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MathGirl
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09 Feb 2013, 10:35 pm

Got a tiny question here. Honest answers only, please.

I watched some films in my ASL class and there was one where students in an all-sign language school were talking about what they want to do after they graduate. One of them said that she wants to go to Russia as a rotary exchange student. Some people in my class giggled at that. I did not find it funny, considering that I'm Russian.

Okay, so Russia is not the best country to live in. I've never been particularly proud of my heritage. I tell that to some people and they ask me "why". And then people giggle when someone has an interest in Russia. Even though I'm not attached to Russia, it still irks me, considering that people might laugh at me, too, once they find out that I'm Russian. I don't even tell everyone my real name anymore. Things like this make me want to hide my background from others even more.

So why in the would someone laugh at Russia? Please tell me.


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Titangeek
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09 Feb 2013, 10:55 pm

I've always found it to be a very interesting country, not sure how it's funny though.


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jk1
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09 Feb 2013, 11:00 pm

This is just an opinion by someone who has no real knowledge of Russia.

I think people in general have rather negative ideas about Russia from the time of communism. I think we still tend to think it's a rather dangerous place in some ways. Even now it's not a very happy country - I hear there are some poor people there. Also the climate there is not the most friendly.

So someone who shows an interest in a country like that might be seen rather strange. I think that's the reason for the giggles.

That was just my opinion based on my little knowledge about Russia and on what you described. I find those people who giggled offensive. They must be ignorant people. I myself don't like it when people laugh or criticize my country for no good reason. There is no inherently better or worse country than others. No one should be ashamed of their heritage.



MathGirl
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09 Feb 2013, 11:11 pm

Well, it's over the communism part now. And its history IS very interesting, so I can see why some people would want to explore it. I agree that these people must be ignorant. I still don't think it's a reason to laugh. The communist regime is actually why Russia rivalled the States at some point in terms of its influence and its economy. No, it wasn't an entirely good thing, and it is a dengerous country to live in, but there is a reason why it has gone through what it has. It's by far not an inferior country. In fact, no country is an inferior country, really. Laughing about it shows disrespect for its people and its history and that makes me really upset.


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Rascal77s
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09 Feb 2013, 11:14 pm

MathGirl wrote:
Got a tiny question here. Honest answers only, please.

I watched some films in my ASL class and there was one where students in an all-sign language school were talking about what they want to do after they graduate. One of them said that she wants to go to Russia as a rotary exchange student. Some people in my class giggled at that. I did not find it funny, considering that I'm Russian.

Okay, so Russia is not the best country to live in. I've never been particularly proud of my heritage. I tell that to some people and they ask me "why". And then people giggle when someone has an interest in Russia. Even though I'm not attached to Russia, it still irks me, considering that people might laugh at me, too, once they find out that I'm Russian. I don't even tell everyone my real name anymore. Things like this make me want to hide my background from others even more.

So why in the would someone laugh at Russia? Please tell me.


I don't see anyone laughing about it in the US anymore, I didn't know it was an issue. Imagine growing up in the US as an immigrant from the USSR, with AS no less, during the Reagan era. I lost count of the fights I got into as a kid. I didn't start them (well most of them anyway) but I didn't take s**t from the other kids. I always got in trouble afterward because the adults all hated me too. I don't know what they're giggling at but it enrages me to hear that you're made to feel like you have to hide who you are. Be yourself Mathgirl, don't let these pieces of s**t diminish who you are. Ask them why it's funny and if the answer offends you let them know you are offended. You don't have to care about these people or what they think. You sure as hell shouldn't live with this anxiety.



IdahoRose
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09 Feb 2013, 11:39 pm

I don't know why those kids laughed, but it really was disrespectful of them (to say the least). As an American, I have always admired people from other countries, because I view other countries as being more cultured and exotic (for lack of a better term) than my own.

This incident (as well as the one that Rascal77s described) reminds me of a time in school when we were discussing our heritages. I said that most of my ancestors came from Germany (which they did), and everyone in the class started calling me names like "Aryan" and "Nazi" (doesn't help that I have blonde hair and blue eyes). For awhile, I felt ashamed of my heritage and felt guilty for the crimes that my ancestors might have committed during WWII.



BlueMax
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10 Feb 2013, 12:15 am

When people talk about going on an exchange, they typically hope for exciting, romantic, sunny, sexy places - not cold, dark, dreary Russia with its bears on unicycles. ;)

(No, I'm not saying that's how Russia is, but the first thing many people think of...)



Titangeek
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10 Feb 2013, 12:24 am

^If a friend of mine heard you say that, she would slap you upside the head :lol:


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BlackSabre7
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10 Feb 2013, 12:43 am

I am Russian, and bloody proud of my heritage.
Russia is fairly old and has a rich history and culture that is not shoved down everyone's throat like some cultures are. What you see about it is what you have been shown. America was their rival, so what was shown on the media was whatever they needed to make the public support their political goals.

I don't know much about politics, and I am not making a statement about who had the best government at the time or now. I am not referring to the politics when I talk about the culture. The communists killed my great grandmother's family when she was three, and my family suffered a lot because of that and everything else that followed over the generations after. My parents were born in China, then the communist government there also added to the pain. They eventually forced the Russians out. Thousands of Russians moved from China to countries all over the world after that - the US, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Australia, etc. I have relatives everywhere.
The CULTURE was protected and quite separate from the political changes. It is still the thread that keeps us connected.

I do not think American politics is any better that anyone else's. They are just the loudest at saying that it is. And if any other country shows pride in themselves, then they are accused of being full of propaganda. How do you think people are supposed to respond to that? Is there any wonder that many countries feel animosity toward the self congratulating Americans?
Let me clarify something. Although my husband hates Americans (he hates everyone, so don't take it too personally - a generally offensive person) I do not. I separate the people from the self-serving government, and actually feel sorry for the average citizen.

Let me predict something for you. Russia is going to get very popular over the next couple of decades. Why do I say this? Because you like your computers and cars. Civilization needs resources.
Britain used to be a world power, not it's not. America used to be very powerful, but those days are on the way out. If you spend a little time doing some homework, you will find that the power follows the resources. Britain has already mined most of theirs. American production is very much past it's peak. Russia has a barely begun with theirs. Siberia has a huge reserve of methane gas, there is a lot of oil and other stuff in Russia. I met a lot of Russians at the International Geological Convention held in Brisbane last year. Right now, Russia is struggling and people are unhappy. I know there a lot of problems. I also know this will change.

So you should learn a bit about your heritage and learn the language. Maybe you will be able to use it to your advantage one day. Anyone who laughs is obviously IGNORANT!! And I am sorry they have made you feel doubt about the value of your heritage. Rise above it my dear.



Dillogic
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10 Feb 2013, 12:48 am

They [as a society] went full retard for a very long time. And I do mean full retard. That's Nazi Germany full retard.



BlackSabre7
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10 Feb 2013, 1:03 am

Dillogic wrote:
They [as a society] went full retard for a very long time. And I do mean full retard. That's Nazi Germany full retard.


I know things were really bad there for a time, and they are really bad in a lot of places now. There is nothing that happened in Nazi Germany that could not have happened in any other country, given the right situation and circumstance. It was never a 'German' thing, it was a 'human' thing.
Germany also has a rich and beautiful culture that is quite separate from the political history. I hate that people should be made to feel shame because the two are tied together in the eyes of ignorant outsiders.



BlueMax
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10 Feb 2013, 1:15 am

I'd say the cold war is what really did 'em in! They spent so much money, effort and resources in trying to build as many nukes as the Americans (etc.) that they ruined the environment as bad as they did the economy - leading up to its ... "restructuring".

I agree with the other fella - there's a VERY good chance that the new Russia and its resources may well become the new world power... if a certain other faction doesn't succeed in taking over and drag almost everyone back to the bronze ages.



Dillogic
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10 Feb 2013, 2:14 am

BlackSabre7 wrote:
I know things were really bad there for a time, and they are really bad in a lot of places now.


That's why people suck when in groups (bigger the group, bigger the chances of suck), and all the well known countries out there are all guilty of atrocities.

Hence, they're all funny, in that sad and ironic sort of way.



LimitedSlip
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10 Feb 2013, 3:36 am

My best guess....probably video games like Call of Duty.



auntblabby
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10 Feb 2013, 4:15 am

on the subject of russia and funny, i remember reading a newspaper article circa 1983, about an ex-CIA operative named joe petak who was interviewed by the news tribune about russian humor, and he said [among other things] that they have [as a national character] a dry and dark sense of humor. some examples-

Vovochka is the Russian equivalent of Little Johnny. He interacts with his school teacher, Maria Ivanovna (shortened to Marivanna; a stereotypical teacher's name). "Vovochka" is a diminutive form of Vladimir, creating the "little boy" effect. His fellow students bear similarly diminutive names. This "little boy" name is used in contrast with Vovochka's wisecracking, adult, often obscene statements.
In biology class, the teacher draws a cucumber on the blackboard: "Children, could someone tell me what is this?"
Vovochka raises his hand: "It's a [penis], Marivanna!" The teacher bursts into tears and runs out.
In a minute the principal rushes in: "All right, what did you do now? Which one of you brought Maria Ivanovna to tears? And who the hell drew that [penis] on the blackboard?"
The teacher asks the class to produce a word that starts with the letter "A"; Vovochka happily raises his hand and says "@$$hole!"
The teacher, shocked, responds "For shame! There's no such word!"
"That's strange," says Vovochka thoughtfully, "the @$$hole exists, but the word doesn't!"

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes woke Watson up and said: "Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you see." Watson replied: "I see millions and millions of stars." Holmes said: "And what do you deduce from that?" Watson replied: "Well, if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like Earth out there. And if there are a few planets like Earth out there, there might also be life." And Holmes said: "Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent."

Drunk #1 is slowly walking, bracing himself against a fence and stumbling. He comes across Drunk #2, who is lying next to the fence. "What a disgrace! Lying around like a pig! I'm ashamed for you." "You just keep on walking, demagogue! We'll see what you're gonna do when you run out of fence!"