Our focus on Central Asia continues. Central Asia is a diverse land of fascinating history, complex politics, tourist-friendly cosmopolitan cities, and new study abroad programs in English. This issue provides info on travel, business, and education in the area. Feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions!
Pictured right are rug makers in the ancient city of Khiva. It will take three months working full time to complete a single rug.
Due to the record number of submissions for our upcoming issue of Vestnik, the Journal of Russian and Asian Studies, publication is expected to occur at the end of December so that the board can give careful consideration to all submissions. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in submitting papers may still do so for consideration for future issues.
Though it has gotten relatively little airplay in Russia, the most important story of this month will likely prove to be a new bill introduced that will provide "greater oversight" for NGOs. Proponents say it is a necessary antiterrorism measure. Opponents say that it will destroy civil society in Russia. SRAS has compiled a compendium to quickly introduce you to the issue.
In other news, United Russia is, as expected, leading in City Duma polls. The Yabloko block and Rodina are also expected to gain seats.
Moscow is restructuring its telephone numbers. Find out more here.
Lastly, for more info on the chemical spill now affecting Siberia, click here.
Erik Owen has certainly made the most of his time in Russia and Central Asia. Originally a Peace Corps volunteer serving Samara, he is now part owner of Central Asia's only chain of hotels, the Malika. In addition, he arranges travel services and oversees grants given from several organizations to the rapidly developing area. How did he do it? He recently shared his experiences and thoughts with SRAS. Click here to find out more.
Pictured above is a caravan sarai located in Bukhara not far from the Malika. The sarai was used by silk road tradesmen for lodging and there were special rooms to safely store their wares. Today, it is still used for business and storage.
One of the hardest things to teach a journalist is how to effectively work within a foreign culture. The Tver Media Project takes a pragmatic approach to this problem by teaching students a foreign culture from the inside out and guiding them in finding and reporting real stories. This is a program meant to train journalists for the 21st century.
Language as a Career is a practical course specifically designed to turn the language skills of intermediate and advanced speakers of Russian into marketable, professional tools. Students will not only study Russian and a professional trade such as translation, pedagogy, or journalism, but also put those skills to work in real professional situations.
The Central Asian Politics Program at The Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research is designed to provide students interested in the valuable but volatile Central Asian region the opportunity to take advanced region-specific courses. These are offered as part of the university’s newly formed Central Asian Politics major. Thus, program participants will enroll in and attend classes with other KIMEP students. Participants may select semester or academic year programs and enroll for full course loads of 18 credit hours (6 courses) per semester. All courses are taught in English. Graduate and undergraduate credit is available.
Almaty is the former political capital of Kazakhstan and continues as its economic heart. A booming economy has drawn a cosmopolitan populace and helped create university programs taught entirely in foreign languages (esp. English). Almaty, whose history wraps from ancient encampments, to a silk road oasis, and all the way to space flight, makes for a fascinating semester of study or post-semester travel.
As part of our broadening programs in Central Asia, we have provided new information on Almaty, including a new student city travel guide and information on KIMEP (see above).
John Rose, a successful advertising executive in Moscow, has recently published The Vodka Cookbook, which is truly a celebration of inebriated food. The book, now on sale on Amazon.com, will feed you well on such "naughty foods" as Food Flights (soup-like shooters), Loaded Doughnuts, and Glazed & Confused Chicken. Featured on our site now is a recipe from the book for Vodka Berries Romanoff.
You can see John’s Food Blog for free at http://www.cookingwithvodka.blogs.com (which includes many more free recipes) and read an interview SRAS took with John way back in the day before he was a famous celebrity.
This topic is doubly pertinent this month, as Thanksgiving (День благодарения) has just passed, but also because many charities (благотворительные организации) are likely to be affected by the new law on NGOs. The linguistic connection that Russian makes between charity and thanksgiving is an interesting one, perhaps even better developed by the expressions "спасибо на хлеб не намажешь" (you can’t spread thanks on bread); and "из спасибо шубы не сошьешь" (you can’t sew coats of thanks). These expressions were generally used (they are not in wide circulation today) by the poor to the rich after having performed a service, reminding that one should not just say thanks, one should do something or give something to express thanks.
Одним "спасибо" сыт не будешь (One "thank you" is never enough)
Доброе слово и кошке приятно (Even a cat likes a kind word)
Спасибо вашему столу от нашего (Thanks for the meal)
Дареному коню в зубы не смотрят (Don't look a gift horse in the mouth)
Своя рубашка ближе к телу (Charity begins at home)
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