If you want to hate your country, perceive genuine compliments as useless flattery,and not acknowledge that there is anything to be proud of, then that's your right..
I am not going to argue about it. Perhaps it's true. You live there, I don't.
It's not the impression that I have though!
I haven't actually been to Russia since my childhood in the 80s, so I don't know for sure.
I know it's better off than Ukraine and Belarus where I visited recently. And I watch Russian TV a fair bit. My impression is that things are improving, at least in the cities.
Re "Intelligence" and "conscience".
Well, I certainly wouldn't credit my own country with being "intelligently" run. Most hardly any country in Northern Europe is. If you think your country is run by idiots, you are not alone! We didn't HAVE any serious problems, but we imported them from abroad, and now we have plenty as a result, but that's a different discussion.
Syria was very cleverly (intelligently) handled byRussia, and likewise Crimea. Also getting the Olympics and running them competently with no major hitches.
As a comparison, look at the USAs fiascos and fails, one after another! And compare with Russia's successes recently.
I know Russia has many very serious problems. But you started from the chaos of 92 and look how much better it got!
Western Europe is in decline, and it's mainly of our own making. Our countries are WORSE today than they were in 92. Immigration, social norms, family values, social welfare sold out, everything privatized, more poor people. For us, the trend is downwards. For you, it's going up.
I don't know what else to say. I felt really SORRY for Russians in the 1990s. Everything was tragic, pathetic and horrible. A previously proud nation that I had looked up to was literally crawling in the dust, with people resorting to begging, crime and prostitution to get by. All the ideals spitted on, and the notion that a country wasted 70 years and millions of lives on a failed project.
At least that's what it looked like from the outside.
I don't feel sorry for Russians now. Should I? Russia is emerging like the Fenix bird from the ashes. Congratulations, I think.
You Russians scrapped socialism. You sold out everything the USSR had tried to create. You can never get that back. You made your choice! (or your parents, if you are young).
But regardless of what you lost, or how bad things were for a while, today Russia is stronger and most people have much better lives than 20 years ago. In -94 the Crimeans wanted Ukraine. Today they want Russia. Maybe some other country or region will come knocking on your door...
I`ve got no urge to be rude, dear Hanna, but it would be better to say directly.
Your incompetence made you to write so much about nothing, the whole passages based on superficial knowledge.
And for me, there is no much reason in argument, since you have to realize a lot at first. Would be an idle talk...
I`ll give you a hint. A fat ugly girl who gets compliments all the time from her family. A junkie who "thinks" that he is cool, because his addicted friends say so. Is it good for them?Don't know how to take a compliment?!
Another hint. Not everything that makes an average person happy can be counted by money. "For us, the trend is downwards. For you, it's going up. " - on which criteria, my friend? Have you heard anything about Human rights? What about the level of culture (n.b. I definetely mean not the number of written books or paintings hanging in Hermitage, but manners of exact citizen)? Public safety? Of course, there is no sence in watching Russia Today channel if you want to elaborate the question and see the reality.
And another hint... Since I began talking about money... Germany, Japan, South Korea etc etc don`t have oil, but are doing much better that "rich" Russia. (You can compare salaries and prices in my city (St Petersburg) with any of these - there is a link to a special website in one of my previous posts.) Why is it so?
I hate receiving advices myself, but... It would be good for you to try to read some russian classics. Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy explain such things. A hundreed years have passed, but the country is the same. We do have H&M`s and Volvo`s on our streets, but what happens in everyday life is far from being "civilized".
It is not about "country is run by idiots" like you said. It is about behaviour of ordinary people and their moral standarts.
Ok Serge. So I will "downgrade" my "rating" of Russia following your explanation.
I guess I shouldn't have an opinion unless I've spent time there. But it has started to trouble me that so many Russians seem convinced that their country is trash.
And I am wondering what your ideal is...
If everybody is convinced that some other country is so much better run, or knows better than the
Russian people and the Russian leaders how Russia should be run.
I.e. USA, Germany, South Korea or whatever.
Note, Hanna, this says the person living in "cultural capital" of Russia. Try to imagine, what do people in less lofty places feel. So much hatred, so little respect, and constant readiness to attack. Animals behave more politely.It is not about "country is run by idiots" like you said. It is about behaviour of ordinary people and their moral standarts.
Russia may be anyhow rich and successful in geopolitical affairs, but our people will never benefit of it. It is "by design".
"Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."
In Ukraine, there were plenty of yobs and drunks about, but nobody seemed dangerous. People in general were extremely kind, I thought. Several people helped me.
In Belarus, there was almost no anti-social behaviour, it felt very safe. Extremely bureacratic country though, and that caused me some problems. However regular people helped me even though my Russian is very bad. Nobody tried to take advantage. From what I could see, people treated each other with respect.
I saw one drunk person my entire time there. He had fainted at a tram stop. The police were downright NICE to him. I heard them ask him if he was ok, needed medical care or whatever, and helped him on his feet. It really raised my opinion of Belarus. I was thinking of seeing police in several Western European countries kicking drunk people, hitting them and shouting at them. Several bystanders tried to help the man too.
I have read that in Russia, drunk people can get beaten up by police.
The only people who were unhelpful were 1) some government officials in Belarus and 2) the staff at the Russian embassy (they refused to accept my visa application for Russia, for a silly, imho invalid reason). Everyone else were either nice, or indifferent. For me, I was surprised at how nice people in these two countries were. And I thought Russia was the same.
I'd say that many people were a lot nicer to a stranger than they would have been, in a similar situation in London, Paris or Berlin.
I think that to some degree, the way that you speak to a person will dictate how they respond.
And I have been taught to treat everybody with the same respect, regardless of whether they are drunks on the ground, sweeping the floor, or they own the place. It's quite rare that people are deliberately rude to someone who treats them with respect.
Hanna, I don't say, that rude people is majority in Russia, quite opposite. Ordinary people can be very nice. You can make as many good friends as you wish.
But you will encounter unprovoked aggression, sooner or later.
There is certain percent (approaching 100% among men in power), that will do whatever to harm you, even without any advantage to themselves. Something to do with genes (and permanent drinking), I guess.
I can't compare my region to any other place except Czech, and couple others regions in Russia.
And comparison is not in favor of Russia. Czechs are more patient and benevolent to each other (let's don't speak of foreigners).
Russians are noticeably wilder.
I think Belorussians are closer to Czechs in this matter (solely from rumors, and from couple of Belorussians that I came across).
So speaking of that little percent of unpleasant people:
-Too agitated and harsh people are in Omsk.
-Calm and unforgiving people are living in Moscow.
"Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."
There is a saying, that Russians can scold and criticize Russia at the top of their voice and be very convincing arguing that Russia is probably the worst place on earth, but the same Russians would hate and despise a foreigner should he/she agree with them.
Well my mother thought that Russians were incredibly rude, based on her experiences accompanying my father on business trips there. (He on the other hand likes Russians - although not the "new"). She had plenty of stories to tell her friends of how rudely she felt she had been treated in restaurants, department stores and hotels among other things.
I listened to hear stories on this (happened to her in lots of places, not just Russia) growing up, and I always thought that she brought 95% of it upon herself by having unrealistic expectations, a negative outlook and not being very polite herself...
So that's a person who did not like Russians and felt they were rude and incompetent. Happy?
Seriously - I had a very good experience, like I said, in Belarus and Ukraine which both surprised me, in different ways. I am looking forward to the opportunity of an extended trip to Russia within the next few years and I'll be able to make up my own mind. Perhaps, like you say, the Ukrainians and Belarussians are actually friendlier than Russians ?! I always thought it was a very similar situation though - not much different. I'll post and let you know when I go to Russia!
I am really put off by Moscow though, and although I've never visited it, I actually don't think I'd enjoy it. I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that people in Moscow are the least friendly and helpful in all of Russia.
Seems that today, it's like London where I currently live; only more extreme in every way. More crowded, more luxury shops and dirt poor people, traffic, super expensive prices and stressed out people.
Such a city doesn't attract me at all.
And even if some Russians are obnoxious and rude, I can name at least 5 nationalities that I really don't like to have to deal with because I think are consistently quite unpleasant to have interact with, because most of them have some very unpleasant traits. Not going to list it here, but Russians is not on that list.
Actually, sometimes I think that today we have got nothing in common except the language.
P.S. When you come to Russia - make a short trip outside from the city centre and visit one of the "спальный" districts. You might see a lot of new for european national. It`s better to take some russian speaking friend, though.
Hanna,I always thought it was a very similar situation though - not much different.
don't listen to the people who have some inferiority complex about their country, ancestry and so on. They are miserable and pathetic. Such people usually try to set us on to fight.
Of course, we are one people, as three parts of the one Russian family. If you take a look at the US, you'll see that Americans much more differ from each other than even Ukrainians and Russians (and especially Belorussians).
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