It seems like no one wants to talk politics here. Okay, not no one, but, often, if I try to instigate a conversation that involves politics, or make a comment deploring the current rise of the right-wing across the Western world, people will proactively suggest “let’s not talk about politics”. When figuring out which topics appeal to my tutees, a reply that I have had on more than one occasion is “anything but politics”, as they crinkle their noses at this, a most dull and uninspiring subject. Continue reading “Why does no one want to talk politics..?”
I stumbled across the Moscow Museum of Modern Art [MMOMA] one snowy day in December. That day happened to be New Year’s Eve, a national holiday in Russia, but I felt so drawn to this place that I made the effort to return a few days later, when I was lucky enough to get free entry (for a week during the New Year holidays many public museums and galleries in the city offer free entry, and entrance to MMOMA is also free of charge on the 3rd Sunday of the month). Having previously explored the big names like the Tretyakov Gallery and Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, I wanted to find somewhere that branched away from the vast murals and gilded icons that featured on the walls of such classical galleries, and MMOMA did not disappoint.
I have been converted. Having visited Moscow on several occasions when I lived in nearby Tver, I never felt particularly drawn to the city. I tried to love it, but each time I went I was let down. Face-control snobbery, expensive food, too big to properly get to know in one weekend, grey… Moscow had always seemed to me to be a very superficial and money-driven capital, the antithesis of the beautiful and culturally superior St. Petersburg in the North. But a recent visit to Moscow over the New Year completely changed my mind. Continue reading “Re-exploring and re-evaluating: Moscow”
New Year is the biggest holiday of the year in Russia. The equivalent of the British Christmas, New Year is a time to be spent with family, eating a lot of food and a time to look forward to the excitement of a fresh start when the clock chimes midnight. Christmas itself is celebrated on the 7th January, according to the Julian calendar, and is not regarded as the main holiday as it is in the UK, rather being celebrated as a religious holiday. And whilst the 25th December is just an average working day in Russia, I took advantage of my dual-holiday opportunity and attempted to create my own Christmas also. Continue reading “Celebrating the festive season”