Sochi

Sochi, a city rebuilt for the 2014 Winter Olympics, is now a sunny beach holiday destination for many Russians. Situated on the coast of the Black Sea, close to the Caucasus mountains, the balmy climate and beautiful surroundings would suggest on paper that Sochi’s charm might last beyond the Games. But when I visited the city last weekend it struck me as something of a mirage – beautiful but unreal, and another superficial attempt to prove something about a nation’s economic status. Sochi is, in my mind, a perfect example of the hypocrisies and paradoxes that exist in Russian society, and indeed in many countries across the globe. Continue reading “Sochi”

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Russia doesn’t believe in Halloween

Halloween. A traditional holiday based on pagan tradition, a harmless excuse for a good party or an insidious subculture of satanic worship that will brainwash our children?

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love Halloween. At this stage in my life, I’d say it is my favourite celebration. Memories of guising, parties, scary movie nights, ducking for apples, pumpkin carving and, of course, planning that perfect scary costume, fill me with excitement each year as the 31st October rolls around. Continue reading “Russia doesn’t believe in Halloween”