Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
Quite an interesting read. This is a must be for anyone who is Russia- bound and still knows little about those people except what the CNN shows. A great insight into their soul based on how they themselves see it.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
That is delusional. Russian women are having babies less and less and they are choosing Russian men less and less. In fact, they are out performing men socioeconomically so the chasm is widening.
I see this more as a "feel good" presentation, more than anything else. It may be what Russians believe about themselves, but it ain't reality.
Last edited by Contrarian Expatriate on Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This is exactly what the Western powers WANT you to believe. Did you read his extremely convincing arguments (with sources), by the way?
It's certainly got a large component of wishful thinking and "pining for the past" sort of nostalgia, wrapped in a skewed blanket of Soviet/Tsarist/macho/religious zeal. A casual reader would find it very jingoistic, but honestly is it any worse than the chest-thumping, xenophobic, self-righteous, and myopic view that the average American has about himself? A new visitor to the US might get the impression that Americans are all idiots, naive, fundamentalist Christians, who sing themselves to sleep at night with "Proud to be an American", after downing a mega-sized Coke with superburger and large fries.
To break it down a bit:
- Soviet: yes, many Russians will say they long for the Soviet period, when at least everyone was "equal" and had a job and a little food. Reality was somewhat different, I'd say. They also tend to conveniently forget things like Stalin's purges.
- Tsarist: definitely a period of Russian solidarity to a degree, but the serfs weren't exactly treated too well by the elites
- macho: definitely the case amongst Russian men. Drinking insane amounts of vodka and playing soccer in their shorts (no shirts) in -20F temps, just to show how tough they are.
- religious: being Orthodox myself I'm choosing my words carefully, but the Dostoyevsky notion that Russian=Orthodox=saved is not really adequate. Many Russians are religious and Orthodoxy is seeing a revival in Russia today. However, there are large segments of Russian society that are purely evil (mafia) or atheist or simply another religion. You can't paint all of modern Russia with the broad Orthodox brush.
While many Russians may feel this way secretly about themselves (as Ladislav stated), the reality is somewhat different. Doesn't every nation do that to some degree...always seeing themselves as better than they really are? I think Ladislav's point here is that you will likely come across elements of each of these article's points, if you spend any time in Russia, so just be forewarned and informed.
Yes, it is a jingoistic messianic view of themselves. There are other things they omit- they are saying they are not politically correct because they did not enslave others. They did not need to because of a large serf class- basically domestic slaves. They also became big by expansion and colonizing countries around them in a very ruthless fashion.
However, one has to hand to them one thing- when they conquered a territory, they would give the people a choice- accept the Russian rule or be exiled. If they did accept the rule, they would be kept put in their place. continue speaking their language and practicing their religion. They would become Russian subjects but did not have to convert and become Russian ethnically. They would not be exterminated. There were exceptions to the rule but generally that was the case. Now, in the US history, they would clear the land for white settlers by exiling people or killing them. In Russia, they would simply move in next door because there was so much land around and they did not , for the most part exile, except those groups who did not want to accept the czar's rule. Hence, you do not have large genocides as what you had in the US against the Indians.
The reason I wanted to show it was simply so that you would see what many of them are taught in school and by their society and what you will come up against. Just like when going to the US, it is important to know how Americans are taught to view themselves and the mythologies of the country in general.
And yes, most nations do have an overinflated view of themselves and their role in the world. The Russians are too hung up on the past and history. And the "white Christian nation" is their answer to the West that constantly takes them off the map of Europe and puts them in Asia ( while Asia puts them in Europe), Thus, they feel humiliated and alone- caught between Europe that does not like them and Asia that does not like them.
Also, they do not show people who are non white- such as their Muslim republics in the Caucasus and their Oriental/Mongolian peoples in Siberia. They also ignore the race crimes that they commit against those people. I have a friend who is a native Siberian- she looks like a Mongol girl. She is afraid to go to Moscow to live or any other big city to live because she says she can get killed. The Russians took these people's land and while they did not exterminate them, they are not free to go and live where they want except the "republics" where they live. They get harassed and many get physically attacked with shouts- Russia for Russians.
They have also put Kiev in there as part of their history something which Ukrainian people always complain about.
Anyway, they are patting themselves on the back because no one else will.
But at least it is a good presentation for those who go to Russia and who think that ( according to Hollywood)
1) Every Russian ( as well as any other non American) would rather be an American and live in the US and love the US ( because those advertising on MOB sites would)
2) Russians are a strange race- no one knows what they look like- at least there are now pictures of what the majority look like.
The good thing is that many Russians are cynical about their country and know of its problems very well. But they do love it like most people around the world love theirs.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
It must be something about that region of the world. Georgians tend to wax poetic in describing themselves, their country, and their history. As a foreigner, you almost have to declare your respect for Georgia upon demand or you will be viewed as an enemy. To say you do not like Georgia is a personal affront to that is interpreted as you don't like Georgians.
If you walk around proclaiming that you love Georgia, and that it is a beautiful country, and that they have wonderful wine, you will be effusively rewarded with drinks and food and friendship. It is a game to be played that salves the ego of a small nation that has an inferiority complex. People will come up to you and say, "Do you like Georgia?" or "What do you think of Georgia?" before they even ask your name.
To a far lesser extent, Armenia can be this way too.
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