The Fundamentals of the Russian Culture (Fall/Spring)



SCHOOL/ DEPARTMENT: The School of Foreign Languages Russian Language Department
LEVEL OF STUDY: Undergraduate/ Graduate
COURSE TITLE: The Fundamentals of the Russian Culture

  • Ekaterina Goncharuk, Senior lecturer
  • Olga Li, Senior lecturer

Coursework Breakdown


ECTS Credits          




Laboratory / workshops



Self-study assignment



 Total (1 ECTS = 36 hrs.)






Learning Outcomes

After completion, students should be able to:

  1. To know the basic symbols of Russian culture, the traditional Russian (Slavic) festivals and rituals,
  2. To discuss the major peculiarities of Russian culture and traditions.
  3. To be familiar with the major achievements of Russian art (painting, music, ballet, film, animation),
  4. To demonstrate the knowledge of Russia’s geography, flora and fauna.

General Skills

  1. To develop communicative competence (improving intercultural communication skills).
  2. To develop social competence (study Russian culture and Russian etiquette, Russian modern life and social situations)
  3. To increase the knowledge level of Russian geography and Russian everyday life.


  1. Class Introduction. Fundamental concept of "culture" and the symbols of culture. Stereotypes of the Russian character and Russian culture. National symbols of Russian culture (presentation): Felt Boots, Matryoshka, Weeble-wobble (tumbler), wooden spoons, accordion, galoshes, Cheburashka, balalaika, a hat with earflaps, kolobok, double-headed eagle, vodka, bear, banya (steam-bath) and etc. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  1) Preparing the self-selected topic about one of the national symbols of Russian. Topics should contain the history of the national symbols of Russian culture. (4 hours)

  2. Russian Federation on the world map. Arctic. Geographical position. Flora and fauna. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparating of the report "Arctic Discoverer" or "Representative of Arctic fauna". (4 hours)

  3. Russia Federation state symbols (the history of the Russian flag, the emblem and the anthem.
    The meaning of symbols for the Russian history and culture. Public holidays in Russia. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Small group project “The most popular public holiday in Russian”. Group of students (each group is 2-3 people) carry out a survey among the students of VSUES about their favorite public holiday. Preparing Power Point Presentation based on result survey (8 hours).

  1. Slavs. Religion. Culture. Features of life. Workshop: playing the wooden spoons (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparing for the discussion " Distribution of modern Slavs ". (4 hours)

  2. Traditional (non-state) holidays and their role in Russian culture. Traditions, customs and modern life. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Reading information about Russian superstition. Answering the questions. (4 hours)

  3. The Volga and its tributaries. The settlements located on the banks of the Volga. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Group project "Volga in Russian arts". Group of students (each group is 2-3 people) prepare Power Point Presentation about Volga river in different artworks. (6 hours)

  4. Russian ballet. Class activities: text reading, viewing the video and post viewing discussion dedicated to the role of dance as the way to express emotions and thoughts. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Reading text  “14 facts about Russian ballet” and answering the questions. (4 hours)

  5. Tatars. Religion. Culture. Features of life. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparing the oral report "Ethnics in Russia. Religion, peculiarities of life, traditions "(available topics: Chuvash, Bashkirs, Chechens, Yakats, Buryat, Kalmyks, Udmurts, people of Komi, Chukchi).  (6 hours)

  6. Russian animation. The history of the appearance and development of the cartoon animation. The most popular animated cartoons for Russian culture. Test 1 (4 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparing for Test 1(Theme 1-8). (4 hours)

  7. The Caucasus. Natural landscape. Mineral springs area. Population. Religion. Culture. Lifestyle. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:   Reading the article “Peculiarities of daily life of the Caucasus people”. Answering the questions. (4 hours)

  8. The History of Russian national costume through the period of the 18th – 20th century. The changes of a costume design. Russian traditional jewelry and traditional art patterns. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparing Power Point Presentation about one of the modern Russian fashion designer at the student’s choice. (4 hours)

  9. The Ural Mountains. Geographical location. Landscape. Fauna. The Ural gems. Germs Deposits. The Ural poles. The Legends about the origin. The peoples of the Urals. Religion. Culture. Features of lifestyle. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Reading the article “Ural Legends”. Answering the questions. (4 hours).

  10. The Russian art and traditional paintings: Gzhel, Jostov, Khokhloma, Gorodets paintings and etc. Painting wooden boards/spoons in “Khokhlomskoy” style workshop. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Finding information about other types of  Russian traditional art (mezen pinting, uftyung painting and etc.). (4 hours)

  11. Man and Woman-their relations. Women in Russia A Russian wedding ceremony. The old and modern time traditions. (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparation for the discussion “Women in the world.  Career or family?”.  (4 hours)

  12. Siberia. The history of Siberia settling. The peoples of Siberia. Religion. Culture. Features of lifestyle. Lake Baikal. The Angara Legend. Environmental Issues. Test 2 (2 hours)

    Self-study assignment:  Preparing for Test 2 (Theme 9-15). (4 hours)

  13. The peculiarities of Russian mentality. Non verbal communication. Russian superstitions and signs. (2 hours).

    Self-study assignment:  Preparation of the presentation "Similarities and differences between the non-verbal communication in Russia and in my native country ". (4 hours)



During the course students have lectures on Russian culture, religion and geography of the Russian Federation. Students study texts, audio and video materials on cultural topics, participate in classroom discussions. All classes are facilitated by internet and presentation equipment ,so students do assessments by using computers, projectors, boards, and audio speakers.


- Recommended Book and Journal Article Resources:

  1. Basko, N.V. Znakomimsya s russkimi traditsiyami i zhizn'yu rossiyan : ucheb. posobiye po kul'turologii, razvitiyu rechi i chteniyu dlya izuchayushchikh russkiy yazyk kak inostrannyy / N. V. Basko - 3-ye izd., ster. - M. : Russkiy yazyk. Kursy , 2016 - 232 s. (Basko, N.V. We get acquainted with Russian traditions and the life of Russians: studies. Textbook of cultural studies, development of language and reading  skills for students learning  Russian as a foreign language / N.V. Basko - 3rd ed., Sr. - M.: Russian language. Courses, 2016 - 232 p.).
  2. Berezovaya L. G., Berlyakova N. P. ISTORIYA RUSSKOY KUL'TURY V 2 CH. CHAST' 1 2-ye izd., ispr. i dop. Uchebnik dlya bakalavriata i magistratury [Elektronnyy resurs] : M.:Izdatel'stvo Yurayt , 2018 - 401 - Rezhim dostupa: (Berezovaya L. G., Berlyakova N. P. HISTORY OF RUSSIAN CULTURE IN 2 Parts. PART 1 2nd ed., Rev. 2 and add. Textbook for undergraduate and graduate programs [Electronic resource]: M.: Publishing Yurayt, 2018 - 401 - Access mode:
  3. Viktorov V.V. Kul'turologiya : Uchebnik [Elektronnyy resurs] : Vuzovskiy uchebnik , 2017 - 411 - Rezhim dostupa: (Viktorov V.V. Cultural Studies: Textbook [Electronic resource]: University textbook, 2017 - 411 - Access mode: ).
  4.  Gorelov A.A. ISTORIYA RUSSKOY KUL'TURY 2-ye izd., per. i dop. Uchebnik dlya akademicheskogo bakalavriata [Elektronnyy resurs] : M.:Izdatel'stvo Yurayt , 2018 - 387 - Rezhim dostupa: https://biblio- (Gorelov A.A. HISTORY OF RUSSIAN CULTURE 2 nd ed., Trans. and add. Textbook for bachelor’s program [Electronic resource]: M.: Publishing Yurayt, 2018 - 387 - Access mode: https: // biblio-
  5. Nikitina, S. Ye. Ustnaya narodnaya kul'tura i yazykovoye soznaniye / S. Ye. Nikitina ; otv. red. N. I. Tolstoy - 2-ye izd. - M. : LENAND , 2014 - 192 s. 7.  (Nikitina, S. Е. Folk Culture and Language Consciousness / S. E. Nikitina; rep. ed. N. I. Tolstoy - 2nd ed. - M.: LENAND, 2014 - 192 p. 7.).
  6. Orlova Ye.V., Shastina Ye.P. Geografiya i priroda Rossii. Uchebnoye posobiye po russkomu yazyku dlya inostrannykh uchashchikhsya. /Ye.V. Orlova, Ye.P. Shastina . M.: Russkiy yazyk. Kursy. 2009. – 93 s. (Orlova E.V., Shastina E.P. Geography and nature of Russia. Textbook of  Russian language for foreign students. / E.V. Orlova, E.P. Shastin. M .: Russian language. Courses. 2009. - 93 p.).
  7. Perevoznikova, A.K. Rossiya: strana i lyudi. Lingvostranovedeniye : ucheb. posobiye dlya izuchayushchikh russkikh yazyk kak inostrannyy / A. K. Perevoznikova - 4-ye izd., ster. - M. : Russkiy
    yazyk. Kursy , 2015 - 184 s. (Perevoznikova, A.K. Russia: country and people. Culture-oriented linguistics. Textbook of Russian language as a foreign / A. K. Perevoznikova - 4th ed., Sr. - M.: Russian language. Courses, 2015 - 184 p.).
  8. G.Ya. Selezneva. Stranovedeniye i lingvostranovedeniye [Elektronnyy resurs] : Voronezh: Izdatel'skiy dom VGU , 2016 - 45 - Rezhim dostupa: (G.Ya. Selezneva. National studies and culture-oriented linguistics [Electronic resource]: Voronezh: VSU Publishing House, 2016 - 45 - Access Mode:
  9.  Sergeyeva, Alla Vasil'yevna. Russkiye: stereotipy povedeniya, traditsii, mental'nost' / A. V. Sergeyeva - 10-ye izd., ster. - M. : FLINTA : Nauka , 2017 - 320 s. (Sergeeva, Alla Vasilievna. Russians: behavioral stereotypes, traditions, mentality / A. V. Sergeeva - 10th ed., Sr. - M.: FLINTA: Science, 2017 - 320 p.).
  10. Yakushev A.V., Ivanishcheva N.A.. Geografiya Rossii: naseleniye, khozyaystvo i ekonomicheskiye rayony : Uchebnoye posobiye [Elektronnyy resurs] : Orenburg: OOO "Agentstvo Pressa" , 2016 - 88 - Rezhim dostupa: (Yakushev AV, Ivanishcheva NA. Geography of Russia: population, economy and economic areas: Tutorial [Electronic resource]: Orenburg: Agency Press LLC, 2016 - 88 - Access mode: https: // lib.

Ekaterina Goncharuk (Ms.)

Senior lecturer

Mon-Thu: 8:30 - 17:30
Fri: 8:30-16:15

+7 (423)2404127

Olga Li (Ms.)

Senior lecturer

Mon-Thu: 8:30 - 17:30
Fri: 8:30-16:15