Lifestyle Archive

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In the aftermath of terrible events in Paris – Yazidi women

27.11.2015 Posted in Lifestyle, Politics No Comments

In the aftermath of terrible events in Paris I came across an article about Yazidi women which many of you must have already seen.  Headed by a Yazidi singer, the Yazidi women formed an all-female fighting unit  to take revenge on ISIS for forcing their sisters into sexual slavery and beheading their brothers. The Sun Girls’ brigade was formed by the renowned Yazidi singer Xate Shingali. She  has 123 recruits aged between 17 and 30 who all want revenge on ISIS. They risk being murdered or held as sex slaves if they are caught by enemy. Even the youngest recruit, 17, is not worried about being captured in battle. ISIS has abducted and abused thousands of Yazidi girls from northern Iraq. The article made me think about the female fighters for freedom who will always stand out and make a difference not  matter what century or country we live in. Like women fighters during the Civil War in Barcelona in 1936. The whole world was impressed by their courage so much it was unusual to see women fightig together with men. More than 80 years later we continue to be impressed these time by the Yazidi women. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3197565/They-rape-kill-Yazidi-singer-forms-female-fighting-unit-revenge-ISIS-forcing-sisters-sexual-slavery-beheading-brothers.html#ixzz3sRSNNHbM Images @Owen Holdaway and <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=/?_fb_noscript=1″ />@DA Kobane A NOI<meta http-equiv=”X-Frame-Options” content=”DENY” />

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Angelica’s pass time – Drinking Tea with Jam (vareniye)

5.06.2015 Posted in Lifestyle, Writing No Comments

Those who have been reading my blog know that I have a book coming out about Angelica Balabanoff by McFarland Publishers in September, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. To mark the book launch I’m starting a new series of articles dedicated to Angelica, her friends, recipes and her pastimes. The aim is to tell you more about my heroine. Drinking tea with jam (vareniye) is a Russian tradition which Angelica followed since her childhood. For her, tea and jam were basic necessities, no matter where she lived, how poor or rich she was. Angelica preferred well-brewed strong black tea. At the time when tea-bags did not exist, she followed a two-step tea-drinking ceremony. First the tea-concentrate was prepared in a small pot, then the desired quantity was poured into a cup and diluted with hot water. As for jams, Angelica had a variety of them. She preferred jam made of fruit and quite thick —like preserves, the way it was made back home in Chernigov. With forests being full of berries, the most reputed jam in Russia was raspberry jam, known for its healing power during flu in winter, the most common – strawberry jam. If she had guests, she served jam in a large bowl along with the pot of tea, explaining to her newcomers that they had to spoon out a little bit of jam for themselves into a smaller glass container. Then simply put a small spoonful of jam in your mouth, […]

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The Forgotten History of Red Rebels – Raya Dunaevskaya-Fench

15.05.2015 Posted in History, Lifestyle No Comments

I hope you liked my first article about Louise Berger written within the series of articles about the Red Rebels. Today I would like to say a few words about Raya Dunaevskaya whose 105th birthday we celebrated two weeks ago (a real revolutionary, Raya was born on Labour day – May 1). I came across Raya Dunaevskaya while writing my book, a biography of Angelica Balabanoff, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel, due to be published by McFarland in September. Both women were good friends. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space in my book, I was unable to write about Raya. Raya Dunaevskaya was born in 1910 in a small village, Yaryshev, in the Vinnitsiya area, at the time a part of the Russia Empire, today’s Ukraine. (Regretabbly I did not find any photos of her which are copyright free and which could be published in my blog.) Raya’s fate was unusual from the start. At the aged of 12 she immigrated with her family to the U.S. where she joined the communist movement as a child,  becoming an active member in the American Communist Party youth organization. She was expelled at age 18 and thrown down a flight of stairs after suggesting to her comrades that they should find out Trotsky’s response to his expulsion from the Soviet Communist Party. A year later she joined a group of independent Trotskyists in Boston. She also advocated for birth control and legal abortion. In 1937, when she […]

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Red Quiz VI – Paintings with Red Food by Famous Artists

3.04.2015 Posted in Lifestyle No Comments

Red Quiz VI – Paintings with Red Food by Famous Artists Here are the Paintings with Red Food by Famous Artists. Do you know who made these paintings? Please post your answers in the comments. Correct answers will be porvided on Friday, April 24. Here are the two paintings: 1. Piece of Beef 2.  Fruits exotiques et fleurs rouges   

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The Forgotten History of Red Rebels – Louise Berger

27.03.2015 Posted in History, Lifestyle No Comments

I’m starting a new series of articles about Red Rebel personalities in history. The aim is to tell about lives of those whose names have been largely forgotten. Nonetheless they all lived unique, interesting and at times curious lives. I came across most of these personalities while writing my book, a biography of Angelica Balabanoff, due to be published by McFarland in September. During her life, Angelica met many people, who wanted to make a difference, change society and leave a mark in history. Due to the lack of space many of them are not mentioned in my book. Nevertheless their breathtaking life-stories are worth to be told. The heroine of my first article is Louise Berger. I do not know whether Angelica knew her personally but she must have heard about Louise and they certainly had a few friends in common. Louise Berger was born in Latvia, at that time a part of Russia. The exact dates of her birth and death are unknown. The official sources say that she has been born at the beginning of 1890s. But it might have been earlier. Around 1905 she moved to Western Europe and eventually to the US where she became friends with a renowned anarchist Emma Goldman. A member of the Anarchist Red Cross, Louise was one of the founders of Latvian Anarchist Group. Not much is known about her life in the US until 1914 when a self-made bomb had prematurely exploded in her apartment in New York. It […]

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Life in Prison Camps in Russia – Incredible Drawings by Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya

6.03.2015 Posted in Lifestyle No Comments

A few words to marke the anniversary of death ( March 8th) of an incredible woman and artist, Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya, known for her rare drawings of realities of life in Russian prison camps.* ** Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya was a Russian writer and artist, of a noble origin. Born in 1907 in Odessa, she moved with her family to Bessarabia, which was then a part of Romania, to escape from prosecution of Bolsheviks, where Eufrosinia worked as a farmer on the ancestry estate. After the Soviet armies entered Bessarabia in 1940, Eufrosinia and her mother as the former landowners were driven out of their house. So, Eufrosinia had to take all sorts of odd jobs to maintain herself and her old mother. Soon under the pressure of Bolshevist propaganda all Efrosinia’s friends, acquaintances, and fellow villagers turn their backs on her. But it was only the beginning of the misfortunes that fell on fragile shoulders of Efrosinia. One night six armed men came to arrest her. In June, 1941 Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya was exiled to a special prison settlement in the Tomsk Region. After an attempt to escape in 1942 she was sentenced to a supreme penalty. She refused to ask for mercy with writing words: “I cannot demand justice and I do not want to ask for favor”. Nevertheless, her sentence was replaced with the term of 10 years. In 1944 she got another 10-year term for “counterrevolutionary propaganda”. She served her penance in Norilsk prison camp. Her work was a kind […]

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The Mausoleum is Closed for Two Months as Lenin gets an Extreme Makeover.

20.02.2015 Posted in Lifestyle No Comments

(KRT) MOSCOW — Vladimir Lenin has been dead these 80 years, but the founder of Soviet communism has never looked better. Just ask his curator.* “He looks quite fine, as good as he did 30 years ago,” said Yuri Denisov-Nikolsky, the Russian doctor who just supervised an extensive makeover of Lenin’s corpse. “He looked terrible when he died, but what you see now is Lenin’s face, not someone else’s.” Denisov-Nikolsky has been working on Lenin since 1970, and in a rare interview he pulled back the shroud of secrecy surrounding the body, its original embalming and its periodic makeovers. When Lenin died of a stroke and heart attack on Jan. 21, 1924, his widow said he’d wished to be buried next to his mother in a simple cemetery plot. But the communist elite had other ideas. They originally planned to freeze their beloved leader, but his body began to deteriorate badly as a super-freezer was being built. Instead, using an untested chemical process, Lenin was embalmed and his skin carefully treated to preserve a lifelike appearance. He’s entombed in a granite-and-marble mausoleum in Red Square. The body is sealed in a glass sarcophagus, cooled to 61 degrees, with the humidity between 80 and 90 percent. Some say Lenin appears to be sleeping. Others compare him to waxed fruit. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian government stopped financing the preservation of the body, Denisov-Nikolsky said. Private donations pay the meager salaries of his 15-person staff at a research […]