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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Russian club celebrates International Women’s Day

Published: March 21, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

Russian Culture Week, organized by the Brandeis Russian Club, Russian Studies Program and Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, hosted events that gave students a terrific opportunity to explore even the meticulous details of Russian life. Hosting the screening of a contemporary interpretation of the Soviet youth subculture of the late 1950s, in the form of the film “Hipsters,” as well as organizing an authentic Russian dance party were some of many highlights of the week. Yet one of the most inspiring events was the celebration of International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day is celebrated in more than 25 countries in the world, in most of which it is also a public holiday. Ironically, the United States does not recognize March 8 as a public holiday; the event hosted in the Rapaporte Hall, however, surely gave homage to women through its unique performances.

The event raised funds for the Adamon Fund, which is dedicated to helping blind students in different parts of Russia to gain ample opportunities for studies and social integration. Guests were served a wide variety of authentic Russian food and the concert was organized in the form of a talent show with Brandeis students who study Russian performing some of the most famous Russian numbers.

Students performed not only Russian songs but also a comedy sketch, which was a parody of a Russian dating show, presented by men dressed up as women. Professor Irina Dubinina (GRALL) also played a Russian folk song, “Meadowlands,” on accordion alongside John Nunes ’13. Nunes, who has been studying Russian only for two years, has already advanced so much that he is the current B.U.G.S. tutor. Nunes and Dubinina’s performance was inspiring, creating a poignant mood in the audience.

The celebration featured a video specially made for the event by an YouTube celebrity: Baba Fira. Baba Fira is a Russian man who creates various videos impersonating a typical Russian “бабушка” – “granny.” The video was accompanied by English subtitles and was hilarious with its incomparable Russian humor that did not even get lost in translation.

The event gave students in Russian classes, as well as those who speak Russian or are interested in the given field, to perform as well as to meet other Russophiles. Not only current students and friends were present at the celebration, but Brandeis graduates were also present. Yakov Israel ’12 even performed one of the songs.

Maria Alkhazova ’14 and Joe Babeu ’15 hosted the celebration with rich humor and charisma. The night was well organized and left the audience inspired, as well as better informed about the values of Russian culture.