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Discovering the Kizhi Secret

11On June 20, the international students of PetrSU had a unique chance to visit the world famous museum of wooden architecture – the Kizhi Island. As participants of the “Kizhi Secret” game-quest they followed the map, visited the monuments, did the tasks successfully, found the secret word “Beauty” and got gifts.
The students learned a lot about the history of the region, wooden architecture and the process of restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration of Our Saviour, the way of life and work of ordinary people who lived in Zaonezhye and Karelia in 18-19 centuries. While visiting the house of a Karelian peasant, they listened to the Karelian music instruments, such as a shepherd’s horn and kantele. They tried to drive nails at the carpenter’s center and learned the secret how the houses and churches were built without nails. The guests got acquainted with the flax and wool processing, and helped to clean the flax seeds. They visited the forge and pharmaceutic garden, where they were looking for the antiseptic herbs. They listened to the prayers in the Church of the Intercession and the bell-ringing from the Archangel Michael Chapel.
All the participants had an opportunity to create an image of the life of the peasants of that time, watch it with their own eyes and touch it with their own arms. Such memories and knowledge will remain unforgettable for the whole life!

Julio Bustamante, Russian language course student from Mexico:
“Kizhi really surprised me from the beginning. The nature of the island is stunning, but more are the various wooden buildings that are true pieces of art. I learned a lot about Karelia through the different churches and houses we visited. The Kizhi pogost is the most impressive artwork in wood that I have ever seen.
In this journey I also experienced Karelian culture through its people. The various activities we had which included searching for special herbs, a demonstration of musical instruments and weaving techniques, dancing and playing drew me closer to comprehend the place and its people.
For me the trip felt like a journey through nature, history and the soul of Karelia, in which my own self interacted with the spirit of the island. It was an experience I will never forget!”

Ayumi Kosaka, exchange student from Sophia University, Japan:
“The trip was much fun! I liked Kizhi. The quest-game was interesting as well, the dancing with other participants was fun. Thank you for the invitation!”

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