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Russian culture grew from that of the East Slavs, with their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded areas of far Eastern Europe.

There were two primary trends of folklore study during the decade: the formalist and Finnish schools.

Formalism focused on the artistic form of ancient byliny and faerie tales, specifically their use of distinctive structures and poetic devices.

At different points in its history, the country was also strongly influenced by the culture of Western Europe.

Since the reforms of Peter the Great, for two centuries Russian culture largely developed in the general context of European culture rather than pursuing its own unique ways.

Folklore, with many of its conflicts based on the struggles of a labor-oriented lifestyle, was relevant to Communism as it could not have existed without the direct contribution of the working classes.

Also, Gorky explained that folklore characters expressed high levels of optimism, and therefore could encourage readers to maintain a positive mindset, especially as their lives changed with the further development of Communism.

Due to the relatively late involvement of Russia in modern globalization and international tourism, many aspects of Russian culture, like Russian jokes and Russian art, remain largely unknown to foreigners.

Russian belongs to the Indo-European language family and is one of the living members of the East Slavic languages; the others being Belarusian and Ukrainian (and possibly Rusyn).

Many Russian fairy tales and bylinas were adapted for animation films, or for feature movies by famous directors like Aleksandr Ptushko (Ilya Muromets, Sadko) and Aleksandr Rou (Morozko, Vasilisa the Beautiful).

Some Russian poets, including Pyotr Yershov and Leonid Filatov, created a number of well-known poetical interpretations of classical Russian fairy tales, and in some cases, like that of Alexander Pushkin, also created fully original fairy tale poems that became very popular.

In order to continue researching and analyzing folklore, intellectuals needed to justify its worth to the Communist regime.