Interview with Someone From Another Culture

Food and Culture

A. is thirty-two and she claims to be Russian, although like numerous citizens of ex-Soviet Union she has mixed roots, Ukrainian, Chechen, Georgian and, certainly, pure Russian. She speaks three languages besides her native – English, Ukrainian and a bit Spanish. She is a representative of the generation that might be regarded as somehow unique because these people have happened to live in two different states, which are distinguished not geographically but mentally, politically, socially and – what is the most interesting- ideologically. On the one hand, she has some typical Russian features, which are widely known due to Dostoevsky and Tolstoy’s pieces of writing and Hollywood clichés. On the other hand, she is an embodiment of a new mode of contemporary Russians, who are more west-orientated than their predecessors.

In fact, A. asserts that her generation has been long confused as these people were to choose between their parents’ ideology and customs and the conditions of the new epoch. On the one hand, A. and her peers were brought up in the atmosphere of defending egalitarianism. On the other hand, they have happily become the adepts of new for just-born country situation of free market and economic independence.

They say, Russian are very proud of their state and history but never can stop scolding it (“Russia – Language, Customs, Culture and Etiquette”). As a matter of fact, A. is readily discusses her government and the situation of some absurd characterizing the state of economics and social life in her country but her proud of her co-citizens’ achievements is really great. Moreover, A. calls the acceptance of current circumstances and endless efforts of overcoming challenges “the national sport”. She seems to be proud of her being a part of a great nation and to be very upset and sometimes a bit ashamed of the same belonging simultaneously.

What is more, Russians are believed to be very religious people. Nevertheless, A. asserts that modern Russians follow traditions rather than do spiritual practice. She claims her peers to be the generation of atheists, although the vast majority of Russian children are baptized. However, her children are not christened and she claims to believe in macrocosm rather than in God.

Next interesting thing about A. is her typical pessimism. With the reference to US Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2012), “The unraveling of the Soviet state in its last decades and the physical and psychological traumas of transition during the 1990s resulted in a steady decline in the health of the Russian people”. A. agrees with this fact but she adds that the following decades was not that easy anyway. She points out that the consequences of USSR collapse are still rather influential and will be visible a while. Actually, she does not believe the situation is about to change for better.

A. notices that Russians do not like how they are shown in other countries’ literature and motion pictures. “We do not drink vodka instead of morning coffee and evening …
Posted by: Howard Maclaren

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