h1

Loosen Up! You’re in a Bath House

March 2, 2009

Banya (Russian Sauna)

In spite of the voiceover narration style of NPR’s Gregory Feifer, his piece, “Russian Baths Offer Respite From Bitter Winters,” still holds the listener’s attention.

When discussing these centuries-old bath houses called banyas, Feifer does not sound relaxed when describing something that “feels a lot like a massage” or in good humor when he says people at banyas are in very good humor. His ability to end nearly every sentence with the same inflection is a bit irritating.

Still . . .

his story is an interesting one, filled with just the right amount of background audio to give us a better sense of this traditional Russian institution and how it has changed over the years. As Feifer enters a steam room, we hear the sounds of the steam, as well as others in the room, behind him. When a furnace door is opened so water infused with mint and eucalyptus can be put inside, we hear the squeaking furnace door and imagine the pungent steam inside. A bell rings at one of the fanciest banyas in Russia just before Feifer enters. With a more relaxed voiceover, we could take Feifer’s lead and relax along with those in the Russian banyas.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

An assignment for an online journalism class at USC.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: