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Spotlight on Culture

People that call this area Home:

European cultures and the people that emigrated

looking for a better life in a continent across the Atlantic




Germans from Russia

Russlanddeutsche

Российские немцы




"At Home In Russia, At Home On The Prairie",

This a documentary made by Prairie Public in 2012, that details the history of these people, where they came from and their quest to preserve their heritage and customs in a new world, for them and their descendants, and future generations.


Philosophy in life- WORK MAKES LIFE SWEET


The most significant idea on these people's worldview, stemmed from the great amount of work required to survive on the steppes in Russia where they came from. In time, they began to idealize work in their culture and developed a callous attitude toward physical burdens; they also did not consider women or children exempt from grueling manual labor. Everyone was expected to work hard, for the good of the community.

Work was such an integral part of their world view that it was sometimes recognized as a personalized presence, it was not something to be done; it was someone to be conquered. When they moved to the Prairie, they brought that idea of the importance of hard work with them. Repeated often was the maxim “Arbeit, komm her, ich fress dich auf!” (Come, work, I will devour you!) or “Arbeit macht das Leben süss” (Work makes life sweet).

This work ethic can still be seen in the many descendants that live in the area.

The following video, made by Prairie Public, provides de account of some of these descendants, and their experience growing up in our area.


Notable people of Germans from Russia heritage born in this area




Artistic Expressions (music)

Germans from Russia maintained their traditional religious music, their lullabies and folk songs, their vocal and instrumental music, alive. The following documentary made by Prairie Public, premiered in 2005.


For more information and examples of their poetry and music, visit this GERMANS FROM RUSSIA HERITAGE COLLECTION page, compiled by NDSU, part of their research project on Germans from Russia in North Dakota whose main page you can find here.




Next week we'll continue this series with more information on the Germans from Russia- other artistic expressions, customs they adapted to their life in the prairie, and religious and culinary traditions they brought from their homeland.


Stay tuned for more information on more cultures in future posts. Our area is blessed to be called home by many people of many cultures, and they deserve to be acknowledged.