A Russian Musical Evening

Russians may celebrate Unity Day in many ways. Some may lay flowers to the monuments of national heroes, Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, who led a popular uprising that freed Moscow from occupation forces on November 4, 1612 as shown below.

“Kuzma Minin and Count Dmitry Pozharsky – They came from two different worlds – Dmitry Pozharsky belonged to the aristocracy and Kuzma Minin reportedly was the son of a salt producer, but because of their achievements in Russia’s struggle for independence from the Poles, these two figures managed to go down in history – together.”

We recently had some news from our Russian friend, Sergey Eletskikh, about a feast day of National Unity in Russia which is celebrated on 4th November and is a holiday of love, aid, support and caring about others.  For this reason Sergey and his brother, Alexander, who has returned to North Cyprus for another holiday, decided to arrange a musical evening at Made in USSR in Alsancak featuring a variety of musicians.

As we enjoyed the last musical evening arranged by Sergey so much, we didn’t want to miss this one so we went along on 3rd November to join with other people from the Russian community to enjoy an evening of traditional Russian music and song.

We arrived to find a large gathering of people listening to Sergey and Alexander who had already started their performance and we sat down with Marina, and Alexei and his wife, to enjoy the music.   Part way through their singing, Sergey, in Russian, welcomed Chris and I so we were made to feel like part of the gathering which was such a nice gesture.

There followed a violin solo with one very haunting and one very rousing piece which was played by one of the Russian members of the audience and then came some folk songs sung by Svetlana Krupovich who came to North Cyprus 2 years ago and lives at Chelsey Village, Arapkoy.    It is interesting to see most of the audience joining in with the words and although we cannot understand what the songs are about we can enjoy the music just the same.

At the last musical evening, we met Hasan, who is Turkish, and there he demonstrated his talent of Spanish type guitar music.   He was again present at Made in USSR and took to the stage with another guitarist to give a brilliant performance which incorporated 2 songs in English, I think for our benefit as Sergey was smiling very broadly at me when this was happening so I gave him a “thumbs up” for his thoughtfulness.   During this session a dancer appeared who gave an excellent performance of Russian gypsy dancing, very similar to Spanish Flamenco, and she was later accompanied by another dancer and they performed together to very resounding music. 

Sergey and Alexander continued with more Russian songs, they sing so well together and really enjoy it.  It is nice that these brothers can get together from time to time.   I spoke for a while to Alexander who I met for the first time at the last musical event and he was very happy to tell me that he had met an English lady, Hayley, when he was here in August and she had since visited him in Moscow and he was hoping to spend Christmas with her in England.  So maybe we should watch this space!! 

The evening flowed with music from several musicians and it was nice to see some familiar faces from the Russian community who make you feel so welcome although we don’t speak the language, and this is how it should be – just people coming together to enjoy an evening of entertainment.

To see the previous Russian musical event at Green Valley Restaurant click Russian Musical Soiree.

By Margaret Sheard

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