figures from Russian fairy tales, sophisticated colour schemes and exquisite ornamental patterns.

Student 10. Welcome to the Russian National Costume Museum. We hope you will enjoy your tour with us today. We will see a variety of national costumes that come from all regions of Russia. This is an example of an 18th century peasant shirt, kosovorotka, a very popular item of clothing that could be worn every day and on special occasions, at home and at work. Men wore shirts to their knees and women wore them to their ankles.

The next exhibit is a sarafan from the 18th century. The sarafan was either a sleeveless dress or a high skirt with stripes. Girls and young women wore it. Kokoshnik was worn in the 18th and 19th century. The materials used to decorate the headdress were gold, silver, pearl and decorative stones. Kokoshniks were very expensive and would be handed down from generation to generation. Please walk this way. What you see before you now are porti. These men's trousers are made of rough linen. In winter both men and women wore sheepskin overcoats, usually with fur on the inside, called polushubok.

If you look here you will see some bast shoes, lapti, which were worn over homespun onuchi – narrow strips of cotton wrapped around the lower leg – and valenki – felt shoes. Some peasants also had leather footwear: koty for women and leather boots for men.

Student 11. The Matryoshka Doll’s House. The Russian Matryoshka Museum is home to a collection of 400 Matryoshka dolls. These date from the 19th century up to the present day. The dolls are wooden with beautiful decorations. Some of them represent characters from Russian literature, fairy tales and politics. Most of the dolls have five to seven pieces, but some sets are really big and have fifty pieces. The biggest piece is one metre high and the smallest one is one centimetre high.

The Matryoshka doll came to Russia from Japan at the end of the 19th century. The first Matryoshka was a girl in a print dress, a white apron and a bright shawl, carrying a rooster under her arm. There were six other dolls inside her. The doll looked very Russian and soon became popular. The name Matryoshka came from the common Russian name Matryona. Today, Matryoshkas are made in many parts of Russia.

Stella: When did you start school?

Ivan: I started school at the age of seven.

Stella: What kind of school it is?

Ivan: It is an ordinary secondary school. It is not a specialized English or math school but we like it.

Student 12. The Russian Education System. Children start school when they are 6 or 7. They go to school for eleven years. The years are divided into primary (4 years) secondary (5 years) and senior (2 years).

The academic year begins on 1st September and finishes on 31st May. June is when the 9th and 11th forms take their exams. The academic year is broken into terms or quarters with three breaks. The summer holiday starts on 1st June and lasts for three months.

The school day normally starts at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at 3 p.m. There are some variations from school to school. Schools in big cities often have two shifts, as their buildings are not big enough to accommodate all the students at the same time. The school week is five or six days long. Young students have three to four lessons a day while older ones may have up to seven lessons.

The main school subjects are: Russian, Literature, Mathematics and History. Russian is a compulsory subject, but ethnic minorities have the right to teach in their own languages. English is the most popular foreign language studied in school. Other languages taught are German, French and Spanish.

Class size is usually 20 to 30 students. Primary teachers teach all subjects while subject specialists teach secondary and senior classes. Students are graded from 2 (unsatisfactory) to 5 (excellent). On rare occasions the mark 1 is given as a punishment. If a student has unsatisfactory results at the end of the year, they will be held back and asked to repeat the year.

Some Russian state schools specialise in a group of subjects, e.g. Maths & Physics, Biology & Chemistry. There are also vocational schools where children are trained for their future jobs (ballet dancers, musicians etc.) and have general education lessons alongside their training. Nowadays more and more schools use modern communications and media technologies as part of the courses.

Last but not least is the subject of fees. Until the 1990s all schools were run by the state and were free of charge. Now, however, some of them are private and charge fees.

Stella: Do you like poetry?

Ivan: Yes of course. My favourite poets are Lermontov, Pasternak, Vosnesensky, Evtushenko and many others, but they say that Puskin is our everything.

Student 13. Alexander Pushkin was born in Moscow on 6th June 1799. From a young age his nurse taught him all about Russian folktales and traditions. Alexander wasn’t a good student, but he loved to read and spent many hours in his father’s library. He wrote his first poem at the age of 8 and published his first poem at 15.

His work was very different from the other writers at the time and this often got him into trouble with the tsar and the government. For example, one of his most famous plays, Boris Godunov was only published years after he wrote it for political reasons.

After marrying a beautiful young girl called Natalya Goncharova in 1831 he continued to write. Millions of people consider his novel, Eugeny Onegin, his poem, The Bronze Horseman and his drama, The Stone Guest, to be masterpieces.

Alexander Pushkin was only 37 when he died. He played a great part in “The Golden Age of Russian Literature”. He’s Russia’s greatest poet and national pride.

I just recall this wondrous instant;

You have arrived before my face –

A vision, fleeting in a distance,

A spirit of the pure grace.

The storm wind covers the sky

Whirling the fleece snow drifts,

Now it howls like a wolf,

Now it is crying, like a lost child

Stella: What holidays are there in Russia?

Ivan: There are some holidays in Russia. They are New Year’s Day? Christmas, Women’s Day, Day of the Defender of Motherland, Victory Day and Independence Day.

Student 14. The greatest national holiday in Russia is Victory Day 9th May. The Great Patriotic War ended on this day in 1945. On that day, we celebrate the end of the war and remember the people who died for Russia.

The war lasted for four years. Soldiers fought all over the country: from the White Sea in the North to the Black Sea in the South. The Brest Fortress was the first to fight the Nazis on 22nd June, 1941. The Germans attacked Moscow many times. Leningrad – now St Petersburg – was under siege for 900 days. The battle of Stalingrad was one of the most important battles in this war.

There are a lot of monuments to the heroes of this war everywhere in Russia. The best known are the Brest Fortress, Mamayev Hill, Piskarev Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where an eternal flame burns.

Every year on 9th May, veterans who fought in the war take part in a parade. People give them flowers and then they all go to the monuments. There is a minute’s silence all over the country at 7 pm. This is when people pay tribute to those who died in this war. Victory Day is a holiday that unites all Russian people.

Shrovetide is an ancient Russian holiday which dates back to the 9th century. It begins a week before Shrove Monday, which is the last Monday before the 40-day fasting period of Lent. Shrovetide is the most cheerful of all Russian holidays. Not to participate in this holiday means to live in poverty for the rest of the year.

Each day of Shrovetide has its own rituals. They are:

MONDAY – People set up stalls selling pancakes, toys and crafts. A Shrovetide dummy is dressed in a sarafan and seated on a sledge. The sledge goes along the streets, inviting people to join in and celebrate the festival.

TUESDAY – People dress up in their best clothes and go out for tobogganing and pancakes. Young men look for their future wives and people kiss, dance and flirt with each other.

WEDNESDAY – Mothers-in-law invite their sons-in-law to try delicious pancakes. The sons-in-law bring gifts and sweet honey cakes.

THURSDAY – On this day there is more tobogganing along with plenty of fun. People play at fist fighting and capturing snow fortresses. They go to theatre performances, eat pancakes, drink and dance. FRIDAY – Sons-in-law invite their mothers-in-law to their homes for pancakes.

SATURDAY – Sisters-in-law receive guests.

SUNDAY – The Shrovetide straw dummy is solemnly burnt as a symbol of life’s victory over death. Ashes are scattered over the fields in order to have an excellent harvest in the autumn. In the evening, people forgive all offences so that everyone can meet the spring with a clear conscience.

Ivan: My Granny lives in the village and I want to visit her.

Stella: Is it far away from your town?

Ivan: No, it isn’t. It usually takes us an hour to get there. I’m looking forward to our trip.

Stella: You are lucky! What are you going to do there?

Ivan: We’ll celebrate Maslenitsa there.

Stella: Oh, it’s very interesting. I’ve never ce­lebrated Maslenitsa.

Ivan: My parents usually invite their friends and relatives and we eat pancakes with honey, sour cream, jam.

Stella: It’s a wonderful tradition. Do you have fires?

Ivan: Yes, of course. After the party we burn straw scarecrows of winter, sing songs and dance.

Stella: I see you have a lot of fun in the village. It’s my dream to take part in such a ce­lebration.

Ivan: OK. Will you join us?

Stella: Thanks. That’s a good idea. I’d like to try Russian cousin.

Student 15. The Russian cousin is rich and varied. A lot of dairy products are used, such as tvorog (dry granulated cream cheese), smetana (thick sour cream) and kefir (a yoghurt-like drink made from cow’s milk, yeast and lactic acid bacteria)

Typical Russian meals start with hot and cold appetisers. These are followed by soup, the main dish, and then dessert. The appetisers we recommend are: salmon, hot and cold smoked sturgeon, pike perch stuffed or in aspic and herring or red herring. The cold meat dishes we suggest are: ham, lean boiled pork with spices – buzhenina, jellied tongue, and meat jelly. These dishes can be served with horseradish sauce and various salads. The most popular soups in this restaurant are borshch and solyanka. For the main dish there is a great choice: fried burbot or carp, meat dishes such as beef stroganoff with mashed potatoes, golubtsy, pelmeni, Russian shashlyks and grilled piglet. Poultry and game dishes include chicken Kiev, roast duck and goose stuffed with apples, roast partridge, hazel-grouse, wood-grouse, blackbird, pheasant and quail. All these dishes are juicy and tender. Dessert comes next. Our customers can enjoy baked apples, fruit and berry kisel, compote, aromatic melons and watermelon from the estuary of the Volga. Baked pies have always been popular in Russia, and there is a wide selection available.

As for drinks, there are some wonderful fruit and berry beverages called mors and kvas. Kvas was invented over a thousand years ago. It is similar to beer in alcohol content and is made from malt or fresh/dried rye bread. Many people still enjoy drinking it today.

Tea was introduced to Russia in 1640 when the Russian ambassador boyarin Vasily Starkov returned from the Mongol horde and brought a gift of 200 tea packages, 500 grammes each, to tsar Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov. It was praised for its medicinal powers and ability to refresh and to purify the blood. Starkov himself didn’t like the taste of the drink but he feared the tsar's anger and brought it to court. There are different legends about the way Romanov felt about the exotic foreign drink. One of them claims the tsar liked it and exclaimed "More!" But many historians hold the opposite opinion because tea trade did not start in Moscow until 36 years later. The next shipment of tea arrived from China. In 1679 Russia and China signed a special tea treaty. In the beginning tea was very expensive and only rich people could afford it. Also very few people knew the secrets of its brewing.

Traditionally, common Russian people drank forest herbal teas – vzvars – made of herbs, dried leaves and fruits. But very soon tea had become very popular, and now Russians could not imagine their lives without it. It was also noted that tea would keep one awake during a long church service.

By the 18th century, tea was part and parcel of Russian life and had become very much a national drink. Family affairs were settled around the tea table. Asking one to sit down to tea became a traditional sign of hospitality. Tradition demanded that the water be boiled in a samovar if possible. Russian tea is served with a lump of sugar and lemon, along with various jams and preserves, honey and Russian cookies or pies. People in the West even call tea served with lemon Russian tea.

Stella: How do Russians spend their spare time and holidays?

Ivan: Like people of other nationalities some Russians like sports and games, other enjoy gardening or collecting different things, but there are three typical Russian things: banya, dacha, Sochi.

Student 16. Public baths are popular in many countries. All nations have their own ways of bathing: Finns go to hot, dry saunas; Turks prefer cool, damp Turkish baths; Russians love hot, steaming baths which they call banyas. A traditional Russian bath is made of wood and has two rooms: a sweating room and a lounge. The sweating room has a big oven filled with stones. A fire heats the stones so that they become red. Then, people splash them with water. In the water there are herbs, leaves or flowers. That makes the steam smell wonderful. People sit on sweating shelves, which look like stairs with four or five wide steps. The higher the shelf, the hotter the steam. Bath-lovers also hit their bodies with twigs from trees. This makes their skin look fresh and young. Russians often spend hours in the baths. They sweat in the sweating room, then wash in the shower room, and have breaks in the lounge where they drink tea and chat. Some bath-lovers enjoy jumping into a cold pool or even an ice-hole after sweating. In Russia, where the winters are long and cold, baths are very important. They help people become stronger and healthier. Why not try a traditional Russian bath and see how you feel?

The city of Sochi is a popular Russian holiday resort on the Black Sea coast. It is about 1,500 miles south of Moscow. The city is famous for its warm weather, beautiful landscapes, golden beaches and health spas.

Every summer, more than 1.5 million visitors from Russia and abroad spend their holidays there. People travel to Sochi by both air and sea. It has got an international airport with flights to most major Russian cities, as well as Europe. Its port has a directsea link with Turkey, Greece, Georgia and Ukraine. Most tourists visit the city in the summer, but the winter season attracts skiers to the Krasnaya Polyana resort. As well as skiing, visitors can enjoy hunting, fishing and mountain climbing. There are also lots of festivals in Sochi and every year in June there is the international film festival. In the evening, Sochi is alive with colourful street cafes and restaurants where you can eat delicious food at reasonable prices. Sochi is a city that has got something to offer everyone. Whether you want to spend time on the ski slopes or at the beach, Sochi is the ideal choice for you.

Many Russian people have a plotof land out in the country called a “dacha”. They often have a small house there where they can relax or grow fruit and vegetables in the garden.

Dachas are usually a few kilometers outside the city. So Friday evening and Saturday morning thousands of cars, buses and local trains carry millions of people to their dachas outside the city. People carrybags, backpacks and small carts with what they need for a relaxing weekend at the dacha. You can often see cats and dogs in the cars as people usually take their pets with them.

People spend their weekends at their dachas during the spring, summer and autumn. During the spring people clear the garden. Many people plants vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and potatoes while others prefer to grow flowers. In the summer, families swim and fish in nearby lakes and rivers. They also pick fruit and berries which they use to make jam. Autumn is the most beautiful season on the dacha. All of the trees, grass and plants are green, red and yellow and there are a lot of colourful flowers.

During the long, cold Russian winters, people can't wait to return to their dachas. There they can relax and get away from and the busy city life.

Student 17.

Remember, Russia, you are great

Not in the field of battles past

But in the green fields full of wheat

And forests, gardens, free of dust.

I love you deeply, dear land,

Your hills and rivers, sand on strand

Your songs and dances, lakes and seas

Your beasts and fish, birds in trees.

Your sunrise in a splendid sight

Which gives me always such delight!

L. A. Khusainova

Stewardess: Ladies and gentlemen, our flight is over. I hope you will enjoy your staying in Russia!

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