'Kalinka' the Kenyan Way: Students in Nairobi Experience Russian Culture Through Music, Games
Lecturers from the Institute of Foreign Languages and International Cooperation at the Tomsk State Pedagogical University are participating in a training program aimed at teaching the Russian language and culture to Kenyans. It includes both main course classes and extracurricular activities.
Kenyan citizens were introduced to Russian culture through folk games, songs
, dances, fairy tales, and quizzes during an educational seminar called "Russian Gatherings," an extracurricular activity within the institute's educational program in Nairobi.
According to Lyudmila Kolpakova, the head of the Department of Business Communication in Russian and Foreign Languages, the educational event was organized to show what the famous Russian hospitality is, what traditions of holiday celebrations exist in the country and what Russian national dishes are.
She noted that the Kenyan participants were highly engaged in the program. Specifically, they expressed interest in traditional Russian games, and found the staging of the fairytale "Repka" (Turnip) particularly entertaining. Additionally, the students took pleasure in learning a new song, "Kalinka-Malinka," and performed it together.
"Extracurricular activities assist Kenyan students in mastering the program's main course by providing an opportunity to practice etiquette forms of communication in Russian in a non-academic environment, acquire new vocabulary, and engage in casual communication," she stated.
Kolpakova further explained that students reach the elementary level of the Russian language. At this level, they are able to communicate, make acquaintances, introduce themselves, address others, express gratitude or apologies, inquire about various topics, and express their opinions. In addition, this level facilitates everyday communication in a variety of contexts.
The lecturer said that Kenyan students know several languages: English, Swahili, which are necessarily taught at school, and the language of their nationality. The listeners cope with the Russian language in different ways: some learn the language
quickly and do not find it very difficult, others find it quite difficult to speak, especially to pronounce combinations of consonants.
As of now, Moscow is working on the establishment of cultural centers in Africa to offer lessons of the Russian language to locals. According to Russia's Ministry of Education, the country plans
to open Russian language education centers in 28 African nations this year. Algeria has recently launched one such center, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic have also expressed interest in promoting cultural cooperation with Russia.