Posted on January 19th, 2012
If you have ever celebrated your Birthday with your Russian friends or family, you might be familiar with the Russian Birthday song by Krokodil Gena «Пусть бегут неуклюже…» (Poost’ bee-GOOT nee-ook-LYOO-zhe).
Back when I was a little girl, I remember begging my Mom to play this song again and again on our old tape recorder (this are the only tape players and recorders that were known back then)… Ah, time flies… You can find the lyrics of the Krokodile Gena’s Birthday song in my article “How to Celebrate a Birthday in Russian” .
Who Exactly is Krokodil Gena?
Крокодил Гена [kra-ka-DEEL GYE-na] Krokodil Gena (Gena the Crocodile) is a crocodile that walks on his hind legs, wears a red coat and a hat and works at a Zoo as… guess who? That’s right, as a crocodile! In his spare time Krokodil Gena is searching for new friends, smokes a pipe, and plays an accordion.
Krokodil Gena is a character from the book by Eduard Uspensky «Крокодил Гена и его друзья» (“Gena the Crocodile and His Friends”) that was published in 1966. Three years later, in 1969 “Союзмультфильм” created a cartoon «Крокодил Гена» (“Gena the Crocodile”)
Krokodil Gena and his little friend Cheburashka have since captured the hearts of children and the young at heart. The story remains one of the most popular children’s stories up to this day.
What Kind of Animal is Cheburashka?
The author mentions that Чебурашка [chee-boo-RASH-ka] Cheburashka is a toy that was created at a factory, but because it was very poor quality, it was difficult to tell whether it was “a hare, dog, cat or an Australian kangaroo”… Despite his unknown identity, everybody finds Cheburashka extremely cute and charming, and he is very much loved by his new friends.
So, What’s the Story About Krokodil Gena and Cheburashka?
To be honest, I would not want to spoil a book or a cartoon for you, I am sure you would rather enjoy reading or watching them on your own time.
So, to cut a long story short: when Krokodil Gena and Cheburashka meet, they put ads up looking for new friends, but evil Старуха Шапокляк [sta-ROO-ha sha-pak-LYAK] (old woman Shapoklyak) who carries a little pet крыска Лариска [KRIS-ka la-REES-ka] (rat Lariska) in her purse always tries to get on their way and play pranks on them.
One of my favorite songs from the cartoon is «Голубой Вагон» (“Blue Carriage”) and you can listen to «Голубой Вагон» on YouTube.
«Голубой Вагон» by A. Timofeevskiy and V. Shainskiy:
Медленно минуты уплывают в даль,
Встречи с ними ты уже не жди.
И хотя нам прошлое немного жаль,
Лучшее, конечно, впереди.
Дальний путь стелется,
И упирается прямо в небосклон.
В лучшее верится…
Может мы обидели кого-то зря,
Календарь закроет старый лист.
К новым приключениям спешим, друзья…
Эй, прибавь-ка ходу, машинист!
Голубой вагон бежит, качается,
Скорый поезд набирает ход…
Ах, зачем же этот день кончается,
Пусть бы он тянулся целый год!
Did You Know?
You might be interested to know that there is a monument of Gena the Crocodile, Cheburashka, Old Lady Shapoklyak and Kriska Lariska in a little Russian city Ramenskoe. They look just like the characters from the cartoon. There are a few more monuments of our favourite characters in Russia and Ukraine.
Funny Story: Jokes About Krokodil Gena and Cheburashka
As you know Russians love a good laugh, just give us a reason… Of course, we’ve already made up numerous jokes about Krokodil Gena and Cheburashka. And I’m sure more will be coming soon…
In Russian jokes Cheburashka is usually portrayed as a cute and naïve character, who always gets himself into funny situations. Krokodil Gena, on the other hand, is very wise and is very much amazed by all the funny situations his friend gets himself into…
Here are a couple of jokes for you (your homework is to translate them ):
Чебурашка приходит к Гене.
– Генa, нам Шапокляк прислала 10 апельсинов, я тут посчитал – каждому по 8 получается!
– Чебурашка, ты неправильно посчитал…
– Я не знаю как ты там считаешь, но свои 8 я уже съел.
Гена читает газету. Подходит Чебурашка:
– Ген, а Ген! А малина красная?
– А она в крапинку?
– Тьфу ты! Опять божьими коровками объелся!
Have you read the book or have you seen the cartoon about Krokodil Gena and Cheburashka? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this wonderful children’s story.
If you haven’t read the book yet or haven’t seen the cartoon, you can always get a copy of the Krokodil Gena i ego druzia book or a copy of the Adventures of Cheburashka – Priklucheniya Cheburashki DVD, and then let me know what you think about it.
See you soon!
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