Apr 12, 2011

С днём космонавтики! (Happy Cosmonautics Day!)

It's that time of the year again.  Today, April 12th, in accordance with Article 1.1 of the Law of the Russian Federation "On Days of Military Glory and Commemorative Dates in Russia," the former Soviet Union + Joey once again celebrates Cosmonautics Day.  I'm not sure if I made a big deal of this last time around, but Cosmonautics Day is my favorite holiday of all, and has been ever since I learned about it in Russian 101.  April 12th was the date that Yuri Gagarin, first man in space, became the first man in space. This year's celebration is even more awesome than usual, because it's the 50-year anniversary of Gagarin's historic flight.

In honor of Colonel Gagarin, chief engineer Sergei Korolev, Laika the space-dog, and all other heroes of the Soviet space program, I present this photograph of the world's first interplanetary station wagon - the Mitsubishi Space Wagon.

Click on the picture, or any picture on the blog, for a full-size version.  Happy Cosmonautics Day!


Joanna said...

I'd feel safe taking that beauty to the moon. With Laika in tow, of course. What an incredible holiday. Are there celebrations or do people just sit at home and do nothing like they do here.

geoffrey said...

Too bad you lack access to your old dresser drawer in Glencoe, a veritable armory of fireworks suitable for the occasion.

SusannaMMMerrill said...

I myself have a special fondness for International Forest Workers' Day, after seeing the signs left up for so many weeks (or months?) on the streets of Irkutsk.
You're re-inspiring me to be amused and interested by Russian-- it's hard from the comfort of an armchair with some Tolstoy, with no response required and no post-revolutionary bureaucratic bizarreness going on with the language.

Iosif Markovich said...

Russian is even more amusing and interesting when you aren't contractually obligated to speak it, and when you don't really have any concrete goal other than to learn some.

To Joanna - they actually kinda celebrate! There are big displays set up in the library/at school, with old newspaper clippings and pictures of various cosmonauts/feats of space exploration.

kk said...


I'm a friend of a friend and a big fan of your blog. I've been writing here and there over the past year or so, and I recently started my own blog. Through these experiences I have developed a deep appreciation for feedback/comments/words of praise. So here goes:

Your blog rocks! It's well-written, funny and sensitive. Plus, I was born in Russia and lived there for about 6 years before moving to sunny, low-fat California. Since then (and it's been nearly over 17 years now), I have been struggling to understand everything I left behind, from the language to the culture to the gaudy, unforgivably tasteless fashion sense. How can a people with such a deep love for great art, great music, great literature and great architecture wear so many rhinestones? Your blog has been therapeutic and insightful in helping me to answer this and similar questions. Keep up the good work!


Iosif Markovich said...

Привет, Ksenia!

Thanks for the feedback. I'm curious to know which friend of which friend you are.

The rhinestone contradiction is just one of many I try to explore here... Russia really does make no sense, and any insight I offer here is always incomplete. I once hoped that 40+ blog posts could collectively explain the place, but so far that hasn't panned out.

Iosif Markovich said...

Two more questions, Ksenia - What is the URL for your blog? As you'll see in the latest post, my blog is getting bloggier, and I'm going to link to other readers'/friends' blogs somewhere.

Second question - Sounds from your comment that you haven't gone back to Russia since you left - Do you plan to?

kk said...

Hi Iosif,

So nice to hear back from you. I'd love to talk to you more, but let's do it on email, if you don't mind. My address is Ksenia.Kaladiouk at gmail dot com.

Hit me up!