Sunday, July 6, 2014

Russian Study Tour Banquet


Final banquet Hotel Severnaia
The 25th anniversary of the Petrozavodsk-Duluth language camp came to a close Saturday the 5th of July. It was hard to hear it was officially closed. To be honest, I could have gone another month or two. I didn't want the camp to end but all good things must. During the Closing Banquet we enjoyed a great meal and laughed all throughout dinner with our new friends. We also received our official certificate of completion of the courses required of us by the camp. Looking around the room, I could see an atmosphere of happiness and excitement for all the experiences and friendships made here. Words could not describe the emotions we all felt. I also noticed that we didn't have room to preform the skit and songs we prepared for our Russian hosts. I finally got word that after dinner we would all walk to the park and perform outside. Whew, what a relief!
Kizhi hydrofoil trip reenacted 
            So, after finishing dinner, we all walked to the park together. We set up our stuff and the crowd gathered around to watch us Americans perform. Our first performance was a song called миленький ты мой  a song about a woman's love and a man's refusal to love her in a far away land. The girls sang a verse and then the guys sang right back with the second and so on. We sounded pretty good! We then went right into our skit, which we had been practicing all week. While Adam narrated, all of us reenacted our most memorable moments while in St Petersburg and Petrozavodsk. We acted out our night at the "hostel of spilt blood", where unfortunately Ryan cut his thumb in a wine-opening incident! We then reenacted the night we were nearly stranded across the river after going the wrong direction on the metro. After that, we went through the cultural differences we observed while in Russia. The crazy bus rides, long walks around the cities and every day drinking tea! Our last scene was the day we rode the boat out to Kizhi  Island. We encountered some rough waves and cold weather but it was a spectacular place! We had a blast acting out our experiences for them and we got quite a few laughs! 
Our final banquet performance was another song called я бездельник by the band КиноViktor Tsoi "Bezdel'nik" It's a song about a slacker with no home. It's a really fun song to sing and very catchy. I caught myself humming and singing it when I got into Moscow!

Americans emulating the "Russian photo pose"
After our performances, they announced that there would be Karaoke at the Blues Cafe in town. No one wanted the night to end so we all met up around 10 p.m. to celebrate. Eventually I mustered up the courage to sing a song, and then another later on. It was a night I would never forget! Russians and Americans dancing and singing together and having a great time! It was quite the evening but unfortunately we had to get some sleep to wake up and leave the next day. I'm glad we all got to celebrate our final night in Petrozavodsk with an awesome banquet, memorable performances and a few extra late night songs with all our new friends!    
by Brett Tyson

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