FANS of Russian language and culture, Russian expats and Slovaks who had worked or studied in Russia started to get together four years ago under the name Arbat for regular meetings on Sundays. Inspired by philosophical cafes in Paris and on Moscow’s Arbat Street, these enthusiasts have now formed the Arbat Russian Club to serve as a vehicle for cultural activities and debates in the Russian language.
“We chose the name Arbat as there are important and respectable people living in Slovakia who are pioneers in culture, science, and social sphere and within our Russian club we strive to bring symbiosis between Slovak and Russian culture,” Larisa Ivanovna Plechanovová, the head of the club told the TASR newswire. Arbat is the name of a street in Moscow, about one kilometre long, in the heart of the Arbat district that was home to nobility, artists and academics in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The club’s activities were initiated by Plechanovová, who came to live in Slovakia in 2000, along with businessman Anatoly Ostrovecky who had been living in Bratislava since the 1970s, and Ján Čarnogurský, the head of the Slovak-Russian Society.
Initially those interested in discussions in Russian met at one of Bratislava’s cafes but now the enthusiasts decided to have their own meeting space. Regular meetings of the club are now held every Thursday at 18:00 at Arbat on Na vŕšku street in Bratislava. The club is open to new members but they must be recommended by current members. “We have two members from Trenčín and two other applicants from outside Bratislava – one from Partizánske and one from Zvolen,” Plechanovová said.
The Arbat Russian Club is associated with the Slovak-Russian Society and its members are from various backgrounds and nationalities – what they have in common is a love for the Russian language. Plechanovová said the club may open branches in other cities and towns of Slovakia in the future.
21. Oct 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská