Young Russian women - Interviews with Russian people from Vladimir - November 2004

Author: Dimitry Paranyushkin (on 22 Dec 2009)
"You reside in your own separate houses. We live in blocks of flats. As a result of that, you are close to yourself, to your own small world and we are surrounded by community people..." - Elena from Vladimir
The questions below were sent to us by Way to Russia readers. Our writers go out on the streets and ask exact same questions to ordinary Russians they meet. Their answers are below. Want to ask a question? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

 

Elena: 27, a social worker from Vladimir
Elena from Vladimir

 
Question: "What do Russians think about Americans and other foreigners?"
A. Americans have extremely white teeth.

Question: "What can a man do to be liked by a Russian woman? What do Russian women respect and like the most?"
A. Be honest. Honest and generous. Russian women value generosity above all things. Plus, his readiness to provide for family. Most of our men are irresponsible. I would like to find the one who can care about me, who can respect me. I would like to have children. I want my man to be able to provide for them.

Question: "Is there a lot of racism in Russia? Do any black people live there?"
A. Yes, of course. I see it almost every day.

Question: "What is your hobby?"
A. I work full time. I study every evening at University. On Sundays I spend time with my nephew. You see, I don’t really have time for any hobby.

Question: "What do you think about Putin?"
A. I like him. I think, he will never do something that makes the whole nation feel ashamed, like Nikita Krustchov, for example.

Question: "Why do Russians often look very closed and sad and don't even smile in their passport's picture
A. I think we act that way because of our weather. Once we didn’t have sun for two months. Only grey days, can you imagine that? Weather makes us aggressive and depressed. Everybody is upset most of the time. Life is hard! But I also don’t believe in American mandatory smile. It is not the indication of openness at all.

Question: "Can a foreigner be ever accepted as a Russian? What would he/she need to do for it to happen?
A. I think it is possible. The foreigner should find a job in Russia, live on Russian salary, decline all support coming from America and socialize only with Russian friends!

Question : "what is the most popular food that you eat?"
A. I personally, don’t have any kind of “my favorite”. Sooner or later I am getting bored with everything..

Question : What do you think about the influence of the english lenguaje in the russian, especialy with the introdution of the occidental music and the internet?
A. I think the influence is very positive. It stimulates people to invest in their education and study foreing languages.

Question : "What can you say about president Bush?"
A. To me, he is not very intelligent. Despite his reelection, I still pretty sure that he is the worst American president.

Question: "Would you ever consider emigrating or moving to UK or any other country? If so what would be your reasons."
A. I never had this mania. I would like to go and work there for a couple of years in order to be able to buy an apartment for me. I live with my parents and my sister’s family. It is not always what I want.

Question: "Are you disgusted that there are some people in Russia such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky (currently in jail) that have been able to become billionaires in less then 10 years (since the demise of the CCCP) while the average Russian worker only earns about 100 USD per month? Especially since these people have made their money by "acquiring" formerly state owned (CCCP) industries."
A. I am very sad. Russia is a rich country but 90 percent of our population can be called beggars. Someone allowed it to happen, though…

 

 
Lena, 20, a student from Vladimir
Lena student from Vladimir Russia

  
Question: "What do Russians think about Americans and other foreigners?"
A. There are many differences. We have very deep personal relationships with our friends and relatives. You are scratching the surface. You reside in your own separate houses. We live in blocks of flats. As a result of that, you are close to yourself, to your own small world and we are surrounded by community people.

Question "What can a man do to be liked by a Russian woman?
A. He needs to understand her heart. Do something extraordinary while dating her.

Question: "What can a woman do to be liked by a Russian man?
What do Russian men respect and like the most?"
A. She needs to demonstrate her hopelessness.

Question: "Do you like to travel and see new places and cultures, and which country would you most like to visit if you could travel anywhere and why."
A. I want to go to Egypt. The idea makes me trembling with joy.

Question: "What is your hobby?"
A. I like to cook borsch. It’s a cabbage soup with beetroot.

Question: "Why do Russians often look very closed and sad and don't even smile in their passport's picture?"
A. Our president never smiles. We just want to support him, I guess. If you smile to someone it will be hard to get rid out of him!

Question: "If you could change one thing to make life better where you live at what would it be?"
A. Russia is too big. I’d like to reduce our territory. I think it will do some good to us. I think, that roots of our problems are in our big size


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Question : "Do you think life in Russia is very weird?"
A. It is not weird. Just boring and grey.

Question : "Are Russians okay with people from Finland and Sweden now? Long ago we had many wars..."
A. I respect all Europeans. They all belong to a higher culture.

Question : "Is there a lot of racism in Russia? Do any black people live there?"
A. I live in an international dorm. Two Africans were killed since last year.

 

 
Dina 21, aerobics instructor from Ivanovo
Dina - aerobics instructor from Ivanovo Russia

  
  
Question: "What do Russians think about Americans and other foreigners?"
A. They have totally different concept of comfort in everyday life.

Question: "What is Russia's future? What will Russian life be like in twenty years?"
A. In Moscow life, probably, is going to be better than now. As far as the rest of Russia is concerned, I think that things will be only getting worse.

Question: "What can a man do to be liked by a Russian woman? What do Russian women respect and like the most?"
A. He needs to do something sacrificial. Like give up a certain bad habit, for instance, to quit smoking.

Question: "Is there a lot of racism in Russia? Do any black people live there?"
A. Unfortunately, yes. People hate each other everywhere. Russia is not an exception.

Question: "Why are so many Russian women looking to marry a man from the west. Is this because of more money and a better life or is it that russian men do not treat russian women well?"
A. Yes, only because of more money. Many of the girls that I familiar with married an American man because of this reason. But you know what? They all, listen to me, all are very sorry for acting this way. Yesterday I received a letter from my class-mate. She cries in that letter. She says “I don’t need their comfort!”. She has found a Russian store in their town where she can buy Russian cartoons, movies and books and that store is her only bright spot in life.

Question: "What is your hobby?"
A. I like to saw, to do cross-stitching. I just love knitting!

Question: "What do you think about Putin?"
A. Definitely, he is much better than Eltsin… I don’t like politics!

Question: "What are the good and bad things about Russia?
A. We do everything sincerely. I mean we say what we think, we are not afraid to reveal what is in our souls. I like it. But I hate the lack of responsibility and order in Russian life-style.

Question: "Do you think that the US president is doing the right thing."
A. I want to congratulate him on being elected again, first. Since it happened, probably he is right in what he is doing. I take it this way.

Question : "Are you disgusted that there are some people in Russia such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky (currently in jail) that have been able to become billionaires in less then 10 years (since the demise of the CCCP) while the average Russian worker only earns about 100 USD per month? Especially since these people have made their money by "acquiring" formerly state owned (CCCP) industries."
A. I don’t feel like disgusted towards these people, no. I am young and happy. But they are guilty, anyway. People will never be able to buy an apartment if they are not bandits in Russia. I hate the fact that the janitor in a bank makes more money than a school teacher. My Mom is a school teacher, by the way…

Question : "What clothes are in style in Russia? Are Russian styles differnt from american styles?"
A. We wear jeans with high heels! Americans do not! And the choice of colors is very different also. We prefer grey and black.
In Russia, if a man is older than 50 he will never put on a yellow or red sweater. Old Americans seemed to be liking it.

 


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