медведи – bears

Russia is in the quarter-finals!

The ‘Northern Bear’ was, according to The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase & Fablean old nickname for Russia. And it is still true that Russia (in political cartoons) is usually depicted as a bear, even though only very few cities have the bear in their coat of arms, the Country’s coat of arms features an eagle, not a bear.  However, it seems that Russia didn’t mind but embraced this view, at least judging by this souvenir from the late 5os:

Here is where I have to admit that I have never been to Russia! My interest in the country and its ‘peculiarities’ started in my teens when I found out that my grandmother (who passed away before I was born) had been raised in Riga (Latvia – when it was under Russian control).

Copy of Birth certificate of my grandmother

I learned the language (not terribly well but good enough to put to use when I jobbed as a student in what was then West-Berlin) and continue to pick up items that suit my interests.

For example, this version of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’:

‘The 3 bears’ from from a 1966 book titled родная речъ – native speech
IMG_2650
Goldilocks escapes – Russian Version
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Goldilocks escapes – English version

 

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