Monday, March 14, 2011

Russian Purim Flash Mob Erupts In Streets Of St. Petersburg

With the holiday of Purim only five days away, fun and merriment is erupting wherever there are Jews, and St. Petersburg, Russia, is no exception. 

Last week a group of about 30 members of Hillel from the St. Petersburg State University of Cinema and Television took to the city streets, a bus, the subway, an office building, and the Winter Palace, official home of the Russian Tsars from 1732 to 1917, to sing and dance a Purim spoof to the tune of the Black Eyed Peas hit, I Gotta Feeling.

Starting with one, two, and then four masked students, the group gathers steam as it moves through the streets, adding more and more members until they break out into a choreographed flash mob singing about the meaning of Purim and how it's being celebrated in Russian cities and around the world.

Since the singing is in Russian, we supply the English translation as well as the original Russian words below the video.  Enjoy!

St.Petersburg Hillel presents a Purim video.

Hello, I'm Liya Geldman. I'm a senior student at cinema and television university in St. Petersburg. As you know Russia is a multiethnic and multidenominational country. But do Russians really know traditions of other cultures? Today we came here to find out if they know what Purim is.

- Do you know what Purim is?
- Hello, do you know what Purim is?
- Hi Julia, do you know what is Purim?
- Hello, what is Purim?
Doesn't anyone know what Purim is?

Purim! Purim! Purim!
Purim! Purim! Purim!

Celebrating Purim!
Zenit and Haiduck (Russian soccer teams),
Student and coach,
Human and spider,
Patient and surgeon,
NYC, Moscow and Saint Petersburg!

Purim! Also celebrating in Barnaul
People from Penza and Tomsk,
On Kamchatka and in Kerch,
And possibly even on the moon.

Purim! Let's put some make up on!
Whether you are old or young,
Even if you hadn't slept for 3 nights
It's Israeli mega-carnival!

Purim! We highly recommend it.
The plot is twisted,
It happened almost 3000 years ago
So it might be hard to remember
Where's good and where's bad

So choose for yourself who's good and who's bad
Here's the Mordehai the Jew, King Ahashverosh.
Where's Vashti? The Tzar's ex-wife?
But maybe Hamman could be the Bad Guy?

Imagine for a while that we're in Babylon,
Who's the star on this dark sky? Esther!
Here's a lesson for now and in 600BC
If you're brave, you've got the power!
We'll scream together Mazal Tov!
Our glass is full to the brim.
With what? Lets fill it with wine
And drink it all up.
And during this Purim we'll change the world!

Oleg Dremov

Additional thx to Evgeny Levitin, Liya Geldman, Sergey Teplov, Sonya Mladenova, Sonya i Megan, Anya, Sofa, Sasha, Vitya, Ira, Pasha, Kolya and others.

- Здравствуйте, я Лия Гельдман. Студентка 5ого курса университета кино и телевидения.
Как вы конечно же знаете, Россия -- многонациональная и многоконфессиональная страна. Но знакомы ли россияне с традициями разных народов? Сегодня мы пришли сюда, дабы узнать, что же такое Пурим.

- Вы знаете что такое Пурим?
- Здравствуйте, а вы знаете что такое Пурим?
- Hi Julia, do u know what is Purim?
- Здравствуйте, а что такое Пурим?
- Неужели Никто не знает, что такое Пурим????

Пурим, Пурим, Пурим,
Пурим, Пурим, Пурим,

Празднуют Пурим!
И Зенит, и Хайдук,
Ученик и физрук,
Человек и паук,
Пациент и хирург,
И Нью-Йорк, и Москва, и Петербург!

Пурим! Празднуют
И в Барнауле
Пензюки, Томичи,
На Камчатке, в Керчи,
И, возможно вполне -- даже на Луне!

Пурим! Загримируем!
Тех, кто стар, тех, кто мал,
Кто три ночи не спал,
На израильский мега-карнавал

Напряженный сюжет,
Но не вспомнить уже,
Где добро, а где зло.
Почти три тысячи лет прошло

Сам решай, кто тут плох, кто тут хорош!
Вот еврей Мордехай, Ахашверош.
Вашти где? Царская в прошлом жена!
Ну а может, злодей -- это Аман?

На время представьте, что мы в Вавилоне,
И кто же сияет на том небосклоне?
Вот пример: ты силён, если смел
И сейчас, и в шестой век до нашей эрЫ

Мы крикнем дружно
Мазл Тов
Бокал наполнен
До краев
А чем?
Давай вином
И кверху дном
Мы в этот Пурим целый мир перевернём!

Олег Дремов


  1. Really enjoyed - the more unexpected with that background -

  2. Remembering Sharansky and the Refusniks and the marches to let Russian Jews go -- it is wonderful to see such exuberance in Jewish life out in the open in Russia today.

  3. Great story, thanks for sharing!