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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Vocabulary for Wintertime in Russia

moscowwinter_07Ah, I recall the winter in Russia, actually, my favorite time of year there. So today, we’ll share a few Russian words about this most special season full of limited daylight, blizzard-like snow, and hot chai.

When the sun rises after 9:00 in the morning, or sets around 3:00 in the afternoon, it can shock those who did not grow up in very northern climes. Yet, that’s why Russians cook big, boiling pots of delicious soup and wear fur coats and thboots after October. It makes it all not just bearable, but fun, a celebration, a way of life, a rhyme and a rhythm.

There is a hush that falls over the city, that muted blanket of white noise that pervades the ploschad (square) save for the crunch- crunch- crunch of boots on packed snow. It’s magical as parents pull sleds through the park with a child contentedly riding, ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????the Siberian counterpart to being pulled in a red wagon.

Similar to Eskimos, Russians use different words for snow. There’s actually a term for falling snow, “snehgopad”, the noun, perfect for when the city is covered in a blanket of white.

During the winter season, you need to know the words for ice skating, “kataniyeh na’kahnkax” and skiing, “kataniyeh thna’leezhax”. It’s going to be cold “holodnoh”, but you can always sit by the “kahmeen” (fireplace).

Outside there may be a blizzard, “mehtehl”, but as long as you wear warm clothes “tyohplahya ahdezhdah”, all should go well. Just avoid walking close to buildings where killer icicles fall like hundred-pound javelins from the sky and russian-winter-1each year, fatalities result. Not to mention slip-and-fall cases, which never seems to happen to Russian women in high-heeled boots.

Moscow can be magical in winter, onion-domed roofs glistening, frozen rivers cracking, snow swirling, the corner stolovaya (workers’ cafeteria) packed with customers, hearty food and steamed windows. Three babushkas wear flowered wool shawls over their fur coats’ shoulders and sing haunting, minor-key melodies on steps nearby.

It is Russian winter and I am home.

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