Category Archives: Russia

How to understand the Russian culture (or Soviet culture) via an Asian perspective

Photo credits to mytripolog.com

Okay, I’m not an expert in Russia, or the Slavic culture in general, but there are things I have discovered as I re-learn the Russian culture and of course, some of its politics (well, I have to admit, aside from Japan, I also like Russia, all thanks to the late singer Origa, I do give credit to her; if not because of her, I would never ever appreciate Russian culture—tell me guys where her grave is).

If you are already familiar with Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, and t.A.T.u., or Vitas, well—they might not be a good help if you’re going to learn and understand what RUSSIAN culture IS all about, in an Asian point of view.

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BREAKING NEWS: Origa passed away from lung cancer at 44


Origa’s concert in Russia, her homeland–but this time, in Moscow

It is a tragic day indeed on the 17th day of January 2015. I have never expected that one talent, one diva will be gone too soon.

Teenhood Hero, Teenhood Idol

Origa became well-known after her first big break ever: “Inner Universe,” a song that is the opening theme of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Well, sorry to say but I really never dared to listen to the original recording of the song because it’s pictured in my mind that when I hear that, I see the commercial of Animax about it… haha and the opening AV is just… too haunting.

According to Japanese-language sources, she died in Tokyo, Japan. That’s right. I bet, she has long been a Japanese citizen since she rarely comes back to Russia, or maybe she chose to remain a Russian citizen.

Sadly, whenever I listen to her songs, just like the rest of my idols in music, I never greeted her, “S dnyom rozhdeniya” at all (this also applies to Bjork, Yoko Kanno and Chick Corea, who are my constant idols in music). However, greeting your idol on FB is nothing really special or somehow corny since you only care about their music. But when you delve into their music, you’ll really admire them without questioning them at all.

In this case, I had a strong urge to learn Russian and even dreamt of studying in Russia. Origa’s the reason why I started to embrace everything Russian–even their military culture, actually. Despite the bad things that’s being shoved to us about Russia, I still never hated the country itself. I know that Russia is relatively conservative when it comes to their traditional beliefs, to think their mentality is European. Origa once said that when she went to Japan, she said that the Japanese people are conservative–at least, from a Russian’s point of view (Russia is quite more liberated than Japan, but still I find Russian culture conservative as compared to Western Europe).

I thought “Inner Universe” was Japanese, but when I read the lyrics, it was “weird” (was reading the Roman letters, not the original Cyrillic). When I “Googled” Origa on Yahoo! (wait, Google was not very popular during that time, it was only starting to become a household name while Yahoo! was still very popular (now, it’s a weak search engine), I have learned the fact that she’s Russian.

Indeed, Origa had a voice of an angel. No one can ever replicate that. No wonder, I was dreaming that she would sing one of the songs I would direct to my prospective musicians who will do the rest of the job. The movie lineup’s there–based on my own imagination. I cannot even spew it out, because I’m afraid that people surrounding me will call me crazy. After all, these people are dubious people, continuing to be dubious and will always be popular at the expense of other people.

No one can ever replace the diva. Never. Not even my other fave artists. She stood out, compared to the rest of the mainstream artists who are just… mainstream. Dunno, something’s really inside me, and I do have a feeling that Origa’s really part of my life, even though I have rarely heard of her ever since. It’s only saddening.

Sayounara, do svidanya, Origa-sama. Покойся с миром (Pokojsya s mirom). 安らかに眠る(yasuraka ni nemuru).