Интервью О. Бычкова: 11 часов и 11 минут в Москве. У микрофона Ольга Бычкова. Доброе утро! В ближайшие полчаса мы говорим о днях ирландской культуры в России.




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Russians, Irish Set for St. Patrick's Day Parade


20 March 2009

By Adrian McBreen

The Novy Arbat will turn Irish once again this Sunday as the Irish community and thousands of Muscovites take part in Moscow's 17th St. Patrick's Day parade, the only festivity of its kind in the Russian capital.

Weather permitting, up to 10,000 Muscovites will turn out at 1 p.m. to see a classic St. Patrick's Day parade, with marching bands, Cossack horsemen, Irish dancers, decorated floats and, of course, wolfhounds.

The parade in Moscow, which takes place five days after the real St. Patrick's Day, is very much an international affair, with performers from across Russia.

Novy Arbat will close down to traffic as Dublin's mayor, Evelyn Byrne, and her Russian counterpart, Yury Luzhkov, seek to put the "pat" in "expat." This year marks the first time Mayor Luzhkov, a huge supporter of Irish culture in Moscow, will attend in person since its inception in 1992.

The chief organizer and chair of the Irish Club, Avril Conroy, said she is looking forward to an "overwhelming sense of pride" on Sunday, especially among the Irish community in Moscow

She said her personal favorite participants are the wolfhounds and their proud owners from the Russian Irish wolfhound society.


The parade is part of a series of events organized by the Irish Club and the embassy around St. Patrick's Day including the Irish Film Festival at Khudozhestvenny theater, which runs till March 29.

  1. Moscow News:

Celts, Kilts and Copious Pints

http://mnweekly.rian.ru/feature/20090319/55371005.html

19/03/2009

By Andy Potts

St. Patrick's Day - which fell on Tuesday - is a time for a celebration of Ireland and Irish people, but that doesn't mean Sunday's parade on Novy Arbat will be exclusively an Irish event.

After 16 years in Moscow, Irish Business Club President Avril Conroy still gets a shiver down her spine when St. Patrick's Day comes to town.

"When I look out each year at the crowd which gathers for the parade, when I see people waving Irish and Russian flags, when I see people coming to support my country's national day like that it's an amazing feeling," she said.

"There are only about 200 Irish people in the city, so to be able to get so many joining in our party is very special."

Gerard Michael MacGregor, a film director and one of the organisers of the Irish Film Festival running this week (see page 11), said it was "a chance to have fun, to let your hair down and do it in the spirit of being Irish."

"That's important for everyone, and it's great to see it celebrated in so many cities and countries around the world, including Moscow," he said.

This year's parade welcomes Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov - a real coup for the organisers - and Dublin Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne, to enjoy a Celtic carnival of more than 1,000 performers and 10,000 spectators. Even Moscow's city government is still slightly surprised at how a relatively small expat community has managed to grab such a huge slice of local affection since the first parade in 1992, but the event has become truly established in the capital's calendar.

While the St. Patrick's festival attracts an impressive and ever-growing range of international guests, the bulk of the work is done by volunteers. And impressively, the overwhelming majority of those "Irish" acts marching down Ulitsa Novy Arbat are Russian enthusiasts.

"There are huge numbers of Russians who love playing, listening to and dancing to Irish music," Conroy said. "We even have groups learning the Irish language."

Some have theorised about political and cultural links between two countries that have long found themselves on the edges of mainstream European culture - literally and figuratively. But Conroy's explanation for the popularity of St Patrick's Day is far more pragmatic.

"It's a big celebration, and people here love their prazdniki," she said. "It's wonderful the way they make such a big show of birthdays and other holidays. I don't think it's really got anything to do with two countries which have gone through hard times; it's more a case of people identifying with Irish culture - especially music and literature - and wanting to celebrate that together."

Moscow student Natalya Akimova visited last year's parade and joined the columns marching down Novy Arbat. She agreed with that assessment.

"It's getting more and more popular every year," she said. "It's a bright and interesting parade - and of course there's lots of Guinness!

"Ten years ago events like this were almost unknown in Russia, the same as Valentine's Day and Halloween. Since then people have started to learn more about Irish culture, maybe done some Irish dancing and listened to Irish music and it's grown from there."

WHERE:

The parade along Novy Arbat is on the afternoon of Sunday, March 22. The road is closed to traffic from 1 pm

Partying for Paddy's Day

There's more to Celtic culture than the mass-produced Riverdance, and Moscow's venues are rising to markSt. Patrick's Day with a madcap melange of Irish folk and Russian Celtic music - even with a spot of classical piano thrown in as well.

The festivities kicked off last night with acclaimed pianist Miceal O'Rourke performing a recital of music by the 19th-century Irish composer John Field - who spent most of his working life in Russia and is buried in the Kremlin.

Perhaps the biggest name among the guest stars performing this weekend is the Irish folk singer-songwriter Andy Irvine. His tastes roam far beyond his native traditions, including elements of Balkan folk which have since filtered back into his sound and that of many of his contemporaries. He makes his first Moscow appearance at B2 on Sunday, March 22.

A more raucous affair is expected at the club Tochka on Friday, March 20, with a 10-hour festival of live Celtic rock and "Folktronica" DJs. Irish-German-American act Trubadore headline, with support from Russian folk-rockers and Celtophiles including Troll Gnyot Yel and The Drolls. Live shows run from 7pm-1am, and the dance floor keeps going until the metro opens.

Shamrock, on the parade route in Novy Arbat, is marking the occasion with green beer and live music, as well as a free set by with much-loved Russian Celt-rockers Tintal from 4 pm.

After Sunday's parade, B1 keeps the Irish theme going with Tintal supporting Irish guests Cruachan, performing for the last time with singer Karen Gilligan, who has quit the band. Blending ancient music with contemporary rock, the kilt-clad band has gained a cult following.

The Moscow International House of Music, or MMDM, brings it own Celtic twist with Scottish folk stars Capercaillie performing on Saturday, March 21. Of course, Scotland isn't the same as Ireland, but singer Karen Matterson draws on the shared culture of the two countries and won Britain's Best Celtic Vocals prize in 2006.

If ticket sales are anything to go by, Saturday night's Emerald Ball is the weekend's biggest draw. The annual St Patrick's special, held at the Marriott Grand Hotel on Tverskaya, sold out completely as long ago as November. The glamorous event is the main charity fundraiser for the Irish Club, which supports a range of local voluntary groups. To get on the waiting list for next year's ball, contact the Irish Club at www.moscowirishclub.ru. n

Venues:

B1 / 11 Ul. Ordzhonikidze / m. Leninsky Prospekt

B2 / 8 Bolshaya Sadovaya Ul. / m. Mayakovskaya

Moscow International House of Music (MMDM) /

52 Kosmodamianskaya Nab., bldg 8 / m. Paveletskaya

Shamrock / 11 Ul. Novy Arbat / m. Arbatskaya

Tochka / 6 Leninsky Prospekt / m. Oktyabrskaya

Guinness index

St. Patrick's Day is a red-letter day for the Diageo group, which owns the Guinness brewery. Yet this year, as the inky-black stout prepares to celebrate its 250th anniversary, there are fears that a financial hangover could poop the party. Sales in Ireland have fallen by a third over the past decade, thanks in part to price rises that have seen a pint shoot over the five-euro mark in many central Dublin bars. A pint of Guinness can cost even more than that in some Moscow pubs - a lot more than what punters are paying in London.

Guinness prices around the globe

Sydney, Australia:     $A5-$A7 (114r-159r)

Tralee, Ireland:         from 3 euros (134r)

Pattaya, Thailand:     170 baht (164r)

London, England:     3.50 pounds (175r)

Boston, USA:  $5.50 (191r)

Geneva, Switzerland:           7.50 Swiss francs (219r)

Dublin, Ireland :        up to 5.50 euros (250r)

Baku, Azerbaijan:     6 manat (260r)

Okazaki, Japan:          750 yen (265r)

Shanghai, China:       60 yuan renminbi (305r)

Guinness prices in Moscow

Belfast:           240r

Silver's:          240r

Doolin House:           260r

Shamrock:     270r

Sally O'Brien's:          290r

Rosie's:          299r

WHERE:

Belfast / 1 Sredny Ovchinnikovsky Per., bldg. 13

m. Novokuznetskaya

Doolin House / 20 Ul. Arbat / m. Arbatskaya, Smolenskaya

Rosie's / 22/1 Ul. Timura Frunze / m. Park Kultury

Sally O'Brien's / 1/3 Ul. Bolshaya Polyanka

m. Polyanka

Shamrock / 11 Ul. Novy Arbat / m. Arbatskaya

Silvers / 5/6 Tverskaya Ul. / m. Okhotny Ryad

Painting the City Green on St. Paddy's Day

http://mnweekly.rian.ru/local/20080320/55318241.html

20/03/2008

As usual, Moscow's St Patrick's Day Parade did not disappoint its devoted followers, delighting members of the Irish community, not to mention Russian Guinness fans. The 16th annual parade took place Sunday on the New Arbat, which was shut to traffic from noon to 2pm.

Since its conception in 1992, the Moscow St. Patrick's Day Parade continues to attract thousands of viewers and diverse participants, including Celtic bands, bagpipers, Irish dancers, a number of corporate floats and even a group of Irish wolf-hounds. Parade participants and bystanders marched down the New Arbat with light-footed dancers and marching bands in tow. Many revelers got a bit sidetracked and entered the Irish Shamrock Bar, keen to get their fill of green beer and pint of Guinness. Others just enjoyed a good Irish show.

"A few years ago I became really interested in Celtic music," said Elena Gromova, a young bystander at the parade with green shamrocks on her head. "That's what made me interested."

This year's festivities were organized by the Russian Irish Business Club and Enterprise Ireland, the Commercial Section of the Irish Embassy.

The annual Emerald Ball which precedes the parade, raises money for Russian charities. "This year the proceeds of the ball will be going to Diema's Dream [a foundation for disabled orphans] and the Guide Dogs [a center which trains dogs to look after blind and disabled people]," says Avril Conroy, chairman of the Russian Irish Business Club. "We've seen the difference that the dogs can make to people's lives, and it's vital to get funding for their training." All the money raised at the ball goes into Russia, says Conroy, who has lived in Russia 14 years and is an dynamic organizer of the St. Patrick's parade.

As well as the funds raised for charity, Ireland is currently increasing its investments in Russia. Despite Irish business suffering after Russia's economic crash in 1998, which forced the popular Garden Ring supermarket business to close down, it has picked up significantly in recent years. With over 200 Irish companies exporting to Russia and approximately 24 of them having a permanent presence here (including electric heating business Glen Dimplex, Mercury Engineering and building materials group CRH) Ireland is now the 12th largest importer into the country.

With a number of Irish dance schools and Celtic music bands around town, not to mention the growing number of Irish pubs scattered about town, it would seem that business and cultural ties between Ireland and Russia could not be better, especially considering the pride of place that St. Patrick's has in the capital.

"The St. Patrick's Parade is the only foreign national parade held annually in Moscow," said a spokesperson at the Irish Embassy.

"Cultural ties between Ireland and Russia are increasing," he said, adding that a program of cultural cooperation was signed in January by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and Russia's deputy Prime-Minister. On St. Patrick's Day, there was an unveiling of a statue of James Joyce, the Irish writer, at the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow. 

By Nathalie Cooper

  1. Russia Today:

http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-03-21/irish-parade-moscow-friendship.html/print
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