In 2016, I was nervous. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, we had the opportunity to give presentations about our experiences in Russia and, for me specifically, experiences in Smolensk where I studied Russian language. By that time, I had many experiences to pull from. I had played in a Russian men’s basketball league and thought about the differences between American and Russian play styles. I was a teacher, and the university environment I was in was much different from my alma mater, William & Mary (go Tribe!). I was also extremely fascinated by the cultural importance of a “hello” that was valued by my close Russian peers. Despite all of these interesting topics, one group of women made much more of an impression on me than anything else – the вахтеры of our dorm at Smolensk State University.
As you all know, Chicago is a very diverse city. It has Little Italy, Greek Town, Little India, Polish Village, Ukrainian Village, etc. However, finding some sort of Russian Village poses a much greater challenge. Sure, you have the suburbs of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, but overall Russians don’t stick together in the city anymore. We are here to help you find everything Russian in the Windy City. So if you are interested in Russian culture and want to explore what Chi-town has to offer, keep reading!