Well, starting a thread is the last thing I feel like doing now, since I don't have that much time but I've read a comment about Russians today on another forum that said:
It got me thinking, esp. in light of the thread on homosexuals... Do you think it's true? Do we need to change and become more progressive as a society? Is the Western model, say, of family life necessarily the best one? I disagree with the "ignorant" part and I don't think the majority of Russians are racist. I have met individuals who are. I was once dating a guy who saw fit to ask me on the third date about whether I could marry a "coloured" ("цветной") man. I was really shocked at this. Digging deeper I learned that he didn't have a very high opinion about people with darker skin. I was young, green, and naive and didn't know that racism still existed. I'd just read "To Kill a Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee so the mere fact that anyone should have such ideas was very strange -- like, what age are you living in, man? He wasn't exactly Russian by descent, as a matter of fact, but there are enough Russian jerks as well, so......no amount of oil and gas can fix Russia's problems. The oligarchy will become richer, not the people en masse... the nation is at large racist, anti-gay, and anti what not. For the most part it is an ignorant, superstitious, ultra-conservative nation.
I do think that such individuals are rare, though. I was reading comments on the film "Slumdog Millionaire" a few days ago and the majority were very favourable except for one who said something along the lines "не хочу смотреть кино про чурок" -- what a disgusting word, that.
I have now become quite an Indophile (yes, yes, I know, у кого, что болит...) and the thing that strikes me is that they seem to have very conservative views in marriage, for example. But to me, it's a good thing -- marriage and family are considered a sacred thing there and people aren't in a hurry to get a divorce every time a little disagreement comes up. So in this respect, I think India shouldn't lose its traditions and identity. The castes, on the other hand, are def. a thing to be shed... Well, what about Russia?