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Thread: Article: The Russian Mindset

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    It took me a long time to get used to Russian concepts of personal space. But I never once thought, "oh, yes, this must be a sign of the oppressive Soviet times." I think that is a very strange, and unfair, observation to make. It seems like a lot of westerners will try to psychoanalyze Russia, as if they need to have some time or place to explain what caused the people to behave a certain way. And maybe Russian history has a role in shaping Russian behavior, but if so, it certainly goes back much further than the comparable blink-of-an-eye that was Soviet times. Some cultural behaviors may be more a result of the intermix of different ethnicities in Russia, too. The vikings certainly brought their own culture with them, as did the mongols, and the turks, and other ethnic groups which became part of the Russian melting pot.
    The whole Russian history can and must be used to analyse social behaviour patterns. To speak only about 'Soviet times' (1920s - 1991) is not enough, it's 70 years of history, though their critical importance can by no means be denied. I would certainly say something about the 90s - Russia's sorry new history - which changed the social behaviour patterns in many ways.
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  2. #22
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    13. Do not cross your legs with the ankle on the knee or put your feet on the table. It is considered impolite to show others the soles of your shoes. It's not about the soles of one's shoes. Such body language is generally regarded as suspicious licence, legs on the table is regarded as licence - who is going to clean the table afterwards? - it's a cultural thing.
    Legs on the table is considered rude almost everywhere, I think. In America it certainly depends on your relationship with the people whose table you are putting your feet on as well as the quality of their furniture. Some of my friends have cheap furniture, and they even put their feet on it and so they don't object if their guests do the same. But other friends of mine have fine furniture and it would be very rude to put your feet up, especially with shoes still on!

    In Russia, of course, people usually take off their shoes when they are in someone's home. In America, this is not as common a practice. People normally wear their shoes right into the house, on the carpets and floors. I tried to get my husband into the practice of removing his shoes indoors and wearing slippers, but alas, I am unable to train him

    Some of our friends prefer guests to leave their shoes inside the doorway, and they always make that clear by saying so as soon as you walk in the door. But most of them don't have any such rules in place. However, if it is muddy outdoors and your shoes are dirty, it is considered very impolite to walk in and get dirt all over everything.

  3. #23
    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    13. Do not cross your legs with the ankle on the knee... It is considered impolite to show others the soles of your shoes.
    Hmmm. In American culture, it's generally advisable for a MAN to cross his legs with the ankle on the knee (if he chooses to cross his legs at all). To cross "knee over knee" looks a bit женеподобный to us. But "ankle on ankle" is okay for both sexes, I think.

    Incidentally, one other "cultural clash" that I remember from Moscow in the early 1990s (and please, understand that I'm generalizing here and I hope that no one takes it too seriously or gets offended!):

    Russians had an almost neurotic horror of the street-dirt on the bottom of people's shoes, but didn't worry much about the smell of their armpits.

    Americans had an almost neurotic horror of armpit-odors, but didn't worry much about the street-dirt on the bottom of their shoes.

    (Objectively speaking, neither dirt on the shoes nor stinky armpit sweat is likely to spread any kind of disease -- so in both cases, the "horror" is a culturally-learned aesthetic reaction and has nothing whatsoever to do with logic or medical science.)
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  4. #24
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Russians had an almost neurotic horror of the street-dirt on the bottom of people's shoes, but didn't worry much about the smell of their armpits.

    Americans had an almost neurotic horror of armpit-odors, but didn't worry much about the street-dirt on the bottom of their shoes.

    (Objectively speaking, neither dirt on the shoes nor stinky armpit sweat is likely to spread any kind of disease -- so in both cases, the "horror" is a culturally-learned aesthetic reaction and has nothing whatsoever to do with logic or medical science.)
    Americans are a little over-obsessed with hygiene, I think. We cover up every little odor with endless assortments of sprays and perfumes and candles and unguents and so on... I actually found it a little refreshing in Russia and Europe, not to worry so much about bodily smells.

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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    I hate armpit stink. Or wet stains there.
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  6. #26
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suobig View Post
    ...caution - no way. Cautious nations don't have word "авось" in their's dictionary
    collectivism - agree
    pessimism - no, we are very optimistic (see "авось" ) ...

    " Better Sorry Than Safe?

    17 May 2002 | Issue 2439

    By Michele A. Berdy

    Avos
    : (participle) faith in success or good fortune, often unfounded. Can be translated as faith in good luck, trust in a favorable outcome, counting on/expecting a miracle or windfall, "with luck," or "God willing."

    My trusty Dal dictionary tells me avos is a conflation of a vot seichas (a-vo-se) which I'd translate as "any minute now." As in, "Any minute now, Prosya, the rain will come and save our crops" or "You just wait, Vanya, any minute now my company will pay me the wages it owes me and then we can buy some drink." Over time, it's come to represent a deeply held belief in a deus ex machina salvation.

    I think of avos as one of those seminal concepts in Russian life, something that goes into making Russians Russian. It's what Ivan the Fool counted on to get him out of a jam in Russian fairy tales, and what saved him time and again, despite his foolishness. Today it's what spurs the driver of the Mercedes 600SL to slip into the lane of oncoming traffic at 120 kilometers per hour: with certainty (totally unfounded) that he'll zip back into his lane before a truck appears.

    It's avos that was responsible for probably half the babies in the country -- their parents were sure they could make love without protection just this once avos pronesyot (with any luck nothing will happen -- literally misfortune will pass us by).

    And it's avos government officials count on when they plan a budget in which expenditures routinely exceed revenues by 50 percent: Somehow they are sure that the heavens will open and there will be enough money to pay the pensioners, the military and state employees. (And if the heavens don't deliver, maybe the IMF will.)

    I can see how avos took hold of the Russian psyche. Imagine you are a Russian peasant, circa 1235. You live in a dark and smoky hovel with about 25 of your closest relatives, two goats, five chickens and a pig. Your daily back breaking struggle to work the land barely produces enough to sustain life, and you never know when you will be wiped out by a drought, flash flood, hailstorm, or early or late frost. Or when the local prince will need all your grain for some campaign in the south. Or when the church will need it to buy gold leaf for the new cupola. Or when Mongol invaders will come screaming over the steppes for a round of raping, pillaging and burning.

    There is no way you can pull yourself and your family out of the muck and mud of poverty by your own efforts. When you are utterly powerless and without rights, the only thing you can do is hope that God willing the prince will collect enough grain before the officials get to your house or any minute now the Mongols will get bored with raping and pillaging and pass your village by.

    We Western plodders, with our Protestant work ethic, our belief that "slow and steady wins the race," our genetic memories of gentler climates and richer land, never enjoy the adrenaline rush of avos. We rarely walk off the diving board of caution into the void of "it will all work out fine."

    When a Russian driver stops dead in the middle of the Garden Ring at rush hour to consider whether he should pay his cell phone bill now or not, and it doesn't even occur to him to be afraid that the eight-ton Kamaz behind him will turn his car into a concertina -- well, this is evidence of a far deeper belief in a benevolent God than I possess. I envy him.

    But a tip for state budget makers: Remember all those babies. Avos doesn't always work."

    Michele A. Berdy, a Moscow-based translator and interpreter, is co-author of a Russian-English dictionary.

    Better Sorry Than Safe? | The Moscow Times Archive | The Moscow Times
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    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  7. #27
    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medved View Post
    I hate armpit stink. Or wet stains there.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Americans are a little over-obsessed with hygiene, I think. We cover up every little odor with endless assortments of sprays and perfumes and candles and unguents and so on... I actually found it a little refreshing in Russia and Europe, not to worry so much about bodily smells.
    Про гигиену в историческом разрезе.
    Письмо Анны Ярославны из Парижа 11-го века:
    Батюшка, да за что ты меня ненавидишь? И отправил в эту грязную деревню, где умыться-то негде
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  9. #29
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    13 привычек, которые есть только у нашего человека

    Под «нашими» в данном случае подразумеваются те, кто живет на территории России или в странах СНГ. Потому что детство у всех было примерно одинаковое, семейные традиции, обычаи, правила и приметы — тоже.
    Узнать друг друга и себя в этих привычках очень просто. Это не плохо и не хорошо, — скорее, мило, тепло и по-родному.


    1. Наряжаться перед походом в магазин.
    Мы любим хорошо выглядеть. Спортивные штаны с вытянутыми коленями и зеленая растянутая футболка — не вариант даже для обычного похода в магазин. А вот милое платье и каблуки — идеальный наряд для прогулки. И это прекрасно.


    2. Присесть на минуту перед поездкой.
    Когда чемоданы уже собраны, мы обычно делаем паузу, чтобы спокойно посидеть минуту — на дорожку. Многие не любят эту традицию, считая ее пережитком язычества, но эта минута элементарно дает передышку в суматохе сборов.


    3. Говорить действительно длинные и сложные тосты.
    Только самый ленивый русский человек скажет простой тост «За здоровье!» или что-то в этом роде. Серьезно. Мы всегда готовы услышать длинные анекдоты и пожелания. Потому что нам есть что сказать.


    4. Рассказывать анекдоты так часто, как это возможно.
    Мы можем начать рассказывать историю и в середине воскликнуть: «О, это как в том анекдоте!» И обязательно вспомним его. Ведь мы любим посмеяться.


    5. Поздравлять друг друга после душа или сауны.
    Хотя по правилам нужно желать друг другу легкого пара до бани, мы говорим «С легким паром!» исключительно после бани или душа.


    6. Отвечать честно и развернуто на вопрос «Как дела?».
    «Как дела?» У иностранцев на этот дежурный вопрос принято отвечать дежурным «Хорошо, спасибо!». У нас все не так. Если уж нашего человека спросили, как у него дела, значит, нужно ответить по-настоящему и полно. Никто не рассказывает свою жизнь за полгода, но дать вменяемый ответ — почему нет?


    7. Не улыбаться незнакомцам.
    Мы не улыбаемся людям, с которыми просто случайно встретились глазами. По крайней мере, не во все 32. Улыбки у нас искренние только для друзей, родных и любимых.


    8. Праздновать Новый год с большим размахом, чем Рождество.
    Елка — на Новый год. Подарки — на Новый год. Новый год — главный зимний праздник. Рождество отмечается гораздо меньшим количеством людей и гораздо скромнее.

    9. Постоянно пересматривать и цитировать старые советские мультфильмы.

    Мы часто и с большим удовольствием напеваем песенки и произносим фразы из советских мультфильмов, сохраняя интонацию и голос персонажей, нисколько не смущаясь посторонних. Кто-нибудь пробовал цитировать иностранные мультики? Кроме смеха дятла Вуди и песни про Чипа и Дейла я вообще ничего не помню. А в наших старых добрых кино и мультфильмах смысла столько, что до конца жизни можно переосмысливать.

    10. Называть всех женщин «девушка».

    Если мы хотим позвать официантку, мы кричим «Девушка!» Если обращаемся к 40-летней женщине, мы называем ее «девушка». Любая женщина, которую язык повернется назвать девушкой, для нас — девушка. И все довольны.

    11. Садиться за стол поужинать и просиживать так часами до полуночи или дольше, постоянно разговаривая.

    Когда мы компанией собираемся за ужином, мы садимся за стол, ужинаем и разговариваем. Затем мы просто разговариваем, потом еще едим и разговариваем, потом пьем чай и разговариваем и, даже уходя домой, мы, стоя на пороге, еще некоторое время разговариваем. Мы любим поболтать и поесть. Особенно салаты с майонезом.

    12. Никогда не выкидывать пакеты.

    Серьезно, наверно, в каждом доме есть пакеты с пакетами. И ведь они используются.

    13. Никогда не ходить в гости без подарка.

    Это может быть тортик или вино к ужину, шоколад или цветы (при условии, что их нечетное количество). На самом деле, неважно, что именно, главное — что-нибудь принести. Потому что «ну не придешь же с пустыми руками».


    Источник: 13 © AdMe.ru
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