VDNH Invites Everyone to Celebrate Slavic Writing and Culture Day

19 may 2021

VDNH has prepared a programme dedicated to celebrating Slavic Writing and Culture Day and two years since the opening of the Slovo Centre at Russia's Main Exhibition. The events will take place from 22 to 24 May. VDNH invites everyone to learn the basics of Church Slavonic, listen to a lecture on pre-Cyrillic writing, take part in special guided tours designed for the holiday and try their hand at lettering. All the activities are free. Entrance to the Slovo Centre will also be free on 24 May.

The Slovo Centre, the only museum and educational complex in Russia dedicated to the history, present and future of Cyrillic writing, opened in the restored Pavilion No. 58 Agriculture two years ago on Slavic Writing and Culture Day. VDNH invites everyone to celebrate this event. The themed programme is designed for visitors of different age groups and will be held from 22 to 24 May.

The first Church Slavonic lesson Oshuiy and Odesnuyu (Church Slavonic for 'left and right') will begin at 3:00 p.m. on 22 May. The participants will learn how the Slavic alphabet was created and how it changed over time, what the oldest Slavic writing looked like and why letters need names and also try reading texts written in the Glagolitic script (the first alphabet of the Slavs). The course teaches to read, understand and even speak a little in Church Slavonic, introduces the listeners to the basic vocabulary that can be found today on frescoes, icons and in old books and explains the phonetics of Church Slavonic and the types of ancient Russian writing. The lessons are free if booked in advance.

The lecture What Came Before the Cyrillic Alphabet will be held at the same time on 23 May. The listeners will learn how the Slavs wrote down texts before the appearance of the Cyrillic script and which alphabets were used in Ancient Rus and try to read some texts written in the Glagolitic script. Admission is free, click here to register.

Both lectures will be delivered by Nikolai Butskikh, the founder of the Zelo Research Centre of the Ancient Rus' Culture and professor of Church Slavonic at several educational institutions in St. Petersburg.

The Slovo Centre is usually closed on Mondays, but next Monday, on 24 May, the Day of Slavic Writing and Culture, it will receive visitors from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission on that day will be free. The visitors will be offered three new themed guided tours designed specifically for Slavic Writing and Culture Day, a sightseeing tour of the exposition and a free lettering workshop. All the activities are free if booked in advance.

At 2:00 p.m., the participants of the lettering workshop The Art of Letters will learn how to use a calligraphy brush, obtain basic artistic brush lettering skills (they will draw the elements of letters and practice writing the alphabet and separate words) and learn the basics of a calligraphic composition. The number of participants is limited to 15 people. Sign up by following this link.

At 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., the visitors are invited to join the Slovo Centre's new guided tour titled Cyril and Methodius: What Did the Two Famous Brothers Really Create? They will learn what the main achievement of the two Greek monk brothers was, what events triggered the emergence of Slavic writing and what place Slavic languages hold today among all the other world languages.

The new guided tour Choosing the Cyrillic Script starts at 12:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The participants will learn why the alphabet originally created for the Slavs was adopted by many different peoples that inhabited the territory from the Caucasus to Siberia and how and why the Cyrillic script successfully competes with the Latin alphabet.

The tour Letter. Form Matters, also designed specifically for Slavic Writing and Culture Day, will be held at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. It will immerse the participants in the world of different letterforms, handwriting and writing styles and help them make sense of modern letter creation trends.

At 8:00 p.m., the visitors are invited on the sightseeing tour Cyrillic Script in Space and Time: from Creation to the Present Day. They will learn about the main milestones in the history Russian writing, the first alphabets (Cyrillic and Glagolitic) and the oldest texts that have survived to the present day. Interactive exhibits will help the participants immerse themselves in the historical context: they will find themselves in a monastery cell, a zemstvo school and a printing workshop. They will also get acquainted with the oral speech of the Ancient Rus and learn about the features of the language.

The number of participants is limited to 20 people per tour.

All events comply with the anti-coronavirus regulations for the time being in force. Visitors are required to observe social distancing and wear face masks and gloves.

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