Park of Culture and Recreation

Park of Culture and Recreation

 

in the USSR, a cultural and educational establishment directed toward furthering the communist upbringing of working people, increasing their civic-mindedness and work productivity, and developing their aesthetic tastes through the organized use of leisure time.

Parks of culture and recreation consist of gardens and wooded areas. The largest of the parks have various types of theaters (some outdoors), lecture halls, reading rooms, amusement areas, dance halls, rental centers for sporting and other equipment, shooting ranges, playing fields, boating facilities, ski runs, skating rinks, playing courts, one-day houses of rest, and children’s playgrounds.

Diverse political, cultural, educational, and athletic events are held in parks of culture and recreation. There are festive stage presentations, folk festivals, topical entertainments and gatherings, lectures, discussions, interviews with celebrities and scientific and cultural leaders, evenings of relaxation, games, balls, carnivals, sports festivals and competitions, and entertainment and children’s matinees. Amateur and professional concerts and art exhibits are also held. Feature films, popular science films, and documentaries are shown, and exhibitions on various themes are organized. Amateur clubs of revolutionary and battle glory are popular, as are amateur art, literature, technology, and sports clubs. There also are various clubs for collectors. Classes are available for a fee in music and ballroom dancing and in figure skating and several other sports. Membership in small circles engaging in the above activities is also available for a fee.

The first park of culture and recreation was established in Moscow on the site of the First All-Russian Agricultural and Domestic-Industries Exhibition of 1923; it was opened on Aug. 12, 1928. Today known as the M. Gorky Central Park of Culture and Recreation of the Order of Lenin, it is the largest such park in the USSR. Other large parks of culture and recreation are the central parks of Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Kharkov, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tallinn, Baku, and Frunze.

In 1973 the Ministry of Culture of the USSR alone maintained 1,100 parks of culture and recreation. (In 1956 this figure was about 500.) A large number of parks are under the jurisdiction of trade unions, educational institutions, communal services, and health resorts.

A. M. DIMENTMAN

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