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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Russia Series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 10 - Russia Day.
As many of you may be aware, Russia Day, or День России (Den' Rasii) in Russian, is one of the youngest national holidays. It's a holiday celebrating the birth of the new Russian State, and is celebrated every year on June 12.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- how do you think Russians feel about Russia Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Russia Day began in 1990, when the Declaration of State Sovereignty was adopted, and Russia acquired the status of an independent state. This holiday became a national holiday in 1994, and from 2002 it was officially named Russia Day.
On this festive day, in the St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, in Russian known as Большой Кремлевский Дворец (Bal'shoy Kremlefskiy Dvarets), the President of the Russian Federation traditionally presents National Awards to noted people in the fields of science, art and culture, for exemplary achievements in science and technology, literature, and art. A large reception is also held in the Kremlin, in Russian Кремль (Kreml').
Ordinary Russian people celebrate the holiday in different ways. They go to their country houses, to a cafe, or visit friends. Pretty much all cities organize concerts, festivals, and other holiday events. A traditional holiday concert takes place on the Red Square, in Russian called Красная площадь (Krasnaya Ploshchad'), which is located in Moscow. In some cities, there are so-called “Master Cities” where you can see masters of rare and ancient professions such as blacksmithing and pottery, called гончарное дело (gancharnae dela) in Russian, who demonstrate their skills.
Russia Day was initially called the Independence Day of Russia, but was renamed as a result of numerous arguments concerning from whom Russia gained independence.
So, coming back to our quiz, how do you think Russians feel about Russia Day?
Russian peoples' feelings about Russia Day are actually quite ambiguous. Older people remember the Soviet Union with nostalgia, and are wary of celebrating Russia Day, while younger generations heartily celebrate the new country’s birthday.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything new?
Does your country celebrate Independence Day or a day for your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!