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Due to the relatively late involvement of Russia in modern globalization and international tourism, many aspects of Russian culture, like Russian jokes and Russian art, remain largely unknown to foreigners.Russian belongs to the Indo-European language family and is one of the living members of the East Slavic languages; the others being Belarusian and Ukrainian (and possibly Rusyn).
The country also has a flavorful material culture and a tradition in technology.
The Finnish school was concerned with connections amongst related legends of various Eastern European regions.
Finnish scholars collected comparable tales from multiple locales and analyzed their similarities and differences, hoping to trace these epic stories’ migration paths.
Written examples of Old East Slavic (Old Russian) are attested from the 10th century onwards.
Over a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian.
Epic Russian bylinas are also an important part of Slavic mythology.
The oldest bylinas of Kievan cycle were actually recorded mostly in the Russian North, especially in Karelia, where most of the Finnish national epic Kalevala was recorded as well.
Folklore, with many of its conflicts based on the struggles of a labor-oriented lifestyle, was relevant to Communism as it could not have existed without the direct contribution of the working classes.
Also, Gorky explained that folklore characters expressed high levels of optimism, and therefore could encourage readers to maintain a positive mindset, especially as their lives changed with the further development of Communism.
They saw it as a reminder of the backward Russian society that the Bolsheviks were working to surpass.
To keep folklore studies in check and prevent "inappropriate" ideas from spreading amongst the masses, the government created the RAPP – the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers.
This largely defined the Russian culture of the next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures.