Monday, September 18, 2017

Being Russian in USA and Podari.Life


Being Russian in America, means that I miss my native language and culture a lot. I am definitely not the only one, so from time to time we gather for special Russian events. Last weekend, I had a unique opportunity to see a famous, gifted Russian actress, strong and beautiful woman, and warm, wonderful person Chulpan Khamatova who visited the USA on tour. Seattle was one of a very few cities where Chulpan stopped (others being New York, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles). 

Chulpan Khamatova. Poster of her performance Пунктиром (The Dotted) in Russia


Chulpan Khamatova in The Dotted in New York

I really am thankful to the organizers for making this rare opportunity available to me. That evening was everything I love about my native culture - it was an evening of genuine connection. It was a quiet, intimate, lyrical performance that included some personal stories, both funny and sad, reading Russian poetry (Boris PasternakBella AkhmadulinaYuri Levitansky, among other great poets), video clips of Chulpan's movies and theater plays, and beautiful piano improvisations by Polina Kondratkova.


If you read my Facebook or Instagram, you might know that I haven't really planned to purchase this dress. I actually went window shopping, and I mean literally - I was looking for curtains for our windows. But this dress sneaked into my shopping cart, and while I don't tolerate intruders, I admit, it is the most charming intruder one can encounter. So it went home with me, and since it is a tiny bit too small for my windows, I just have to wear it! So simple and straightforward my story is! I paired this charming intruder dress with my golden heels, and (since evenings are cool) with my Russian Pavlovoposadsky platok (shawl), a gift from my dear parents. 



But not only the unique dramatic talent, beauty and rare sincerity makes Chulpan Khamatova such a remarkable woman. She was named the most influential women in Russia for her charity organization "Подари жизнь" which she co-founded with her friend, actress Dina Korzun, over 10 years ago (and about 15 years since they organized their first charity concert, gathering many famous talented Russian musicians). The goal of their charity is most noble - helping children in Russia who fight cancer. The frightening number of chances to survive from cancer in Russia shook me as much as it shook Chulpan many years ago. While in the rest of the civilized world, children have a pretty high chance to get well, namely 80%, in Russia, it used to be only 50%. As it says on their sister organization's website, in 2006, "two famous Russian actresses, Chulpan Khamatova and Dina Korzun, joined forces with a team of volunteers to help more that 30,000 children and their families get treatment, support and rehabilitation. This public charity based in Russia's capital city of Moscow, provides medications and medical equipment to many hospitals in Russia, promotes and organizes blood drives and develops volunteer networks countrywide." Since then, two sister organization were created, Gift of Life in London (since 2011), UK, and Podari Life in Boston, USA (since 2015).



I am donating MY BOOKS, Anya and Her Wings ("Аня и ее крылышки") and Anya and Her Wings: Color and Create! ("Аня и ее крылышки: Раскрашивай и рисуй!") to children who are now in hospitals fighting cancer in Russia, in addition to donating money. If you can, please consider helping children either by sending money, or volunteering, or maybe doing something else, just contact these organizations - they will be very grateful for your help. With your help, however small it might look, we can change that frightening statistics. 

Photos by Justin

Dress - Target
Russian shawl - gift from my parents
Shoes - Clarks 
Clutch (Cole Haan), earrings, necklace - old

Linking with Visible Monday




PODARI.LIFE (USA)

SUPERSEAL, our new bilingual book, is coming in 2017!

Illustration by Andrei Lialin

Find our books at
in Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, Washington

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28 comments:

  1. Oh Natalia what a great idea. The children would love your books. Yes they need medical help, but this help is also important for children. This post is great Natalia and you look stunning in this amazing new curtain ähhhmm dress :) with this wonderful platok from your parents. Great you had a russian evening, I understand what it mean for you.
    Much love and big hug Tina ♥️

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    1. Thank you, Tina! Stories are healing, especially such heartwarming, life-affirming and humorous stories as Anya and Her Wings. I am glad that you think so too. <3

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  2. Beautiful dress, Natalia! No wonder you couldn't walk away without grabbing it. It looks even greater with that shawl, these two garments really compliment each others. Here in Nepal we help different organisations who work with children, mostly our help goes to orphanages and street children. Lucky you to attend that event with Chulpan. Some celebrities did visit Nepal and we met them at the Russian centre but alas it doesn't happen that often.

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    1. Thank you, Olga! It always feel special to reconnect with our culture, especially when such wonderful people as Chulpan visit. I am glad to hear that you guys are able to help children, they are the most vulnerable and we can help to protect them.

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  3. I love the combination of the two patterns and the quintessentially Russian red richness!

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    1. Thank you, dear Buttercup! This dress definitely has something very Russian about it! :)

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  4. What a wonderful, life-affirming event, Natalia! A way to do good as well as nourish your Russian roots. And you look beautiful in your new dress too! xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thank you, dear Patti! I appreciate your words! <3

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  5. natalia - this is so moving!
    i have no words for the moment.........
    only - you look marvelous in this dress and accessories!
    <3 <3 <3
    xxxxxxx

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  6. That new dress really suits you! I love it with the platok too! I think this is the
    best outfit I've seen you wear and am amazed that it came from Target!
    Well done on helping such a deserving charity.
    JanF

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    1. Thanks, Jan! I am glad you like this outfit. It's an elegant one, not as quirky as I often wear lately. :) It's closer to what I wore long BEFORE the style blog, and even much earlier - back in Russia. I am much more experimental now, trying new things all the time. I was also stunned to find this beauty in Target.

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  7. How nice to get a bit of Russia coming to you instead of the other way around. Let's hope the event can bring some relief to the children, with both added attention and money. Red is such a fantastic colour on you, and the flower prints were perfect together. I think you could wear this outfit in winter with some lovely boots as well - and maybe a bit of fur? However, for summer your golden sandals are gorgeous. A t-bar (hope it's the right word) is always very elegant. Glad to hear you had a lovely evening.

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    1. Great to hear from you, Tine! I will stop by your blog to say hello. I love the idea of boots and fur! :)

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  8. How wonderful to experience some Russian culture, I'm not surprised you miss it.
    That dress is absolutely fabulous, you look so beautiful. xxx

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  9. That dress amazing, what a great find! And how lovely that you combined it with your Russian shawl. Wearing it must feel a little like you've got your parents with you. You are looking fabulous and very glamorous in red, by the way. I'm so glad you got the opportunity to go to that Russian event and I applaud you for donating your books. That is such a nice thing to do. Lots of love xxx

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    1. Thank you, Ann! I love how you put it - like I've got my parents with me. Their gifts really are special. <3

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  10. Sukienka bardzo ładna:)))chusta dodaje elegancji:)))wygladasz ślicznie:))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:))))

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  11. Obviously I have been looking in all the wrong places for clothing. You are wearing "curtains" and Senora Allnut a sofa cover!
    I did just make a dress from a tablecloth :-)
    The platok is perfect with this dress, although I imagine it goes with everything.
    You look ready for a lovely elegant evening of culture.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. You made me laugh, thank you for your lovely comment! <3 <3 <3

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  12. I am so very glad this dress found its way into your closet. What a funny story, and cool word play about window shopping. This glorious red dress is just the thing for hearing poetry, seeing theater and all of those wonderful activities that connects you back to your culture.
    A fabulous and uplifting post, dear Natalia!
    ❤️🌸❤️
    Elle
    http://www.theellediaries.com/

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    1. Thank you, my wonderful and lovely Elle! <3

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  13. Natalia, how wonderful for you to share your Russian culture. The charity is so worthwhile , those childhood statistics are just awful in todays society. On a brighter note that dress is just lovely on you , I can see why it called your name . Thank you for this beautiful post.

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    1. And thank you, my dearest Jill, for your kind words! Lots of love!

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