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Chances are you’ve never heard of ‘Buranovskiye Babushki’) before. Let me get you up to speed – ‘Бурановские Бабушки’ (in Russian), or in English – ‘Buranovo’s Grandmas’ is a music folklore sextet from the village Buranovo of Udmurt Republic, which was formed 40 years ago. The oldest of six “girls” in the group is 77 now, which means she was born in 1935 – before World War II. The youngest grandma is 44. So, it’s safe to say that all the ladies in the band were born way before Perestroika, and thus clearly represent children of the Soviet Union Era – a former one as for now.

If you don’t know what and where Udmurtia is  – it’s an ethnically unique region in Russia more known for the names Kalashnikov and Chaikovsky than for their distinct culture – very different from what you may think the culture of Russia is (say, borsh, balalaikas and bliny is not exactly the Udmurt thing). Udmurtia is exercising a certain degree of independence from the central government in Moscow. The autonomy goes back to the Soviet times when a few regions across the USSR were delegated a couple of extra rights, most of which were related to the people’s traditions and language. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udmurtia).

‘Buranovsky Grandmas’ perform variety of Russian and Foreign hits in Udmurtian language, which, by the way, is more similar to the Finnish than Russian.

Here’s their soul-piercing rendition of Eagle’s famous song ‘Hotel California’ in Udmurtian:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK_4MMShIzY

This year the team of singing grannies was chosen to represent Russia at the prestigious contest “Eurovision 2012”. This competition is held annually and broadcast live among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurovision_Song_Contest)

Baku Cristal Hall

Azerbaijani duet won at Eurovision 2011, that’s why Eurovision 2012 took place in Baku  – the capital and largest City of Azerbaijan, which also used to be a part of USSR. The contest was watched by 125 million people from all over the world. Completely make-up free and dressed in patchwork uniforms – traditional red smocks, headscarves and woolly boots, ‘Buranovskiye Babushki’ danced around the kiln and even baked bread on-stage while belting out their now-famous hit ‘Party for Everybody’. These six newly discovered sensations won audience’s hearts and took a second place with the above mentioned song, which they sang in their language. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKNRGc71hjc

If you wonder who won Eurovision 2012, it’s a beautiful singer from Sweden Loreen with a song ‘Euphoria’. Here’s her final performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqYtlpZ-9N4&feature=related

Life in the Russian province has never been easy. You might find it hard to believe, but residents of Buranovo are still obtaining water from the well, and stoke their houses with the firewood, keeping domestic animals, and taking care of their gardens in the summer…

But Eurovision 2012’s runner-ups  are only happy to go back to their amenities-free life  in a tiny  village Buranovo with a population of only 650.

In fact, they will be investing their prize winnings into in their beloved home village to rebuild an Orthodox Church, which was destroyed during Second War II and was never restored. And, of course, they’ll be also touring non-stop internationally.

Comments on: "Former Soviet Union’s Got Talent & Eagle’s Song ‘Hotel California’ Got a New Life" (78)

  1. Talent throughout the world is found in so many forms .. and thanks for verifying that … Oh – and your ears weren’t surprisingly itching today? http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/on-a-monday-with-pants/

  2. These little grannies are quite energetic!

  3. Reblogged this on photographyofnia and commented:
    Hotel California 🙂

  4. Do you know, before the contest I watched and listened to them on Russian Travel Guide Channel… I think it’s been a few years ago… They were so lovely old ladies and singing, dancing… They were so nice at the stage of the contest too… Thank you for this lovely post, they will be always remembered… I loved the video and how they sung the famous song, Hotel California… It is one of my favurite songs, but how possible no one’s… With my love, nia

  5. Super post…a pleasure to read and view!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I had a ball researching and writing about these super positively spirited and young at heart grandmas… ‘Grandmas’ – it does not even sound right, but hey – that’s what they choose to call themselves.

  6. What a delightful post — no matter what age one is, one can still have fun with her friends!

  7. Delightful! I’ve always liked ‘Hotel California”

  8. I love the logo at the end with the microphones!

  9. LOVED this post, thank you! How delightful!

  10. Very interesting post you’re sharing here. I’m learning something new about things I love too. Keep writing!

  11. When I am drunk, you cannot stop me from singing Hotel California lol ❤ these grannies!

  12. Grannies rock!
    Rockin Grannies? Even more!

  13. You’ve got to love them! What sweathearts.Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  14. Great photos there… Put a smile on my face. 😉

  15. I saw them on the Eurovision and just cried laughing! But good on them fo rgetting up there and doing it!

    • Are they the best singers out there? No. But being the best singer, obviously, is not the only thing that wins people’s hearts;-).

  16. Your topics are amazing and I’m glad you visited me today! Thank you!
    ~ Lynda

  17. My kind of girls! Are any of them unmarried?

  18. Thank you so much for stopping by and liking “In Memory Of…All Of Them,” and for following me. After reading your blog, I am pleased to also follow you. I like it!

  19. You would love the Trio Bulgarka, which are three old Bulgarian folk singers who use a technique called ‘throat singing’. Kate Bush used them on The Red Shoes album, and their sound is so spiritual it melts your heart. Deeper Understanding has the most amazing backing vocals…

    • I saw ‘Trio Bulgarka ‘ performing live in New York two years ago – I thoroughly enjoyed their singing. Kate Bush is one of my favorite recording artists. I am glad we share tastes in music. Thank you so much, Mark, for bringing wonderful memories back to my mind.

  20. Wonderful blog, and beautiful pictures!

  21. This is AWESOME….thank you for posting….

  22. Michelle Gillies said:

    This is an amazing post! I love it. The “Grandma’s” songs are quite haunting. You have shared so much of them and their lives with us that it seems we know them personally. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Michelle. I am so glad that you feel like you’ve got to know theses exotic grannies, and that you liked their singing. That is the point of writing – to tell the stories, and help people to connect.

  23. How cool is that?!?! Love it!

  24. That post was inspirational; I hope I can be as energetic and happy as those grannies are at their place in life. They’re wonderful!

  25. Thanks for following and liking my post. This post is really fun. 🙂

  26. happygoluckygal said:

    wow.. those grandma’s are real adorables:):)

  27. Grannies rock ‘specially when they do the Eagles. Thanks for dropping by.

  28. Thanks for sharing this amazing story.

  29. I have seen the song contest on TV – but without knowing all the background info you are sharing, here.

    Apart from the interesting information I like the love and respect in this post that I sense between the lines. Thank you very much for this beauty!

    Also many thanks for dropping by at my blog, earlier. 🙂

  30. This is really great…I love the traditional dress and was surprised to read that these ladies’ language was closer to Finnish than Russian. I love learning new things!

    • Aloha from NY:-). I am glad you enjoyed my post, as I am looking forward to reading more of yours. It sounds like you are a musician, just like myself.:)

  31. How did you find them?

  32. Girl Power at its best! Loved the beautiful coin necklaces…my prediction, fashion designers will be having their models on the cat walk in something inspired by these women!

  33. Love it…absolutely! Thanks for posting.

  34. Great post – interesting pictures and information on a unique section of Russia.

  35. Eagles … Ohhh still i Love the song “Hotel California”

  36. Udmurtia sounds very interesting!

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