Last weekend I had the opportunity to be involved in a music festival outside of Moscow. There were about 10 different groups of musicians, ranging from full bands to soloists singing with a music track or a guitar. We were able to play two numbers and we were well received by the crowd. The highlight for me was that I was able to play a baby grand piano, something I haven’t done in years! It was a great time, here are some pictures from the day.
We were able to go to a concert while we were there, with a mix of local folk music, Russian and even two American songs.
I was just thinking about little random facts we have come to know and I thought I’d share them with you.
First of all a lot of people smoke here. A lot! Everywhere you go there are always people smoking. The only places smoke free are down in the metro and in the marshutkas (van taxi’s), that I’ve noticed anyway. This article I took from another website:
-“Russia has more smokers than any other country according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, presented to the Russian health ministry on Tuesday.
The WHO survey, conducted in 2009, found that Russia has 43.9 million smokers, which makes up 40 percent of the population.
The survey also revealed that 60 percent of Russian men and 22 percent of Russian women smoke.
The WHO survey was conducted as part of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that Russia joined in 2008.
The Russian government has already started taking steps to crack down on the addiction that kills up to 500,000 people a year. It has announced a plan to ban advertising and promotion of cigarettes from 2011 and to introduce a complete ban on smoking in enclosed spaces by 2015. “Smoking kills” warnings have also been introduced on cigarette packages.
“This survey is not a document, but a wake-up call,” the head of the Russian WHO office, Luigi Migliorini said.
MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti)”
It’s also very common to hear American music. There are some stations on the radio that play American music, so it’s not uncommon while you are riding in a taxi to hear it playing. And you may have noticed in our videos, which you can see on You Tube, Violet likes to dance to it too.
Something uncommon… pick-up trucks. We never see them and we aren’t sure why. There are just mostly cars here, some vans and some suv’s. Speaking of cars they have pretty much every brand here. Even Chevrolet and Ford.
Russian’s who are married wear their wedding bands on their right hand, not the left like Americans. Last night a friend just told me, that if a Russian wears their wedding band on their left hand it means they might be divorced or widowed.
People need to keep their passport on them at all times. All Russians need to have a passport, it is their form of identification. Random checks by the Russian police can be done at any time to make sure you aren’t an illegal immigrant and have all your papers in order. You can read about it here.
And we found the cutest baby ever! Oh yeah, she’s ours!!