ENGLISH VERSION: Moscow Times: Brother's Keeper
A major indicator of what St. Patrick's Day means to Moscow is the Klinskoye Redkoye beer commercial that has been airing on television recently. No faces are seen, just feet and legs clad in Irish costumes pounding out a vigorous step dance. In walks a man in street clothes who is treated to Klinskoye's answer to Killian's Irish Red. When the dance resumes, he joins in. After all, Klinskoye is the "beer with the Irish accent."
Now that what Bolshoi Gorod calls "Keltomaniya" has penetrated the world of beer advertising, it may have reached the apex of faddishness, but some think that the popularity of Celtic culture in Russia is emblematic of something deeper. Mikhail Gladkov is the president of the Russian Celtic Society, an organization founded in 1996 "on the basis of Russians' growing interest in Celtic culture and history." In his opinion, the Russian and Irish peoples have a spiritual kinship, though he finds it difficult to pin that kinship down.
Gladkov's own passion for Celtic culture grew out of his love for its music. He initially came to Celtic music, he said, through his acquaintance with members of the band Akvarium, which was among the first Russian groups to incorporate Celtic themes. Later, he spent 3 1/2 years with the independent radio station Radio Rakurs, hosting two weekly programs on Celtic culture, music, arts and history. (...)