Of Russian origin: Seni
The Seni is a room in a Russian traditional house, izba, that connects the outside, or porch area to the “lived in” part inside. A sort of cross between a hallway and an ante-room that isn’t as heavily insulated as the central part of the house.
The Seni has multiple purposes. Firstly, it’s an area where shoes and outerwear can be stored. The floor is mainly covered with linoleum or tile which makes it easier and quicker to clean, which greatly contributes to the cleanness of main part of the house.
Secondly, it serves as something of a buffer between the inside and outside. When the temperature is freezing outside, and the pechka (or oven) has heated the izba, you first get to the seni, closing the front door behind you, and only then continue forward to the main house without letting the warmth flow out of the hosue.
And finally, the seni is great storage room for all those things, that haven’t found their place inside the house.
Written by Tom Barton, RT correspondent