Happy “OLD NEW YEAR” everyone!
Imagine my surprise when I found out that the winter holidays here in Russia extended all the way to Jan 14 – my final day here. It’s the “Old New Year” – which is another carryover from the change to the Julian calendar, which the Orthodox church does not recognize with regards to its religious holidays and observances. You can read more about Old New Year here.
So, last night on “Old New Year’s Eve” – I celebrated with a lively, charming, and engaging group of people who are or have been students of Nina Alexandrovna — a well respected teacher and tutor of English here in Samara. Notice in the pictures below, the wide range of ages (from a grade school girl to folks in their seventies.) No problem involving everyone in the converstations. Russian society is very inclusive and family oriented. Some attending couldn’t utter a word in my presence. Others could not keep quiet! These student parties are always a pleasure for me (because we are almost all the time speaking English), and a joy to see their progress from year to year.
Toward the end of the evening, I asked each person to share why he/she decided to learn the English language. Their answers varied, but one common theme stood out: they fell in love with their teacher, who then made them fall in love with English.
So yes, it indeed was a Happy Old New Year – and a wonderful ending to my winter adventure in Russia. Thanks to Nina for arranging a delightful evening and for being in love with English!