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Thread: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

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    How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    This week the Travel Channel aired back-to-back episodes which were filmed in Russia.

    One was Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - To Russia WIth Love (which first aired back on 22 November 2007) and the other was brand new one, Dhani Tackles the Globe – Russia


    Anthony Bourdain, is a guys guy. He drinks like a fish, smokes, curses, has tattoos and travels around the world sampling various foods and gets paid for it…cool job! Here are the links to the episode on YouTube from his visit to Russia:

    No Reservations - Russia Part 1 of 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKVKlHwwZj0

    No Reservations - Russia Part 2 of 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0XnlVGoXDM

    No Reservations - Russia Part 3 of 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ1hehK47z4

    No Reservations - Russia Part 4 of 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTzTZBczVk8

    No Reservations - Russia Part 5 of 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTYpf_9VTRs


    Dhani, is Dhani Jones, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound linebacker for the National Football League’s Cincinnati Bengals (he is one big, strong, black dude!). He travels around to a different country and for one week of lessons on a local sport (some culture too) and then competes in a local or regional contest and he aims to win! In Russia it was Sambo.

    As it just aired this week, I could only find some behind the scenes clips out on the net:
    Behind the Scenes: Dhani Tackles the Globe – Russia
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgohmXANkGk
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Bourdain is a chef. So is Andrew Zimmern who hosts "Bizarre Foods". He too traveled to Russia and was filmed shopping, dining in St. Pete. and visiting a dacha. A combination episode with both Bourdain and Zimmern was filmed in Brighton Beach, New York. Mostly Russian food due to the high immigrant population there.

    Here is part of a blog by Zimmern in Russia:

    http://bizarre-blog.travelchannel.com/r ... -of-russia
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by capecoddah
    Bourdain is a chef.
    Yes, I should have made that more clear in my introduction of him. Bourdain has written several books and is also the "Chef-at-Large" at Brasserie Les Halles http://www.leshalles.net/
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    It always makes me smile when someone tries to tell something about Russia to non-Russians...

    It's quite odd that he talked about politics most of the time and not food.

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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    His Russian friend Zamir has quite a following now. After Russia and Uzbekistan, they went to Romania and Zamir went a bit crazy. Zamir has done 4 shows in the US: NYC, Baltimore, Buffalo and Detroit. Tony blogs about Zamir.

    http://anthony-bourdain-blog.travelchan ... -with-love
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by capecoddah
    His Russian friend Zamir has quite a following now.
    Btw, this Zamir character doesn't look quite Russian, I mean ethnic Russian. He more likely has some Middle Asia roots.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Btw, this Zamir character doesn't look quite Russian, I mean ethnic Russian. He more likely has some Middle Asia roots.
    See Basil, that is my problem.... even when creating my Dmitri for my book I had no clue how to make him look. How tall, eye color, hair color, cheekbone structure, shoulder width ..... What do "ethnic" Russian's look like?

    Basil....If you met me and saw me or heard my voice, you would not know where I was from in America or my heritage for that matter. Just by looking at me, you would never be able to guess where my parents were born and raised or where all four of my grandparents immigrated from (well, one was born in the U.S. but they all immigrated from the same general area of the world).

    If you strip away the traditional Russian garments, what is so special about the way ethnic Russians look? I ask this with all sincerity.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    A typical Russian guy from Russian fairy tales would have blond-brown or fair hair, blue eyes and turned-up nose.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    If you strip away the traditional Russian garments, what is so special about the way ethnic Russians look?
    If you stripped away the Russian garments, I don't think you'd have to ask that question.
    "Сейчас без языка нельзя... из тебя шапку сделают..."
    Cogito Ergo Doleo

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom
    what is so special about the way ethnic Russians look? I ask this with all sincerity.
    Maybe one ore two hundreds years later ethnic features will be eliminated completely, but now they are still exist. Here is some article about this:

    Russian scientists have finished the first large-scale research of gene pool of the Russian people. The report on the results of the study is expected to be published soon. The report might bring about dramatic consequences both for Russia and the world order.
    It took anthropologists a few decades of painstaking research to come up with the image of a typical Russian. Anthropologists had to use all en-face and half-face photographs of typical representatives of Russian areas of the country available in the Museum of Anthropology. Having been modified using special computer program, the photographs were then juxtaposed by the pupils of the eyes. The final pictures came out pretty blurry yet they could give you an idea how standard Russian people looked like. It was the first truly sensational discovery. Similar study of the French researchers ended in failure. They had to shelve the results of the study since the final photographs of standard Jacques and Marianne would show pasty nondescript faces.

    Unfortunately, anthropologists called it a day after building photographic images of typical representative of the Russian population living in different areas of Russia, anthropologists did not juxtapose them one over another for creating the image of an absolute Russian.

    Speaking with Vlast magazine, anthropologists first cited a plausible excuse with regard to a “lack of information” required for such kind of work. Finally, they admitted that they could run into trouble with their superiors due to the photograph in question. By the way, “regional” composites of the Russian people were published in scientific publications of limited circulation, they were published by the national press only in 2002.



    Unfortunately, largely monochrome old photographs of the Russian people from the archives are unsuitable for describing the height, build, complexion, color of hair and eyes of the Russian. However, anthropologists made a verbal portrait of a Russian man and a Russian woman. They are said to be brown-haired persons of medium height, their eyes are either grey or blue.

    A turned-up nose is absolutely atypical for Eastern Slavs (only 7 percent of Russians and Ukrainians have it). The feature is more typical with Germans (25 percent).
    The magazine also publishes a map showing the area where genuinely Russian genes are still preserved. The area's geographic boundaries correspond with those marking the territory of Russia in times of Ivan the Terrible. The findings are manifest evidence proving conditionality of some state borders.

    Russian scientists requested that the magazine publish their appeal to the President Putin, Prime Minister Fradkov, and the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

    According to Dr. Balanovskaya, huge megalopolises are, in fact, the black holes, they suck in the gene pool of the Russian people and destroy it without a trace. “Now we know the boundaries marking areas with villages and small towns where the genuinely Russian genes are still kept intact. But in those areas women tend to give birth to fewer children year in and year out due to lack of money. Given enormous government spending on other needs, target financial aid to those women could save the Russian gene pool from further degradation,” said Dr. Balanovskaya.

    Scientists made a complete list of typically Russian surnames by the regions. Central Election Committee and local election committees flatly refused to cooperate with scientists citing secrecy requirements for voters' lists to ensure that an election is fare and square. Scientists used a very flexible criterion for putting a surname on the list. A surname would enter the list if at least five carriers of it would live in the region for three generations.

    Top 10 of most popular Russian surnames:

    1. Smirnov
    2. Ivanov
    3. Kuznetsov
    4. Popov
    5. Sokolov
    6. Lebedev
    7. Kozlov
    8. Novikov
    9. Morozov
    10. Petrov
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Matroskin Kot
    If you stripped away the Russian garments, I don't think you'd have to ask that question.
    Matroskin Kot!! I can think of oooooo soooo many witty comebacks for that one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Maybe one or two hundreds years later ethnic features will be eliminated completely, but now they are still exist. Here is some article about this: ... However, anthropologists made a verbal portrait of a Russian man ... They are said to be brown-haired persons of medium height, their eyes are either grey or blue.
    Basil!!! You have made me soooo very happy as "my" Dmitri does indeed have grey eyes and brown hair!
    And I must say, the grey eyes thing was one that my daughter asked for so I was not certain if it really would be a characteristic of a Russian or not.

    If you do not know, I started him based off of things she wanted in her character; however, the name was my choosing and to make the story more interesting, based upon his name.... he ended up becoming Russian. Almost all of the other characters in the book are based off of real people she knows, like her friends (or enemies) from school, or people she has worked with, so that is much easier as I know them and she can help fill in gaps when I have questions about would so and so do this or behave like this or look like this. Dmitri has just been so much harder as I have NO reference.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    It always amazes me that people believe anything depicted on television or in movies is suppose to represent reality.
    Не балуй!

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Haksaw
    It always amazes me that people believe anything depicted on television or in movies is suppose to represent reality.
    You forgot books, newspaper and now the Internet....

    Actually, it is because I DON'T believe that I came to MR and why I don't do well in the "real" world.

    Haksaw, have you ever seen the movie Network?

    part 1
    Howard Beale is 'Mad as Hell'
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/Movi...hnetwork2.html
    English text is in video and also below the video

    part 2
    Howard Beale - The 'Mad Prophet of the Airwaves'
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/Movi...hnetwork3.html
    English text is in video and also below the video
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
    Check out the MasterRussian Music Playlist
    Click here for list of Russian films with English subtitles and links to watch them.

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    I think we all should give credit not only to Travel Channel, but to US mass media in general...It would be unfair if we forget about American textbooks...and newspapers, magazines, internet...And after that we are still surprised that 80% of Americans believe that bears walk on the streets of Russia and it is freezing cold in Russia all year round and Russians drink vodka instead of coke in russia?
    "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
    Embrace.Experience.DiscoverRus http://www.discoverrus.com/
    What do you think about Russia? http://www.discoverrus.com/blog/

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    I don’t think we can blame any media outlet for false reality. There are so many details weaved into specific cultures you really have to experience it yourself to fully understand what it’s truly about. People have to realize TV, newspaper, etc are businesses……they worry about the bottom line. You will be fed lies if the company feels the masses will find it interesting and “buy it” so to speak. It is up to people to make judgments based on personal experiences not what you see on TV. I may just be an optimist but, I believe the majority of people understand things you see and read are not true 98% of the time.
    ...

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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    New show on 'Animal Planet' network, 'Wild Яussia', a nature program. I have to keep the motel lobby's TV on "non-offensive" shows. I ran across 2 the other night, Primorye and Caucasus regions. Great film work and some stunning scenery. My "Russian kids" were happy to watch and we talked about nature shows (it was a slooooow night). I always liked these shows. Some video links : http://animal.discovery.com/videos/wild-russia-videos/
    I'm easily amused late at night...

  17. #17
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    I'd say to those who watch American TV -- be very careful before you believe what is said about ANY countries in Europe, but particularly Russia.

    I was in a state of total shock after spending a few hours watching a US domestic channel called Fox News in a hotel room on a business trip. What was shown was some kind of surreal alternative universe which contained some grains of truth but were skewed, sensationalised and laced with political messages. It made me (finally) understand why Americans support foreign policy decisions that most Europeans would disagree with.

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Some pic I've stumbled upon about American view on other countries:


    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Some pic I've stumbled upon about American view on other countries:


    Ramil!!!

    You found my map that I drew back in 7th grade!! I was wondering where it was.

    Now, when you mate the ends there is also that BIG USSR in the middle of the RED colored area.

    Looking back on it, my spelling and continent outlines were not as bad as I had remembered. I guess I did deserve that "A" after all!
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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  20. #20
    Hanna
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    Re: How The Travel Channel Shows Russia to Americans

    The map was SO funny!

    When I was a kid there was an story circulating that went something like this: "When asked in a survey to point out the USA on a blind world map, 60% of American high school students pointed at the USSR -- they automatically assumed that the biggest country on the map must be the US." To us Swedish kids this defied belief... I don't know if the story is true or not, but it was certainly doing the rounds in Sweden.

    For the record, I am neither a communist, nor a terrorist and my country has no oil whatsoever.....

    Here is an old map of the Middle East (problem now resolved, I believe....) :

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