Northwest Language Academy


December 6, 2014
Yolka, Language of Food: Russia

Join us for a traditional Russian celebration of winter including ancient folk music and dance, songs of the season, delicious winter holiday food, and even an authentic Russian holiday bazaar!

On Saturday, December 6th, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm guests are invited to join us for a cooking class to learn the secrets of Russian cuisine. Our team of Russian cooks will focus on traditional holiday recipes, including vareniki (dumplings) with potato and cheese filling, golubtsi (stuffed cabbage), kvashenaya kapusta (fermented cabbage, Russian style), and sharlotka (apple cake). Participants will receive a unique cookbook with recipes from the instructors. Pre-registration required. Cost is $35 dollars.

Then, from 5:30pm to 9:30pm, NWLA will hold the Language of Food event Yolka. The evening begins with a Russian bazaar, where guests can shop a selection of Russian handicrafts – including matryoshka dolls, khokhloma cups, laquer boxes, and icons - just in time for the holidays. Following the bazaar, guest will enjoy a banquet of delicious winter specialties, prepared by our native Russian cooks.  The buffet meal will include such traditional holiday dishes as borsht, kotlety (cutlets), vareniki with cottage cheese, pelmeni, buckwheat kasha, rasstegai, pirozhki, and napoleon—incorporating Lenten choices in recognition of the Orthodox observance of the Feast of Nativity.


The evening’s performances will begin with the Kovalsky Youth Group, which will perform a Vertep, a traditional holiday pageant including Russian, Ukranian, and Polish carols. Following this, we’re thrilled to welcome Juliana & PAVA.  This vocal ensemble, founded by singer and ethnomusicologist Juliana Svetlitchnaia in 2000, performs ancient Russian folksongs that have been part of the fabric of rural life for centuries, accompanied by traditional folk instruments like the Russian hurdy-gurdy, balalaika, and various flutes. Some of the authentic village costumes worn by the singers are over 200 years old!  Notable performances by the group have included the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, where they represented the Russian community of the United States. The evening will conclude with a performance by the fantastic dance group Ivan da Marya . A folk dance ensemble founded by choreographer Maria Levochkina in 2008, the group is a regular at such events as the Northwest Folklife Festival, Crossroads International Folk Festival, and Redmond Lights.

Yelena in costume

Seating is limited; advance reservation is recommended, as the event is certain to sell out fast.  Cost is $65.  NWLA also welcomes work exchange and volunteers in various capacities. 

The event will be held at the NWLA Cultural Center in Langley, on Whidbey Island.

Reserve early at, or 360-321-2101.

Register for Yolka, Language of Food Russia below:

Total: $135


Weekly Chat Groups,
Now in Six Languages!

French: Tuesdays, 10:00am-11:00am

Italian: Wednesdays 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Spanish: Wednesdays 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Russian: Fridays 5:30pm - 6:30pm

For GERMAN, JAPANESE, CHINESE conversation groups, please inquire.

Are you planning to travel abroad? Would you like to tune up your skill in speaking another language, or learn some useful cultural tips? Drop in on these free-of-charge sessions led by native speakers! All levels of language proficiency are welcome, though a minimal familiarity with the targeted language is helpful. Donations are appreciated.

Private instruction can be arranged upon request. Please inquire with NWLA's office. Call: 321-2101 or email:

Ashingdon Manor

Lodging At The NWLA Cultural Center Guesthouse

The NWLA Cultural Center is located on three acres of beautifully landscaped grounds just minutes from downtown Langley. With ample room to rest and relax, it is an ideal setting for a rejuvenating getaway or to host celebrations, meetings and workshops. The Center features large, comfortable meeting spaces, a spacious kitchen and dining area, 6 luxurious guest rooms with a cozy comfort all their own. Each offers a private, ensuite bath and fireplace. The two largest suites include double Jacuzzi whirlpool tubs and private patios.

To book a room, or for more information, contact NWLA today at, or 360-321-2101.