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In front of St Basil’s, 2005

My name is Janey, I am a Russophile: meaning I am obsessed with all things Russian and Slavic. My heart and life has forever been changed by the rich culture, the sincere and loving people and the omnipotent enigma that is Russia.

Right now I am currently an instructor of Russian in two universities, where I teach beginning through advanced Russian. I have also taught Russian Phonetics and Phonology class, conversation classes and will soon be teaching a class called “Russia in the Headlines.” My specialty is in Second Language Acquisition and Russian teaching but I have a deep love of the literature, culture, cuisine and other Slavic languages as well. I have started and plan to flesh out a Youtube channel where I teach Russian like I do in my classroom. Below you will find the story of how my love for Russia started and how my love and this blog has evolved over the years.

My About Me as written in 2006

I went over to teach English, not knowing any Russian, thinking it would just be a nice break from school, only to have my entire world shift as Russia became my mortal center of gravity.  On the first day there I fell madly in love and my life has since been made up of my struggles in Russia, or my struggles to survive while out of Russia.

 

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With my teachers: Nadyezhda Yurevna and Tatiana Mikhailovna

I taught myself Russian, saved money and went back to study at MGU in the Philology faculty.  I studied there for a year, left my stuff and heart in Moscow while I went home for a summer break in 2005.  Some things fell out of place and wasn’t able to go back, and have been wandering around heart and joy-less since.

 

Me in front of my university, MGU

In front of my university, MGU, 2007

It has been 2 years since my return to America. I’m married now and settled and happy, but still a little empty.  I am lost without Russia, this blog has been an attempt to grapple with the distance, a way of cradling what I do have of Russia, and a way of frantically scrambling for anything more to cradle.  Russia has been the one pursuit in my life that has not fizzled, in fact it has only flared and flourished.  It continues to give me a deep joy and purpose.  In order to wake up in the morning, I bribe myself with promises of blog-writing, Russian-mongering.

 

Me and my husband on the Moscow River, 2007

To think of the impassioned arguments I’ve had with my husband about why he feels I will never love him the way I love Russia.  And it’s true.  I probably won’t.  The relationship I have with Russia is almost an abusive one, I can’t live with or without her.  She beats me up, tears me to shreds, rips me off, and wrings my soul dry of all its love, she doesn’t even notice when I’m gone and just seems to go on living without me.

 

And yet  the happiest moments of my life have been there, with her.  I felt a depth of love that I never knew possible, living in Russia.  And when I had to leave I honestly felt empty and lost and utterly disparaged.  In fact, I cried so hard I popped a blood vessel in my right eye and half of my eye was all freaky red for like a month.  And it still flares up when I cry a lot, which is usually because I’m missing Russia or don’t get enough sleep, which usually happens because I’m up thinking about Russia.  At least once a week, I drift off in to a kind of daze, wherein I pine for Russia.  I pine for the times I had there, even the rough ones.  I pine for all of the things I hated about the place, I pine for the cruelty and manipulation.  I pine for that vulnerability that comes when you completely give your heart to something.  Russia has power to bring me the highest levels of joy, and the darkest levels of despair.  Just like your loved ones do.

Love gets deeper and stronger when you grow and suffer together.  I grew and suffered with Russia.  I know I’m suffering now, but I don’t know if I’m growing any, I think Russia is growing up without me.

I know I’ll never go back to live like the way I did before.  But I refuse to let this deep love and passion that I have for the place, the capacity that I have for the language and the insatiable hunger for more, go to waste.  If you feel such strong love for something or someone you can’t just walk away from it simple because it forces your heart to stretch.

With my youngins

About Me as of 2013

I love my life. I’m now 29 and I have two kids. I am almost finished with my Master’s Degree in Teaching Russian.  To add insult to injury I’ve now also fallen deeply in love with Ukraine and Ukrainian. You can find many of my posts on that here.But don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I love my babies and although I do pine for the adventures of language learning and travelling I am so grateful to be right where I am. When things settle down with my new baby and writing my thesis I plan to do a lot more blogging so that I can share my love with other Russophiles. I still dream of someday taking my family to live in Ukraine (I find it slightly more inhabitable and foreigner-friendly than Russia). In the meantime I remind myself of this quote by Dr Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

About Me as of 2016

Not much has changed. I now have three kids and am in my 6th year of teaching Russian.Teaching has been the perfect outlet for feeding and sharing my Russia obsession. I can’t describe how happy it makes me to see my students start to fall in love with Russia the way I did so many years ago.

I have also recently taken an interest in Polish, but Russian is still my first love. I still dream of doing a Ph.D in Slavic Languages and Literature and hope that that dream will become a reality sometime in the next 5 years. In my spare time I like to read Russian literature and perfect my Russian recipes. I’ve also developed a bit of a weakness for Ukrainian reality tv shows (it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure).

Lviv profile

Learning Ukrainian in Lviv, 2011

View More: http://sweetcheeksphotosutah.pass.us/kauffman

My family as of Summer 2015

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With my parents and husband in Russia, 2013

78 Responses to “Who is the Freak that writes this blog?”

  1. 01varvara said

    I understand what you are saying. You are attempting to describe “dushevnym vostorgom” in English, which is well nigh impossible. How CAN I English this? “Wonder of the soul”, “soulful wondrousness”? It is something that all Russians can grasp instinctively, but, it is almost impossible to get an American to understand it.

    My good wishes to you on the feast. s Prazdnikom!

    Vara

    • Janey, every word you said resonated with me completely! I’ve never thought it possible that someone could feel the same way about Russia that I do. Everything you said is just as true for me as it is for you. I first fell in love with Russia in my early teens, and started learning the language at the same time. I went there for the first time in 2006 and then again just this last spring. The love I feel for Russia is like nothing I’ve felt about anything else, and I never thought another person could understand it. I think we are very similar. I’m 25 years old, from Boston. I was really excited to find this blog! Thanks for writing it!

  2. jon grinaldi said

    Janey, I can relate to that soulful delight as well. I took leave from my job back in 92 for a chance to be a “starshyor” for two months and live like a “moskveech”. I went back in 94 “v otpusk” and yearn to go back. I have never been happier than when I am speaking Russian and being Russian in Russia

  3. Marina said

    Hello,

    I am doing my research project for Russian course in Dalhousie University. I would like to ask for your permission to use some of the pictures from your website.
    I will appreciate if you will answer me before March 24, 2008.
    Thank you.

    Marina Chemerys

  4. Pavel Cleland said

    Me too! A fellow Russophile. Almost forty five years now.
    I defended the Soviet Constitution as a debate project
    in Engilish class when I was fourteen,with conviction
    in 1965, And have had real affection for the people
    and culture since then. Spasibo.

  5. David said

    Привет! Я тоже люблю Россию, русскую культуру и язык. Я немного учился русскому языку когда я был студентом в университете. К сожалению, я редко говорю по русски и никогда не ездил в Россию. Однако, я мечтаю ехать куда и там работать.

    Я прочитал блог-урок-статю Мишеля Берди о “соболезновании,” когда родители русской подруги погибли. Её статья мне очень помогла.

    Спасибо большое!

  6. Dave said

    Really impressed with your experiences of russia, If you’re interested in writing some articles about your experience in russia with a particular focus on teaching english there, please get in touch.

    Im willing to pay $0.01 per word for a couple of articles. Let me know if you’re interested.

    Thanks

  7. Beata said

    Hello, i understand you completely. Im in love with Russia, Russians and everything coming from that beautiful country. I sometimes think its like an illness..because sometimes i like absolutely insane music, paintings, books…just if they smell russian🙂 Im happy theres more of us out there.

  8. MArina said

    Hi,

    I’m from Russia. Everything you said is true. Thank you, guys!

  9. Dave said

    Why don’t you look for a job or career that would take you to Russia? International business? Finance?

  10. Annie said

    I am not sure how I stumbled on your blog, but I am certainly a kindred spirit! I’ve just read this intro…and now have to find out what you are doing!

    I majored in Russian (well, studied it from 7th-12th grades and then through college). Then went in a different direction and only got to Russia 5 years ago to adopt my son Sergei. Then back a number of times for three more children. Now, like you, I’m trying to figure out a way to GO BACK!

  11. Vlad said

    Hi, Janey ! Good luck to you with your Russian studies. I also like articles by Michele Berdy. Could you send your collection of her articles to my email?

    You can find a lot of info about Russia on my blog

  12. It is interesting that, historically, experts in the history and workings of France, England, Germany, etc. are just experts on France, England, German. Experts on Russia and China, however, are “Russia hands” and “China hands”. The effect of these two countries on people who absorb them is so qualitatively different from the effect of other countries that we need a distinct, qualitatively different term for thm.

  13. sandrar said

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  14. Sam said

    You are an amazingly deep human being. Your words make me realize all the things I feel about Russia, but was not able to translate those feelings to myself. I was born in Russia, but have lived in US for 20 years now. I travel back every year and realize that there is some unknown force that pulls me back, even though it is not Russia that I grew up in. Keep up the great job on this Blog.

  15. Eva said

    Here’s another Russomaniac:))) ,living in the Netherlands..
    Female.
    And completely ,madly infatuated in love with the Russian language….started in my youthat the age of 14, with a Soviet book on Russian arts… At that time and with the help of that book I learned to read the Cyrillic script. That passion is still there: I love the Cyrillic script/Russian language. It’s orthography,the way it sounds,it’s very complicated grammatical structures,those brainteasing 6 grammatical cases.
    Russian language has such a magic,enchanting aura…it doesn’t stop giving me the shivers….ohhh!

  16. Katerina said

    I love your blog, Jenie!

    C Новым годом и Рождеством тебя! Cчастья, любви, денег, здоровья и удовольствия от жизни! пусть новый год принесет много сюрпризов и исполнения заветных мечт!

  17. Karen Porter said

    Just read about you, personally, after responding to your KINO blog. I know exactly how you feel, though I’ve never been there. My son returns there after college graduation to work in Moscow for a few months – and I’M VISITING IN NOVEMBER. I am beside myself with joy! Read my other comment (to KINO blog) – that explains who I am. My advice to you (from a woman in her 60s) is FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, FOLLOW YOUR DREAM. You only live once, and this life is very short. Follow your dream, dear. I speak from experience of about 3 times your age!!!

  18. j said

    Jenny,

    I have been doing a project which puts the Hebrew Bible (Torah) and oral tradition (Talmud) into a Asian narrative structure. As opposed to Western European/Roman narrative, which is linear, Asiatic narrative is cyclical.

    Not only do some of the strait forward Bible stories (in original Hebrew) match the Slavic mythology exactly (During Noah’s flood the Bird returns 3 times with olive branch) but some of the other signifiers I have arranged cyclically seem to tell the same story as what you have translated here. The Hebrew version of the Bible has *dates* for the events. The oral tradition of the Hebrews was oppressed by the Catholic church.

    I would be very interested in making contact privately and sharing research – is there anyway to accomplish this without posting our lives on the internet?

  19. cweber said

    I started reading this text, and almost cried, as I have those same feelings as you have. I am Brazilian, and was in the beginning of this year and Russia, and completely falled in love with the country. I wake up every day and I try to find ways to put me back there in our mother Russia…. But I still didn’t lost my hopes as my girlfriend is actually Russian, from Chelyabinsk this is what makes me happy, maybe someday I can return to my country with her and live there?🙂
    I really liked your blog, keep on writing!!

  20. Wasatchmtnbike said

    It’s so nice to hear that others share my feelings for Russia. When I was attending USU (Utah State) I joined the Natl Guard and was able to go to Defence Language Institute in CA to learn Russian for a year. What a great experience that was! Ever since that time I have been totally facinated and smitten with everything and anything Russian. I literaly ache to go there someday. I’m trying to read about the history and people, I’m currently reading Gulag Archepelago by Solzhenitzen, very interesting!

    Someday I’ll go. Someday. In the mean time I’ll dream about it.

    Thanks so much for site, blogs, and enthusiasm!

    Gary

  21. Andrey said

    I’m russian. In English I’m like a dog that understand everything but can not say a word. Sorry for my poor english. Не верьте ни одному слову, что говорят о нас по каналу CNN. Это обычное political shit. Im a KINO fan too. Great respect.

  22. Katie said

    You look quite russian,maybe you have deeper origins there.

    I have been a severe slavophile since I was 12 or earlier ,very unusual because I have no ancestry or connections or anything from there. I had to explain all the time to people why I collected eastern european hats/costumes and russian musical cds,tapes etc.I did all my essays at university and design school on eastern european ancient/pagan history too.All baffling because I have no family,no connections/influences in my life from there.

    I got my dna tested in 2008 and my strongest matches were to eastern europe.

    DNA Tribes Analysis Results – Native and Global Match Strong/Strongest and Respective MLIs were: Serbia (96)789.34,Lodz Poland (92)491.46,Bucharest Romania(93) 378.98,Bosnia(92)324.59,Slovenia (91)315,275.45,Poladsie,Northeast Poland(87)270.8 the rest all in the 250’s are (92)Hungary,South East Poland,Belarus.

    DNA Tribes Analysis Results – World Region Match Strong/Strongest and Respective MLIs were
    192.72 Eastern European,136.6 Northwestern European,85.69

    I got it tested again in 2009 1/2 million more dna markers – top match Russia/Uyguirs.Not a single slav in my long family tree ,but there it was in my cells.It all made sense.

    • Gassan said

      Very Interesting

    • Mark said

      Maybe an infant was switched in the hospital more recently than anyone in your long pedigree suspects! I myself had my y-chromosome DNA tested, and though my paternal g’father was a Scot, my haplotype has a strong presence in Russia as well!

  23. Marvel Rog said

    I am a foreign language teacher (French/Spanish).
    I am also a former russophile though my love for the
    language and culture of Russia has not exactly left
    me during the school year of 1992-1993 I was an
    exchange teacher (Fulbright scholarship) in Brittany
    France. That year I had the opportunity to go to
    Russia for 3 weeks. It was the summer of 1993. The
    memory of the trip is quite vivid. My Russian teacher in Miami died. Now I’m married and my husband
    does not share my passion. I long to re-connect.
    Marvel

    t

  24. warden said

    Hey you look rather cute for an American girl. I always thought American girls were extremely fat and extremely ugly. Not bad for such a freak.

  25. mary said

    i disagree with what 01varvara said above. I am american and 100% polish, raised by polish people from poland, and i can understand it. plus we all reincarnate with many lives, i have been native american, guatemalan and its in my soul and i understand it all! the drive and desire…

    god, its languages… no not at all, that is too limiting… but culture, music, great food, the goddess, i desire and drink from the wellspring : )

  26. L. Welker said

    Hi Janey! I would like to thank you for your blog, for the eloquence and clarity with which you write about my beloved Russia. I, too, fell in love with Russia when I traveled there eight years ago. I immediately changed my education and career plans, started studying Russian, and saved every penny in order to go back. What is it about Russia that leaves me glowing and in better health whenever I spend even a little time there? I am happiest when I am speaking Russian in Russia, whether traveling the country side or exploring urban landscapes.

    I truly believe that one can have русская душа without having been born in Russia. Kudos, сестра моя!

  27. aranza said

    I loved your blog. I’ll put it on my favorites. I love your selection of images and pictures. I felt kind of sad with your description… something like that happened to me too… I think that something good about your ‘sad’ feelings it’s this blog. It’s beautiful what you have done with your nostalgia and the longing that you feel for a land.
    A hug from a stranger in Mexico.

  28. John McConnaughy said

    Hi Janey:
    I’m American who married a Russian, and I’m learning the language (I’ve found that not understanding it takes all the joy out of eavesdropping).
    I like your blog, have learned from it, and hope you’ll have a chance to start posting more regularly.

  29. Hello!!!! I am a mad Russophile from Iceland! I’ve been desperate about Russia since I was 11 years old and been learning Russian by myself since then too. When I read what you say about Russia it brings me to tears! Because it’s exactly how I feel about Russia.
    I am nearly 16 years old now and my love for Russia will never disappear🙂
    I haven’t been there yet but I am going to live there as soon as I can
    I LOVE PUTIN HEHE=)
    screw the rest of the world
    russia is number 1 hehehe
    My name is on wikipedia in Russophilia hahaha , i didnt put it there though

  30. Ксения said

    Неужели кто-то действительно любит Россию? Или это розыгрыш? Единственное что я когда-либо слышала в наш адрес это: “Русские пьют водку и обнимаются с медведями”.

    • Ксения said

      /\
      sorry, I have been studing English for 4 years, but it helped me a little ==’
      I couldn’t but comment on this blog

  31. Carolyn said

    Hi! You’re the first Russophile girl who seems to get it the way I did. This is so exciting!

    I lived in Moscow for two years and have been back in the US going on five. I’ve thoroughly resisted putting down roots here and I think it’s time to go back to Russia. I’m mainly afraid of leaving a higher paying job, but I always felt like I had enough in Russia when I was teaching, probably because I was actually happy.

    All my best memories are crammed into those years spent in Russia. If I haven’t settled down after five years being back, I think that means it’s time to go home.

  32. Hi,

    I couldn’t agree more with you !
    I feel much of the same ….and it’s a pleasure to read your blog …KUDOS !

    All the best and we’ll stay in touch
    Gennady

  33. Maria said

    Hi Janey,

    I have loved reading your blog posts about Lviv! I am living here now, teaching English for a year, and I was wondering if you could give me the contact information of the Ukrainian language school you attended. I’m looking for a good school, and your description sounded great!

    Thanks so much.
    Maria

    • Janey said

      Yes! The school was AWESOME! I’ve been meaning to do a post on the school but have still been catching up on other things since I got back. Here is their website. They were absolutely wonderful!
      http://www.learn-ukrainian.org.ua

      • Susan said

        Glad to hear that you enjoyed learning the Ukrainian language and culture. It might be more useful to write a separate blog about Ukraine than to include it in a blog about why you love Russia so much. They are in fact two very distinct countries

      • Janey said

        I agree that they are two distinct countries. Two distinctly lovely countries. In my experience teaching and learning I find that people who are interested in one Slavic language often end up interested in a second. Slavic people do share many characteristics, namely their hospitality and warmth. I have a hard enough time keeping up with this blog, let alone, creating another on Ukraine. So for now the two will remain together on this blog. If people really don’t want to read about Ukraine they can just skip past those posts.

  34. Hello there, simply changed into aware of your blog via Google, and located that it is really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful in case you continue this in future. Many folks might be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  35. Molly said

    I love you!🙂 And you write beautifully. X

  36. fazie said

    I love your blog. Same like you, Russia always fascinated me..the country that full of mysteries and amazing histories.

  37. Love your blog! You are such an interesting writer and person, and I really relate to your love for Russia and Ukraine. Thanks for sharing all of your insights. I just took my best friend to Russia for the first time last month (after trying to convince him to visit for 20 years!), and he too fell in love with it. He’s hired a Russian tutor and even watched “Ironiya Sudbi”🙂

    I live in New York, but spend time in Moscow and Kiev, when I can. Here is a recent post of my own comparing the two cities where I feel most at home:

    http://www.chadgracia.com/kreshatik-versus-broadway/

  38. Jerry said

    Love your blog very nice..

  39. Alyssa said

    I like the blog, it helped with my English ll thing. I’m so glad I found this!!

  40. Josh said

    Hello Janey, I too am a proud Russophile!🙂

  41. ahdoy said

    Привет из Индонезии!
    Я очень люблю твой блог!😀
    Твой блог вдохновляет меня чтобы делать похожий блог: inilah-rusia.blogspot.com и jiwa-slavia.blogspot.com. Да я индонезиец и пишу в моих блогих на индонезийском языке.

    Если можно, я хочу рекомендоваю твой блог на моём блоге :]

  42. innamazing said

    It makes me so proud that you fell in love with my country!
    Coincdentaly I also have a blog about Russia (From Russia With Love). Check it out if you dare call yourself a russophile…

  43. Прекрасно написано! / So beautifully written! I have a friend who was studying Russian Literature at the York University in Toronto. She decided she’ll only be able to fully appreciate her subject if she were to speak Russian. So she went to study in Moscow for 3 months but ended up staying there for 3 years. She absolutely loved it there!

  44. Konstantin said

    Привет и спасибо за интересный блог. Для меня было открытие американца, который любит Россию. Это довольно необычно.

    Hi and thanks you for very interesting blog. I was amazing to know about American who love my country. In my mind, this is incredible thing.

  45. It is good that you found Russia and will always have her with you and no doubt you will lead others there too, it is a wonderful thing to have a passion like this and use for the benefit of many others, I am sure she needs her champions where you now live.

  46. vikausa said

    Hi Janey,
    I agree with all the commens, you have a wonderful blog and beautiful love for Russia. It is very unusual indeed to find an American who would have such feelings because very often I have to break stereotypes about my country and explain that it’s a very interesting country with unbelievable history and culture. I just started my blog about American and Russian Diversity, trying to help Americans(and mostly my American family) see Russian and American culture through my eyes. I wish you all the best raising your beauriful children because there is no love bigger than to your kids. Find me to chat about anything about Russia, I left it 5 years ago and will be more than happy to share news and support your feelings.
    Best,
    Vika

  47. GreyKarast said

    Уорден,You are ignorant . I do not like arrogant people.. Jenny, you are a wonderful person and a beautiful girl. Thank you for your blog. I’m Russian. I wonder what people think who really was in Russia. Happiness and Love You! true Russia has one feature-Dissolve in itself other nations. Many who came to live in Russia, now consider themselves Russian and feel the same way.

  48. Wow, thanks for the insight. I thought I was crazy, the only one who was having this love affair with Russia. She’s quite the mistress. Anyway I hope that you will get to return one day. Being here is so different from America. People will ask me, “do you miss America”, my answer “No”. This is home. As hard a life can be here at times, it’s real. When the water if off and you have no clue when it’s going to get turned back on, “Oh well,” it’s Russia”. But something deep down inside tells you this is real. This is life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It will be interesting to see your future post. Thanks.

  49. Lori said

    I didn’t know how many people were just like me! I also have no connection to Russia, but I am deeply attracted to the culture, the language, and the history. It started in high school for me and now I do anything and everything I can to learn Russian better and to learn about the history! I’m kind of poor but my biggest dream is to tavel to Russia. I can’t die until I see Russia!

  50. Denis S. said

    In the world filled with so much Russophobia, especially in the Western media, this blog is a beacon of light! Thank you, Janey!

    The best cure for Russophobia is to visit Russia!

    – Russian-Canadian living in Russia.

  51. Denis S. said

    One more thing, since you’ve fallen in love with Ukraine too, I highly recommend that you visit Belarus’ too and all the other Slavic states if you get a chance.

  52. Lyudmila said

    Thank you, Janey, for this blog. It is so ….vivid and very touching. Special Thanks for your article about the WWII (for us it is more The Great Patriotic War). I`ve just cried when reading it. It is still bleeding, our greatparents selflessly gave their lives defending our country – Rus-Matushka, and relieving Europe… There`s nothing but silence and tears in our heart about this question… silent tears. Every family has her own defenders and painful remembrances. It is true.

    Thank`s a lot to you, who`s trying to feel our country by heart and soul, not by mind.
    Thank you all, who support Russia and our people. Today, when our points of view are being passed into silence, your every smile and every kind word gives the whole world the hope that we are able to stop the ressurection of the Cold War…. between people and nations.
    I wish your families peace and happiness.

    From Russia, with love.
    Из России, с любовью.

  53. E. Harari said

    You are a gift to humanity.

  54. Edmund said

    I love the way you express your feelings about Russia. I have felt the same way about the place since the late 80s. Lived and studied there throughout the 90s. It is relieving to realize am not the only one with this (embarrassing?) disease.

  55. Edmund said

    I also love Ukraine.Been to Kiev though not long enough to learn Ukrainian

  56. Lulú said

    Hello Janey, I’m so happy I found your blog.
    I am Mexican and absolutely have the same feeling about Russia. Years ago I imagined myself married to a Russian guy but after I went there and got to know the people I changed my mind, but I never changed about loving the culture, the people, the landscape…everything. My and my parents are thinking about going next summer, I went 5 years ago and my mom got the opportunity to go in 1980! so she wants so bad to go back and show my dad all the places that she liked.
    During the years I’ve met some good friends from Russia and Ukraine, but now I don’t feel free to show my love for Russia in front of my Ukranian friend because of the situation, but I’m glad that other people exist around the globe feeling the same as me!!

  57. dblask77@yahoo.de said

    Dear Janey,

    my name is Doreen. I’m from Germany. I’m crazy about Russia. Is it possible to connect with you on facebook? Poka, Doreen

  58. anonymous rusophilia said

    thank you for posting this. i found this via your Kino / Viktor Tsoi page…

    i grew up in the late cold war….(the 70s/80s) it is hard to describe all the negative things we were taught to believe about Russia and the USSR, in school, in films, by our parents, by our peers… i dont even feel like its appropriate to repeat them on your blog, but imagine all the stereotypes taken to the next level, then combine the idea of ‘military enemy’, think Top Gun… Rocky IV… we were supposed to think all that was real… and worried about Nuclear War, in a real fashion…

    i feel as though we missed something growing up like that. it is almost impossible to describe to young people today what it was like… but … my gosh. all of the propaganda was just lies. governments have problems, but ordinary people are just ordinary people. the music and culture are so wonderful… we are so lucky to live in times where we can just reach out and share these things, poetry, music, films, art, food, science, literature,… they are things so precious but difficult to appreciate…..

    but they are the things that unite us.. these small things, our only hope for a peaceful future….

  59. Elise said

    This is a wonderful blog. As a young American teen who is also a Russophile, I am overjoyed that someone else feels the same way I do about Russia. I have a deep love for Russian music and culture and have just begun learning the Cyrillic alphabet, yet people at school always look at me strangely when I tell them about my favorite Russian songs or say a couple words in Russian. I guess in today’s world it is hard to be this attached to a nation that is so controversial in Western society, but your blog more than makes up for it. Спасибо!

  60. Dylan said

    Your blog has literally blown me away. I honestly thought that no one understood the way i feel about Russia. I’m only a highschooler and have never been to Russia but I hope so much to go one day. For the most part I’ve kept my obsession with everything about Russia and russian culture to myself but hearing you talk about yourself and your love of Russia has made me feel like I belong. Thank you so much for everything.

  61. Daniel said

    Hi;

    Fellow Russophile here; I didn’t even know the term existed a moment ago. Especially fascinated by Russian history and achievements, in particular science and space. I believe I have a few things to contribute if only I knew where. Any suggestions short of starting my own blog?

    Daniel

  62. Les said

    Hello! Greetings from the USA.

    I have always wanted to know about Life in a Country that we almost went to War with back in the 60’s. Always wanted to know what the people there are like and what they think of the USA. I know that Russian people are a bit different than us over here, but how much different? I don’t know much about them other than what I see on the news here and there? Russia is one place that I’ve never been too, along with many others.

    Really, the only impression of the Russian Country is I don’t think the people dislike us as much as is stated. While serving in the US Navy back in the 60’s, our Destroyer had to go out and escort a Russian Cruiser away from Pearl Harbor. Our Destroyer got close to their ship and we were all waving at the Russian Sailors and they waved back. It was a experience that I’ll never forget.

    Kind Regards to you
    Les

  63. Hi! I love what I have seen of your blog, and, although I have been totally enthused by Russia since 1965 (yes, I am a time traveler, like Dr. Who!), I share many of your passionate feelings about Russia (and not just because my life partner is from there). I’m trying to express my fanaticism for all things Russian on the web in a somewhat different way, and I invite you to check it out on my Facebook page (as I shamefacedly admit that I haven’t done much on it for the last 10 months, but I’m on my way back.) I chose facebook because there’s a lot of traffic there, and because it’s free, and also because you can do anything you want there. My WordPress stuff is a bit more staid. Anyway, just put “The American Russophile” into Google, and you should find me,especially if you are on Facebook.
    If you like what you see, let me know with a Лайк, or drop me an e-mail.
    Best wishes from SPb, sincerely, FP

  64. Luca said

    Ciao, i found your lesson on youtube and i found them really useful!

    I hope in future there will be more videos. I start to think that will be easier for me to learn russian with a not native-russian-speaker teacher, than with a mother-tongue one… you know which difficulties students are going through because i had the same experience.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks🙂

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