Tag Archives: america/russia

Family ties

25 Jul

Here in the States, the middle name is just that—a name wedged between your given and your family name. It could be a place where important family or friends are memorialized. It could be the seeds of a secondary character trait. But for the most part, to know someone’s middle name merely shows how close you are to that person.

I was reading a piece of Avengers fan fic (don’t judge) when I came across this line:

Loki shook his head, “Midgardians are so unusual. The very idea of surnames…patronymics simply make more sense. You are always your father’s daughter, but you may not always be your husband’s wife. Something as intrinsic as a name should not change.” Loki’s face became oddly vacant, “It is your identity.”

I had to close my laptop as I was slapped with one of those rare a-ha moments. I’d never considered the purpose of a patronymic before, but that made complete sense. And it made sense why it would be found in Russian culture and not in American.

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People forgotten to the pages of history

11 Jul

The other day, between one of my many emotional breakdowns via Dreamweaver, I went looking through my external hard drive, just to reminisce through the Good Ole Days. 2009. Good times.
Before I moved to DC, I called Waipio Gentry, Hawaii home. Waipio is a suburb of Waipahu, which is one of Honolulu’s many, many branches. All of Leeward Oahu is Honolulu, and I won’t be convinced otherwise. And I suppose I should knock this out-of-the-way too: no, I don’t hula; no, I don’t speak Hawaiian; no, I didn’t go to the beach every day–I actually really don’t like the beach; no, I did not ride my pet sea turtle to school every day; yes, I did go to school.

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What’s more Cold War-ian than the mid-1950s?

30 May

About a month and a half ago, I saw a musical at the Russian embassy called Stilyagi.

The next week, I found myself in a conversation with my history professor about hipsters, both in the United States and from the film. I said, “I would just love to read an article that compared the stilyagi to real American teens. Something tells me they missed something. Obviously with the whole Iron Curtain and everything.”

My professor paused a moment and looked at me over the ridge of his glasses. “Why don’t you write it?”

We had a 10 page paper due at the end of the semester. I wanted to write about World War I, because outside of Russia, that’s kind of my schtick. But at his behest, I chose to do just that. Six weeks, two full Russian-to-English translations and thirteen pages later, I had my analysis of these two subcultures.

So, for our second-to-last article in Cold War Stereotypes month, I turned my paper into a (hopefully) easy to follow along PowerPoint. I even included my bibliography.

If you have any questions or need any clarification, please ask away!

EDIT: Video links fixed.

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