Essay Written In Russian

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Stephen le Fleming is a Lecturer at the University of Durham.

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Stereotypes of the Russian Character Essays

1301 Words6 Pages

Stereotypes of the Russian Character

Much has been said and written about the Russian character. Traditionally the Russians have been known as industrious, tough, suspicious and brave. Russian soul is regarded by foreigners as the mix of a drunken poor writer and a furious brown bear. These stereotyped characteristics have been noted by observers from all over the world. There are experimental ways of investigating stereotypes. One of the most obvious is to ask a group of people what traits characterize some nation. Results of such studies on the whole agree fairly well with what might have been expected; there is even considerable agreement between different people in any one nation regarding…show more content…

The Russians are long-suffering but not exactly placid. They have a saying: "It takes us a long time to saddle up, but once we are up, we go like stink."

Russian mentality is not based on common sense. Their thinking is not orderly, logical. In Western culture emotion is considered to be on a lower level than reason. In Russia the situation is quite different. It is bad to be rational, to be smart, clever, intelligent and so on. And to be emotional, warm, lovable and spiritual (in the full meaning of that word) - that is good.

What they admire is a spontaneous gesture. They are generous to a fault. What is more, an endearing quality of the Russians is their extraordinarily warm hospitality, their love of bestowing gifts on each other and on people whom they choose to befriend. To foreign travellers who have found Russians in the street to be brusque and impersonal, who remember Soviet officials to be cold and rigid and Soviet waiters exasperating in their imperious and surly indifference, this side of the Russian character often comes as a surprise.

However, the Russian character is made up of both coldness and warmth. Although Russians are justly known for their friendliness within a trusted circle, and for their hospitality toward guests, they often show a churlish spite toward people outside their circle.

While the kind-hearted impulses of Russians make private

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