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Русская душа: модуль 3

«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.
Not so with Russians for whom friendship is all encompassing and
connotes a special relationship. Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, when asked about  the difference between Russian and American friendships, replied, «In Russia, because the society has been so closed, you’re sharing your insides with your friends.   Your views on society. Political points of view. It’s a small circle of people whom you trust. And you get so attached. Talking with friends becomes your second nature. A need. Like, at 4 o’clock a.m. without a phone call your friend can come to your house, and you’re up and putting the teapot on. That kind of friendship.»
In their relations with relatives and friends, Russians are «warm-outpouring.» To illustrate this statement let’s turn back again to H. Smith’s book The Russians . He writes that through an embassy friend they arranged to have the film» Doctor Zhivago» shown to the family of Pasternak (the author of the book, the Nobel Prize winner).
«What stuck in my mind was the moment when everyone, foreigners and Russians alike, broke out laughing at the movie’s portrayal of the meek, milquetoast welcome given by young Zhivago and his step-parents to his step-sister returning to Moscow by train from Paris.  It was abrupt and cool, a quick, flat, unemotional Western peck on the cheek and a handshake, obviously directed and acted by people unaware of the effusive, emotional outpouring that occurs when Russians greet or part at a railroad station. They immerse each other in endless hugs, embraces, warm kisses on both cheeks, three times, not just kissing in the air for show, but strong, firm kisses, often on the lips, and not only between men and women, but man- to- man as well. Westerns used to discount this as an idiosyncrasy of Nikita Khrushchev with his famous bearhugs of Fidel Castro in fatigues and beard. But it is the Russian way. Russians relish the joy of reunion with gusto and they linger over the anguish of parting as if there were no onlookers and it were a private occasion. So tame and out of character was the movie version that night the Russians were still chortling about it after the movie ended. Indeed, all through the movie, except for Zhivago and Lara, the characters did not sugar their conversations with those affectionate little mutterings and diminutives which families, friends or even close neighbors lavish upon each other unthinkingly. These pretty verbal intimacies are one of the pleasant features of close
relationships among Russians that foreigners often fail to perceive amidst the general gruffhess.»
The lifestyle in Russian homes is natural and unvarnished. Hedrick Smith writes,» I found this one of the most attractive qualities of Russian life, and it is of a piece with the general unpretentiousness of their private lives. Russians are troubled much less than Americans, for example, by compulsive worrying about appearances, keeping up with the Joneses, being brightly scrubbed, having a well-deodorized body, perfumed breath, and a constant fresh look».
Russians do enjoy receiving guests. As Morath and Miller put it, » There is still a homeliness about many Russians that has the scent of the country in it, a capacity for welcoming strangers with open, unabashed curiosity, a willingness to show feeling, and above all a carelessness about the passing of time. They would lavish all the food they have on the table. The hosts eat much themselves at the party and expect their guests to do the same. If they noticed that the guest(s) did not taste one of the dishes they would start coaxing him to try it, praising this or other dishes. And they would turn a deaf ear to any excuses of being full or anything.»
Yale Richmond claims that there is no better way to get to know Russians than over food and drink or merely sitting around a kitchen table, sipping tea. He quotes Stites who writes,» The secret of social life in Russia is conviviality around table, drinking, telling jokes, laughing.  When you get to that point, the battle is half won.»  Friends and relatives may drop in unexpectedly and join the table.  Spirits fill flow and talk, according to Yale Richmond, will be lively and natural.
Conversation is a very important part of social life, and over food and drink Russians open up and reveal their innermost thoughts. Describing conversations with Russians at the table, British scholar, Geoffrey Hosking, writes, «The exchange and exploration of ideas proceeds with utter spontaneity and at the same time concentration.   In my experience, the art of conversation is pursued in Moscow at a higher level than anywhere else in the world.»  And Yale Richmond enlarges upon it,» Talk comes naturally to Russians, and every Russian seems to be born orator. Conversations begin easily between complete strangers, as well as between men and women.»

«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.Not so with Russians for whom friendship is all encompassing andconnotes a special relationship. Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, when asked about  the difference between Russian and American friendships, replied, «In Russia, because the society has been so closed, you’re sharing your insides with your friends.   Your views on society. Political points of view. It’s a small circle of people whom you trust. And you get so attached. Talking with friends becomes your second nature. A need. Like, at 4 o’clock a.m. without a phone call your friend can come to your house, and you’re up and putting the teapot on. That kind of friendship.»In their relations with relatives and friends, Russians are «warm-outpouring.» To illustrate this statement let’s turn back again to H. Smith’s book The Russians . He writes that through an embassy friend they arranged to have the film» Doctor Zhivago» shown to the family of Pasternak (the author of the book, the Nobel Prize winner).»What stuck in my mind was the moment when everyone, foreigners and Russians alike, broke out laughing at the movie’s portrayal of the meek, milquetoast welcome given by young Zhivago and his step-parents to his step-sister returning to Moscow by train from Paris.  It was abrupt and cool, a quick, flat, unemotional Western peck on the cheek and a handshake, obviously directed and acted by people unaware of the effusive, emotional outpouring that occurs when Russians greet or part at a railroad station. They immerse each other in endless hugs, embraces, warm kisses on both cheeks, three times, not just kissing in the air for show, but strong, firm kisses, often on the lips, and not only between men and women, but man- to- man as well. Westerns used to discount this as an idiosyncrasy of Nikita Khrushchev with his famous bearhugs of Fidel Castro in fatigues and beard. But it is the Russian way. Russians relish the joy of reunion with gusto and they linger over the anguish of parting as if there were no onlookers and it were a private occasion. So tame and out of character was the movie version that night the Russians were still chortling about it after the movie ended. Indeed, all through the movie, except for Zhivago and Lara, the characters did not sugar their conversations with those affectionate little mutterings and diminutives which families, friends or even close neighbors lavish upon each other unthinkingly. These pretty verbal intimacies are one of the pleasant features of closerelationships among Russians that foreigners often fail to perceive amidst the general gruffhess.»The lifestyle in Russian homes is natural and unvarnished. Hedrick Smith writes,» I found this one of the most attractive qualities of Russian life, and it is of a piece with the general unpretentiousness of their private lives. Russians are troubled much less than Americans, for example, by compulsive worrying about appearances, keeping up with the Joneses, being brightly scrubbed, having a well-deodorized body, perfumed breath, and a constant fresh look».Russians do enjoy receiving guests. As Morath and Miller put it, » There is still a homeliness about many Russians that has the scent of the country in it, a capacity for welcoming strangers with open, unabashed curiosity, a willingness to show feeling, and above all a carelessness about the passing of time. They would lavish all the food they have on the table. The hosts eat much themselves at the party and expect their guests to do the same. If they noticed that the guest(s) did not taste one of the dishes they would start coaxing him to try it, praising this or other dishes. And they would turn a deaf ear to any excuses of being full or anything.»Yale Richmond claims that there is no better way to get to know Russians than over food and drink or merely sitting around a kitchen table, sipping tea. He quotes Stites who writes,» The secret of social life in Russia is conviviality around table, drinking, telling jokes, laughing.  When you get to that point, the battle is half won.»  Friends and relatives may drop in unexpectedly and join the table.  Spirits fill flow and talk, according to Yale Richmond, will be lively and natural.Conversation is a very important part of social life, and over food and drink Russians open up and reveal their innermost thoughts. Describing conversations with Russians at the table, British scholar, Geoffrey Hosking, writes, «The exchange and exploration of ideas proceeds with utter spontaneity and at the same time concentration.   In my experience, the art of conversation is pursued in Moscow at a higher level than anywhere else in the world.»  And Yale Richmond enlarges upon it,» Talk comes naturally to Russians, and every Russian seems to be born orator. Conversations begin easily between complete strangers, as well as between men and women.»


Опубликовано 8.09.2012 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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