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Scandanavian Royal Families / Re: Swedish Jewels
« on: February 05, 2019, 10:09:19 AM »
The main Swedish crown jewels have not been stolen, but a funerary set of crown jewels from the grave of King Karl IX and his Queen Kristina of Holstein-Gottorp in Strängnäs Cathedral. But they are precious objects of gold, silver etc.
See here for a picture and more information:

The missing crown jewels have reportedly been found in a garbage bin in a Stockholm suburb.

Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!

Yes. And a way for Greeks, both from the parties in power and the opposition, to make a political show of national pride in a world where Greece has very little control of the circumstances it finds itself in. What I find interesting is the context where the ancient name of Macedonian first was applied to a diverging Bulgarian dialect 200-150 years ago. Several of the Slavicists and philologists engaged in this had links to Russia. The Greeks didn't take too much notice of this in the 19th century, as the area today known as Greek (Southern or Lower) Macedonia didn't become part of the Kingdom of Greece untill 1913. But the way Orthodox South Slavs speaking rather diverging Bulgarian dialects assumed the name of the famous ancient Macedonians parallells how a mixture of Greek-speaking Rhomioi (i.e. Romans, i.e. Byzantine Greeks), Albanian-speaking Arvanites, recent Slavic-speakers and Romance-speaking Vlach Orthodox further south came to define themselves as Greeks / Hellenes and ethnic successors to the Ancient Greeks at the same time.

So, Greece has finally agreed to a compromize with Macedonia in the Macedonian naming dispute. Macedonia, which previously was forced to call itself FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) will now be allowed to call itself Northern Macedonia, provided they change all signs, money etc. at great cost and stop referring to Thessaloniki as Solun. I think it's so small-minded and ridiculous on Greece's part that we should refer to the Greek Republic as FOEMPYVS - the Former Ottoman Eyalet of Morea, Pashalik of Yanina and Vilayet of Salonica.

Having Fun! / Re: Youtube favourites. (NON-Romanov & Royality videos)
« on: December 17, 2018, 01:21:58 PM »
Enticing campfire rendition from some right-wing summer camp in the 1970s:

BTW while researching this I happened upon this recent German TV report about a so-called 'Anastasia cult' from Russia that had adherents in Germany: Basically eco-fascism worshipping a blond goddess called Anastasia:

Having Fun! / Re: Youtube favourites. (NON-Romanov & Royality videos)
« on: December 17, 2018, 12:40:56 PM »
Catchy anthem of the emerging right-wing populist movement in Europe?

Marching song of the Greek Chrysi Avgi - Golden Dawn party: Οι τελευταίοι πιστοί - The Last Faithful Ones:

(The song as meme culture:

I became very enamoured with this song and wondered where it came from? Turns out it's an adaption of an Italian hommage to the heroes of the anti-Communist uprising in Hungary in 1956: (Avanti) ragazzi di Buda - (Forward) Boys of Buda:

Apparently it was written by the broadcaster Pier Francesco Pingitore in 1966 and has been in use by various neo-fascist football hooligan groups, most notably supporters of Lazio. Rocked-up version:

Fascinating how a hommage to the anti-Communist resistance in Eastern Europe now becomes a rallying song for those who align themselves with the stance on mass immigration of these countries of the Visegrád Group.

Having Fun! / Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« on: December 11, 2018, 02:57:19 PM »
(Whereas the British have had so many: Lewis Carrol, Charles Dickens, A.E. Milne, C.S. Lewis, Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl etc.)

Can't believe I forgot J.K. Rowling for that list!

Having Fun! / Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« on: December 11, 2018, 06:07:09 AM »
In Germany, Enid Blyton is HUGE, and they continued some of her series with German writers.

Which is ironic, considering that Ms. Blyton was British.

British culture is in its basics a unique blend of German (Germanic) and French (Romance) culture, just like the English language. Besides, there is in Blyton's work, as I've noted earlier in this thread, a perverse whiff of proto-fascism, the Übermensch and a rigid caste system. I'm not saying that Germans were deliberately seeking this out, rather that they in the postwar years came upon a popular writer of children's literature whom they trusted, as a Briton, to have "sound and democratic" values. But the reason why she appealed to them, besides writing a children's equivalent of mass-produced orgy porn, might have been her decidedly right-wing perspectives. Something she, as a writer on the victorious Allied side could be allowed to, but German writers couldn't, so their books were boring. (Read Siegfried Lenz's Deutschstunde, The German Lesson, for an entertaining discussion of this pedagogic issue.)

Do note I write this as someone whose political ideas some people would brand right-wing and right-radical. Besides not wanting to kill people and abolish democracy it's one of the ways I know I'm not a fascist: That I love many of the books the fascists burned. But it takes a better writer than Enid Blyton to write things that are good, true and beautiful. Thomas Mann is a great German example, but the Germans have had very few such writers of children's literature after the Brothers Grimm. (Whereas the British have had so many: Lewis Carrol, Charles Dickens, A.E. Milne, C.S. Lewis, Rudyard Kipling, Beatrix Potter, Roald Dahl etc.)

I'm more amazed she was popular in France. But there are a lot of hidden, unexpected strains in French society, among them a very rigid class system which parallells British society as featured in Blyton's books very well.

Having Fun! / Re: The Enid Blyton Thread
« on: December 11, 2018, 10:53:32 AM »
In Germany, Enid Blyton is HUGE, and they continued some of her series with German writers.

I find it interesting to compare her work (which I'm only familiar with through the Famous Five series) with Ehm Welk's contemporary "Die Heiden von Kummerow", which I only know from the BRD-DDR co-production movie: Even though Welk's novel and the movie focuses on a whole community (seen through children's eyes) and Blyton only on a group of children, both seem strangely exotic today: The children's world as sharply divided from the adults' world, an adventurous, unsupervized free-range outdoors world (where expensive toys count for very little), violent and proto-fascist but also staunchly oppositional and unculturedly barbaric - most poignantly expressed in how die Heiden, the heathens (i.e. children) of the Pomeranian village recreate the traditional spring bath whereby the original Slavic inhabitants of the village resisted Christianisation.

Before 1968, perhaps "childhood" was that "strange land" / other place which youth / teens later became and still is.

Having Fun! / Re: Russian Music
« on: November 23, 2018, 06:26:33 PM »
The haunting theme song Прекрасное далеко (Beautiful far-away) from the Soviet children's science-fiction TV series Гостья из будущего (Visitor from the Future) from 1985:
I suppose time travel had somewhat other connotations in the Soviet Union than in the West. As you can see from the stills in the beginning of the video the mysterious woman from the future looks eerily similar to Grand Duchess Olga Nikolayevna in the 1914 official portrait. The boy protagonists even follow her to the basement of an abandoned house, where there is a door to the future....

Having Fun! / Re: Russian Music
« on: November 22, 2018, 07:53:21 PM »
Soviet singer Igor Sklyar, who looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio, singing about going to Komarovo, a seaside resort on the Karelian Isthmus outside St. Petersburg where Peter Carl Fabergé, Mathilda Kschessinska and Anna Vyrubova had dachas before the Revolution, when it was Finnish and known as Kellomäki / Келломяки:

Having Fun! / Re: Just to put this out there...Romanov style!
« on: November 22, 2018, 05:35:36 PM »
From the Russo-French author Andreï Makine's reception speech in l'Académie française in 2016, about Peter the Great's visit to France and a sweet observation on adults speaking a second language encountering children speaking their first language:

Le tsar embrassa aussi le petit Louis XV, âgé de sept ans. Le géant russe tomba amoureux de l’enfant-roi, sans doute percevant en ce garçonnet un contraste douloureux avec son propre fils, Alekseï, indigne des espoirs paternels. Mais peut-être fut-il touché, comme nous le sommes tous, quand nous entendons un tout jeune enfant parler librement une langue, pour nous étrangère, et dont nous commençons à aimer les vocables. Oui, cette langue française qui allait devenir, bientôt, pour les Russes, la seconde langue nationale.

Research Russian Roots / Re: A little help please!
« on: November 22, 2018, 04:28:37 PM »
I am saddened to report that my father Oleg Nicolaevich Usov passed away earlier this year on 4/1/2018 after a illness lasting a year and a half.
The doctors thought at time of diagnosis(stomach cancer) he would only last 3 months.
Dad was a fighter and he struggled on being determined to live to August 2018. Unfortunately he didn't make it.

I found out only at his funeral that he had been a marine engineer in Russia and was part of a special team that designed the first torpedo submarine.

My condolences.
Your father sounded like an enigma! How old was he? If he was a cadet in Imperial Russia, as per earlier posts in this thread, he must have been about 120 years old!

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2018
« on: November 05, 2018, 07:31:38 AM »
Russia: Art, Royalty and the Romanovs

The histories of the British and Russian royal families have been entwined for centuries. In the first publication to examine the relationship between Britain and Russia using artworks drawn exclusively from the Royal Collection, Russia: Art, Royalty and the Romanovs interweaves the familial, political, diplomatic, and artistic stories of these two nations over more than four hundred years.

Pandering to the Russian oligarchs across the park in Kensington? I find it quite ironic that they don't start the story with two neighbouring German dynasties (Hannover and Holstein) each succeeding to the powerful thrones of Britain and Russia in the 18th century.

Their World and Culture / Re: Titles, Ranks and Forms of Address
« on: November 04, 2018, 11:15:20 AM »
Apparently there is a book called "Что непонятно у классиков, или Энциклопедия русского быта XIX века" (What you don’t understand in the classics, or Encyclopedia of Russian daily life in the 19th century), published in 1998 by Yuri Fedosyuk, which could in come in hand for anyone researching the Romanovs and their world. Here is an excerpt about forms of adress which is quite informative and translates well into English with Google Translate.

Having Fun! / Re: Russian Music
« on: November 04, 2018, 09:48:39 AM »
Russian version of the Perestroyka & Glasnost / German "Wende" / Fall of the Berlin Wall / End of the Cold War anthem "Wind of Change" by (the German band) The Scorpions, sung by Scorpions singer Klaus Meine in quite bad Russian:

(There is also a German version, by the operatic band Adoro:

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