BY WENDY HUNG
25. Notoriously B.I.G. – That’s right, Russia is literally the largest country in the world, taking up 1/7th of the earth’s land area.
24. 9 – That’s how many time zones there are in Russia.
23. What “the” huh? – There isn’t “the” or “a” in the Russian language.
21. Bell of the ball – Tsar Kolokol bell in the Kremlin is the world’s largest, although it hasn’t been rung since 1735 when it was cracked open soon after its creation.
20. Easter is the most popular religious holiday in Russia, more than 90% of the Russian population celebrates with eggs, cakes and cookies.
19. Come and knock on my door! – Russia neighbors fifteen countries, can you name them all? Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Poland and Ukraine.
18. Do not disturb – 2/3rd of the Kremlin Palace is not open to the public because Russian government officials are still using the space to work.
17. On the 6 – Russian is one of six official languages of the United Nations, along with: Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish.
16. Mickey D’s – One of the world’s largest McDonald’s is in Moscow with 700 seats.
15. Hit the books! – Russia has a free educational system. Although competitive, it fosters focus in math, science and aerospace research.
14. Lucky #7 – That’s the international calling code for Russia: +7
13. Mix it up! – There are more than 160 ethnic groups in Russia.
11. “Mr. Alksandr Petrovsky” – Famous Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov requested political asylum while on tour in Canada, announcing he wouldn’t return to then U.S.S.R. in 1974.
10. Locomotion – The Trans-Siberian Railway is world’s longest railway. (photo on right)
9. Into the deep – The metro of St. Petersburg is the world’s deepest subway at 100 meters long.
8. Top model – High fashion Russian model, Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova came in third on Forbes top-earning models list, with $8.6 million in a year.
7. Fast and furious – Moscow metro is one of the fastest in the world, commuters can catch a train once every 90 seconds.
6. Off the road – Inside the Kremlin Palace, visitors are not allowed to step on roads for cars. Security guards and cops will whistle at anyone who step foot on any roads intended for vehicles.
5. King of the World! – Leo DiCaprio’s maternal grandparents are immigrants from Russia.
4. Happy New Year! …and Happy New Year again 14 days later! – Russians celebrate two New Years, on January 1st and 14th for the Eastern Orthodox Church.
3. The Nutcracker – Every Christmas season, American ballet companies make 40% of their annual revenues from famous ballet performances, scored by celebrated Russian composer Tchaikovsky.
2. Laika, the Space Pooch – Russia was the first to send a canine to space. Although Laika died soon after launch of spacecraft Sputnik 2, she’ll always be remembered as the first pooch to orbit the Earth.
1. Drink up! – Vodka is the purest drink in the world since it’s distilled composed mostly of water, ethanol and contains very little fusel oils. Cheers!