Element of Culture. Russian valenki
Russia is a country with a very rich cultural history which takes its rise out of the customs and traditions of the early Slavs. They inhabited a vast area of central-eastern Europe in the 6th century, and were to spread even further over the next two centuries. Russian people are their descendants; we now belong with the eastern branch of the modern Slavs, along with the Ukrainians and the Byelorussians that are the western neighbours of the Russian Federation. There are so many cultural aspects which expose cultural life of our country, that it is hard to choose only one. I heard that many foreigners are afraid of severe Russian winter. This statement is not groundless, at the same time it is not wholly true. The temperatures in various regions of Russia differ due to the great size of the country. For example, Yakutia, in the eastern part of the country, is the coldest place in Russia. The temperature there falls to 50 degrees Celsius below zero (about 58 degrees Fahrenheit below zero). However, in the middle part of Russia the temperature column hardly ever reaches -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature is usually from -10 up to 0 degrees (-14 – 32). So, as you can see, the weather is not so cold. Still, there are frosty days when it is practically impossible to stay outside. For such cases Russians created special footwear which is called “valenki” (you can see them in the attached picture). Valenki is traditional Russian felt boots. According to the archeological research, first felt wares were the carpets. They were made more than 2500 years ago. Nomadic tribes of Asian steppe were the first people who used felting. They felted wool and made pillows, insoles, or even used it for keeping the walls of their houses warm. However, valenki are an original Russian invention. They were first made in Siberia; then they were lower, and the boot top and the sole were felted separately, so that those valenki...
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