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Eddie: Hello, and welcome back to the RussianPOD101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Russian! This is All about Lesson 15 - All About Russia Quiz. I'm joined in the studio by...
Oksana: Hello everyone. Oksana here.
Eddie: So, today we gonna have a quiz and we’ll cover everything we have learned since the last quiz.
Oksana: Yes, we’ll be covering everything from important dates, history and a little culture too!
Eddie: Excellent! I cant wait to get started! What’s the first question?
Oksana: OK number 1. What did “Peter the Great” want Russian nobles to do?
a) to have a shower every day
b) to shave their beards off
c) to speak French fluently
Eddie: Hmmm. It certainly wasn’t “a”. I don’t think he’d be too interested in people’s personal hygiene, let alone trying to enforce it.
Oksana: OK, so that leaves “b” and “c”. What do you think?
Eddie: I’m going to go for “c”, to speak French fluently. I know French was very significant in Russian history.
Oksana: You’re right!
Eddie: I am? Great!
Oksana: No, you’re wrong about the answer.
Eddie: But you just said I was right!
Oksana: You were correct about French being significant in Russian history, but the actual answer is “b”, Peter the Great wanted the nobles to shave their beards off.
Eddie: I remember now! Yes, he ruled at the beginning of the 18th century and played a major role in bringing his country into the European State System. He reorganized his government on the latest Western models and insisted that noble people should wear European-style clothes and, as you said, shave off their beards.
Oksana: All of which most nobles disapproved of.
Eddie: I’m not surprised!
Oksana: OK so number two.
Eddie: Khrushchev wanted to grow what in Russia?
a) bananas
b) eggplants
c) corn
Oksana: “c” – corn. I knew this one.
Eddie: Correct!
Oksana: Khrushchev as a leader tried to put through a number of reforms, not many of which were successful. One of the best known failures was after a visit to the USA. Khrushchev insisted on creating of massive plantations of corn in the USSR without taking into account the climatic differences between Russia and the southern states of the USA.
Oksana: Funny sometimes how you can be so wrapped up in things that you miss the obvious.
Eddie: Yes, isn’t that what “Group Think” is? You look inwardly so much that you almost miss abundantly clear matters.
Oksana: Or as they say, you can’t see the forest for the trees!
Eddie: Exactly!
Oksana: OK so number three. What film Russians have been fondly watching at New Year’s Eve for more than thirty years?
a) The Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath!
b) Twelve Chairs
c) Brother
Eddie: I remember Twelve Chairs, this is a great movie to see. But I don’t think it’s associated with New Year.
Oksana: Correct.
Eddie: Correct? Oh hang on, you’re not catching me out on this one again! You mean Twelve Chairs is a great movie and it is NOT associated with New Year? So that is NOT the answer.
Oksana: Correct.
Eddie: I’m getting confused now, it doesn’t take much. I’m going to go for “a”, the movie with the strange sounding name, The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!
Oksana: Correct! And it’s also a truly wonderful and tradition movie for New Year. It’s a comedy where after a group of friends celebrate New Year’s Eve, one of them mistakenly ends up in a stranger’s apartment in Leningrad, whereas he should have been in his own apartment, in Moscow!
Eddie: After many incidences involving a jealous boyfriend, unexpected visitors and lack of public transport as its New Year’s Eve, he spends the night with a woman talking and getting to know each other.
Oksana: They fall in love, split up and get back together again. The movie is funny and sad at the same time and like many Soviet comedies, will give you a good insight of what life was like in the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev Era and especially the way Russians celebrated (and still celebrate) holidays.
Eddie: Hasn’t it also got a wonderful soundtrack?
Oksana: It really has.
Eddie: Ok next is number four. In a Russian Orthodox Church, female worshippers must cover…
a) their faces
b) their hair
c) their hands
Oksana: This one is “b”, their hair.
Eddie: That’s right. In an Orthodox church the service is always in Old Russian. There are no seats in Orthodox churches and one must stay standing. In the congregation men must remove any head gear as their heads must be uncovered at all times. For women, they must cover their hair and wear long skirts, certainly not trousers.
Oksana: OK so now number five. In Russian cuisine one of the most popular ingredients is…
a) cabbage
b) green beans
c) lettuce
Eddie: This one is “a” cabbage. It really is part of many traditional Russian soups like shchi and borshch.
Oksana: Yes and in addition to soups it’s very popular in main dishes. Not to mention pickled cabbage.
Eddie: Wow, I was never sure about the sound of pickled cabbage, then I tried it. It’s fabulous!
Oksana: Yes and it’s good for you too. OK so number six. Okroshka is…
a) a cold soup
b) a hot soup
c) a salad
Eddie: Gazpacho!
Oksana: What?
Eddie: Well, the answer is, “a”.
Oksana: Which is correct. But what is Gazpacho?
Eddie: The Spanish equivalent of a cold soup!
Oksana: Oh yes that’s right. Russian Okroshka is a cold dish as you rightly say. It’s a vegetable soup made of raw vegetables, boiled potatoes and eggs, meat and kvass.
Eddie: Kvass?
Oksana: Kvass is a traditional Russian bread drink, a mildly alcoholic beverage made from fermented black or rye bread. The ingredients are diced and then mixed with kvass just before eating.
Eddie: Sounds wonderful.
Oksana: So, question number 7. The 8th of March is…
a) the day when Russians celebrate the end of the Second World War
b) is a new holiday introduced to replace a Soviet holiday
c) is the day when women receive lots of gifts
Eddie: This is a trick question.
Oksana: No it isn’t.
Eddie: Oh yes it is!
Oksana: What makes you say that?
Eddie: Because if I get this wrong I’m in BIG trouble.
Oksana: A-ha!
Eddie: The answer is “c”. International Women’s Day
Oksana: Correct! In Russian it’s “Международный Женский День” and is celebrated on the March 8th.
Eddie: Even though it’s called “international” it isn’t celebrated much outside Russia and other former Soviet Republics.
Oksana: Yes. It’s the day when men need to remember to buy some flowers or a gift for their partner, but it’s also very common to buy flowers or chocolates for female friends, colleagues or teachers. If you send an e-card to your Russian female friend on that day, it’ll be highly appreciated! Children usually make little gifts at school to offer their mothers on that day.
Eddie: OK question number eight. Russian Christmas is celebrated…
a) in December
b) in January
c) in February
Oksana: The answer is “b”, January.
Eddie: Yes! Christmas became an official public holiday again in 1992.
Oksana: In Russian Christmas is, “Рождество”. Russian Christmas is not celebrated on the 25th December but two weeks later, on the 7th of January.
Eddie: This difference is due to the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar while the Russian state had switched to the Gregorian calendar.
Oksana: And now Christmas in Russia is not as widely celebrated as New Year’s. Many believers go to church on that day to attend the night service.
Eddie: Still a nice time though.
Oksana: It really is. Now onto number nine. In Russia, if a man opens and holds the door to let his female companion in, it’s considered-
a) good manners
b) sexist
c) stupid
Eddie: Why do I get the feeling like there’s always a trap being set for me?
Oksana: No trap Eddie!
Eddie: Hmm, I’m not so sure. Anyway, I’m well versed on this. I’m a total gentleman.
Oksana: That I will not argue with.
Eddie: The answer is “a”. Good manners.
Oksana: That’s right. That sort of thing is not considered “sexist” in Russia. If you are accompanied by a woman and don’t open and hold the door for her to let her in, you are being rude.
Eddie: As it should be everywhere!
Oksana: It’s also considered polite to get out of the car and open a car door for your female companion.
Eddie: Even when it’s very cold?
Oksana: ESPECIALLY when it’s very cold, Eddie!
Eddie: Which I would do anyway. Just checking.
Oksana: If a woman you know is carrying a heavy bag, you should offer to help her. If you ask a woman out, she’ll normally expect you to pay the bill.
Eddie: What if the woman asks me out?
Oksana: Is she likely to?
Eddie: I think I better move on! OK lastly, question number ten. If you whistle in someone’s house, according to a Russian superstition-
a) the host will have a lot of luck
b) the host will lose all his money
c) the host will die
Oksana: Goodness.
Eddie: What?
Oksana: “c” is a bit drastic isn’t it? The host will die!
Eddie: Is that your final answer?
Oksana: No! My answer is “b”. The host will lose all his money.
Eddie: Correct! If you are invited to a Russian friend’s house, one of the worst things you can do is start whistling! It’s believed that if someone whistles in a house, the host will lose all his money!
Oksana: Excellent. That covers quite a few areas and things to remember.
Eddie: Yes it was great, a lot of fun and very useful too.
Oksana: Thanks for listening to this quiz brought to you by RussianPod101.com.
Eddie: Ok, thanks for being with us today. That`s all we have time for. Take care until next time. Bye for now!
Oksana: Всем пока! See you next time!