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Russian Culture

by Vishal Kumar

Russian Culture - Russia is a culturally rich country with a robust economy. Learn all about Russian culture here.



With Russia being the country to cover the most area in the world, it is hardly a surprise that the cuisine here is extremely diverse. The foundation of Russian eating habits is derived from the peasant culture. The food includes fish, poultry, mushrooms, honey, and berries. Crops like wheat, rye, barley, and millet also played an important role, serving as ingredients for various types of bread, cereals, beer, and vodka.

Russian cuisine is seen to contain a lot of meat and fish. Among the vegetables used are potato, cabbage, and cold greens.


Russia has various forms of music, which evolved through the rich and culturally diverse history of the nation. The music here is a mix of extremes, ranging from ritual folk songs to sacred notes of the Russian Orthodox Church. The world-renowned Russian Classical Music came into being in the 19th century. The 20th century saw the rise of several composers such as Igor Stravinsky and also the modern forms of music including Russian rock and Russian pop.

Art and Painting

Russian art is a kaleidoscope of icon painting, classical, realist, and modern paintings. Icon painting is typically done on icons made of wood, generally small but some churches have pretty large and elaborate paintings done as well. Religious symbolism is associated with this form of art, which made its way into Russia around 988 AD. By the mid-seventeenth century, a split in religious beliefs led to the practice being discontinued by several religious sub-groups of the Orthodox church.

Russian classical painting was at its peak in the early 19th century with neoclassicism and romanticism flourishing under the guidance of the Russian Academy of Arts, which was founded in 1757. Notable artists from this academy are Ivan Argunov and Vladimir Borovikovsky. The focus of this art form was on Biblical and mythological themes.

By the 19th century, realism had begun earning popularity among the artists of Russia. The themes commonly captured in Russian realist paintings were landscapes of forests and rivers, as well as social criticism which gave an honest portrait of the social conditions of the-then Russia. Some others shifted their focus to critical realism and also the important moments in Russian history. Notable artists from this period are Ivan Shishkin, Isaac Levitan, and Arkhip Kuindzi among others.

Russian avant-garde is the term given to the wave of modernist art that took over Russia from the period of 1890-1930 approximately. This includes neo-primitivism, constructivism, suprematism, futurism, and rayonism. Notable avant-garde artists include El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, and Vladimir Tatlin.

Design and Architecture

The roots of Russian architecture trace back to the woodcraft buildings of the ancient Slavs. Later, after the nation was Christianized, the face of architecture began to reflect Byzantine influences. The stone buildings of churches were constructed with brightly painted domes, which have become the signature of Russian architecture. This style of the building continued till the 17th century, with ornamentation flourishing.

The 18th century saw the advent of rococo architecture and with it, the marvels of Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Neoclassicism also flourished during this period. By the 19th century, the dominant architectural forms were byzantine and Russian revival. Art Noveau, constructivism, and the Stalin Empire Style took prominence.


Reflecting its history, literature in the U.S.A. has two distinct segments, one of the colonial era writings and the other of the post-Revolutionary writings when the evolution of American poetry, fiction, and drama began. Nine Americans have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature they are Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O’Neill, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Issac Bashevis Singer, and Toni Morrison.


Russian cinema is globally recognized and internationally acclaimed. The first cinema in Russia was brought in by the Lumiere brothers and the first film made in Russia was the coronation of Nicholas II at the Kremlin. Russia has given the world of cinema hits such as House of Fools, Brother, and Night Watch. Nika Awards are the national annual film award in Russia.


Russia is one of the most accomplished countries in the field of sports, regularly finishing at the top in the Olympic Games. Since the Helsinki Olympics of 1952, Russia has never gone below third place in the Olympic Games. The most popular games in Russia are basketball, bandy, football, and ice hockey as well as weightlifting, gymnastics, boxing, martial arts, rugby union, and skiing. Winter Olympics were held in Sochi in February 2014.


The Russian economy ranks eighth in the world in terms of nominal value and sixth/fifth in terms of purchasing power parity. The Russian fiscal year is the same as the calendar year.

The main industries in Russia include a lot of mining and extracting activities of resources of coal, gas, oil, and metals as well as machine building such as high-performance aircraft and space vehicles, rolling mills, etc. Also, the manufacturing of advanced electronic components, road, and rail transportation equipment, agricultural machinery, and construction equipment form a major part of the local industries of Russia.

The fishing industry of Russia is the world’s fourth largest, tailing Japan, the United States, and China. Also, Russian forests make up more than one-fifth of the world’s entire forests, making it the largest forest nation on the planet.


Russia is abundant with natural resources such as oil, coal, gas, and timber. The Ural Mountains are packed with natural resources, as are Siberia and the far east. However, the remoteness and climatically unfavorable conditions of these locations make it difficult to access and exploit the minerals to their full potential. Natural resources are the major export products of Russia.

Russia also has high reserves of diamonds, being the largest diamond-producing nation in the world, contributing to 25% of the global diamond production.

International Trade

The export industry of Russia is estimated to be worth $285.5 billion (2016 est). The major goods that are exported from Russia are petroleum and petroleum products, metals, natural gas, wooden products as well as wood itself, and civilian and military manufacturers.

Russian import industry is worth $182.3 billion (2016 est), with the imported goods being machinery, vehicles, plastic, semi-finished metal products, pharmaceutical products, fruits and nuts, meat, iron, steel, etc.

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