PATTAYA, Thailand – At the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) meeting on Wednesday, January 3, the audience was treated to a very “White Russian Christmas” by Aleksandra Kahn, a Russian vocalist from a Korean background, who previously spoke to the PCEC about her life and entertaining with her dynamic singing. For her return visit, and in tune with the Holiday Season, she again entertained with song as well as sharing what it is to enjoy a White Russian Christmas. She was joined on stage by Yves Baron and fellow Russian singe Julia.
Aleksandra first came to Thailand in 2015. Although her mother is from North Korea, she was born in Tajikistan, part of the USSR at that time, and later moved with her family to Russia. She grew up in Tajikistan and Russia and her interest in singing led to her career as an entertainer, not only as a singer, but also as a dancer. Yves Baron, is a well-known singer and music promoter here in Pattaya and has performed for the PCEC on several occasions.
Aleksandra used several slides and a video to illustrate her narrative talk about how Christmas is celebrated in Russia; although similar to that of other western countries, there were some distinct characteristics. Russia follows the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church which uses the Julian calendar. So, Christmas Day is commonly observed on January 6 rather than December 25.
For most of our readers, Christmas dinner usually consists of a generously-sized roast turkey or goose accompanied by mouth-watering cranberry sauce, crispy roast potatoes, deliciously steamed vegetables, spicy gingerbread biscuits, aromatic mince pies, and sticky fruit puddings. In Russia, a Christmas dinner is also traditional, but dishes tend to be a little different. Aleksandra provided several pictures and a description of different foods that adorn the Russian Christmas dinner consisting of beetroot soup (borsch) or vegan potluck (solyanka) served with individual vegetable pies (often made with cabbage, potato, or mushroom); sauerkraut, porridge dishes such as buckwheat with fried onions and fried mushrooms, salads often made from vegetables like gherkins, mushrooms or tomatoes, and also potato or other root vegetable salads.
During this period, there is a general house cleaning and acquiring new clothes to represent a new life, a new beginning. Children will go carol singing round the homes of friends and family and to wish people a happy new year. They are normally rewarded with cookies, sweets, and money. Also, unlike the bloated, red-coated father Christmas or Santa Claus of the West, Russia’s Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) is slender with a wizard-like flowing beard.
This narrative was interspersed with some entertaining song, beginning with Aleksandra joined by Juliana singing the Russian song Zimnie Mesyaci (Winter months). She also was joined by Yves Barron in singing Belym Snegom (White snow). Yves also sang, in Russian, Podmoscovnye Vechera (Moscow nights). The last song was Dalida-Le Temps Des Fleurs (the long road) started by Yves in French which Aleksandra joined in, but in using Russian lyrics. Although not in English, most recognized it as the popular song, “Those Were The Days My Friend”.
Aleksandra has a wonderful voice and she invited everyone to join her every Wednesday (9pm) to hear her sing Russian songs at the Ju Ju Music Club located on Pratamnak road. After the presentation, MC Ren Lexander brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on George Wilson to conduct the Open Forum portion of the meeting where the audience can ask questions or make comments about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. To learn more about the PCEC, visit their website at https:/pcec.club.