During our second visit with Sofia, we had some time with her in the "drama room" after all the children had finished a rehearsal for a performance. She showed us how much she loves to dance and perform. She recited something that we believed was a poem. She danced with us and for us. One of the songs that she performed a little routine to has been stuck in my head for quite some time.
Last weekend, I was facilitating a scrapbook workshop (I don't want to say I taught it, because I'm not very artistically gifted. I just show them the basics and provide tools, supplies and my occasional, somewhat humble, opinion.) and my Russian-speaking friend Tanja was there. I knew she was coming so I brought along the video of Sofia's speech and dance routine for her to watch and clarify for me. Well, it turns out the speech is in fact a poem, but not a children's poem as Tanja expected. She told me that it's some kind of patriotic poem for the city and that little Sofia was using (or trying to) the right inflection and emphasis in her voice. How cute.
As for the dance routine, I wanted to know if the song was familiar to Tanja because I thought it would be really neat to be able to have it on a CD. As it turns out, it's the song of Cheburashka, a very popular Russian cartoon character. Tanja tells me that he and his crocodile friend Gena are as famous as Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. Tanja spent some time searching on YouTube, getting all nostalgic, to find a video for us to watch. Thanks, Tanja! Now I have ordered a Cheburashka CD and DVD so Sofia can enjoy them when she comes home.
The outskirts of St. Pete
Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.