Moscow Stories and Tips

The Russian World

A golden spire of Moscow State University. Photo, Moscow, Russia

The Russian world is the world that Russian men and women have created and lived in through centuries of history. The achievements and failures of those centuries have moulded the institutions, the art, the religion, the economy, the landscape, and the people of the "Russian nation." What were those achievements and failures? What is the character of the country and the people who have experienced them? What is the "Russian spirit" that runs through the history of Russia? Why is it not always understood by the non-Russians?

To answer all these questions, let us first look more closely at the Russian landscape--a strange, evocative area with a wild, desolate beauty of its own. The beauties of nature still retain much of its rural charm despite the Industrial Revolution. Russia's spaciousness has helped to shape both the history of the Russian nation and the philosophy of the Russian character.

But Russians have not always been conscious of the history that surrounds them. To be more exact, in Russia, not only was the traditional way of life destroyed (during a great number of conflicts), but also, as a result, so many priceless works of art were lost. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. And now, from traditional church ceremonies to restored country houses in the suburbs, we have gradually come to believe that, at every level, we should try to revive and remind ourselves of that culture and history.

On the other hand is the philosophy of the national character: the knowledge--unconsciously assimilated since childhood--that Russia is one of the most powerful countries in the world encourages a sense of security that could easily slide into one of superiority. The long centuries during which the land was invaded meant that there are could not be a continuity of tradition, however, the cultural activity even during all the war conflicts, was able to survive many ups and downs . . .

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