The Russian Folk Religion
by Jun Kuzuya
(Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan)
The Domovoi, from Russian folk religion
In the last semester, I took a Russian culture class. Through studying Russian culture, I learned about Russian folk religion in rural regions. And it was very interesting for me. So this time, I'd like to report about the Russian folk religion in rural regions.
In 988, Russia adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. And in the 16th century, Christianity was authorized as the established religion in Russia. And other religions were seen as heathenism.
But there were already lots of folk religions in Russian rural regions. In addition, some of them continued to subsist in the human mind. As a result, Christianity in rural regions developed with originality. That is to say, Russian rural Christianity lives close together with folk religion.
As a part of Russian folk religion, I will introduce the Russian spirit.
Do you know Domovoi?
Domovoi is the Russian house spirit. And he lives near the oven in the house. His appearance is so shaggy, and he looks like an old man. And his behavior is very interesting.
For example, it seems that he can warn inhabitants of danger through crying, he can take care of domestic animals, and so on. If he gets angry, the house in which he lives seems to be on fire.
This is a very mysterious folk religion. But I think that this religion descends from the feeling which Russian people try to treasure their own house! And I think that this is a very important feeling for us.
Today I reported about Russian folk religion. But there are many more folk religions in the world. In addition, I think that each one of them must also be very interesting! So I want to continue to research them from now on!!