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Thread: Black Man In Red Russia

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    Black Man In Red Russia

    I will be studying Russian this year in a few neighboring countries to Russia. As an African-American man, should I even bother making a trip to Moscow? I hear all these stories of skin-head crazies chasing and killing Africans there and in St. Petersburg. Needless to say, I don't need to experience that! Yet at the same time I am of the belief that not all Russians are this way, particularly due to my interaction with a few Russians now living in America. Some of the friendliest people I've ever met. What is the situation currently like there?

    As an aside, I should point out that the title of this thread is from the title of a book by a Black journalist who lived in Russia during the 1930's and '40s. He speaks of the distinct LACK of prejudice in that book that he experienced at that time. It is pretty sad to me that the country has regressed in that sense. Anyway, the book is quite an interesting read since the author (Homer Smith) was in Moscow during World War II and writes about what it was like in Russia at wartime.

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    I have heard a ton of stories as well about skin head groups, nationalists, etc, and have been chased by a group of them (im white). On the other hand, On two of the programs i was on, in each, there was an african american. Although there were hints of stuff here and there over a course of a semester. Nothing noticeable really happened compared to my altercation where the worst thing that happened was that my friend was punched. Id say if you want to visit moscow, petersburg, see the main sites the trip is definately worth it.

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    Drew,

    Thanks for the quick reply. What, may I ask were they chasing YOU for? Did you kiss one of their girlfriends or something? Are these the kind of guys you can spot right away by how they dress and the places they congregate? Good to know these encounters seem fairly rare.

    Well, I am not a particularly fearful person or I would never travel anywhere. I just like to know what to expect. Anyone else have thoughts?

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    JKD man, there is this Russian joke you might have heard...

    In the USA, in the secretest most specialised spy school in the country, orphans are reared to become the very best, very most talented spies. They are trained intensively for 18 years, taught to speak foreign languages like a native, and are given intensive cultural training, as to be able to go undercover seamlessly.

    One of the graduates of this special spy school, is sent to the centre of Russia, in the provinces, on a special mission.

    He knocks onto the door of the wooden hut, and a woman opens the door. In his very smooth accentless Russian the cia-agent asks if he may come in. The woman says, nah you must be a spy. The man shakes his head, and remembers all his cultural training. The woman lets him in, and at the table with the other people of the house, he hits back the vodka like a real Russian. Five bottles of vodka further, the woman of the house glares at him and whispers: admit it, you are a spy. Exasperatedly, the cia-agent takes a balalaika off the wall, plays virtuosely a complicated beautiful extroardinary and very Russian tune. At the end the woman says, that was magnicent, but I just know it: own up: you are a spy. The cia agent, gives up, and wants to know what possibly could have given him away. The woman matter of factly states: you are black.

    Ok this is a crap joke. At university we were shown film footage of Russias right wing parties, and it is totally sickening. But then again, here in Belgium there are enough xenophobic ignorant people, who seem to think that all people with a skin a shade darker than pinkish are "immigrants" and should "just go home". But I hope that the majority of people have their heads screwed on right, here in Belgium as well as in Russia.

    That doesn't take a way, that I feel that the Russians have a strong "us" and "them" culture, which distinguishes between the "superior slavs" and the rest of the miserly world who don't understand them, and are utterly useless (but they often still are bitterly envious of them). Oh wow, I am ranting like a chicken without a head. This is lack of sleep that is doing it, and in the morning I will regret having written such bullocks.

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    they chased us because they knew we werent russian. We still stook out like a sore thumb in russia. Doesnt matter how well you speak. Friend was wearing a red coat, all in jeans etc.. Basically they followed us, came up to us and asked where we were from, and then it began...It was easy to spot them, 9 kids around 18-20 who try to look like thugs. There were 3 of us so we basically ran off. They were pretty drunk

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    one more question, where are you studying?

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    Hey there,

    I will be studying Russian in the "tourist-laden" countries of Moldova and Belarus. Yeah, I will definitely be sticking out like a sore thumb in those countries too! But they offer some of the most inexpensive Russian language courses I have seen anywhere.

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    Беларус is relatively poorer than Russia, but I believe it is quite a lot safer. Hope you won't be studying like in the Gomelskaya oblast' and other places that are stil ecologically (radioactively) unclean Although if it is just for a few months, it won't harm you. But still, just the thought of it ((

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    al
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    Quote Originally Posted by garmonistka
    Беларус
    Беларусь
    Хорошо не просто там где нас нет, а там где нас никогда и не было.

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    Thanks Al, indeed: Беларус 1025 is make of tractor.
    "Универсально-пропашной трактор"

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