They speak of a Russian soul, those who dream of a country as large as a continent, of a skin-deep melancholy that only grave hymns can ease. That spirit still lives on, in the taverns of Saint Petersburg, where storytellers come to recite verses which have run down through the centuries, or in Moscow’s underground, where the large stations are dispersed like a heady refrain.
But Russia is also something else. It is a welcoming land for people who want to wake up each day to a transformed panorama. This country moves forward fast. The Moscow of yesterday has nothing to do with the Moscow of tomorrow, even if the histories of the Tsarist Empires, the Soviet Union and the young democracy sometimes appear to be mixed together. For fifteen years now, the country is experiencing broad developments and would like to see itself as the heart of Eurasia. Such is its destiny. Among the fields of Orthodox church domes or the colossal amusement parks, what strikes people most about Russia is its inhabitants. They have a way of being whereby they don't let the matters of daily life get to them and they reach out to those they talk to. They celebrate the arrival of the night with powerful music and well-cooked dishes. To get away from the city streets, you need to take the train and spend at least one night in its convoys where you can drink tea and play chess. Such escapades, always abundant, give an idea of the magnitude of Russia. As for its high tradition, that of the 18th Century, it can be found in the palaces and the breathtaking museums. It also lives on in this language of intact poetry and which is constantly being renewed.