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What is Esperanto?

What is Esperanto?

Esperanto is an artificial international language created by Dr Ludovic Lazarus Zamenof between 1877-85. Zamenhof, who grew up in Warsaw, Poland, was convinced that a common language would be necessary to resolve many problems as language barriers helped to aggravate problems between nations. Zamenhof realised that none of the major European languages, French, German, English, Spanish, Italian and Russian could be made universal as they were all difficult languages to learn. The difficulty in mastering grammar would put native speakers at an advantage with respect to those who did not speak them fluently....

Vladimir Ilich Lenin

Vladimir Ilich Lenin, founder of the Russian Communist party, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and first head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was also a masterly political thinker whose theories shaped Communist thought and influenced all factions of the Marxist movement. Lenin was born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870, in the provincial city of Simbirsk on the Volga River. By all accounts, Lenin’s middle-class family was warm and loving....

World's First Space Tourist

May 11: The world’s first paying space tourist is back on earth after a week-long joyride in space. On Sunday, May 6, American millionaire Dennis Tito and two Russian cosmonauts landed back on earth, as their space capsule gently parachuted down onto the barren steppe in Kazakhstan. World’s First Space Tourist [Illustration by Shinod AP] Emerging unsteadily from the capsule, the exhilarated 60-year-old Tito, who is also a former NASA rocket scientist, said the trip was the culmination of a lifelong dream....

From Russia with Love : Rudolf Nureyev

The most photographed male dancer in the world, Rudolf Nureyev electrified the world with his ballet for close to three decades in the second half of the 20th century. In the world of ballet, dominated by the ballerina or the female artist, Nureyev brought male dancing to the limelight, and changed the nature of 20th century ballet. From peasantdom to stardom, he twirled his way to the very top in an eventful life. Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev was born in a train near Irkutsk in Russia, when his mother was on her way to meet his father, in 1938....

To Russia with Love?

To Russia with Love?

To Russia with Love? [Illustration by Shiju George] November 25: Meet Tinky-Vinky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. They are the Russian version of characters in Teletubbies, the British television series for toddlers. The four made an eagerly awaited debut amidst great hype and hoopla in Moscow. Their audience – 3,500 enthusiastic children. The 365-episode series is not known as Teletubbies in Russia but by their Russian name Telepuziki or Telebellies. And they are going to be beamed into Russian homes by the state-run television, RTR, says an article in the ‘Indian Express’....

Tattoos that Talk

Tattoos that Talk

Where: St. Petersbug, RUssia May 19, 2001: For more than 50 years Danzig Baldayev had been studying a unique mode of communication amongst the Russian prisoners. When he was a prison guard he discovered that the tattoo on each prisoner’s body had a message for the other inmates. A burning cross meant the prisoner wanted revenge, a pirate with a knife between his teeth showed that the person was a sadist or one who likes to hurt others and a tattoo of the Soviet founder, Vladimir Lenin, was like a charm against execution....

Destination Mir

Destination Mir

Destination Mir [Illustration by Shiju George] August 19: Dennis Tito is a very excited man. This businessman-cum-space-enthusiast has won the first prize in a game show called Destination Mir. He is now all set to be the world’s first space tourist, and is training at Russia’s Star City space-base for his unusually long journey. Russia has launched a television game show to revive interest in its ageing space station, Mir. The winner of the show gets to shoot into space, straight to the Russian space station Mir, which has been in space for 14 years now....

Messing Up, Alphabetically

Messing Up, Alphabetically

November 4: Central Asian countries that proclaimed independence after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) disintegrated in 1991 are not merely beset by the usual political and economic uncertainties that mark all new nations. They are uncertain about their alphabets too. At the root of all this confusion is an identity crisis that the countries are suffering. Messing Up, Alphabetically [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] Take Azerbaijan, for instance. Since most people here speak Azeri, verbal communication is not a problem....

Global Concern Over Possibility of Nuclear Bomb in Iran

Where: Tehran, Iran February 26, 2009 : Bushehr, located on Iran’s Gulf coast, houses the country’s first nuclear facility. It was inaugurated with much ceremony, but will only become fully functional later in the year. The 1000-megawatt reactor was built with Russian help. Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations security council, which has repeatedly imposed *economic sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. The Russian government has stressed that Bushehr is a civilian facility which cannot be used to make bombs....

The Young Tax Commandos

The Young Tax Commandos

October 14: Every country has its heroes in every generation, and children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, point at them. There was a time when becoming a diplomat or a cosmonaut was the most thrilling profession for Russian children. Recognition from others, glamour and adventure – these professions seemed to have it all. But times have changed and how. Today, the ambition of most Russian children is to have an ear to the ground....

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