Russian Boys' Activities: Outings--Specific Outings

Figure 1.--Here we see a group of Soviet tourists at the Zheleznovodsk minneral water spa. The name of the town literally means iron-water-place, as the mineral waters have high content of iron. It is located in the North Caucasus region of Southern Russia. The photograph was taken in 1977. We are not sure just who the tourists here would be. It is too large to be a family group. We suspect that they are prdominently from the Soviet upperclass meaning beaureacrats, Party members, intelensia, military and security servics. We are less sure about the working-class (workers and farmers). Perhaps someone more familar with Soviet vacation trends will provide some insights.

We notice a range of outings popular in Russia, often as part of family activities. One such outing was to parks, although we do not yet know much about Russian parks. The Soviet regime placed some emphasis on building city parks to provide some afordable recreation for the epnding industrial proleterit. Many of the parks were standard European parks with varying attractions. We also see many patriotic memorials. The most important is Moscow's Red Square in the Kremlin with Lenin's tomb. We see many military themed menorials after the climatic World War II Great Patriotics War. Beach outings were less common because of the climate, geograophy, and economic system. Russia has an extensive coastline, but as most of it is along the Arctic Ocean and Bearing Sea was not exactly condusive for beach going. There were some beaches on the Baltic. The Baltic republics were part of the Tsarist Empire and during World War II, Stalin seized them. There were also Black Sea resorts such as Yalta, but until the Revolution, they were only available for the well-to-do. One popular venue during the Tsarist era as in the rest of Europe was warm mineral spring spa (figure 1). Some of the European resorts were world famous. We know less about the Russian springs. A Russian source suggests that spa were especilly popular in Russia. The sauna tends to be a rellated activity. A Russian source writes, "No Russian can imagine life without sauna, or banya, as we call it. Banya is an ancient cultural and social phenomenon that is much more than just a way to stay clean. In fact, banya is a way to stay healthy and to socialize with friends." Perhaps the best known outings for Russians was spending the summer in dachas--summer country cotages. Some were year round second homes. But only the well-to-do could aford dachas.


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Created: 9:06 AM 9/3/2018
Last updated: 9:06 AM 9/3/2018