Passport magazine: Russian lifestyle
Home Archive February 2007

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Community

Community Listing

Music

Moscow International Choir
Moscow International Choir is an amateur choir.
They sing a mixture of classical and popular music, and have two seasons with concerts at the end of each season, in December and May.
The choir is always looking for more members of all ages, nationalities and singing levels. The choir also organizes social evenings and dacha days in the summer. It is a wonderful way to meet like-minded people of all nationalities.
The Moscow International Choir has started its spring season and is currently holding rehearsals every Tuesday at 7.00 pm at St Andrew's Church on Voznesensky Pereulok.
New singers are welcome; no experience necessary, just come along.
For more information please contact:
Moscow.International.Choir@gmail.com
Contact: Chantal Cooper
200-5205, 8-917-552-8339

Religion

St.Andrews Anglican Church
February 2007 schedule
Sundays:
8:30 Holy Communion
11:00 Sung Eucharist with Sunday School and Creche
18:30 Evening Prayer
Weekdays:
8:30 Morning Prayer
18:30 Evening Prayer (including Saturday)
Wednesdays:
19:00 Holy Communion
19:45 Bible study
20 February
19:00 Shrove Tuesday Party at the parsonage
21 February
19:00 Ash Wednesday Ecumenical Service of Holy Communion with Imposition of Ashes
Thursday Night Is Concert Night at St Andrews!
Classical Concerts begin at 7:30 PM
Tickets at the door.
St.Andrews Anglican Church
Voznesensky Pereulok 8, Moscow (Metro Okhotny Ryad or Pushkinskaya)
Phone/Fax 629-0990
Web site www.standrewsmoscow.org

Moscow Congregation for Progressive Judaism
2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd of February 2007 Friday night service at 7:00 pm
3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th of February 2007 Saturday morning service at 11:00 am
4th of February Moscow Jewish Community Annual Charity Fair. 1-7pm, arts, crafts, Jewish food, children's program, klezmer music. All proceeds go to children with serious illnesses (diabetes, cerebral palsy).
Venue: Moscow Jewish Community House,
Ul. Volochaevskaya, 14/1
Phone: (495) 632-5598
Contact person: Nelly Shulman

International Christian Fellowship
Sunday School, 10:00
Sunday Worship Service, 11:15
ICF is an evangelical church dedicated to strengthening and spreading faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a Christian (or if you're just interested) we warmly welcome you to come to our Sunday morning service. Our contemporary worship services are conducted in English with simultaneous translation into Russian. Most of our members are expatriates from many different countries and diverse denominational backgrounds, so you're sure to feel at home.
For more information, contact the ICF office at: 507-0635
Venue: Bolshoi Nikolopeskovsky Pereulok, 12a

Social

Australian and New Zealand Social Womens Group (Auskis)
The Auski group meets at least once a month for lunch, usually on the second or the third Wednesday, or whatever date is most convenient for whoever is hosting. Primarily a social support group, we are a relatively small but very social and welcoming group. The Auski group is open to all Australian and New Zealand citizens and their spouses. A limited number of associate memberships are available. There is no charge for membership.
For more information please call Joy Harris on:
255-4915 or 722-6113
or email: joykatheryn@hotmail.com

Sport

Expat over 30's Football (Soccer) League
If you're a keen footballer, about 30-years-old or older, why not join our fun (but a bit serious) league? With 8 sponsored teams of various levels, professional referees and a great social scene, it's a great chance to meet new friends and get fitter at the same time. In the winter, we are located in Dinamo's full size indoor pitch and play 90 mins per game every Saturday or Sunday (depending on the schedule for each team)
For more information, please email Nick Rees at: nickrees99@yahoo.com

Metis
A group that works to overcome discrimination and hardship faced by mixed-race children in Russia. Gathering at the Central Childrens Russian Library, Oktyabrskaya Square, #1. We are looking for sponsors: we need money to invite some artists, and to buy presents. Our children can perform songs and poetry, but we dont have a teacher who will lead them. Anybody is cordially invited to a programme of events and learn more about the work of the Metis Charity.
17 February Ethnic Gathering at 15:00
Contact: Emilia Tynes-Mensah metis2001@mail.ru

International Womens Club
The International Womens Club of Moscow will hold its General meeting interest groups sign-up on February 15th 10:00-12:00.
Address: Holiday Inn Moscow Sokolniki,
2 Rusakovskaya St.
The IWC newcomers meeting will take place on February 22nd.
Contact: Joy Harris (joykatherine@hotmail.com, 255-4915)

Help Lines

ICL Help Line
Free Psychological Help Line
8-926-113-3373
A free, confidential phone-in service, providing professional counselling in a discreet, comfortable atmosphere. This service is provided by an international team of psychologists and psychotherapists experienced in counselling on different relational and personal issues, handling trauma and crisis, career counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling is available in English, Russian, French, and Polish.
8:00 am-11:00 pm daily
Contact: ICL@list.ru

Belarus Maslenitsa Festival
By Anne Coombes

Maslenitsa is a week long festival full of rites to ensure that winter is chased away. Most celebrate the return of light and warmth after months of long dark days: bonfires are lit, wheels with flaming axels are rolled around, and riders on horseback circle homes by torchlight. Honouring the sun, circular imagery features heavily. People sweep around their homes three times, creating a magical ring to protect against illness and evil spirits and, of course, golden brown blini (pancakes) are the staple diet throughout. Served piping hot and topped with caviar, garlic, mushrooms, jam or sour cream with lashings of butter they are laden with powerful symbolism.

People in the country traditionally give the first pancake to their cow to spur it on to grow fat. All other domestic animals then get to share in the feast, along with the family and any visitors who drop by; all who partake are enriched by the nurturing powers of the sun. Meanwhile, kozuli (pastries shaped like cattle and goats) are fed to livestock, protecting them from disease and encouraging fertility. Maslenitsa also provides Belarusian girls with a fortune-telling opportunity: they throw pancakes to a dog and watch intently to see whose is eaten first, since this indicates who will be the next to marry.

Monday is the first day on which pancakes are baked. Guests are welcome and, in days gone by, would playfully call out for food as they stood on the doorstep: If you dont give us cheese, you wont have a son; if you dont give us poppy seeds, you wont have a daughter! Tuesday is a playful day of entertainments: fireworks, puppet shows and theatre. On Wednesday, Gobbling Day, pancake eating reaches new heights with the motto Eat as many blini as the wags of a dogs tail. Thursday is full of revelry. A man is chosen to dress as Lady Maslenitsa (Lady Butter) in a dress sewn with bells. He then rides around in a sledge, sitting on a wheel (circular sun symbolism again) while drinking wine and eating pastries to encourage abundance in the year ahead. Crowds follow, dancing and singing. This is also the day for fist fights, recalling the bravery of soldiers in past battles; bare-chested, the men face each other in two rows before rushing forward recreating the effect of a full-scale battle.

On Friday, mothers-in-law invite their sons-in-law over (even if they are usually out of favour for the rest of the year). Traditionally, while feeding them the obligatory pancakes, they smear butter on the young mens foreheads to make them tender towards their wives. Saturday is sister-in-laws day when women invite their husbands sisters over and give them presents.

On Forgiveness Sunday, bonfi res are lit and a large straw doll of Lady Maslenitsa is burnt to say farewell to the cold months. Minsks Maslenitsa effigy is still burnt in the square near the Palace of Sport. Any unwanted items are also thrown in the fire in an act of purification: out with the old and in with the new. As the smoke curls up into the sky, its thought to carry away winter. Her ashes are then buried in the snow to fertilise the crops. People ask each other to pardon outstanding bad feelings from the past year, leaving them with a light heart. The final day of the celebration is Pure Monday: the first day of Lent. Homes are spring-cleaned and people like to go to the banya to scrub off the grime of the dark days past.







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