On Pushkin's Day everyone speaks Russian
Holiday. June 6th. Russian Language Day, Pushkin's Day.
The meaning and history. The international Russian Language Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010. This holiday coincides with the birthday of Alexander Pushkin, who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the father of modern Russian literature.
How it is celebrated. The tradition to celebrate Alexander Pushkin’s birthday with literature evenings and readings is very old. But the idea to establish a special day of Russian language came from the Russian Community of Crimea. Since 2007, every year on June 6th it organizes the Russian International Festival of Slavic culture. The UN supported this idea. Now that the Russian Language Day is an official holiday, every city proposes an interesting cultural program. For example, in Moscow people have possibility to listen to the opera “Eugene Onegin” free of charge. The leading actors of the capital's theaters will read the best Pushkin’s poems at the gala-concert. Visitors can also see musical performances based on the works of Pushkin.
Russian language in Carinthia. Ljuba Hodzic moved to Austria from Vitebsk (Belarus). She has been living in Villach since 2003 and is happily married with Almin Hodzic, a businessman. Ljuba and Almin have three children. Alen is 11, twins Benjamin and Chantal are 4. One time a week, all kids attend Russian school, which was organized by Russian Cultural Association “Carinthia” in 2008 (www.russcarinthia.at).
„My children were born in Austria, they are living in Austria. No wonder that they speak perfect German”, Ljuba tells. “But I want they know my native language too. Sure, I read my kids Russian fairy-tails and poems, but it’s not enough. That’s why we decided to join the Russian school. Thanks to the lessons of Russian language, now Alen can read and write Russian. The twins are still learning. Besides, my oldest son attends the theater-studio to improve his articulation and public speaking skills. This year the pupils of the Russian school have prepared a performance, devoted to Russian Language Day. I can’t describe in words my joy, when I see my son speaking good Russian on the scene! Do not forget your native language, it is a piece of your homeland!”
Text: Vita Vitrenko, Photos: Ljuba Hodzic, Russian Language School.