Invitation to Have Tea in Russia

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Tea lovers from around the world are in St. Petersburg for the international tea-drinking festival. They can learn about the Russian tradition of brewing tea from a special pot. Our correspondents in Russia have the story.

"Saint Petersburg Samovars 2009" is the name of the fourth international tea-drinking festival. This is the place to learn about tea drinking traditions of Russia and of other countries. But the highlight was on Russian tea.

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According to the event organizers, those who have seen how to fire up a samovar for the first time want to bring back this tradition in their home. They even bring it along on camping trips.

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The festival also aims to familiarize people of various nationalities with a cup of tea – Russian style.

[Аlexey Oreshkin, Vice-President, Saint Petersburg Samovars Festival]: (Male, Russian)
"And there is a giant, 45-liter samovar, which we brought over from Tula. It's called Father-Samovar. Up to 225 people drink tea out of it simultaneously.”

At this event, one can try hand-collected tea leaves from Russia and abroad.

Guests from Turkmenistan came to try some tea. In their country, they drink the green tea out of large cups by taking tiny sips.

[Nazar Achilov, Guest]: (Male, Russian)
“Оh! I respect and love it! Usually, we do not fill the cup all the way up, and that is considered respectful. But in Russia, if it's not filled all the way up, it's considered a sign of disrespect.”

As Russian tea drinking tradition has it, guests also have to try honey and pastries.

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