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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 find 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.
Hedrick Smith writes,» The Chinese are known as a nation of traders and businessmen, but I learned firsthand that the Russians had little entrepreneurial know-how.  Underground centers of illicit private enterprise were in the non-Russian republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan, or in the more Western-oriented Baltic regions of Latvia or Lithuania. In places like Moscow or Leningrad, Jews or transplanted Georgians or Armenians showed more of a knack for commerce than most Russians did. The vast majority of Soviet people expected the state to take care of them — especially of their economic needs,
however poorly — and to tell them what to do. For despite its revolutionary conceits, the Soviet Union was a profoundly conservative society. Most Russians were not driven by Western appetites for the new and trendy; they were held back by the dual weights of inertia and dogma.»
The slower you go, the further you’ll get.( Russian proverb)   Russians are cautious and conservative defenders of the status quo. They value stability, security, social order, and predictability, and try to avoid risk. The tried and tested is preferred over the new and unknown. Americans, a nation of risk takers, will have their patience tested by Russian caution. Since risk is the quintessence of a market economy, the latter is unlikely to succeed fast in Russia.
Russian pessimism contrasts with American innocence and optimism. Americans expect things to go well and become upset when they do not. Russians expect things to go poorly and have learned to live with misfortune. Americans are taught to «keep smiling», a trait that to Russians appears naive and even suspect. A Russian joke describes a pessimist as a realistic optimist. When asked how things are, a Russian is likely to reply «normalno» (normal), which might be translated as «not too bad». Translator Richard Lourie goes further describing «normalno» as » an ironic word, containing all the pain that came before and all the hope of what might yet come to pass. Russian pessimism can also be infectious, and Americans who have worked with them for many years are vulnerable to the virus.  Llewellyn Thompson, twice American ambassador to Moscow, was asked on his retirement to name his greatest accomplishment. » That I didn’t make things any worse», replied the veteran diplomat.
When Yale Richmond asked one a Russian professor to explain the grounds for his pessimism, the latter told him,» Our main concern, that which determines all our actions and feelings, is «strakh» (fear). The world is dangerous, and we must be careful.»  Less in control of their lives than Americans, Russians feel caught in the big sweeps of history where the individual does not count. For Americans, history is a school subject, a black-and-white newsreel; for Russians it is a tank on their street, a search of their apartment by strangers with power. In Russia nearly every life has been touched directly by the great historical spasm of revolution, war and terror.
Germans are known for «ordnung»(order), and Russians for «besporyadok» (disorder). As the Marquis de Custine saw it in 1839, » Every thing is here done by fits and starts, or with exceptions — a capricious system, which too often accords with the irregulated minds of the people…» Eighty-five years later, Lenin expressed a similar view, «It is simply the usual Russian intellectual inability to do practical things — inefficiency and laziness. First they bustle around, do something, and then think about it, and when nothing comes of it, they run to complain…»
«Contradictions is… the essence of Russia», says George Kennan, American diplomat and historian, «Long laziness and sudden fits of energy, exaggerated cruelty and exaggerated kindness, wealth and squalor, violent xenophobia and uncontrollable yearning for contact with the foreign world, simultaneous love and hate for the same objects. . . The Russian does not reject these contradictions. He has learned to live with them, and in them. To him, they are the spice of life.»
Yale Richmond, American journalist:
«Russians have a reputation for extremes . When emotions are displayed, they are spontaneous and strong. Russian hospitality can be overwhelming, friendship all encompassing, compassion deep, loyalty long lasting, drinking heavy, celebrations boisterous, obsession with security paranoid, and violence vicious. With Russians, it is often all or nothing. Halfway measures are simply not sufficient.»
Russian extremes and contradictions have also been described by Yevgeny Yevtushenko,» I am thus and not thus. I am industrious and lazy, determined and shiftless. I am. . . shy and impudent, wicked and good; in me is a mixture of everything from the west to the east…»
Big is beautiful!  «Sire, every thing is done on a large scale in this country- every thing is colossal.» So spoke the Marquis de Custine, addressing Tsar Nicholas in Petersburg in 1839. Modern-day travelers to Russia will also encounter colossal sights. At Moscow’s Kremlin, the guides point to the Tsar Cannon cast in 1586. Nearby is the Tsar Bell, the highest in the world. Soviet leaders continued this «colossalism». The Palace of Soviets, a Stalin project of the 1930s, was to have been the tallest building in the world, dwarfing the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.
Russians are impressed with size and numbers, and much that they do is on a grand scale. This is not unusual for such a vast country. Russians think and act big, and they do not do things in a half-hearted way. Unfortunately, Russia’s grandiose plans very often are not realized. The Tsar Bell was too heavy and was neither hung nor rung. The Tsar Cannon was too big to fire. The Palace of Soviets was abandoned after the foundation proved incapable of supporting the structure, and the site was occupied by an outdoor swimming pool — one of the largest in Europe, of course.  But before constructing the foundation for the Palace, Josef Stalin ordered the distinction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior that was on that site. The Cathedral was originally erected to commemorate Russia’s defeat of Napoleon’s invading army in 1812. But today there is no swimming pool on that site.  More than 2,500 workers are laboring in shifts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to rebuild what was once the largest church in the Russian empire. The cathedral illustrates the confusion surrounding Russia’s identity.   Some see the church as a rebirth of the Russian soul. Others view the project as a symbol of state power. Still others consider it a waste of money in a country suffering economic hardship. There is one point of consensus: Russians agree that the cathedral is going up at a historical juncture for their country.
People have tried to understand this «enigmatic» country — RUSSIA. The early visitors, ignorant of the language and history and condescending toward customs which seemed to them unworthy of respect, were appalled by much of what they saw and found little good to say about Russia. Russian music seemed strange — completely exotic, with «no beauty in it». The Orthodox religion appeared to be nothing but idolatry and superstition. As with many other Western visitors who followed them, they were so totally confidant of the superiority of their own culture that they dismissed Russia as a «rude and barbarous kingdom,» wreathed in darkness and ignorance, neither civilized nor part Western family of nations.
Understanding little of Russian traditions, it was a European stereotype to refer the Russians as «barbarians», connoting at the same time something both glamorous and backward. Imbued with this idee fixe, many Westerns came to Russia and, like the Marquis de Custine, saw nothing there but the reflection of their own opinions.
But there were other more discerning foreigners who perceived the special qualities of the Russian people. The sensitive Madame de Stael, who passed through Russia in 1812, contradicted the prevailing opinion of her time when she wrote: «I saw nothing barbarous about these people.  On the contrary their    forms have something elegant and gentle which one does not find anywhere  else. . .    She spoke of the courtesy of the Russian people, their love of song,   their courage and endurance: «The character of this people is that they fear neither fatigue nor physical suffering; there is both patience and activity in this     nation, gaiety and melancholy. One sees the most striking contrasts united in them and this presages great things, for ordinarily it is only superior beings who possess opposing qualities; masses are, for the most part, gray.»
Observant foreigners remarked that appearances were more deceiving in Russia than anywhere else; a useful thing to remember even today. Those who took the trouble to look beyond the rough surface and speak to the Russian in his native language invariably found that the most striking thing about the simple Russian was his mildness and good nature (it is striking to note the great difference in the accounts of travelers who know the Russian language and those who do not; this knowledge seems to have made such a marked difference in their perception of the country that, in some cases, it makes one wonder if the travelers were visiting the same country ).
The best way to get to know any country and its people — to come to the country and experience its culture, traditions and the way of life of its people inside. One thing is worth remembering when you are going to Russia — she opens her soul, her strength, elegance and rich beauty only if you come there with open heart and mind , if first you expect to see the beauty but not the ugliness.
And when you get acquainted with the RUSSIANS, you will find them pleasant to deal with and all Russians dogs to be very much like their masters: their tails up, they would waddle with an independent grin and look proud and pleased to be RUSSIANS…

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 find 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.Hedrick Smith writes,» The Chinese are known as a nation of traders and businessmen, but I learned firsthand that the Russians had little entrepreneurial know-how.  Underground centers of illicit private enterprise were in the non-Russian republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan, or in the more Western-oriented Baltic regions of Latvia or Lithuania. In places like Moscow or Leningrad, Jews or transplanted Georgians or Armenians showed more of a knack for commerce than most Russians did. The vast majority of Soviet people expected the state to take care of them — especially of their economic needs,however poorly — and to tell them what to do. For despite its revolutionary conceits, the Soviet Union was a profoundly conservative society. Most Russians were not driven by Western appetites for the new and trendy; they were held back by the dual weights of inertia and dogma.»The slower you go, the further you’ll get.( Russian proverb)   Russians are cautious and conservative defenders of the status quo. They value stability, security, social order, and predictability, and try to avoid risk. The tried and tested is preferred over the new and unknown. Americans, a nation of risk takers, will have their patience tested by Russian caution. Since risk is the quintessence of a market economy, the latter is unlikely to succeed fast in Russia.Russian pessimism contrasts with American innocence and optimism. Americans expect things to go well and become upset when they do not. Russians expect things to go poorly and have learned to live with misfortune. Americans are taught to «keep smiling», a trait that to Russians appears naive and even suspect. A Russian joke describes a pessimist as a realistic optimist. When asked how things are, a Russian is likely to reply «normalno» (normal), which might be translated as «not too bad». Translator Richard Lourie goes further describing «normalno» as » an ironic word, containing all the pain that came before and all the hope of what might yet come to pass. Russian pessimism can also be infectious, and Americans who have worked with them for many years are vulnerable to the virus.  Llewellyn Thompson, twice American ambassador to Moscow, was asked on his retirement to name his greatest accomplishment. » That I didn’t make things any worse», replied the veteran diplomat.When Yale Richmond asked one a Russian professor to explain the grounds for his pessimism, the latter told him,» Our main concern, that which determines all our actions and feelings, is «strakh» (fear). The world is dangerous, and we must be careful.»  Less in control of their lives than Americans, Russians feel caught in the big sweeps of history where the individual does not count. For Americans, history is a school subject, a black-and-white newsreel; for Russians it is a tank on their street, a search of their apartment by strangers with power. In Russia nearly every life has been touched directly by the great historical spasm of revolution, war and terror.Germans are known for «ordnung»(order), and Russians for «besporyadok» (disorder). As the Marquis de Custine saw it in 1839, » Every thing is here done by fits and starts, or with exceptions — a capricious system, which too often ac

cords with the irregulated minds of the people…» Eighty-five years later, Lenin expressed a similar view, «It is simply the usual Russian intellectual inability to do practical things — inefficiency and laziness. First they bustle around, do something, and then think about it, and when nothing comes of it, they run to complain…»»Contradictions is… the essence of Russia», says George Kennan, American diplomat and historian, «Long laziness and sudden fits of energy, exaggerated cruelty and exaggerated kindness, wealth and squalor, violent xenophobia and uncontrollable yearning for contact with the foreign world, simultaneous love and hate for the same objects. . . The Russian does not reject these contradictions. He has learned to live with them, and in them. To him, they are the spice of life.»Yale Richmond, American journalist:»Russians have a reputation for extremes . When emotions are displayed, they are spontaneous and strong. Russian hospitality can be overwhelming, friendship all encompassing, compassion deep, loyalty long lasting, drinking heavy, celebrations boisterous, obsession with security paranoid, and violence vicious. With Russians, it is often all or nothing. Halfway measures are simply not sufficient.»Russian extremes and contradictions have also been described by Yevgeny Yevtushenko,» I am thus and not thus. I am industrious and lazy, determined and shiftless. I am. . . shy and impudent, wicked and good; in me is a mixture of everything from the west to the east…»Big is beautiful!  «Sire, every thing is done on a large scale in this country- every thing is colossal.» So spoke the Marquis de Custine, addressing Tsar Nicholas in Petersburg in 1839. Modern-day travelers to Russia will also encounter colossal sights. At Moscow’s Kremlin, the guides point to the Tsar Cannon cast in 1586. Nearby is the Tsar Bell, the highest in the world. Soviet leaders continued this «colossalism». The Palace of Soviets, a Stalin project of the 1930s, was to have been the tallest building in the world, dwarfing the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.Russians are impressed with size and numbers, and much that they do is on a grand scale. This is not unusual for such a vast country. Russians think and act big, and they do not do things in a half-hearted way. Unfortunately, Russia’s grandiose plans very often are not realized. The Tsar Bell was too heavy and was neither hung nor rung. The Tsar Cannon was too big to fire. The Palace of Soviets was abandoned after the foundation proved incapable of supporting the structure, and the site was occupied by an outdoor swimming pool — one of the largest in Europe, of course.  But before constructing the foundation for the Palace, Josef Stalin ordered the distinction of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior that was on that site. The Cathedral was originally erected to commemorate Russia’s defeat of Napoleon’s invading army in 1812. But today there is no swimming pool on that site.  More than 2,500 workers are laboring in shifts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to rebuild what was once the largest church in the Russian empire. The cathedral illustrates the confusion surrounding Russia’s identity.   Some see the church as a rebirth of the Russian soul. Others view the project as a symbol of state power. Still others consider it a waste of money in a country suffering economic hardship. There is one point of consensus: Russians agree that the cathedral is going up at a historical juncture for their country.People have tried to understand this «enigmatic» country — RUSSIA. The early visitors, ignorant of the language and history and condescending toward customs which seemed to them unworthy of respect, were appalled by much of what they saw and found little good to say about Russia. Russian music seemed strange — completely exotic, with «no beauty in it». The Orthodox religion appeared to be nothing but idolatry and superstition. As with many other Western visitors who followed them, they were so totally confidant of the superiority of their own culture that they dismissed Russia as a «rude and barbarous kingdom,» wreathed in darkness and ignorance, neither civilized nor part Western family of nations.Understanding little of Russian traditions, it was a European stereotype to refer the Russians as «barbarians», connoting at the same time something both glamorous and backward. Imbued with this idee fixe, many Westerns came to Russia and, like the Marquis de Custine, saw nothing there but the reflection of their own opinions.But there were other more discerning foreigners who perceived the special qualities of the Russian people. The sensitive Madame de Stael, who passed through Russia in 1812, contradicted the prevailing opinion of her time when she wrote: «I saw nothing barbarous about these people.  On the contrary their    forms have something elegant and gentle which one does not find anywhere  else. . .    She spoke of the courtesy of the Russian people, their love of song,   their courage and endurance: «The character of this people is that they fear neither fatigue nor physical suffering; there is both patience and activity in this     nation, gaiety and melancholy. One sees the most striking contrasts united in them and this presages great things, for ordinarily it is only superior beings who possess opposing qualities; masses are, for the most part, gray.»Observant foreigners remarked that appearances were more deceiving in Russia than anywhere else; a useful thing to remember even today. Those who took the trouble to look beyond the rough surface and speak to the Russian in his native language invariably found that the most striking thing about the simple Russian was his mildness and good nature (it is striking to note the great difference in the accounts of travelers who know the Russian language and those who do not; this knowledge seems to have made such a marked difference in their perception of the country that, in some cases, it makes one wonder if the travelers were visiting the same country ).The best way to get to know any country and its people — to come to the country and experience its culture, traditions and the way of life of its people inside. One thing is worth remembering when you are going to Russia — she opens her soul, her strength, elegance and rich beauty only if you come there with open heart and mind , if first you expect to see the beauty but not the ugliness.And when you get acquainted with the RUSSIANS, you will find them pleasant to deal with and all Russians dogs to be very much like their masters: their tails up, they would waddle with an independent grin and look proud and pleased to be RUSSIANS…


Опубликовано 10.09.2012 в категории Сценарий уроков |
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