Russian Week ended on a high note Thursday night. More than 120 people attended the event and were treated to traditional Russian cuisine as well as multiple presentations on Russian history, culture, folklore and dancing.
Ashley Brown, junior in political science and Russian studies as well as president of the Russian Language Association, was exited to perform at the event.
"We have a lot of different characters from Russian folklore," Brown said. "There's a lot of evil characters. My character is a witch named Baba Yaga that lives in the forest."
All of the actors were eager to perform. There was no incentive or extra credit involved for the students participating—they were there because they wanted to be there. Robert Naylor, sophomore in global studies, enjoyed his part in the folklore presentation.
"I think it's cool that the I-House is able to spread cultural knowledge about Russian folklore," Naylor said. "I am excited to be a part of it. I get to wear a beard!"
Throughout the presentation, which at times was more like a witty improvisational piece of staged drama and dancing, one student was working to ensure that everything ran smoothly during the nearly three hour event. Noah Mayhew, junior in communications and Russian language, was dressed for the stage as he helped those cooking in the kitchen and prepared himself to narrate the evening's main event.
"We wanted to do a folklore presentation, and since I speak well I wrote the script." Mayhew said. "It features nine traditional characters from Russian folklore. We are also doing a Russian dance tonight that we performed at the Rossini Festival and the Broadway Academy."
Mayhew's exuberant narrations kept the crowd entertained and received great applause at the presentation's end. Roman Marshall, sophomore in economics, finished his part of the folklore presentation with a smile.
"I think it's interesting to see so many kids come out to learn about a place that is so far away," Marshall said. While Russian is a foreign language that few students at UT choose to study, what the Russian program lacks in numbers they make up for in enthusiasm."