Iranian Literature in the Russian Mind, Reflected

As the summer trimester is heading to its end, many PSU international students are about to leave for home vacations. We have talked to Hannane Saddat Badiee Hamse Fahrt, 27-years old Iranian post-graduate student from the Faculty of Philology, about her first year of studies in Perm, and more.   

– Hello, Hannane! Please, introduce yourself. Where are you from?

– I come from the capital of Iran – Tehran, a big, flourishing and beautiful place, both large and consistent of multiple small areas. The city is multinational: we have many Afghans, for example, as well as people from other Iranian settlements. There are more opportunities in the capital, which is probably why. The main religion is Islam, but there are many Christians, plus large national and religious minorities – Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Jews, Baha’is, Zoroastrians. While the population of Iran is 95 million people, our capital population is about 13 million. Despite the fact that Tehran has a rich history (the first settlements here date back to the 6th millennium BC), today it is a modern progressing metropolis full of life. I was born and have lived here all my life, so I love it a lot.

– Could you please tell a few words about your family, Hannane?

– My family is not really big: my mom, dad, me and my older brother. My mom has always been a housewife. My dad is now retired, he used to work for an airline company. My brother studies and works at the university, he is a post-graduate student, he studies economics and management, and specializes in futures contracts.

– Please tell us about the school. Where and what did you study further?

– At primary and secondary school, we usually study for twelve years. Schools in Iran are separate for boys and girls. My favorite subjects were English and chemistry. I remember that I was particularly delighted with the table of the famous Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev. At school, we learn it by heart. Schools in Iran are public and private. My parents paid for the private school, but studying at the university was free.

In Tehran, I completed four years of bachelor’s and two years of master’s studies. The male and female audience at the university is mixed – very unusual, after school. On the other hand, our group was mostly female: twenty one girls and three guys, the latter attended classes much less frequently than we did. The university life in Iran is very rich – uniting studies, science and research, sports, and creative arts. We have no opera, ballet or dance, but we do theater and cinema, so students are engaged in drama and related performance activities. There are more arts outside the university, of course, and women are involved there, too. Speaking about cultural venues, I would mention Russia friendship weeks, where we cooked traditional Russian food, and talked about holidays.

As a child, I knew absolutely nothing about Russia. I began to study Russian language and Russian literature first as a bachelor’s student at the Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran, and then continued my master’s degree there. This is a well-known Iranian university that cooperates with many Russian universities. In my third year, I was offered a trimester at the Chelyabinsk State University. While we did study Russian literature of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries back home, our curriculum in Chelyabinsk included classes in Old Church Slavonic language and the literature of the Urals. During my master’s course, I studied translation – from Persian into Russian, and vice versa. Since the postgraduate study at the Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran assumes a pedagogical profile, I started thinking of studying Russian literature in Russia.

– Are there any other languages are studied at your university? And, how did you start learning Russian?

– At the Allameh Tabatabai University we study Spanish, Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu. I chose Russian by chance. Prior entering the University, we announce our language preferences, based on our entrance exams’ results. My first choice was English, then French and Spanish, with Russian in the fourth place. Since studies at universities are paid by the state (unless you are a distant-learning student), it is the Ministry of Education of Iran which decides about the exact direction. So, I was assigned to the Russian language group.

– Do you still have connections with any of your student mates? Have you made new friends here, in Perm?

– One of my best friends from Iran is now studying psycholinguistics at Moscow State Linguistic University. The second friend of mine is also staying there, studying world literature. We all did our bachelor’s degree together.

Almost all of my hostel mates here speak Arabic or Chinese. I have not yet met students from Iran here. There is one girl from the prep course in Russian, but we rarely see each other. I cannot boast of a large number of friends, so far.

– Remembering your first touch with Russians, what seemed the most unusual thing to you?

– It seems to me, Russians are quite serious or even ‘dry’, by nature. Iranians are more of a cheerful type, always smiling. I find Russian girls very beautiful, while eastern men are more attractive, in my view.

– Did you learn any Russian sayings or proverbs?

– Yes, we studied them as undergraduates. I remember, for example, “like drops of water” (“two peas”, in English) and “beat the buckets” (“sit around”).

– What was your first impression of Russia?

– They are connected with Chelyabinsk, when I first came here during my third year of undergraduate studies, five years ago. I recall it was March, early spring, so the weather and the city appeared gloomy to me. The locals acted rather strangely, as if they were frightened speak. I arrived in Perm in October 2022, and I liked the city and the people. The most frequent question from the locals is, “Are you from India?” And, when they find out that I am from Iran, they are still interested. I have three years to do my postgraduate studies at PSU, so I hope to know more about the place and the citizens.

– How did you make your way to PSU?

– I came to Perm by accident. First, I registered on, a website by Rossotrudnichestvo which is quite famous in Iran. I uploaded my resume and all the certificates. For free studies in Russia, out of many applications, three hundred people had been selected, and I was luckily thirty-third. I think my certificates, especially those ones from Russia, which I acquired during my multiple distance courses during the coronavirus, had a positive effect on that.

On my scale of preferences, I put Moscow State Linguistic University on top. However, this university does not teach Russian literature, only world one. That was probably the reason they refused me. My second choice was Moscow State Pedagogical University. The third and fourth were Saint Petersburg State University and Kazan Federal University. At that time, I knew nothing about Perm, but the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, along with Rossotrudnichestvo decided that Perm State University (PSU) was the most suitable option for me. Initially, the decision appeared strange to me – neither Moscow, nor St. Petersburg, nor Kazan, yet  precisely Perm… At the same time, my graduate supervisor back in Iran said this was is a worthy choice, so we decided it was the right moment to take that chance.

I really liked Perm, then. Unlike in Iran, where the temperature might get as high as +40’C, the summer doesn’t seem so hot here. The Kama river and the embankment are among my most favorite places. I also like your parks and forests. I did go to the forest during the winter time, and tried some skiing there, but once I fell, I realized that wasn’t probably for me. Personally, I am afraid to break my arms and legs. Of the “cultural” venues, I have been to a drama play at the Theater-Theater, where I watched “Anna Karenina”, it was quite an interesting experience! I haven’t been to ballet or opera yet. I wanted to book for the “Swan Lake”, but had to refuse it, since the time of the performance fell on my trip back home.

– What’s your relationship with the local food? And, how’s your life at the hostel?

– I tried traditional Russian dumplings and pancakes, I enjoyed it very much. I believe the cottage cheese to be tasteless, but then I didn’t give it a try. I haven’t tried mushrooms, even a look of them screams they are ugly. We do have yogurts in Iran, so, I like them, I also find sour cream delicious. I really wanted to try the borscht soup, but so far, I have not been able to.

It is still difficult to get used to life at a student hostel: the people around, the hygiene, you know… Like, Turkmen guys living nearby, they might get noisy. The shared toilet and shower, both for boys and girls, is unusual, too. The situation was different in Chelyabinsk, where we lived in blocks – four rooms for girls, and four rooms for guys. Here and there, there are, of course, certain restrictions regarding international students’ residence. Besides, renting an apartment is fairly expensive.

– How’s your study postgraduate process going? It does require a lot of self-constraint, doesn’t it?

– The first challenge was the history of the philosophy of science – the first postgraduate exam I have recently passed for my future PhD (candidate of sciences) degree. I think I was lucky to have our teacher, Professor Alexander Vnutskikh, Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Philosophy, by my side. He has been very helpful and in constant touch – sending me questions for exams and providing explanations via e-mail. I hope to see the same attention from my academic supervisor  Professor Svetlana Burdina, Doctor of Philology, Head of the Department of Russian Literature, PSU.

I study literature, particularly, the similarities between Iranian and Russian literature. Let’s take village prose, for instance: both had been formed in the 19th century, and flourished in the second half of the 20th century. Both developed female images, explored the sense of unity with the land, and life of the rural person, in general. Let’s also bear in mind the impact of Iranian poetry on Russian poets – like Saadi (1219-1292) and Shirazi Hafez (1325-1389) influencing Alexander Pushkin. Much later, a Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov visited Iran and reflected its images in his works. Although never guests to our country, yet being fond of our culture, Nikolai Gumilyov and Sergei Yesenin Persian let Iranian motifs run into their poetry.   

Since Iranian and Russian poetic traditions, as well as their interaction have been studied fairly well, the situation with prose is a bit different, or, should I say, difficult. So, I am treating prose as a source for exploration, an opportunity to do something new. In this sense, Andrei Volos, a Russian writer and scientist, translator and poet (also published in Tajikistan), deserves to be mentioned. Andrei Volos’s novel “Return to Panjrud” won the Russian Booker Literary Prize (2013) and became a finalist for the Big Book National Literary Prize (2013). One of the novel’s plot lines spins around old Abu Abdallah Jafar ibn Muhammad Rudaki, a former court poet of Bukhara, who, by the will of fate, was expelled from his native city and blinded. He protagonist takes a journey to his native village of Panjrud, a real site in Tajikistan, now and then. On the way, he enjoys a company of a young man Sheravkan, whom he teaches to read and write. Since there is little information about the real poet, Andrey Volos presents the plot in an artistic, fantastic light, which is of a research interest, as well as the general image of Iran and the East in modern Russian prose.

– When Russians talk about Iranian literature and culture in general, do they really understand it, or imagine it?

– Yes, I think they  do. This is what I have to explore and comprehend. This is a mutual process, the same thing is happening in Iran, your literature and culture receiving fair attention in our country. It will also be interesting to know more about the differences in our traditions, as well as show the modern vision of each other.

– Sounds like a promising field for research. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Hannane. Good luck with yours studies!

– Thank you and good luck to Perm State University!

Interview by: PSU Press Office

Babel Mic at PSU Garden: Dive into Chinese Poetry and Tea

On 6 June, the Babel Mic project, a flashmob and a public reading event will take place at Perm State University, uniting PSU Botanical Garden, Academic Library and Department of Public Relations.

As part of the Babel Mic format, students, staff and graduates of the University, residents of Perm city and other territories get together both on campus and digitally to read poems by their favorite poets, prose or archive documents. This is the eighth event of the kind since February 2019; three out of seven Mics have been held online.

The recent venue will be held in the Oriental Yard of PSU Botanical Garden. Dr. Boris Kondakov, director of the Center for East Asian Studies, PSU, will give a lecture on Chinese classical poetry. Tatiana Margina, head of the Merchant Tea Co, will talk about tea varieties and its cultural phenomenon, including the history of Chinese tea in Perm territory – followed by a tea brewing ceremony at the Garden.

The audience will read poems both in Chinese and translations, accompanied by the sounds of the Garden and world music. Original poems will be accompanied by comments in Russian, so that the listeners could comprehend their meaning, along the rhythm and melody of the Chinese originals. Personal translations will also be made by PSU students and poetry fans.

The venue will be held on 6 June from 5pm till 8pm, Perm time (3pm – 6pm Moscow time). For a detailed program, please see here. For participation, please register here.

Interested in participating or other events of the kind? Got ideas or want to share practices? Please, contact Svetlana Solaryova, Head of PSU Academic Library, at, VK page or by phone: +7 (342) 2 396 505.

On the Roots of the Babel Mic

While the Tower of Babel traditionally serves an image of misunderstanding, it’s image picked by PSU community to explain the roots of multiple languages, praising identities and overcoming  communication failures.  

According to the myth, the generations of humanity following the Great Flood spoke a single language. Uniting their efforts, people agreed to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach Heavens. The builders gradually lost communication, and were scattered around the world.

Challenging the opportunity, the University staff, including international and Russian students, present extracts of their favorite works in various languages and topics – paying tribute to national identities and unifying values.

PSU Students from China Present Perm on Regional Contest

PSU postgraduate students Dong Ziteng, Li Xinjie, Tan Yunxiao, Jiang Yuying and Yu Ping (China) from the Faculty of Philology took part in the 5th Regional Forum “The Journey Across Perm Lands”, becoming the finalists of the competition.

Supervised by Professor Maria Shirinkina and Associate Professor Natalya Solovieva from the Department of Russian Language and Stylistics, the students have developed an audio guide on Perm city local culture. In 2023, the competition received 235 applications from 35 territories of Perm region. The winners’ projects served a basis for a set of TV documentaries. 

Within the Forum framework, the contestants presented the tour “Perm Through Foreign Students’ Eye” in the nomination “Youth Tourist Route”. The contestants described seven cultural attractions of Perm city in Russian: Perm City Planetarium, the “Happiness Is Not Far Off” installation, Perm Museum of Local Lore, Perm State Art Gallery, St. Nicholas the Miracle monument, Perm Opera and Ballet Theater and the Church of St. Mary – each object accompanied by photo and audio guide support.

The Forum participants intended to show Perm in many ways, including science, culture, art and religion.

“Building a story around famous Perm attractions allowed us to deepen and expand the current historical and cultural knowledge, as well as appreciate their location and natural sights in general, allowing us to feel the charm of Perm. This also helped us to develop our Russian language and intercultural communication skills,” says Li Xinjie, 2nd-year postgraduate student.

“The Journey Across Perm Lands” competition has been held since 2017, supported by Chief Federal Inspector for Perm Krai, the Ministry of Education and Science of Perm Krai, the Ministry of Tourism of Perm Krai, the Agency for Youth Affairs of Perm Krai and the Council of Young Teachers at All-Russian Trade Union of Education, Perm Krai branch.

PSU to Renew Links with Indian Partners

Mr. Vadim Gataulin, head of the Department of International Relations at Perm State University (PSU) took part in the Executive Council Forum 2022 at Woxsen University (Hyderabad, India).

The Forum, titled “Defining Purpose in HighEd: From India to the World” took place on 20-21 December, 2022, uniting international partner universities, along with Indian corporate and government bodies.  

The Forum united experts and practicing professionals in higher education from Brazil, the UAE, the USA and Thailand. Perm State University (PSU) and the Institute of Business and Business Administration at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA) represented Russia.

The objective of the event was to pen down the immediate future steps in higher education ensuring a sustainable growth for all learners. The expected outcome became a joint call to action in the form of manifesto ensuring a set of outcome-driven guidelines that centralize the ground activities.

The Forum topics covered the future of lifelong education, as well as needs of learners in the nearest decade; the introduction of climate change topic into the classroom; the implementation of the knowledge learnt; entrepreneurship in education; digitalization; the relations of industry and academia.

“Our interest in India is driven by the fact it is both a promising market for the export of educational services, and a potential source for joint research,” says Vadim Gataulin, Head of the International Relations Department, PSU. “Woxsen University is a young and ambitious private university striving to reach top positions in the national rankings. The live communication with a new partner allows to better comprehend and take into account mutual interests, estimating the capacities of both parties.”

To remind, a memorandum of understanding and an academic agreement between PSU and Woxsen University were signed in January, 2022, followed by a supplement regulating the start of a center of excellence for the digital economy and blockchain technologies. In addition to the existing interaction in economic sciences, PSU has found mutual interest with Woxsen University School of Art and Design, with one of the students of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, PSU, taking a study course there in 2022.   

Cooperation with India will also be performed by the Center for East Asian Studies, founded at the Faculty of Philology, PSU in January, 2023. The main goal of the Center is the development of East Asian studies in the field of linguistics, literary criticism and cultural studies, as well as teaching and providing  training, contributing to the overall research, study and personal progress of the students.  

For reference:

Woxsen University is a State Private University located in the state of Telangana, India. Established as Woxsen School of Business in 2014, today it is one of the leading educational institutes in India, spanning over 200-acre residential campus. The University consists of the School of Business, the School of Technology, the School of Art & Design, the School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, and the School of Architecture and Planning.

Hyderabad is the fourth-most populous city in India with a population of 6.9 million residents within the city limits, and has a population of 9.7 million residents in the metropolitan region, making it the sixth-most populous metropolitan area in India. With an output of US$74 billion, Hyderabad has the fifth-largest urban economy in India.

Center for East Asian Studies Launches at PSU

The PSU Academic Council has made a decision to launch a Center for East Asian Studies, as a part of the Faculty of Philology, PSU. The Center will be led by Dr. Boris Kondakov, a known researcher of Chinese literature and culture, and a Professor at Perm State University.

The Center will perform research in linguistics, literary criticism and cultural studies of East Asian region,  as a part of the Faculty of Philology; it will also run educational activity in those fields. The Center staff, who come from the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, and the Department of Russian Literature, PSU, have been already teaching Chinese and Japanese languages, and Eastern Oriental literature and culture. The Center plans to employ post-graduate students from Japan and China studying in Perm, as well as promote cooperation with Chinese and related Russian universities.

“The Center will focus primarily on the study of Chinese and Japanese languages, culture and literature. There will be several new master’s programs in Philology and Pedagogical Education. For masters’ we will also offer several programs which incorporate studying Chinese. This year, we are planning to open admissions for the new program “Chinese and Japanese Languages” within the core course in Linguistics. We are also about to obtain a license for running the “Oriental and African Studies” program, shares Dr. Boris Kondakov, Head of the Center for East Asian Studies.

The Center will continue teaching two popular bachelors’ programs in Pedagogical Education – “Russian as a Foreign Language and Chinese language” (available for Russian and other students in Russian), and “Management in Education” (for Chinese students in English). Preparations for the master’s program “Pedagogical Education”, implemented with universities from Anhui and Shandong provinces (China), are also being made.

A series of meetings and workshops by teachers and partners of the Center addressing both applicants and students from PSU and other universities, will start in February, 2023.

Vietnamese Scholar Upgrades as Candidate of Sciences, Led by PSU Adviser

Duong Thi Phuong Chi, PhD student at the Faculty of Philology, Perm State University (PSU) has successfully defended her PhD (Candidate of Sciences) thesis. The defense took place at Ural Federal University (UrFU) at the end of 2022.  

Five years ago, Duong Thi Phuong Chi came to Perm from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she taught at the Library and Information Department of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City. In 2018, she entered the graduate school led by Professor Vladimir Abashev, Head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, PSU.

“Out of recommended universities from a dozen popular cities of Russia, I chose Perm State. What attracted me most was a post graduate course in Mass Media and Library Informational Science. The English version of PSU website also appeared an important factor – there I studied in detail the structure of admission and study plan. So, I thought it was a good university,” said Duong Thi Phuong Chi.

Drawing the example of academic libraries in Ho Chi Minh City, the scholar analyzed the libraries’ huge identity crisis, and proposed a strategy for solution, based on modern media communications. According to Duong Thi Phuong Chi, there are three key tools for a university library to win the Internet era race:

“Firstly, it is a complete digitalization of all library collections and their flexible division into thematic collections. Secondly, the library has to be included into international information exchange network – allowing researcher or student to access the necessary databases, at any time. Thirdly, it is a creative dialogue with users based on social networks. So, the library is no more a bookshelf, but rather a smart hub of information flows.”

PSU Philologists Discuss Language of Modern Science

The Faculty of Philology at Perm State University (PSU) has hosted for the 2nd All-Russian Scientific Conference “Language of Modern Science: Cross-Disciplinary Aspect” as part of the university-wide forum “Innovations and Technologies in Cross-Disciplinary Applications”. The Conference had been initiated and organized by the Department of Russian Language and Stylistics, PSU.

The Conference regarded the issues of expression and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the 21st century. Scholars from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Tyumen and Perm took part in the discussion, providing 14 reports in Russian and 7 reports in English within two days of the event.  

Maria Kotyurova, head of Perm Scientific School of Functional Stylistics, professor at PSU, spoke about the grounds for differentiating the stylistics of an academic text and speech science; Nadezhda Ryabtseva, Head of the Sector of Applied Linguistics at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences drew attention to the problem of translating scientific terms under the predominant position of English language in academic communication.

Cross-cultural differences in scientific speech have been discussed by Professor Nina Romanova from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Professor Vera Tabanakova from Tyumen State University and Professor Lyudmila Kushnina from Perm National Research Polytechnic University.

In a number of reports, special attention was paid to assessment of scholars’ activity. Professor Valeria Chernyavskaya from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Professor Sergey Nefedov from Saint Petersburg State University and Associate Professor Natalya Solovieva from PSU shared their vision of the problem. Reports by Professor Sergei Grichin from Novosibirsk State Technical University, Professor Vladimir Medvedev from Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, Professor Maria Shirinkina from PSU,  and Professor Natalia Kolesnikova from Novosibirsk State Technical University proved the cross-disciplinary study of the semantic structure of a modern scientific text to remain an urgent task in linguistics.

The Conference materials will be published in the “Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems” series by Springer, indexed in Scopus and be available electronically.

As Professor Elena Bazhenova, Chairman of the Conference Organizing Committee, Department of Russian Language and Stylistics, PSU has stated,

“the success of the annual Conference on the language of science comes from the fact it brings together researchers working in close areas of linguistics, beyond the functional stylistic direction. The problems associated with the study of various aspects of modern scientific communication help to meet like-minded experts, as well as identify the range of questions for further research.”

PSU Scholar from Macedonia Participates All-Russian Conference on Linguistics

Senior Lecturer Aleksandar Taleski (Macedonia), along with his colleagues Leonid Pakhomov and Daria Pavlova, Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, PSU, presented reports at the All-Russian Scientific Conference with International Participation “Cognition, Culture and Communication in Modern Humanities”, held in Novosibirsk (Russia).

The Conference, attended by philologists from more than 30 cities of Russia and neighboring countries,  discussed the issues of conceptualization, communication, metaphorization, cognitive modeling of various processes, and all related aspects – both in real life and virtual reality.

Aleksandar Taleski spoke about the study of dual spatial orientation in virtual reality:

“Participation in a conference is always an opportunity to discuss important issues, get feedback, exchange experience. In my report, I presented the features of spatial orientation in virtual reality – the ways people feel about themselves and language means they use to express it,”

shares Aleksandar Taleski.

“Studying mechanisms of reading and interpreting text in native and non-native languages is an important topic of cognitive research, which bears cross-disciplinary experimental character and uses methods of eye movement registration, visual analytics and virtual reality technologies,” mentions Daria Pavlova in reference to the studies she conducts with St Petersburg State University.

Philology, in all its aspects, has been one of the core PSU disciplines since the University foundation in 1916, as a part of the Faculty of History and Philology. Since its early days and further on, passing transformation to the Faculty of Philology in 1960, and separation from modern foreign languages and literature in 2003, it keeps on growing and gets recognition on local and national level.  

For a long time, the Faculty of Philology has been building academic relations with partners from abroad, to name Austria, Baltic countries, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, UK and former Yugoslavia states – aiming at productive cooperation in science and teaching, contributing to double degree programs, participating summer language schools, running joint research projects and leading publishing activity.

At PSU, education in philology involves a variety of modern disciplines. Apart from studying literature and learning languages, students explore local traditions and folklore, study Internet technologies and web design, master media relations and content management, and tend to create their own projects. The Faculty students take internships at local and national radio and TV-companies, publishers, PR-services and advertising agencies, as well as drill their skills at PSU campus media.

PSU Philologists Contribute to Academic Library Collections, Create New Reading Space

On 1 September, at the start of the study year ‘2022-2023, PSU Academic Library opened a new reading and interactive space, uniting its collections with the contributions by the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature, PSU.

The new branch unites sources on foreign and Russian languages, linguistics, literature, teaching, publishing activity, journalism and public relations. Most of publications are presented in a single copy. PSU international students interested in Russian literature will also find the Library collection useful, getting a handful advice by the Library staff. 

“While creating a new Library space, we have been following those wishes of teachers and students of the Faculty of Philology and the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature. The collection will include both by books from other Library sections and newly acquired items. It is important that the Library acts as a space of meaning, combining information sources and a professional approach with a cozy environment and friendly atmosphere of the native ground,”

says Svetlana Solareva, Head of PSU Academic Library.

Among the contributors to the Library branch is the only Victorian Center in Russia, founded in Perm with an assistance by Anglists from Oxford (UK), Stanford and Indianapolis (USA), including Dr. Christopher Harvey, a well-known British expert in English and Scottish history and literature, professor at the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen (Germany).

“Since the launch of the Victorian Center in 1997, we have managed to form a unique collection of books, magazines and materials, starting with British pre-Romantic period (end of the 18th century) to late Victorianism (the beginning of the 20th century), as well as publications on the theory and history of English literature, as well as social and political history of Britain in the Victorian period. The Cente has been subscribed to a number of English and American scientific journals specializing in British literature and culture of the time. The Center co-founder was Mrs. Karen Hewitt, PSU Professor Emeritus from the University of Oxford (UK). Karen strongly supported the idea of ​​passing the Victorian Center collection to the newly opened PSU Library space,”

says Dr. Boris Proskurnin, Head of the Department of World Literature and Culture, PSU.

The collection will available through an open access. In addition, readers might enjoy the opportunity of hiring a book overnight, on weekends or holidays. The branch is headed by Maria Bryukhanova, a graduate of the Faculty of Philology, and a fellow at the Laboratory of Theoretical and Applied Folklore Studies, PSU. Maria has already introduced freshmen into the Library collection.

“We are very pleased to have a new library space in our building, where students are able to get acquainted with dedicated academic literature, engage in educational and scientific research. We hope to most effectively fit it into the educational and scientific activities of our staff and students,”

comments Daria Pavlova, Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty of Philology, PSU.

To see the new PSU Academic Library branch, please visit PSU building 5, rooms 140, 142, 144 (Faculty of Philology, Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature, PSU.

Step Into Chinese New Year – Singing Song About a Snowflake!

Song Tianyao (China), a graduate of Perm State University has recorded an unusual congratulation on the Chinese New Year. (As a sleeve note: Song Tianyao has recently defended her PhD (candidate of sciences) thesis in philology at PSU, congratulations!). Today, singing the famous Snowflake Song, she addressed all those Chinese and international students interested in East Asian culture – wishing everyone a happy holiday:

“… The New Year’s on the way,

Will make your dream come true:

As long as snowflakes are not melting,

Don’t let the snowflakes keep on melting –

Until the clock tower ends the tune,

Until the clock tower ends the tune…”

For the Chinese people, the New Year is not just a change of dates, as it marks the start of spring and so blossoming of nature. The astrological sign of 2022 is the Tiger, who shows respect to beauty and people following it. While the Tiger prefers the red color, the tradition in general supports fires and loud noises, believed to scare evil forces away. On the night of 31 January to 1 February, fireworks were around the University campus – the Chinese students celebrating the entry into a new life cycle.

“I would like to congratulate all those Chinese students currently studying in Russia on the Spring Festival,” says Song Tianyao. “We all know the severe virus situation makes us hard to follow it. Yet, I believe together we can overcome this challenge.”

The holiday begins a week before the event itself – started with a general cleaning, for the Tiger loves clean houses and hardworking people. Despite the distance from their homeland, each student strives to decorate a hostel space with bright colors – using lanterns and symbols of the year as decor. Students call their parents, yet refrain from communal celebrations around a broad dinner table with dumplings:

“For me, this New Year is quite unusual, as I am celebrating it alone, trying to stay safe and escape the potential illness. With the completion of my studies, I am planning to get back to China, so I have to limit my social contacts,” Song Tianyao admits.

The Snowflake Song was first performed in “The Magicians” Soviet film in 1982 by Olga Rozhdestvenskaya and the Good Fellows band. Although not a holiday hit, it became a favorite choice among many later artists, from pop to punk – seeing several remakes in 2002, 2008, 2014 and 2016.

“I came into this song completely by accident. Immediately since I heard it, I liked it. Our New Year’s songs are not related to winter, as we have a different climate all across China. And, in some parts, like the South, we don’t have snow at all,” the Chinese graduate shares.

On her arrival back home, not only Song Tianyao will be able to chat with her family at a holiday dinner, set fireworks and make a traditional family photo; she will also launch a paper lantern, lifting a card with her wishes up into the skies. Meanwhile, Perm State University will remain in touch with her and other alumni, waiting for new students and hoping for a brighter new year.

For reference:

For three years, Song Tianyao has been working as an assistant for the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, PSU and teaching Chinese language to students of three faculties – Philology, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages and Literature. In December 2021, Song Tianyao defended her PhD (candidate of sciences) thesis on Artistic Reception of B. Vasiliev’s Military Prose in China.

In the academic year 2021-2022 at PSU, 28 people, including 22 foreigners (21 students from China and 1 native of Japan), are enrolled in the 1st year postgraduate course in Linguistics and Literary Studies – mostly due to another PSU alumnus from China, who currently teaches at the Chengdu Institute of the Sichuan University of Foreign Studies.

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