So, just how many Russians are there in Shanghai?
I think there are roughly 1,500-2000 Russians in “Shanghaisk”. The number doesn’t include the people from the Soviet Union’s former satellite states, like Ukraine, Belarus, and of course Bashkortostan!
What exactly does the Russian Club do? Events, talks, parties, charities, mahjong club?? etc. Can you tell us about all the activities?
Yes, I do. We hold our regular meetings every month (as usual, last Friday of each month). It’s not a party, but it is a good chance to meet your friends and nice people in this crazy city. Every time we have almost the same deal: Russian music, vodka-beer and good discounts. And everybody likes it. We also organize BBQ-parties, meetings and readings with Russian celebrities, who just visits at Shanghai . And at times we held concerts with the popular Russian rock-band.
How did you get involved in the Russian Club? When?
I’m an IT-guy who likes social activities and make some useful things on web. The founders of Russian Club took notice of me, and then invited me to come to Shanghai. It’s happened one year ago. Now we have a new web-site with daily updates about Russian and expat life in Shanghai.
Who can join the Russian Club? Can non-Russian people join?
Everybody, who can drink a bucket of vodka in two minutes. There is other option: if you are interested in Russian culture or have a Russian friend, you are welcome.
You guys look like you have a pretty comprehensive website (I can’t read it). It looks like an active community of Russian users talking about Russian things and not only Russian things, but news about Shanghai and China. Is that true? Can you tell me about some of the website features that you guys have for your club members?
Like I said before, this is a new website, actually it’s still under reconstruction, but we’re continually improving it. We’re planning to make it fully “user-powered” and, in short, create something like Russian CityWeekend. Ha-ha, another competitor. You have no chance, CW-team! But besides that we have a web-forum, which celebrated the 11-th anniversary last month!
Russians have had a long history in Shanghai. Do you guys explore that heritage? If so, how?
Of course-kiy! To explore Russian heritage and continue the traditions of our ancestors in Shanghai is our main mission. On our website we have an archive of Russian newspapers (“Slovo”, “Shanghai’s Dawn”), which had been published in 30’s. Also, we collect books, articles, poems, novels by authors, who used to live in Shanghai. Besides that, Russian club in Shanghai published or participated in publishing a few books about Russian heritage in Shanghai.
I heard there’s only one Russian restaurant in Shanghai. Can you really not get good Russian food anywhere else? What do you recommend to eat there?
Yeah, it’s so sad. There is only one Russian restaurant in Shanghai, but there’re dozens in Guangzhou and Beijing. I want to appeal to rich people and investors in the сity, that Russian community in Shanghai needs a good and expensive restaurant. Price is not a “wen ti”.
What kind of activities/programs/events do you guys have planned for the future? (Please reference anything during or after Jan. 7-20)
It’s half-secret information, only for CW-readers. We want to organize concert of the legendary Russian musician Boris Grebenshikov, founder of Russian rock music. Also we are planning some activities for Russian Expo. More information is coming soon.
Why is it important to you to belong to the Shanghai Russian Club? 10. What’s your favorite thing about the Russian Club?
For me it’s important to feel myself part of something big. We should support our compatriots and carry on the Russian history in Shanghai. If not we, who will do that?
Anything I haven’t asked but should have? Tell me!
My interview is long enough , ha-ha! But if you don’t know, today (January, 7th) is Christmas in Russia and all East Orthodox countries. So, Merry Christmas! S Rozhdestvom!