Английский язык. Урок-план «Russia and Russians» — часть 3

Английский язык. Урок-план «Russia and Russians» — часть 3






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  1. Английский язык. Урок-план «Russia and Russians» — часть 1

  2. Английский язык. Урок-план «Russia and Russians» — часть 2

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 m 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 ende

Lifestyle of Russians

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 of Russians

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 bom orator. Conversations begin easily between complete strangers, as well as between men and women.»

Other peculiar things in Russian people

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.

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