At a special holiday session of the ILS Russian Club, international students, together with their parents and homeroom teachers, celebrated Maslenitsa (Pancake week).
At the start of the session, Yulia Filatova, who teaches Russian as a Foreign Language, greeted the students and their guests with the words: "We decided to make today's meeting a holiday session, and many interesting things await you."
First, the older children gave a presentation, in which they talked about the history and traditions of this Old Russian holiday. This was followed by a quiz match for the students, where the winners - who received tasty sweets as prizes - were 5th grader Jonas Derks and 2nd graders Bastian Derks and Fujinaga Niko.
Next came a traditional Russian round dance, which included playing the Old Russian game "Golden gates."
The game leaders explain: "The golden gates don't always let you through. At first, some of the players pass under the gates, but then suddenly they come down, trapping some of the players inside. Then those players become part of the gate, raising their arms and holding hands with each other as the game continues."
But that was still not everything. There was also a master class, where a professional cook taught the participants how to make Russian bliny (thin pancakes). First the cook explained what ingredients are used to make the pancakes, and then the children practiced making them themselves. Finally, everyone enjoyed the delicious results with tea.
"This meeting format is very useful for pupils studying the Russian language," notes Valentina Kovaleva, who teaches Russian as a Foreign Langague and serves as head of the ILS International Center.. "We believe that competitions and traditional games help the students immerse themselves more deeply in Russian language and culture."