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Россия и Россияне: модуль 7

Turning back to nature for relaxation is very common with the majority of Russians. They go to the countryside and simply wander through the high grass or woods, or lie by a riverbank. But the Russian outdoor hobby par excellence -one that always bemuses Westerns — is mushroom — picking. In the fall, it approaches a national craze. So numerous are the varieties of mushrooms in the Russian woods that it takes a practiced eye to distinguish poisonous from the nonpoisonous mushrooms. For some Russians it is like a sport. But the real point of mushroom-hunting for most people is to escape into the country, to stroll, to get away from it all. Russians have a passion for their countryside. City people, like American urbanites, revel in roughing it at some rented peasant cabin….

The response to La Scala was no accident, for Russians are like Italians in their love of strong emotions and undiluted heroics. In spirit, they are the most northern of Latin peoples. » We have always felt very close to Spain,» a literary critic once mused. «Not just because of the Spanish Civil War, but we have felt a kinship for the Spanish. They are a noble people. Spain is a country of chivalry and romance. We like Don Quixote very much.» And it is true — Quixote could be a Russian hero.

H. Smith in his other book. The New Russians, writes about his encounters in Russia that illustrate an endearing quality of the Russians — their «extraordinarily warm hospitality, their love of bestowing gifts on each other and on people whom they choose to befriend, especially foreign visitors.» He writes :

«I have often encountered this touching generosity. For example, one night when my wife, Susan, and I were leaving Minsk on a late train for Moscow, two new Soviet acquaintances surprised us by showing up at the station to say good-bye. One arrived with a huge bouquet of flowers for Susan — they must have cost her more than a day’s pay. The other presented Susan with a book of Byelorussian recipes, now out of print and a rare treasure, which probably came from her own library. . . . Often, the poorer a person’s circumstances, the more generous his or her instincts. . . To American travelers who have found Russians on the streets to be brusque and impersonal, who have found Soviet officials cold and rigid, and Soviet waiters exasperating in their imperious and surly indifference, this generous side of the Russian character is made up of both coldness and warmth. Over the years, I have found Russians generally to be a warm and sentimental people, more like the Irish or the Italians than like the Baltic peoples-Estonians, Lithuanians, and Latvians — is that they fmd them too cool and reserved, too self — contained, too Nordic. Russians are more emotional, more likely to strike deep friendships, less superficially gregarious. They make great sacrifices for those within their trusted circle, and they expect real sacrifices in return. Their willingness, indeed their eagerness, to engage at a personal level makes private life in Russia both enormously rich and incredibly entangling . Close emotional bonds are part of Russia’s enchantment and also its complexity.»

Hedrick Smith writes,»Their generosity can be instinctive, impulsive, unthinking, like their love of country. I knew of a couple sent off to Cuba on a government assignment for two years and another family -who were already impossibly jammed into a small two-room apartment, immediately offered to Hedrick Smith writes,» But for a long time I found the open countryside a disappointment. Instead of offering dramatic scenery, Russia is a vast flatland, stretching beyond every horizon to fill a continent, like the open, limitless prairie of Kansas. It lacks the breathtaking vistas of Switzerland, the picturesque hills of Bavaria, or the hedgerows and stone walls that give the English countryside its charm. Russia is plainer, more rambling, wilder, undisciplined.

And let’s come back to Hedrick Smith’s The Russians again,» I love the well-tended English garden,» a Russian walking companion remarked to me as we passed into a private enclosure outside Moscow one day, «but the Russian garden does something for my soul.This puzzled me: Here, behind the green fence was a Russian garden, wild and uncombed. I would not have called it a garden at all; it was just a fenced-in chunk of woodland. Shrubs, trees, grasses grew freely in no pattern, shaped by no hand. And then I realized that this was precisely its appeal to the Russian soul. In its rambling, wild, deliciously undisciplined disarray, it provided release from their over-tended, over-crowded, over- supervised lives. Russians need to break the bonds, burst the limits, spiritually take off their shoes and run barefoot — and they do that in their countryside.»

The Russian character can be also defined as a character of caution , conservatism and pessimism, order and disorder, and extremes and contradictions.

Rudyard Kipling remarked,» The Russian is a delightful person till he gets stubborn. As an oriental he is charming. It is only when he insists that he is the most easterly of western people instead of the most westerly of easterns that he becomes a racial anomaly and extremely difficult to handle. The host never knows which side of his nature is going to turn up next.»

According to Nikolai Berdyaev, the Russian philosopher, » The interests of distribution and making everybody equal always predominated over those of production and creativity in the minds and emotions of the Russian intelligentsia.» Americans are raised on the success ethic — work hard, get ahead, be successful in whatever you do. The success ethic, however, is alien to Russians who believe that it may be morally wrong to get ahead. Russians are likely to resent fellow Russians who «succeed». While there is individualism in many Russians, the entrepreneurial spirit of the businessman and independent farmer runs counter to Russian idea of equality. Most Russians, it is often said, would rather bring other people down to their level than try to rise higher, a mentality known as uravnilovka ( leveling). Public resentment is directed against those who have prospered under the economic reforms.

Опубликовано 22.06.2022 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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