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Россия и Россияне: модуль 4

Another most essential thing is that Russians think of themselves as members of community rather than as individuals. The communal spirit helps to explain many of their characteristics — behavior in crowds, for example. Physical contact with complete strangers, aruuhema to Americans, as Yale Richmond calls it, does not bother Russians. In crowds, they touch, push, shove, and even use elbows without hard feelings. Physical contact by Russians — touching another person — is a sign that things are going well, remarks Yale Richmond, and a degree of rapport has been reached. The degree of physical contact will indicate how well things are going. Placing a hand on another person’s arm, for example, or embracing someone are good signs. Facial expression are also clues to behavior. Americans as well as other foreigners, are taught to open conversations with smiles and to keep smiling. Russians tend to start out with grim faces, but when they do smile, it reflects relaxation and progress in developing a good relationship. Winks and nods are also good signs. If a stony look continues though, you are not getting through, warns Yale Richmond, and you are in trouble.

Russia is run on the basis of personal connections. In the workplace and in the private life, Russians depend on persons they know, friends who owe them favors, former classmates, and others whom they trust. The bureaucracy is not expected to respond equitably to a citizen’s request. Instead, Russians will call friends and ask for their help. Precisely because their public lives are still supervised and because sometimes they cannot afford to be very open and candid with most people, Russians invest their friendships with enormous importance. Many of them , in cities at least, are only- children whose closest friends come to take the place of missing brothers and sisters. They will visit with each other almost daily, like members of the family. Their social circles are usually narrower than those of Westerns, especially Americans who put such great stock ‘in popularity, but relations between Russians are usually more intense, more demanding, more enduring and often more rewarding.

There is an impulsive, reckless, almost sophomoric abandon in the way Russians hurl themselves into the passions of friendship. Suzanne Massie, a talented, emotional writer who is Swiss by birth but Russian by nature understood instinctively that quality of the Russian character,»With my friends in Russia, I talked whole nights away and the talk was of the soul and of destiny. It is impossible to describe the joy and sense of relief that I felt.»

Suzanne and her husband, Robert, were drawn to Russia in part because of their struggle to cope with hemophilia, the blood disease that afflicted their son, Bobby, and which had also afflicted Aleksei, the son of Nicholas II, the last Romanov tsar. In Russia, the Massies felt that it was the suffering that so many Russians had experienced in their own lives, their face to-face acquaintance with grief and hardship, that made them such «powerful and compassionate» friends. It is also true, as Suzanne observed, that Russians also feel free to pour out their woes to one another- unburdened by the very American compulsion to appear forever young, healthy, beautiful and strong, and to disguise the reality of sorrow, disappointment or pain. To Russians, suffering is a natural part of life, and therefore find it natural in their friendships to intrude on each other with their problems and to exult in that sharing.

«Russians skillfully read the signs of grief,» Suzanne Massie wrote in Journey, the story of her family’s anguish and triumph. » They know the yearning to release, some way, any way, the daily crushing weight. Do you want to feel the melancholy of loneliness, savor the sadness of life? They will drink with you thoughtfully, sorrowfully, respecting the need for weeping when there no answer, and no way to change the reality of existence. Do you, on the other hand, suddenly feel an unexplained surge of hope, a communion with the stars, with nature, until the meaning of life and suffering are blindingly joyous? They will walk with you through the night along the river, forgetting that there is a tomorrow with appointed work and duties, joining in the triumphant discovery, singing, laughing, forgetting time. Is the loneliness so great that you feel yourself floating away ever farther from reality?…They know that there are sorrows that never will be healed and sometimes no grounds for thinking that there will be a happy ending. And they also know how vital is simple, warm, human contact to give the strength to go on.

When friends fall sick, Russians will go to enormous trouble to help, regardless of inconvenience. Friendships are not only compensation for the cold impersonality of public life but a vital source of personal identity. Russians limit their relationships to a few, cherished people. Within the trusted circle, there is an intensity in Russian relationships that Westerners find both exhilarating and exhausting. When they finally open up, Russians are looking for a soul-brother not a mere conversational partner. They want someone to whom they can pour out their hearts, share their miseries, tell about family problems and to ease the pain of life.

For most Americans, anyone who is not an enemy seems to be a friend, claims Yale Richmond. An American can become acquainted with a complete stranger and in the next breath will describe that person as a friend. American friendships, however, are compartmentalized, often centering around colleagues in an office, neighbors in a residential community, or participants in recreational activities. This reflects the American reluctance to get too deeply involved with the personal problems of others. A friend in need may be a friend indeed, but an American is more likely to refer a needy friend to a professional for help rather than become involved in the friend’s personal troubles.

Опубликовано 9.04.2022 в категории Сценарий уроков |
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Щукина Надежда Михайловна
учитель английского языка, зав. кафедрой ИЯ, Заслуженный учитель РХ, МОУ “Гимназия”, г.Абакан, р. Хакасия.


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