Time to fire up the Samovar

This is an excellent explanation and demonstration of a Russian samovar. The samovar used is not the most beautiful or traditional, but the information presented is really good. And as a result of watching this film I am now painfully aware that I will never be able to pronounce the word “podstakannik” (подстаканник) correctly. Tomorrow might be a good day to brew up some заварка and toss some coals into my samovar, although it seems like there ought to be snow…

Several of the other videos in the series Words of the World are well done and informative also, although the British woman speaking about Russian icons has some strange pronunciation habits.

The painting above is “The Merchant’s Wife,” by Boris Kustodiev, 1918.


  1. Love Kustodiev!
    DId you succeed in firing up the SAMOVAR? And did you use a boot :-)?

    • I haven’t inaugurated the samovar yet, but I really ought to while it’s still all wintery.

      I can’t pronounce “podstakanniki” correctly either, I’m sure. I’ll probably ask you how it’s supposed to sound next time I see you.

  2. Oh. And she did not pronounce “podstakanniki” correctly. 🙂