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Thread: Myths About Russia?

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    Подающий надежды оратор bellabob's Avatar
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    Myths About Russia?

    Just wondering. I know there are a LOT of myths about the country, but what are some you know?

    Also, how is the Russian economy doing? Good, no?

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    So far, every single myth/rumor/belief/stereotype/bias that I've come across concerning Russia, Russian people, Russian culture, has pretty much been wrong.

    That said, some Russians love to tease and play into these myths, just to upend them on you later =)

    As an example.. It's not true that Russians sit around and drink vodka all day (of course!), but I've seen a person suggest such a thing to Russians, and instead of denying it, they played along until they positioned the speaker to become the butt of the joke. Neat trick, that.

    When I first took an interest in Russian cuisine, people told me: "Russian food is unhealthy and that's why Russians have short life spans." What a crock that turned out to be.. Russian food, it turns out, is very often WAY more healthy than standard American fare (a lot of the food is farm-provided, from what I've been told, and the incidence of mystery-meat like ground burger and such is far lower).. they eat tons of salads and fresh veggies, and kind of put our subs-and-pizza existence to shame =) ... and I'm not even sure the bit about lifespan is accurate, either.

    In general, it's safest to assume all generalizations are wrong, and make your judgments from experience.. When you arsume, you make an arse of u and me =)
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Life expectancy at birth per Wikipedia

    Ttl Male Female

    United States 78.3 75.6 80.8
    Russia 65.5 61.8 72.6

    Note large disparity between males.

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    The general myth in my country about Russians is that they are really fatalistic and take huge risks... and drink too much. Superstitious and family loving are other stereotypes I have heard about Russians. Shortage of apartments. Russians are the Americans of Europe, lol.....

    Everything about Russia is slightly mysterious - a country that's quite close to mine, which most people here still have not visited.

    Russian women are idealized beyond what they deserve , in my opinion. Not that they are not nice, but I think it's ludicrous to assume that a woman is wonderful just based on her nationality.

    There are also lots of myths about what Russia is like as a country. "Militarily aggressive...." but it's not really... compared with countries like the US for example. "It's not a democracy....." well technically it is... and even if not, then neither are most other countries on the planet. Plus, we can worry about that when huge numbers of Russians start protesting about the situation. THat hasn't happened. Then of course also about corruption.

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    Подающий надежды оратор Sala_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    There are also lots of myths about what Russia is like as a country. "Militarily aggressive...." but it's not really... compared with countries like the US for example.
    I see you're quite active here, and I can't say I totally disagree with you when it comes to US military action in the world, but must you express your anti-US sentiment in every thread in which you post? You're making this an unpleasant place for those Americans who have come here simply to learn Russian.
    ♪♫♪ ♫♫♪ ♪♫ ♪♫

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Russian food, it turns out, is very often WAY more healthy
    Is this one of those generalizations we should assume are wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Is this one of those generalizations we should assume are wrong?
    It's up to the individual.. but in my experience, as soon as you DO generalize, you find out you're wrong.. Blini aren't very healthy, are they? Then again, buckwheat is a slow carb.. and if it's filled with fresh vegetables or omega-3-containing fresh fish, it's a whole lot healthier than a mcdonald's burger.. but then pickled vegetables contain nitrites, and cabbage is goitrogenic.. so, yeah, i guess i'd better assume that one's wrong too =)

    you're incorrigible, chaika my friend, don't ever change
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sala_ View Post
    I see you're quite active here, and I can't say I totally disagree with you when it comes to US military action in the world, but must you express your anti-US sentiment in every thread in which you post? You're making this an unpleasant place for those Americans who have come here simply to learn Russian.
    I know what you're saying and I am glad you said it but here we are welcome to freely express almost any sentiment, incl. negative, as long as it's not personal.

  9. #9
    Hanna
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    I am sorry if you were offended by my comment. I want to clarify that I like most Americans and I think it's a really fascinating country. I just don't like American foreign policy.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    No need to talk about political likes or dislikes in a language discussion group. A lot of Americans don't like our foreign policies either.

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    Подающий надежды оратор PAULO JAN's Avatar
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    I visited Russia and had the greatest impression I could. And didnt see people drinking Vodka.

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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    This thread need more bears in the street. Maybe driving a bus.
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    I think, it is one of many utterances and it have low to life.
    In addition,so more interesting, when you do not agree/
    And if you write it on Russian- it will be even useful

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULO JAN View Post
    I visited Russia and had the greatest impression I could. And didnt see people drinking Vodka.
    Thank you for this remark. I'm from Ukraine, but our countries are very alike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom View Post
    When I first took an interest in Russian cuisine, people told me: "Russian food is unhealthy and that's why Russians have short life spans." What a crock that turned out to be.. Russian food, it turns out, is very often WAY more healthy than standard American fare (a lot of the food is farm-provided, from what I've been told, and the incidence of mystery-meat like ground burger and such is far lower).. they eat tons of salads and fresh veggies, and kind of put our subs-and-pizza existence to shame =) ... and I'm not even sure the bit about lifespan is accurate, either.
    I think this is interesting. I had a Russian over for dinner last night. He commented that American food is healthier than Russian food because it is fresher and less cooked. (He said he could tell that the squash I had served was from a garden, not from the store. He was correct.) He was comparing Russian home cooking to American home cooking. I don't think comparing Russian home cooking with American fast food is a fair comparison.
    Кристина

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    Quote Originally Posted by christineka View Post
    I think this is interesting. I had a Russian over for dinner last night. He commented that American food is healthier than Russian food because it is fresher and less cooked. (He said he could tell that the squash I had served was from a garden, not from the store. He was correct.) He was comparing Russian home cooking to American home cooking. I don't think comparing Russian home cooking with American fast food is a fair comparison.
    Christineka,

    I respect your opinion. I was careful in the way I phrased it - either cultural cuisine could be slid toward either extreme. My point was to show that generalization is pretty stupid, especially in the place of adaptive learning and dynamic self-assessment.

    The movement of people who believe that all food is healthiest when uncooked is a movement of people that accept bar-none that the goal of eating food is to get the most nutrients in unchanged forms all at once into the gut. Others disagree with this logic. There are some, spurred on by scientific revelations about lifespan increases in response to caloric deprivation, who think this is madness.

    The only safe thing to generalize is the vast amount of information we don't have. We can't even safely define what's healthy, so we go on the same thing I was mentioning above - adaptive learning and dynamic self-assessment. This is how all dietary/medical information comes about in our society. People from hypotheses, test them, develop theses, test them, and move towards a clear-cut principle.

    That being said, I suspect that less fresh vegetables get consumed in the average american kitchen than in the russian one, and probably both still less than in the japanese or chinese one. This is of course a vast generalization and safe only for purposes of encouraging people to eat better themselves - not to expect that they know what people in Shanghai are eating.

    And no matter what, it sounds like the food being served at your house is great!! =) My grandmother used to grow greens in her garden out back and serve them for salad with dinner.. it's a great feeling and fresher than anything you can get in the store - zdorovo!!
    luck/life/kidkboom
    Грязные башмаки располагают к осмотрительности в выборе дороги. /*/ Muddy boots choose their roads with wisdom. ;

  17. #17
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULO JAN View Post
    I visited Russia and had the greatest impression I could. And didnt see people drinking Vodka.
    Yes. During my almost 3 month trip through various Russian speaking places I saw only two drunk people. You see drunk people a lot more often in the rest of Northern Europe - the UK, Scandinavia. It wasn't winter though.

  18. #18
    Hanna
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    I was just listening to a Russian language podcast, and here is a relevant one on this topic.
    mediaHUMP - Where all the media lurks!

    Since Tatiana is a Russian person living abroad (France) she is probably used to coming across stereotypes about her country and nationality, which makes her experiences more relevant.

    She is speaking super slowly and is only using very simple words, so unless you are a complete beginner you should be able to follow this.
    Site: http://russianpodcast.eu/index.html

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    Deleted. L.
    Last edited by Lampada; July 16th, 2013 at 02:02 AM. Reason: Enough of your trolling.

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