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Misha...

 
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When I was a kid and living in India, I used to save all my pocket money for the International Book Fair that comes every once in a while, and buy Russian magazines and books translated into English. I had books on Byelorussian folk tales, books filled with stories, pictures, puzzles and poems... Used to spend all the rainy monsoon days curled up with a bunch of these books.

There was a children's magazine called Misha. My father gifted me with a three year subscription, and I used to wait for it eagerly every month. Sadly, nowadays I don't find them anymore. The one site that I saw that sells Misha, has only the Russian edition. I used to read and reread the magazines so many times (even the stories that I didn't find so interesting the first time) after my subscription ran out..
I had a collection of these magazines saved up in a box, but once there was a small roof leak during a storm, and some water found its way into the box, and although it did not seem like much damage had been done, the next time I opened the box after completing my exams, the books were totally ruined, all stuck together with mildew and fungus.

Sometimes, the scent of a new book, or a drawing, or some word that I had first come across in those books makes me feel really nostalgic. I wish I could read those books again and re-live some of the best days of my childhood.
 
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I never heard of that magazine , one of those I can remember is Murzilka, there were some other ones, but I can't remember them.

Funny, my favorite book was The Jungle book trunslated to Russian .
But most of my indian friends don't consider it indian...
 
kayal cox
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Map, (since you are the only person I know to have come from Russia), have you ever come across this magazine I am talking about?
 
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I remember reading about this magazine, I think it started after 1980. I was too old to get interested, but I remember some smell of propaganda in this business. I could be unfair, though...

Here is all I could find:
http://www.bestperiodica.com/MagazineInfo.asp?id=110&cid=3

A year's subscription -- $52. :roll:

To give a meaningful comparison, it would be about $1500 on the US scale of prices.

Big thanks for sharing this with us, Kayal.
 
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KC: Map, (since you are the only person I know to have come from Russia)



The Ranch is full of us. Rita, Dmitry, not to mention Shura Balaganov... The only guy who didn't come from Russia is John Smith.
 
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Me: Here is all I could find:
http://www.bestperiodica.com/MagazineInfo.asp?id=110&cid=3


They use the same URL for all magazines! Doh! Well, scroll down until "For children" section on the left and hit the sixth link. :roll:
[ October 21, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
kayal cox
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Map: The Ranch is full of us. Rita, Dmitry, not to mention Shura Balaganov



Sorry..I am new to this forum, and I didn't want to go around making assumptions! Sorry Rita...

Map: Here is all I could find:
http://www.bestperiodica.com/MagazineInfo.asp?id=110&cid=3


This seems like the Russian edition too
I am not sure if the English edition is even published at all..

But thanks so much for the link, I have sent them an enquiry. Hopefully they will have it!
[ October 21, 2004: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
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Never heard of that magazine -- "Murzilka" was pretty much the only choice when it came to periodicals for children. "Misha" must have been the magazine specifically for the little brothers in India, a courtesy of Leonid Brezhnev to Indira Gandhi. Was there any propaganda in there?
 
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Nope, none that I can remember.. Or maybe I was too young to recognise, but I seriously doubt it. This was just stuff for kids, some stories, sci-fi/fantasy cartoons, diy crafts, tutorials to learn Russian etc.

But the Byelorussian folk tales were different. I remember reading them and feeling surprised that the villains were always the czars and the church folks - like deacon, bishops etc. And of course, there were stories where the witch Baba Yaga does bad stuff, and the hero "Ivan" saved everybody. The hero was always called "Ivan", I used to think that it must be a very common name there...!
 
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The only Russian children's story I ever heard of as a child was "Peter and the Wolf."

I guess "Ivan" is a common name over all of Eastern Europe. Ivan Lendl was a Czech (or Slovak?), though TV commentators called him "Evonne" for some reason. (Maybe he reminded them of Australian women's tennis champion Evonne Goolagong.)
[ October 21, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
 
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"Misha" is a man name, by the way. Also for some reasons bears are called "Mishkas" in Russia, I am not sure why. So "Misha" is kinda like "teddy bear" for you, unrussians.

The full name is "Mikhail", and "Michael" is probably the English cognate.
 
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KC: Sorry..I am new to this forum...

Welcome to the family, then!
 
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But the Byelorussian folk tales were different. I remember reading them and feeling surprised that the villains were always the czars and the church folks - like deacon, bishops etc. And of course, there were stories where the witch Baba Yaga does bad stuff, and the hero "Ivan" saved everybody. The hero was always called "Ivan", I used to think that it must be a very common name there...!

Take my word -- I lived in Byelorussia for 20 years -- there is nothing Byelorussian about deacons and bishops. Not sure why the stories about them were presented as Byelorussian folklore. However, the fact that they are the villains makes sense -- I am sure you've heard Marx' "religion is the opium of the masses", and the history of the religious suppression in the former USSR.

Now that you've grown up from "Misha", here is the next step that I recommend: The Master and Margarita
 
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Thanks Map for the welcome, I feel right at home

And thanks John, for the suggestion... I have already read it though, and its excellent! I grew up from Misha quite awhile ago , you see!

But if there is anything else that you can recommend, I would love to check it out!
[ October 21, 2004: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
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But if there is anything else that you can recommend, I would love to check it out!

Ok, this piece is a little bit riskier for a recommendation, but still very Russian in spirit: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
 
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But I have read this one too..!

But truth be told, when I read this book rather sometime back, I think I did not have quite the right mental wavelength to appreciate non-fiction books. And I had forgotten about it.. But now that you have recommended it, I am gonna read it again! Thanks!
[ October 21, 2004: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
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Kayal,

Thanks for making Map confess and say

I was too old

I don't have to read the rest of the thread.

- m
 
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You're not alone. I've read that magazine too.. it was cute. I remember the childhood days spent at the USSR consulate in Madras.
 
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PmK: I remember the childhood days spent at the USSR consulate in Madras.

Why... How... What for?
 
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
You're not alone. I've read that magazine too.. it was cute. I remember the childhood days spent at the USSR consulate in Madras.



Funny, you posted that.
I was telling Map in another thread not so long ago, how I used to spend a lot of time at the bookshop run by the Russian consulate in my home town.

I will take a wild guess at why Paul was spending time in USSR consulate, they probabely had a library or a study center there. In New Delhi, there are libraries and study centers run by an American Govt. body, by British Council, and by a Japanese institution among others (that I dont know about), and a lot of students go there to borrow books, to do research, or simply to find a quiet place to study.
 
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Good old translated Russian literature; there was something dark about them, dark and captivating.

The first time I hear the name '�rsula' is from one such translation, of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez', I don't think I would ever forget that name ever! Not after reading it in almost every page of its 1500 pages!!
 
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Originally posted by John Smith:
But the Byelorussian folk tales were different. I remember reading them and feeling surprised that the villains were always the czars and the church folks - like deacon, bishops etc. And of course, there were stories where the witch Baba Yaga does bad stuff, and the hero "Ivan" saved everybody. The hero was always called "Ivan", I used to think that it must be a very common name there...!

Not sure why the stories about them were presented as Byelorussian folklore. However, the fact that they are the villains makes sense -- I am sure you've heard Marx' "religion is the opium of the masses", and the history of the religious suppression in the former USSR.
QUOTE]

You beat me to it.
Those stories were pure attempts at indocrination.
The Bad Capitalist Czars (monarchy vs. the worker paradise) and church from whom the peasants and workers are saved by the honourable and just Russian.

Presenting them as Byelorussian just makes it sounds less obviously propaganda, gives it a folklorish smell for parents who don't want their child reading propaganda (but folklore is always good).

 
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Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
You're not alone. I've read that magazine too..



Me too.

In fact during cold war days, Russia used to be hotspot for lot of Indians and we used to get lot of translated literature from Russia. However during childhood, I could really never trust that there could be some place where it would have snow everywhere...I always thought that it�s all fairytale!!

n Although, I keep reading Map�s post, I still want to go to Russia and see my childhood�s wonderland atleast once.
 
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I still want to go to Russia and see my childhood�s wonderland atleast once.

...and I still want to visit India
 
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This thread reminds me of "Olimpiyskiy (Olympic) Misha", especially the one that was flying away and crying frm some olymic games.

Question to indian posters: So as you were reading those russian books, Russia was the only country you learned about from them? Or were they taking about some other USSR countries?
It wanders me because most of my not russian friends originally thought USSR was Russia only.

Another thing many people think that all those countries in Asia - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan that they are mostly deserts with camels
 
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Originally posted by Rita Moore:
Question to indian posters: So as you were reading those russian books, Russia was the only country you learned about from them? Or were they taking about some other USSR countries?
It wanders me because most of my not russian friends originally thought USSR was Russia only.



To me, Russia was short name for USSR! But I would imagine, more the the political boundaries, it meant the USSR-ness or the whole entity, but then again, I was too young and too ignorant (or read enough) to find out the differences in culture etc. Like Amit said, what captured my imagination and stayed with me (till I started reading One hundred years of Solitude and such heavy stuff, with more vodka involved) the snow covered landscape, remote villages and snow sledges etc. Yup, I am still working one of my around-the-world-by-road trips across Siberian Tundra!
 
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I think it was Mir Publications Moscow, which used to print Hindi translations of Russian books. I still has some of those books back in India. All the stories used to have funny names ( 13 Ivans, Rolling Sweat Pea... Names Translated from memory)
I even bought a book on Russian high school mathematics (when I was in high school). Man it was tough...
When I was preparing for my Engineering. Entrance test...there were Pinsky and Irodove (Nightmare)
 
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Rita: This thread reminds me of "Olimpiyskiy (Olympic) Misha", especially the one that was flying away and crying frm some olymic games.

Actually, I believe the magazine was named after "Olympic Misha", the symbol of the Olypic games in Moscow in1980.

Question to indian posters: So as you were reading those russian books, Russia was the only country you learned about from them? Or were they taking about some other USSR countries?

I only here started to realize how ignorant we were about our own country. For example, I recently read that the Tajik language is basically Persian, it is even mutually intelligible with "standard" Persian (Tehrani dialect). I had no clue...

achit: I think it was Mir Publications Moscow, which used to print Hindi translations of Russian books.

This is interesting. I think, in Russia, "Mir" (the word means both "world" and "peace") used to publish mostly (or even only) translated books. It was my favorite publisher, because the books were always interesting. Once I got American textbook in physics (the volume was about electricity) and was surprised that it talked about different things than we were taught. But don't ask me for details - I forgot.
 
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Amit: In fact during cold war days, Russia used to be hotspot for lot of Indians and we used to get lot of translated literature from Russia.

This is funny how some countries were perceived "better" than other. I remember that India used to be considered "good" in spite of her capitalistic orientation. The USA was enemy n. 1, of course... But Japan for some reasons was not an enemy, and there were lots of books about its culture.
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

I only here started to realize how ignorant we were about our own country. For example, I recently read that the Tajik language is basically Persian, it is even mutually intelligible with "standard" Persian (Tehrani dialect). I had no clue...



I bet you lived only in Russia or far from Asian countries.
Most of my life I lived in Central Asia, so I can understand most turcic based languages (Kazakh, Uzbek, Tatar, Turkish) and I knew almost everything about countries around. I rememeber being 4-5 years old, I was asking my mom, how caome I can understand almost every language but tajik, that's when I learned that it was not one of "our" languages.
Hovewer, we used to have people coming from Ukraine and Russia knowing almost nothing about asian countries. I was always mad at them that I knew almost everything about them, I could even understand ukrainian, and they were surprized to learn that plov and shashlik(kabob) came from asia.
Now I think it was fault of the education system, everything was Russia-oriented. Even our weather was expected to be like in Russia, all the time I used to bug my mom asking why our snow melts in february instead of april, in all books it is said that it's suppose to happen in april.
One language my mom wasn't sure about - the asian gypsey (lula, luli) language, I can't understand it, and my mom never knew what is the base of it. I was never allowed to talk to gypseys, so I couldn't ask them. Maybe also Persian...
By the way, here in US we once met Russian woman who believed Pakistan was one of USSR countries - I had no words, just walked away
[ October 22, 2004: Message edited by: Rita Moore ]
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

This is funny how some countries were perceived "better" than other. I remember that India used to be considered "good" in spite of her capitalistic orientation. The USA was enemy n. 1, of course... But Japan for some reasons was not an enemy, and there were lots of books about its culture.



Pre-1990 India was "democratic and socialist", most major industries were where owned by government.
At school, I read lot on Russian history and barely on American history. Till the time I came to US, I barley know anything about American war of independence and the civil war. On the other hand I knew most of the "bright side" of Russian history. Never realised that was part of a propoganda machine.
 
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Rita: I bet you lived only in Russia or far from Asian countries.

True. Once we visited our relatives in Kazakhstan, and it was 3-days trip on the train...

Now I think it was fault of the education system, everything was Russia-oriented.

Actually, the education system was instructed to disseminate this knowledge, I wouldn't blame it. It's that we were so damn lazy and uncurious.

Most of my life I lived in Central Asia, so I can understand most turcic based languages (Kazakh, Uzbek, Tatar, Turkish)

I only learnt that these languages are Turcic when somebody gave a link to this article.

So Rita, where did you live?

By the way, here in US we once met Russian woman who believed Pakistan was one of USSR countries - I had no words, just walked away

Why, my own girlfriend once asked (it was in 1999, I believe, during Yugoslavia events): "Yugoslavia? It is not a part of Russia?"

Cough. Ok.
 
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Rita: One language my mom wasn't sure about - the asian gypsey (lula, luli) language, I can't understand it, and my mom never knew what is the base of it. I was never allowed to talk to gypseys, so I couldn't ask them. Maybe also Persian...

Weird, it never occurred to me to inquire what kind of language gypsy (Romani) language is. Now it seems that it could have some relation to Persian but it's probably more complicated and I am not sure who exactly "the asian gypsey" are...
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

Why, my own girlfriend once asked (it was in 1999, I believe, during Yugoslavia events): "Yugoslavia? It is not a part of Russia?"



Your friend was raised in USSR?
If yes, how could she ask such question?

Half of my school books had names of USSR countries on the inside covers along with pictures of children in national clothes..
When I was 8, I was ashamed that I could count 14 USSR countries instead of 15, I used to forget Belorussia all the time .

And I'm telling all my friends that russians are the most educated people... Sight, ...how can this be? There are things I believe in so much , I don't want to give them up.

I lived in Moskow, Kazakhstan, Tatarstan, Uzbekistan(mostly), Kirgizstan.
 
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Rita: Your friend was raised in USSR?

Yes.

If yes, how could she ask such question?

I was also shocked. If you remember, we had to study geography from 5 till 8 grade. What for?

And I'm telling all my friends that russians are the most educated people...

Hm... Perhaps they are most hard worked on to educate, but I would not be so sure about the results...
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Rita: One language my mom wasn't sure about - the asian gypsey (lula, luli) language, I can't understand it, and my mom never knew what is the base of it. I was never allowed to talk to gypseys, so I couldn't ask them. Maybe also Persian...

Weird, it never occurred to me to inquire what kind of language gypsy (Romani) language is. Now it seems that it could have some relation to Persian but it's probably more complicated and I am not sure who exactly "the asian gypsey" are...



The gypsies in the west came from India centuries ago. Like most Indian languages, their language derived from Sanskrit. Like other Sanskrit-based languages, I suppose it is somewhat closer to Persian than to Indo-European languages from the Slavic, Germanic, Celtic, Greek or Romance families.
 
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MISHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!

Oh Boy !!! How I used to Love those books !!!
Actually, I still have some copies left back in india.

Awwww ! This post has made me nostalgic about childhood.
 
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Turkmenistan has an interesting evolving history. The president, elected for life once the country gained independence from Russia 13 years ago, wants to eclipse Genghiz Khan. He has renamed January after himself, April after his mother, May after his father and September after his book, the Rukhmana, which he says he wrote from divine inspiration.
Written in the introduction "On a par with the Bible and Koran, it is to be used as a Spritual Guide to remove anguishes and complexities from day-to-day living."

Within one or two generations Turkmenistan will have a population of younger people who are incapable of living in modern society.
 
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let's get back to Misha, please.
 
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I used to subscribe to Misha but it had stopped publication long back in the year 1990 or 91. I liked "Misha" magazine very much.
 
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