Archive for June, 2009

Residency Status at Last

Mark this day June 24, 2009 on your calendar. Today Nadia and I were granted residency status in Russia for 3 whole years. Over the next year we will be working toward a regular Russian Greencard. At any rate we can come go – or stay as we choose. No more hassel with visas in order to remain in-country. As far as I know, I am the only non-U.S. Consulate staffer who has this status in the region.

It’s About Squatting – Forever?

From the Russian…………


Евгений Енин:


Россия встала с колен

Так, по поводу. Я не помню, сколько раз только за последний год слышал от дядек с горящими глазами, что Россия встала с колен. Раз встала, два встала, три встала. Все встает и встает. Но каждый раз перед актом торжественного вставания, чтобы он удался, надо же опуститься. И я понял! Делюсь с вами своим открытием – я понял, чем занимается Россия в последнее время с этим вставанием с колен: Россия пляшет гопака. Вприсядку.”


And a translation by one of my students into English.


“So, let’s talk about  it. I don’t remember, how many times I’ve heard this refrain during the last year from a host of fair-weathered patriots that Russia has risen from her knees. She has risen once, then once again, and then one more time. She just keeps rising. But every time to make her ceremonial rising successful, she must kneel again. By gosh, I think I  understand this now! Let me share my discovery with you – what Russia is doing by her rising from her knees is called “hopack dancing”. Although she is dancing it’s squatting.”


The dancing implies that Russia is a player in the international arena. “The Hopack also known as a Poltalvski comes from the Ukrainian Cossack dancing and is reflective of the spirit of fearless soldiers and superb horsemen. It is exuberant, exciting, and characterized by fast running, leaping, and pas de basque steps, and by the difficult knee bend or prysiadka steps”1. I suppose metaphorically the prysiadka bend could be characterized as a squat. And in the squat is implied some sort of down cast failure of rising and staying risen!


Is this saying Russia never quite gets it right politically or socially and thus the people suffer and the knees are bent again with the body of Russia returning to a subjugated position in the world with their economy not really developing robustly and being geared to the good of the mass of Russians?


Does Russia ever get it right and get off it’s knees? It the next article on the Shanghais Cooperation Organization Conference being held in Yekaterinburg June 14-16, 2009, I will explore that question.