Voices From Russia, Too

Sunday, 13 October 2013

13 October 2013. Our Great Russian Motherland… Buddhist New Year in Chita

00 Buddhist New Year 2013. Chita RUSSIA. 13.10.13

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Did you know that Buddhism is one of the Big Four traditional religions in Russia (the others are Orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism)? It’s strongest in Kalmykiya, Tyva, and Buryatiya, but there are also large communities in the Altai RepublicTrans-Baikal Krai, and Irkutsk Oblast. The above image is of Buddhist Lunar New Year in Chita, in Siberia. Estimates vary as to numbers, ranging from 700,000 to 2 million (the total, including the non-observant, is probably closer to the higher figure). It’s all Russian! It’s all ours, or none of it’s ours. Think on it.

BMD

Saturday, 8 December 2012

8 December 2012. The Work of Skilled Hands… The Animal Sculpture of Sergei Bobkov

00 Sergei Bobkov. Animal sculpture. 08.12.12

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00a Sergei Bobkov. Animal sculpture. 08.12.12

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00b Sergei Bobkov. Animal sculpture. 08.12.12

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Everyone who comes to the studio of Sergei Bobkov (1957- ) feels that they’re in the forest. The talented Russian sculptor crafts very realistic creations with Siberia pine shavings and his golden hands. He said, “It isn’t fun to do what everyone else is doing. To create something out of nothing is more interesting”. His workshop is in a cellar of a local school in the settlement of Kozhany in Balakhtinsky Raion in Krasnoyarsk Krai, 207 kilometres (129 miles) southwest of Krasnoyarsk. Bobkov received a patent on manufacturing art sculptures made of cut chips; he spent four months and used about 50,000 pieces of Siberian pine to create a sculpture of a marmot. That is, Bobkov’s a true rural craftsman from out in the sticks (not a criticism)… he’s not an urban phony with an “atelier” in a loft and a put-on cornpone attitude.

Skilled craftsmen have always fascinated me. I speak as someone who’s rather clumsy, to be frank, except in the kitchen. Ergo, to see people creating with their hands is absorbing. To see something take shape under the skilled hands of a master of whatever craft is one of the most thrilling things in the world. Such people are often “silent sorts”… you can get them to talk after some “persuasion”, but the best practitioners are rather modest about it all (“You should’ve seen my teacher”). I’ll be blunt… these folk are “salt of the earth” and some of the best people that I know. Remember the statement over Christopher Wren‘s tomb, Lector, si monumentum requires… circumspice (Reader, if you seek his monument… look about you)”. You could say that about ALL true craftsmen.

This is truth… I dedicate this (and all my posts on craftsmen) to the memory of a friend’s brother… a trusty man who loved to work with his hands. He was honoured by solid working folk at his death… not all those who knew “what’s what” are in Who’s Who… and many who ARE in it are clueless twits and affluent layabouts. God WILL separate the sheep from the goats, won’t He?

BMD

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

20 November 2012. More Soviet “Extremism”… From Children’s Books by Valentin Kataev Still in Print

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The lunatic attempts by some to label the Soviet periodextremist” are laughable in the extreme. Look at the above… they don’t seem too “extremist” to me. Many contemporary Russian people like Soviet-era kid’s books and pop music, they find them more positive and optimistic than some of the Western-oriented crapola out these days. If I had to choose between Valentin Kataev or Mikhail Prokhorov, there’s no contest! Most of those who’re trying to label the Soviet era “extremist” are rightwing extremists themselves… none dare call it hypocrisy…

BMD

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

3 January 2012. RIA-Novosti Presents: Novy Ierusalime Monastery

In 1656, Patriarch Nikon founded Novy Ierusalime Monastery as a patriarchal residence near Moscow (today, its part of Moscow Oblast). The stone wall with towers dates from 1690-94, and the Over-the-Gate Church from 1694-97.

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The restored dome of the Underground Church of Ss Constantine and Yelena, Equals-to-the-Apostles.

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A hall in the New Jerusalem historical, architectural and art museum. On the left is a gold-embroidered 18th century felon, the sleeveless overgarment in the ritual vestment of Orthodox Christian priests; on the right is a felon sewn from the skirt of Tsaritsa Yelizaveta Petrovna.

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A museum hall containing 16th and 17th century icons.

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00.001e Novy Ierusalime revised

A museum hall containing precious objects made of Meissen porcelain from Germany.

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A modern replica of Patriarch Nikon’s table with a 17th century inkstand and an old Gospel.

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A corner in a five-walled izba that was originally in the village of Vykhino, it once belonged to Kokorin, a prosperous peasant.

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00.001h Novy Ierusalime revised

The “Red Corner”, a place for religious icons, in a genuine rural izba, one of the exhibits at the wooden architecture museum on the premises of the Novy Ierusalime Monastery.

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At present, the churches of Novy Ierusalime Monastery are under reconstruction.

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29 December 2011

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/photolents/20111229/170547667.html

Editor’s Note:

There’s a reason why there’s an izba museum on the grounds of Novy Ierusalime Monastery. Patriarch Nikon Minin was of peasant background, and he never forgot that fact. Indeed, it was the state, not the Church, that was violent in forcing the Nikonian reforms; this ham-fisted approach led to the rise of populist preachers such as Avvakum Petrov, which led to the growth of the so-called Staro-obraztsy (Old Ritualists, usually mistranslated as “Old Believers” in the West). You’ll note that one of the distinguishing marks of the semi-heretic konvertsy is their overblown affection for Old Ritualists (and Uniates, too). The Old Ritualists are outside of the Church of Christ… full stop. They left of their own accord. By now, most of them have degenerated into semi-Protestantism, even those who’ve retained externals of Orthodox ritual. There’s little to choose between a Khlyst, a Molokan, or a bezpopovtsy Old Ritualist (the popovtsy retained Orthodoxy’s essence more so than their priestless brethren have). So, beware the ignorant rantings of konvertsy on Old Ritualists (and Uniates)… it’s one of the signs  that the konvertsy are going to leave us… we’re not “loving” enough, you see. Crazy world, ain’t it?

BMD

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