The Fall 2013 Semester at Sea community had the pleasure of sailing with Dmitry Strovsky, a professor at the Ural Federal University, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, from Southampton, England to St. Petersburg, Russia. It would be tough to find one student or faculty who was not impacted by his presence, whether it was his enthusiastic Russian singing, his emotional personal stories, or his in-depth lessons of Russia‚Äôs past and present status.
Dmitry was a wealth of knowledge and a great resource for students to get advice before disembarking on their first in-port experience. He hoped to give students an education that exceeds textbook definitions of Russia, but rather a taste of the real Russia he knows so well.
‚ÄúRussia is full of our contradictions at the moment and people abroad have lots of stereotypes about this country,‚Äù¬†Dmitry said of his country. ‚ÄúI would like to flesh out these stereotypes from the minds of the students and at the same time I would like to give them a more balanced understanding of Russia. This is my professional duty and my human duty.‚Äù
Not only was he crucial in the Cultural Pre-Port Lecture, but also his deep singing voice accompanied by his piano playing could be heard all throughout Deck 6, emanating from the Piano Lounge. During a visit to the Global Music course, he explained that Russian music gives the listener a taste of the time period that the song was written in. Comparing pre-Soviet music to the songs of the mid-1900s was a great lesson in the fact that history can be learned from all sorts of contexts and mediums.
‚ÄúRussian music symbolizes the very origins of this culture because songs illustrate how Russian spirit exists,‚Äù he explained. ‚ÄúThrough the song it‚Äôs possible to better understand the Russian spirit, not only the mind of Russians but mostly Russian spirit. We would also come to a certain conclusion that the Russian spirit is somewhat different compared to the western spirit.‚Äù
Listen to this podcast to hear more about Dmitry‚Äôs experience on board the MV Explorer.