Russian Department Students Learn about Russian Culture in Boston

A group of Russian Department students with Alfia Rakova, went to Boston, MA to learn about Russian culture.

Our trip to Boston was a very interesting experience and gave a fascinating perspective into Russian culture in the United States. In addition to this, our trip was a great opportunity to experience the city of Boston in a more natural setting than what is usually available to international students, like myself. Between meeting a Russian musician at the metro, and experiencing a book store doused with Russian culture, the trip gave a small taste of the opportunities learning a new language can present. Ultimately, our trip to Boston was a great reminder of the reasons I began taking Russian courses, and made me appreciate the Dartmouth Community even more.



Thank you so much for the opportunity to go to Boston!  It was amazing - we ate Russian food, listened to live Russian music, and went to some Russian stores - all rare commodities in Hanover!  I was also able to buy a child's fairytale book that I want to give to my little brother; I'm hoping it will spur in him some interest in the Russian language.  


Being able to leave campus with my class was the highlight of the quarter, and just the break I needed in the midst of midterm season.  


Thank you so much again!



The class trip to Boston with Dr. Rakova was my favorite part of first-year Russian. As soon as we got off the bus we met Peter Podobry, our professor's friend and a talented Russian guitar player, who was set up in the metro area boarding area. We got to listen to him play the Russian song "Katiusha" as we boarded. Cafe St. Petersburg was a real treat. We got to try great tasting appetizers and authentic borsch. I had these delicious pork cutlets with a mushroom sauce. At the Russian market we went to, I got some chocolates that my wife loves and a bag of the kind of tea crackers that are served during Russian Tea on Thursdays. I got to practice saying basic Russian phrases and translating food names and titles of books. I like that I can now say I've eaten kulich, Russian Easter bread. I liked it. This will be an experience I will cherish for a long time.



This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Boston with the Russian department – we went to Café. St. Peterburg, as well as a Russian food store and bookstore. Growing up in Boston and in the Russian community in the area, it was so exciting for me to be able to share that part of my childhood with the class. The food store, Bazaar, was where my family used to go shopping when I was a kid, and I loved being able to bring back Russian chocolates and pastries to my friends on campus and sharing my culture with them. The restaurant had incredible borscht and kotlety, which are two of my favorite foods.

I am so thankful for the funding that gave me the chance to go on this trip and engage with Russian culture in the city.


This Saturday, I went to Boston with my fellow Russian language classmates. We went to a Russian restaurant where we ate delicious Russian dishes. We also went to a Russian market, where I bought my favorite Russian chocolate. Additionally, we went to a Russian bookstore, where I bought my mom a gift for Mother's Day. I had a lot of fun, and I can't wait to do it again!



I had a good time experiencing Russian culture in Boston. After taking the bus from Hanover, we took the subway to a Russian restaurant. In the subway station, there was a Russian musician who played music for us, which was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed being able to try Russian food, which I had never had before. Afterwards, we visited a Russian bookstore and grocery store, where I enjoyed seeing the variety of different products. I am grateful that I was able to go on this trip, as it allowed me to learn more about Russian culture and practice my language skills.



My experience in Boston this past weekend will be hard to top if I ever revisit the metropolitan city. Not only was it my first time visiting this city, but it was a chance for me to try many novel foods, communicate with Russian people, and get a glimpse of Russian culture. One thing that caught me by surprise when we ate at the restaurant is that I liked borscht because usually dishes that consist of mostly vegetables does not appeal to my palate. Additionally, I am glad that I was able to go to a Russian supermarket because I discovered my love for Russian chocolate. Therefore, when I study abroad this summer in Russia, I know what treats I should stock up on. Furthermore, seeing all the books in the Russian bookstore that Russian culture has to offer invigorated my interest in learning the Russian language. Overall, the trip to Boston intensified my eagerness to travel to Russia this summer. 



 On our Boston trip, we got to see and do many interesting things. I enjoyed listening to a Russian street musician named Piotr who played Katyusha for us. At the restaurant, I tried borsht, shashlik, and kartoshki. At the food store, I bought four pieces of cake, a cheese blintz, and lots of candy! I also had a chance to speak a little Russian at the counter when I ordered the cakes. At the bookstore, I looked at children's books and saw some matryoshka dolls. I had a great time!



Our trip to Boston was amazing. I got the chance to try new Russian dishes at Cafe Saint Petersburg and enjoyed talking about Russian culture and current events with other students in my group. The Russian bookstore we visited was a fantastic surprise, and I got a chance to pick up a copy of one of my favorite books in Russian. The supermarket we went in was also fascinating - now I have plenty of Russian snacks in my room to share with friends. 

- Savannah 



During my trip to Boston I had the amazing experience to try for the first time ever authentic Russian cuisine. I got to go to a bookstore and had the opportunity to chat with the woman who worked there about Russian fairytales and authors. At the market place we went to I got to buy and try even more Russian foods and buy some to take back to my dorm, which I got to share with some of my friends back here at Dartmouth. Overall the trip was a great experience and I really enjoyed going!"



The first moment in which I felt like I was back in Russia was when we stepped through the Green Line, a light rail system run by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Not only did the train station give off a "St. Petersburg vibe," but seeing our accompanying chaperone, Professor Rakova, engage in conversation with a street performer she happened to know for over a decade (who also happened to be Russian) reminded me of the many street performers you'll see in Russian subway stations as you're changing stations or trains.

After several stops on the train, we finally arrived to the St. Petersburg Cafe, where we were presented with a Russian feast. Initially served "винегрет," eggplant caviar, mushroom, and sliced eggplants as an appetizer (accompanied with black bread with butter), I was then presented with борщ and a пирожок (с мясом) accompanied with куриный шашлык (with onion and ketchup). To top off the meal, I had a блин (with tart cherry) and a dessert known as "картошка." While eating all of this food, I could not only picture myself back at home, but I could also picture myself with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents back in Russia.

I was extremely saddened that my day came to a close so quickly, but am so lucky, and am so grateful, that I got to come on this trip. I truly can't express how much this opportunity meant to me. It brought back memories of home, memories which I thought I wouldn't have had until August.

Instead, home came to me, and it did so on this Boston trip, all in part to your contribution.

Thank you.

- Alexander