Do you enjoy sihgtseeing in Russia's great cities? Or do you want to do something different on holiday? Are you looking for adventure? Russia is a dream country for adventure holidays. There are great trekking and hiking opportunities in many parts of the country. Most of the population live in central Russia, but here too,you can have your holiday of a lifetime. You can enjoy places of remarkable beauty in the snowy winter months or in the hot July sun.
If you want more adventure, you can go to the Caucasus in the south-west or the Altai mountains in the south of Russia. Both places are similar to the Alps. They are full of wild flowers in spring and early summer. Horse-riding and mountain biking are popular activities here in the summer months.
In the far east of Russia trekkers can explore the volcanoes and hot springs of Kamchatka. The far east of Russia is also a great place to see lots of wild birds and many different animals, including brown bears and, sometimes, the Siberian tiger.Birdwatching, sailing, canoeing and rafting holidays are all now available in Russia.
Among the forests, mountains and great rivers of Siberia, Lake Baikal is one of Russia's most spectacular places of natural beauty. Tourists from all over the world come here.It's a great place for fishing and hunting. Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world with wonderful,clean water.The lake is very clear. You can easily see fish swimming forty metres below you. There is a legend that a boat passenger once lost his watch in the water- and you can still see it on the bottom of the lake!
According to the census conducted in 2002, Russian people comprise 80 per cent of the 145.2 million people living in the Russian Federation. They are part of a huge community of more than 160 nationalities and ethnic groups.Although the official language spoken across the territory is Russian, local languages are very important too.Linguists have named about 150 different languages spoken in Russia. Each nation or ethnic group observes its own traditions and customs, and the five main religions are Orthodoxy,Catholicism,Islam,Judaism or Buddism.Peoples speaking Finno-Ugorian languages (e.g. Karelians, Mordovians, Maris, Komis,Khanty and Mansi) live mostly in the European part of Russia and are mainly Orthodox believers. Turkic and Mongolian peoples inhabit huge territories of Central Asia and Eastern Europe.Though the physical features of these peoples are very different, their languages are alike. Within this group, Tatars and Bashkirs are mainly Muslim, and Tuvinians and Buryats are mainly Buddhist. The Yakuts,who live the largest republic in the Federation, were converted to Orthodox Christianity in the 18th century, but strong elements of their animist beliefs survived. The Caucasian peoples who live in the republics of Adygeya,Ingushetia,Chechnya Dagestan are mostly Muslims,whereas most Ossetians are Orthodox. They speak about forty different languages and have their own traditions and customs,which are sometimes very similar. Slightly fewer than one third of a million people live in the North East and Far East, but they represent around ten language groups. Though they were converted to Christianity long ago, their traditional religion survived. The Koryaks Chukchis of this religion have much in common with the inhabitants of Alaska.
Until relatively recently, graffiti was considered to be an example of anti-social behaviour, the work of vandals. Nowadays, many of those ‘vandals’ are treated as respected artists, and some of them have made it in the world of business. Sue Clarke reports.
1. New Yorkers used to see the graffiti on the walls of poor neighbourhoods and subway trains as something menacing and example of urban decay. The scrawled names and slogans were seen as unsightly and aggressive, the work of vandals seeking to express their identities or even make a political point. Up to the 1970s, most New Yorkers hated graffiti, considering it as an eyesore that was illegal and punishable by fines.
2. Since those days, graffiti has changed a lot and it is no longer found only in the subway and the poor ghetto areas of the city. Nowdays, it has the status of ‘street art’ and you get graffiti in places where you wouldn’t expect to – in advertisement, on clothes, on toys, and even on the Wall Street Journal’s official website! In the early 1980s, there was a real craze for graffiti art and the sophisticated Manhattan art world had displays of street art in its galleries. The trend was short-lived – until the arrival of hip-hop music in the late 80s.
3. In her book, Subway Art, Matha Cooper says “Graffiti came back with hip-hop music and people are now appreciating it for its style, which they couldn’t back then, because they couldn’t get beyond the vandalism thing.” Hip-hop was originally black ghetto music, sung by young African Americans from the poor, run-down districts of Amarican cities. When it suddenly got to the top of the American music charts, hip-hop culture was spread, bringing graffiti with it.
4. Today, companies are starting to realise the appeal of graffiti in advertising. Kel Rodriguez, who used to spray New York subway trains, was the artist chosen to design the Wall Street Journal’s website and it is obviously done in graffiti-style. “Some of that graffiti feeling, that energy, sort of got in there,“ Rodriguez explained.
5. Many of this new wave of artists give lectures on developments in their art. Lee Quinones is having a lot of success in Europe and feels that European galleries and museums are more open to his art form. “They want to support an artist as he develops,” comments Quinones, who can get up to $10,000 for his paintings. Indeed, the Groninger Museum in Holland is one of the few museums in the world that displays and recognises graffiti as an art form.
6. Another artist, Blade, has his own website devoted only to the world of graffiti. This website has a ‘merchandise page’ where Blade sells things with his own original designs all over the world – everything from baseball caps to yoyos! Leonard McGurr, a street artist for 25 years, went from painting subway trains to designing and marketing graffiti-inspired clothes for young people. “Graffiti has been a story of survival,” he says. “There’s a way to benefit from your work without spoiling public property.” Ivan the Terrible Ivan Vasilievich (1533-1584) had a violent personality. As tsar, he definitely earned the name 'Terrible'. He was very cruel to anyone who argued with him. He killed thousands of ordinary people. However, that is not all there is to say about Ivan Vasilievich. Think about these questions:
When did the Volga become a great Russian river, all the way from its beginning in the Valdai hills to the Caspian Sea? When did the Russians move into Siberia? When did Russia have its first regular army? When did they print the first book in Russian?
All these questions have the same answer: in the second half of the 16th century, when Ivan the Terrible was the tsar. Ivan Vasilievich also started a friendly and positive relationship between Russia and England. This is how it happened. In 1553 an English sea captain, Richard Chancellor, wanted to find a way to China through the northern seas. He got as far as the White Sea but bad weather stopped him. He landed at the Russian port of Archangel. Ivan the Terrible invited Chancellor to Moscow.