New Russian Pop Culture Club opens at EHS

Aleena+Punjwani+%28left%29+and+Maria+Linder+%28right%29+encourage+students+of+all+backgrounds+to+join+their+club+in+order+to+learn+about+Russian+culture.
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New Russian Pop Culture Club opens at EHS

Aleena Punjwani (left) and Maria Linder (right) encourage students of all backgrounds to join their club in order to learn about Russian culture.

Aleena Punjwani (left) and Maria Linder (right) encourage students of all backgrounds to join their club in order to learn about Russian culture.

Madeline Brandel

Aleena Punjwani (left) and Maria Linder (right) encourage students of all backgrounds to join their club in order to learn about Russian culture.

Madeline Brandel

Madeline Brandel

Aleena Punjwani (left) and Maria Linder (right) encourage students of all backgrounds to join their club in order to learn about Russian culture.

Cecilia Orth, visual editor

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Inspired by the similar pop cultures between Russia and the United States, sophomore Maria Linder created the Russian Pop Culture Club. On the first Monday of each month, the club meets in Mr. Lenz’s classroom to eat snacks and learn about Russian music or shows. “We’re trying to understand, appreciate, and compare different pop cultures. It’s about learning and just having fun,” Linder said.

The club often listens to Russian reggae music and watches various cartoons. They compare Russian and American entertainment and the symbolism prevalent in the cartoons. For example, the character “Волк погоди” which means “wolf get lost” has a comic value alike to “Tom” in the American cartoon “Tom and Jerry”. “This is the villain in one very popular cartoon, in that there is a bunny who he [the wolf] often chases and repetitively fails to catch. However, this wolf character is inspired by this newfound damaged person who’s present in the Soviet era as a general delinquent who can’t do anything right,” Linder said. The club further explores pop culture by discussing the reasoning behind why certain entertainment takes off. The snacks are another attraction, as Linder purchases Russian crackers and cookies from a store in Burnsville.

The club encourages students of all backgrounds to join. “I thought it’d be fun to join the Russian Pop Culture Club because I could always learn new things and have new experiences… It’s open to anyone who wants to join which is super important for people to know because we’re really welcoming,” sophomore Russian Pop Culture Club member Aleena Punjwani said.

The greatest challenge of the club is separating political ideology from culture. Often, students treat politics as synonymous with culture, but they fail to realize that culture is much older than the recent political developments. “There are no political or religious implications and you don’t even have to be Russian to join,” Linder said. Currently, the Russian Pop Culture Club has 15 members attending their meetings and 48 GroupMe members.

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