Business News Russia - Page 49

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A school in Moscow.

State symbols of Russia include the Byzantine double-headed eagle, combined with St. George of Moscow in the Russian coat of arms; these symbols date from the Grand Duchy of Moscow time. Russian flag appeared in the late Tsardom of Russia period and became widely used since Russian Empire times. Russian anthem shares its music with the Soviet Anthem, though not the lyrics (many Russians of older generations just don't know the new lyrics and sing the old ones).

The Russian imperial motto God is with us and the Soviet motto Proletarians of all countries, unite! are now obsolete and no new motto has been officially introduced to replace them. The hammer and sickle and the full Soviet coat of arms are still widely seen in Russian cities as a part of old architectural decorations. The Soviet Red Stars are also encountered, often on military equipment and war memorials. The Red Banner continues to be honored, especially the Banner of Victory of 1945.

Matryoshka doll is a recognizable symbol of Russia, while the towers of Moscow Kremlin and Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow are main Russia's architectural symbols. Cheburashka is a mascot of Russian national Olympic team. Mary, Saint Nicholas, Saint Andrew, Saint George, Saint Alexander Nevsky, Saint Sergius of Radonezh and Saint Seraphim of Sarov are Russia's patron saints.

Chamomile is a flower that Russians often associate with their Motherland, while birch is a national tree. Russian bear is an animal symbol and national personification of Russia, though this image has Western origin and Russians

themselves have accepted it fairly recently. The native Russian national personification is Mother Russia, sometimes called Mother Motherland.

Tourism

Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first inner tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and great natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while many more are on UNESCO's tentative lists. Major tourist routes in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers like Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway.