This site is our response to everyone who has ever asked us what Russia is like, and for anyone who might have never wondered, but should have. It’s an attempt to put into words Russia as we see it; our go at explaining that big old riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, that in fact, never went away. It’s about understanding the views, opinions and psyche of a nation that hits our headlines daily, without many of us ever really knowing why. And ultimately, it’s about providing a picture of Russia, as seen first-hand by two people, who think that although the journey they’re on to try and understand this country might never end, the process itself is worth sharing.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

I live in Russia!

Picture: Film Poster for "Molodaia Gvardia"
Now the big raving Brit in me means that I have rather mixed feelings about England being dissed, especially when it includes having accusations of bourgeois-imperialism levelled at me. However, when it’s in a catchy song endorsed by a pro-Kremlin youth group and sung by one of Russia’s most notorious chanson artistes then I guess I can let it lie. “Ya zhivu v Rossii!” (I live in Russia!) is the latest single out by Sergei Trofimov and rather popular on the Molodaia Gvardia youth movement website. It won me over, see what you think:

(You can read by (very badly translated) transcript of the lyrics in English below. If anyone can do any better you are more than welcome!)

Somewhere in London it’s been pouring with rain since the morning
Pavements, streets worn out by cabs
You won’t find any place in the pubs, and on the stock exchange,
The game turns into the usual British gambit

The order of things here is unchanging and simple
Like the parliamentary throne of the Queen
And the influential pound continues the rise
Of the bourgeois-imperial tree

*** Chorus ***

But I live in Russia!
At the furthest point of being
I live in Russia!
It’s simply my motherland

In this untamed great power
Constrained by dreams of days gone by
It’s unlikely that life will become more substantial or simpler
But it’s my home


On the Saint-Claire Boulevard chestnuts are flowering
And in the Boulogne forest the cold wind has gone astray
And the glass turns red from Burgundy wine
As if the Holy Grail has been discovered again

Here a united people respect themselves
And their freedom attained through suffering
And they live from day to day, not bemoaning anything
Earning a profit from goods from year to year

I had a friend, he went away a long time ago
To that place which did not have shocks and misfortune in store
For him, our life is like a bad film
Where the budget can’t save the mediocre plot

Sometimes he calls to find out how things are going
And, having heard the latest gossip
Doesn’t understand why we are burning to the ground
In order to once again rise from the ashes

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