The 20th Anniversary “Beet the Borsch” Celebration was a great success! Thank you to all who participated and joined us for the evening of wonderful food and music.
Here is an article about the event and the week’s activities of the Kurgan delegation, published this week by the local press in Kurgan. For the original article in Russian, click here.
Kurgan delegation returns from sister city, where the 20 year anniversary of friendship with Appleton was marked in a big way: heard a balalaika orchestra and tasted…yellow borsch.
by Ekaterina Lazareva, URA.ru News Service
translation by Brett Schilke
Sister cities Kurgan and Appleton (USA) have marked 20 years of friendship, with a delegation from Kurgan traveling to the American city for the anniversary celebration: Elena Ovchinnikova, chairwoman of the regional branch of the Journalists’ Union; Ivan Kamshilov, deputy of the Kurgan city council; Natalya Bochegova, dean of the philology department at Kurgan State University; and Larisa Zhirova, lecturer.
In the words of Elena Ovchinnikova, the friendship with Kurgan is cherished in Appleton. The entire 20-year history of sister cities cooperation is collected there in documents and photos. “Americans appreciate and remember each day spent in our country. They want to return again to Russia,” noted the journalist.
In Appleton, Elena Ovchinnikova visited the offices of their local newspaper “The Post-Crescent.” The paper is published daily, including weekends, and the size of the newspaper is not small, 30-40 pages per day. Cooperation between mass media in Kurgan and Appleton has not yet been established. According to Ovchinnikova, Americans follow the happenings in their sister city on the website of the “Kurgan and Kurganians” newspaper, and they are ready to exchange news. Both sides have the opinion that, in addition to the already-established partnership between universities in the two cities, friendship should also be forged between journalists.
The Russian National Unity Day, the 4th of November, became a Russian day in Appleton as well. At Lawrence University, where Russian language and culture are studied in-depth, Americans prepared…borsch…in honor of the guests. The Kurgan delegation of course did not remain on the sidelines and prepared their own example of borsch. Some of the soups in the American offerings were imaginative – in the process of cooking, not only were traditional red beets used, but also yellow, leading the cooks to name that variety Yellow Borsch. “About 1,000 people came to the event, not even connected to Russian culture, and everyone tried the borsch,” said Ovchinnikova.
What struck the Kurganians most of all was a concert by a balalaika orchestra. “It was the first time I’ve ever heard a balalaika orchestra. And where did it happen? In America!” Ovchinnikova shared.
For a couple days of the stay in America, the Kurgan delegation took part in Russian-American discussions of contemporary problems, attended a meeting of the local Rotary Club, and also visited six schools. American students study Russia, her culture, and history in 3rd, 7th, and 10th grades. Each of the Kurgan visitors led 18 mini-classes. Natalya Bochegova showed children Russian cartoons, Elena Ovchinnikova taught 3rd graders how to write their names in Russian, and Larisa Zhirova talked about Russian culture, showed traditional nesting dolls, and sang songs about Russian birch trees.
The journalist noted, “What struck me was that Americans wake up so early. People there work so much, and practically don’t drink at all. I confess that we were tired out. And without a doubt, we need to intensify our partnership.”