Business News Russia - Page 37

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The building of the Russian State Duma on Manege Square in Moscow.

Ethnic Russians with their Slavic Orthodox culture, Tatars and Bashkirs with their Turkic Muslim culture, Buddhist nomadic Buryats and Kalmyks, Shamanistic peoples of the Far North and Siberia, highlanders of the Northern Caucasus, Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian North West and Volga Region all contribute to diverse and rich culture of Russia. The ethnic culture is preserved in various museums and ethno-parks, reproduced in cuisine, architecture, cinema and arts, and developed by folk bands, dance ensembles and choirs.

Woodcraft Russian architecture, widely associated with the ethnic culture, is at best represented in wooden churches. Russian traditional wooden dwelling is izba, while the early type of fortified settlements is known as kremlin. Handicraft, like Dymkovo toy, khokhloma, gzhel, Zhostovo painting, pisanka and palekh, is also associated with the folk culture. Ethnic Russian clothes include kaftan, kosovorotka and ushanka for men, sarafan and kokoshnik for women, with lapti and valenki as common shoes. The Cossacks of Southern Russia have a separate brand of culture within ethnic Russian, their clothes including burka and papaha, which they share with the peoples of the Northern Caucasus.

Russian cuisine widely uses fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for a plethora of breads, pancakes, cereals, kvass, beer, and vodka. Black bread is relatively more popular in Russia if compared with the rest of the world. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch,

ukha, solyanka and okroshka.

Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Cutlets (like Chicken Kiev), pelmeni and shashlyk are popular meat dishes, the last two being of Tatar and Caucasus origin respectively. Popular salads include Russian salad, vinaigrette and Dressed Herring.

Russians have many traditions, most prominent being the washing in banya, a hot steam bath somewhat similar to sauna. Old Russian folklore takes its roots in the pagan beliefs of ancient Slavs and now is represented in the Russian fairy tales. Epic Russian bylinas are another important part of Slavic mythology. The oldest bylinas of Kievan cycle were actually recorded mostly in the Russian North, especially in Karelia, where most of the Finnish national epic