As we begin week 3 Martin has chosen the largest country on the map: Russia. I was really excited because my own knowledge of Russia is limited to Anastasia the animated movie, The Cold War, and Putin. So this week is going to be a learning experience for both of us!
We started by painting the flag- it is quite simple with 3 equal horizontal stripes in blue, red, and white. It is interesting that even though it is a relatively simple flag design there is discrepancy over what the colors represent. From what I could find the consistent ideals are: red represents the courage and love of the Russian people, blue stands for faithfulness and honesty, and finally white represents frankness and nobility of the Russian citizens.
Russia, like so many other countries, has had a dark past and I did not want to focus on that with Martin. My hope with this adventure is for him to fall in love with the wonders and diversity of the world- not create biases or unfair opinions based on the past. So I did not talk to him about the Czars, the revolution, communism or any of the conflicts/ races with America.
Instead we focused on what is beautiful and one of the most beautiful things is Russian Ballet! The art form is elevated to new heights in Russia and (in my opinion) some of the best ballet music ever written was written in Russia by a Russian composer.
Have you ever heard of sleeping beauty, swan lake, or the NUTCRACKER?!
Yep, all of these were written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
I pulled out by old ballet shoes to show Martin and we talked about how they are made out of leather and how they are very bendy to make it easier to dance in. Then we did some ballet!
Like I have mentioned before, we love the Wiggles in our house and Emma, the yellow wiggle, loves to dance and she is a ballerina. They have a great video that introduces kids to dancing and they feature boys and girls doing ballet. Martin and I did about a third of the video together and every time a boy would come on the screen Martin would point it out in excitement.
For the rest of the day we both periodically broke into dance, it was great exercise, albeit a little silly!