To tell you more about the work of Rossotrudnichestvo, we begin a new series of interviews with heads of our representative offices around the world. Olga Muratova, the head of the Russian Center for Science and Culture (RCSC) in Argentina’s Buenos Aires, told us about her center’s work with the youth and the role of the “New Generation” program.
This year Russia and Argentina are celebrating the 135th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations which, since the very beginning, were characterized by strong social and cultural interaction.
At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, Argentines got acquainted with the works of great Russian authors, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy, and, around the same time, got to hear the music of famous composers like Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1908, Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin visited Argentina and later, in 1917, Argentines had a chance to see the Diaghilev's Russian Ballet in Buenos Aires.
With the establishment of the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (VOKS) in 1925, the humanitarian ties between the two countries received a new impetus. The Soviet VOKS made contacts with friendly organizations in Argentina such as the Committee for Assistance to Russian Students and the Association of Art Lovers as well as various local publishing houses, museums, and universities. The delegation from Argentina participated in the Congress of Friends of the Soviet Union in 1927.
The people-to-people ties grew even stronger during the years of the World War II when many Argentines supported the Soviets in their fight against the Nazis and sent warm clothes, shoes, and other help to the soldiers of the Soviet Army.
In the post-war years, Argentina saw the emergence of various societies, cultural and sports clubs created by the immigrants from the USSR and the establishment of the Institute of Cultural Relations titled “Argentina-USSR” in 1958. Discovering Russian culture, some Argentines became more interested in learning Russian language which started to get taught in “Russian clubs” and the Russian language school which opened in mid-1960s in Buenos Aires.
In 1979, the center of cultural and social life moved to Avenida Rivadavia 4266 in Buenos Aires which hosted the newly opened Argentinian Society for Cultural Relations with the Soviet Union. In 1995, it housed the representative office of Roszarubezhcenter and, after its reorganization in 2009, the office of Rossotrudnichestvo in Argentina, also known as the Russian Center for Science and Culture (RCSC).
Today, the RCSC is a place where one can learn more about Russian history and culture as well as its scientific and economic potential. The center provides help and guidance on learning Russian, promotes student exchanges and helps Argentines who want to study in Russia. Here, one can attend concerts, exhibitions, cinema screenings, lectures, meetings, and other events devoted to Russian-Argentine relations.
Russian language lessons
RCSC offers Russian language lessons (which continued to take place online during the coronavirus pandemic) and provides an opportunity to learn more about Russian culture and history. Apart from that, the center arranges special tests for all those seeking to get a certificate of Russian language fluency. In 2019, these tests were taken not only by students from Argentina but also from other countries like Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay. In addition, RCSC regularly holds advanced training courses for Russian language teachers.
Working with young Argentines
We often receive questions on learning Russian and applying to Russian universities. These are two most popular inquiries from the country’s youth who either plan to travel to Russia or study here. We also take part in the selection process of candidates to study in Russian universities within state-run programs.
Furthermore, our center runs online events on social media sharing information on the application process and introducing the followers to the students already studying in Russia. This way, young people get an opportunity to ask any questions on living and studying in Russia.
The “New Generation” program is a great opportunity to discover Russia. Argentines always express an interest in travelling to our country, see it with their own eyes, learn more about its history and culture, establish professional connections, exchange experience with colleagues from other countries and make new friends.
How to get in touch with the center and participate in the “New Generation” program
You can join the activities of our center simply by coming to one of our events or by contacting us on social media or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can share your ideas or suggestions, express an interest in contributing to one of our projects and we’ll be happy to hear from you!
When we learn about the new round of the selection process for the “New Generation” program, we send the information to our mailing list, post it on our website and social media accounts, and involve our partners in various fields and countries. To be chosen, one has to show strong motivation, an interest to Russia, and eagerness to grow professionally and contribute to international cooperation. We remain in touch with former participants of the “New Generation” program and always offer them an opportunity to take part in the RCSC work and attend our events.