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There is a large canvas, perhaps familiar to those who have visited Kolkata's Victoria Memorial, by Vasily Vereshchagin, a large part of whose work embodies the foundations of the India-Russia connection but who has remained largely unknown in this country.

Vereshchagin being relatively unknown in India, especially when compared to his celebrated compatriot Nicholas Roerich, could be because he visited India only twice in the last quarter of the 19th century, while Roerich in the 1930s settled in Kullu in what is now Himachal Pradesh, where his home is now a museum.

In the year of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov, an undisputed genius of Russian literature, our compatriots in California have expressed their recognition of his great talent in a theater performance of the  "Poet of sorrow and love." This event was held with the support of the Consulate General of Russia in San Francisco, the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation in Sacramento (California's capital), and the poetic lines of Lermontov's poetry were reproduced in a performance by amateur artists.

The Russian Empire's Last Battle is an impressive international exhibition sited at the State Historical Museum to commemorate the World War I centennial and appears to be a highlight in the series of events dedicated to the

This summer, Russia is hosting children from the embattled Syria. The stay of a hundred of kids from the country has been organized and supported by St. Andrew the Apostle Foundation with assistance from Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Syrian Embassy in Moscow. According to the Foundation media service, the children will be in Moscow on July 28 – August 11, with the accommodation arranged for at a suburban summer camp. Chairperson of the Foundation board Vladimir Yakunin says that hosting children from conflict zones is among traditional missions of the charity which received 540 children from Kosovo and Metohija a decade ago. He expressed hope that the kids will, for a time, forget about the nightmarish events they had to witness and will remember their Russian experiences for the rest of their lives.

The Russian-wide union of Koreans has prepared an exhibition based on the materials illustrating key pages of the history of the Russian-Korean relations, the Korean nation's history, the first contacts Koreans maintained with the Russian and other peoples, the foundations of

On May 26th, talents from orphanages in the capital and the regions of the capital, performed together with Russian pop stars, as part of the "Good Moscow" campaign, which took place in the Hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where the "I believe!" event was held.

On the eve of International Children's Day (June 1st), young talents and Russian artists performed for disabled children, orphans, and children from low-income families, and children from very large families. This year, the concert was attended by about 200 children with disabilities, some of which are not able to move around independently (wheelchair users), 600 children from orphanages in Moscow and the surrounding regions, and from several hundred low-income families and very large families.

One of the greatest writers of the 20th century, and a Nobel Laureate in Literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has finally gone down in history. It happened on April 17th, at the age of 87 in Mexico City, where the writer had been living on a regular basis for most of the last few decades. During these last days, the entire world of readers, the whole literary world, and the entire journalistic world, have been in mourning. His homeland in Colombia has declared three days of mourning.

It is always sad to realize when one has to accept that a whole era of luminaries is disappearing before your very eyes, and therefore part of your life with it, but your life has been witness to an era of greats.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a first-class journalist and one of the founders of so- called "magic realism." He became a world notary during his lifetime. As always happens in such cases, the writer's fans are in no doubt that he will live forever, that he is immortal. To some extent, that is true. Marquez has immortalized himself through his literary works, his essays and journalism. It was only when, out of the blue, the news of the death of this "immortal” fell upon the world, that suddenly there was a mass "enlightenment". Yes, death spares no one, not geniuses nor those without talent. But one thing that everyone leaves behind them is their descendants. This is a historical measure of one’s personality.

An event of great importance took place in the cultural life of Sacramento, out of the meetings and memories of companionship and a passion to do something good, the play "Through the looking glass" was born. Our compatriots: diplomats and programmers, teachers and musicians, interpreters and just wonderful people, became its creators. The story, direction, props, musical parts, and the ensembled cast, were all the offspring of the creative community living and working close to each other, but far from the Russia of their fellow citizens. For many of them, the play was their first experience on stage, and for some the stage was once a second home. When we lived together in a country called the Soviet Union, and read almost the same books, the constant companion of our youth was the "Scarlet Sails" by Alexander Grin.

A partnership between cities shows an example of the preservation of relations between states. The mayor of the Estonian capital, Mayor Edgar Savisaar based his thesis on this during his speech at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

In the State of California, far away from Russia, but with which however, our country is bound by invisible historical ties, our compatriots celebrated the 140th anniversary of the birthday of Sergei Vasiievich Rachmaninoff. Nostalgia for his homeland remaining in his soul like an eternal garden of blooming lilacs, not only did not bring a new wave into the works of the great composer, but did not make his soul an emigrant in a strange land, giving up its life. The organizers of the concert named their dedication to Rachmaninoff the "Eternal Music", and it would be more accurate to describe them as triumphal evening events, as if the celebrations were conducted by the Maestro himself.