American Life, from a Russian Perspective

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by barbk, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    A Russian writer wrote a book about Americans (ordinary, suburban-type Americans) for the edification of Russians. I found the article about it fascinating. (Just like we don't think we have accents, how easy it is to think that the way we do something is normal, when to someone from a different culture it might look very strange indeed.)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/w...s-russians-close-up-of-american-minutiae.html

    Any Russian-speaking FSU'ers read it?
     
  2. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    I love the bit about the Wrigley's gum advertisements.
     
  3. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    I would like to read Tinami's review. :shuffle:
     
  4. Alixana

    Alixana who is on vacation!!

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    “You can’t suddenly show up at a friend’s house in the middle of the night with a bottle of vodka, to talk over your problems and seek support,”

    Well, you can, but be prepared for me to fall asleep on you! ;)
     
  5. Jimena

    Jimena Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to read that book.

    A lot of what he says are things that I can relate to, especially when you arrive to the US from a very close knit culture, which completely hinges on "family".
     
  6. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating article. I'd love to read the book too.
     
  7. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Me too.
     
  8. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    I would love to read this. I think it's importent for me to understand how my customs are seen by people outside my country.
     
  9. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Can't find it on Amazon for some reason.
     
  10. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    At least I would hope Russians, being from a country that size, would not have the issue some western Europeans do when they get here--not grasping the size of things. Of course New Englanders sometimes have the same problem (this is Michigan-you can drive six hours and over a major bridge and STILL be in the same state.)
     
  11. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I think that a lot of New Englanders are well aware of the differential of "size" for various states. After all, several of them border on New York, which isn't exactly miniscule (driving across on the thruway took quite a while, iirc). :shuffle:

    The NYT article didn't have any links to the book -- perhaps it's not available in the U.S. I'm assuming that it is written in Russian, not English, as well. I could be wrong about that, but if true, then that would greatly reduce its marketability in the U.S.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  12. FarFarAway

    FarFarAway Choice is an illusion

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    :D Even twelve hours ride won't take you out of the region where I live :) you will be just approaching it's borders.
     
  13. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many times he tried before he was able to take this as an established fact.

    :watch:
     
  14. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:

    America is so big and I've lived from one end to the other and people are so different depending on the region. I'm not sure one could generalize America without seeing the country/its people from end to end.
     
  15. taf2002

    taf2002 Texas slumlord

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    So when you visit the US you need to come to Texas so you'll feel right at home. Don't come in mid-summer though.
     
  16. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    This reminds me of a joke I heard when I was growing up.

    An Italian and a Texan happened to meet, and the Texan was describing how vast his state was.

    "In Texas," said the Texan proudly, "You can get on a train early in the morning and travel all day and still be in Texas!"

    "We have trains like that in Italy too," said the Italian, "but we don't brag about them." :p
     
  17. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    That's true, but we Americans do that all the time to others - as does everyone really. It's hard not to. Even if this view isn't complete, it's better than thinking that we all live like the folks they see from our TV shows.

    Some of the comments made me chuckle. The one about alcohol consumption, the one about how as immigrants come, there may be a shift into more grandparents taking care of the grandkids, but most especially, one about Russian men with American wives.
     
  18. Mayra

    Mayra Well-Known Member

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    Even then, I'm not sure you could generalize a country like the US. I was born and raised in Southern California. I still get culture shock every time I fly with the BF to visit his parents in Minnesota. Our families couldn't be more culturally different if they tried.

    America has such a diverse mix of culture and people that I don't think you can classify it as one thing or another. IMO