What the Russians Say About Us

Here are excerpts from  a very interesting article; you can read the entire piece here, at The New York Times:

What do Americans not understand about Russia? On the eve of President Obama’s arrival in Moscow, The New York Times asked readers of its Russian-language blog at community.livejournal.com/nytimesinmoscow.

Here are excerpts from their responses, as translated by The Times’s Moscow bureau, each introduced by the user’s Web nickname. Some readers gave details about themselves, which were not independently confirmed.

SKABLYAN: The Russian character is founded on contradictions.

Inwardly, we understand that in the contemporary world we have not much to be proud of. Therefore, we seek moments of greatness in our history and protect them reverently. The very same can be said of the Soviet Union.

The facts show that during the U.S.S.R., the standard of living of the average citizen was, to put it lightly, low.

However, paradoxically, the same U.S.S.R. was one of the poles of international politics, and therefore we can’t throw out that heritage and call that era a black spot in our nation’s history. Denis, 27, Moscow.

TIKI2TAVI: In Russia, familial and friendly connections are stronger, mistrust of authority is stronger and we value work less.

In practice, this means that we take loans from our friends and relatives more often than from the bank, we go to them instead of the psychoanalyst, we deal with a drunk neighbor without calling the police, and many go on livejournal.com while at work. Continue reading