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The Russian Community In Los Angeles

Feb 13, 2008
There are many distinct communities in LA, each retaining the richness of their native cultures yet assimilating into the culture of the United States.

No community exemplifies this more than the Russian community in Los Angeles. It also holds the distinction of being one of the five largest Russian communities in the U.S. and is the largest to be found on the West Coast. Its population is in the neighborhood of 600,000.

The love of their language is evident in the Russian language publications in print media and in the online presence they have. A quick search in Google for Russian community in LA will turn up a wealth of Russian language editions of LA directories, services and Russian culture websites.

In checking some of these websites and print publications, it is clear that Russian culture and traditions are loved and appreciated very much.

There are nearly always some type of event taking place that showcases the best that the Russian community has to offer, such as concerts of traditional folk music and contemporary Russian music, dancing, etc.

Anyone who appreciates the culture and traditions of other countries would very much enjoy taking part in these offerings.

Though they keep their cultural traditions, that doesn't mean they isolate themselves from everyday American life. Quite the opposite. The Russian community has shown without a doubt that it is possible to have it both ways.

Many Russian-Americans are movers in the corporate world and many others own local businesses that are very successful, not only for members of the community but for Los Angeles at large.

Russian cuisine restaurants abound as do retail shops and businesses offering services of almost every kind. There are even businesses specifically operated to assist newer immigrants adjust to their new life in America and ensure they have all the necessary documents to work, find housing and anything else they have need of. Services are offered to help new businesses get started in the community.

One industry where the Russian community has really made its mark is in the entertainment industry. Many well know people in show business either immigrated themselves or are the children of Russian immigrants.

Michael Chekhov, the nephew of the famous Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov came to Los Angeles from Moscow. Mike Mazurki came to the United States with his parents in 1915 and had an acting career that lasted 60 years. Who can forget the legendary stars Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson?

Others, some of whom may surprise you, include people of more recent fame as well as those of a more vintage fame. There are Leonard Nimoy, Ed Asner, Walter Matthau, Leon Ames, Sylvia Sydney, Karl Malden, Phil Silvers, Natalie Wood, Laurence Harvey, Yul Brynner, Gregory Peck, Harrison Ford, Kirk Douglas, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

The actors listed above are well known but far from the only Russian-Americans in the show business industry. There are also producers, directors, scriptwriters, and many other professions critical to show business.

There is quite a diversity of religion within the community as well. There are Russian Orthodox Christians, Russian Jews, Muslims, Secularists and many more. With the diversity that exists within the Russian community of LA, it would seem that it is a melting pot within the melting pot of the U.S.
About the Author
We invite you to visit our online Russian community directory, and get more information about this rich cultural experience, get involved, and take advantage of our resources available. Visit Los Angeles Russian business directory at: Los Angeles Russian Pages
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