Author Topic: The Russian Soul  (Read 78212 times)

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Offline lilianna

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #120 on: April 06, 2011, 01:44:03 PM »

Russia. The beginning of the 19 th century.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEE4TYMhLvw

Alixz

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #121 on: April 07, 2011, 09:04:09 AM »
Is that video from a movie?  It is very beautiful.  Finely done.

Offline lilianna

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #122 on: April 07, 2011, 09:33:19 AM »
This is not film.This his clip. This song is in Russian favorite. And in Israel, people take when listening to this song.

Lyrics in English.

 How delightful evening in Russia,
 Love, champagne, sunsets, alleys,
 Ah, summer, red, and fun rides,
 How delightful evening in Russia.

 Balls, beautiful, lackeys, cadets,
 And Waltzes by Schubert, and crunch French bread,
 Love, champagne, sunsets, alleys,
 How delightful evening in Russia,

 How delightful evening in Russia,
 In the sunset glare of flames over the summer,
 And only the sky blue eyes of the poet
 How delightful evening in Russia,

 Let them all sleep, let her love of the game
 Well you my impulses and embrace
 On and this world will remember me
 How delightful evening in Russia,
 Let them all sleep, let her love of the game
 Well you my impulses and embrace
 On and this world will remember me
 How delightful evening in Russia ...

Offline lilianna

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #123 on: April 07, 2011, 09:57:23 AM »
To understand the Russian soul, you have to listen to Russian songs. Look at this clip. translation will not be. Everything will be clear without words.
http://rutube.ru/tracks/1717523.html?v=658c894f88f2725e8bc249c37dafd038

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #124 on: April 11, 2011, 05:08:59 PM »
It's very interesting for me, since in the past I have usually been a proponent of the notion of a "Russian soul," that there has recently been an article published in The Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology which contends that there is in reality no such thing. I have to admit that having read this article, I find it pretty convincing. Here is the abstract of this piece, which is entitled "Personality Profiles and the 'Russian Soul': Literary and Scholarly Views Evaluated," by Juri Aliik et al.:

"Many domestic and foreign observers have claimed that Russians have a unique constellation of personality traits that mirrors their distinctive historical and cultural experience. To examine the hypothesized uniqueness of Russian personality, members of the Russian Character and Personality Survey collected data from 39 samples in 33 administrative areas of the Russian Federation. Respondents (N = 7,065) identified an ethnically Russian adult or college-aged man or woman whom they knew well and rated the target using the Russian observer-rating version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. The mean personality profile of Russians was very similar to the international average based on 50 different countries, debunking the myth of a unique Russian soul.The small variations from world norms did not converge with depictions of Russian national character in fiction and the scholarly literature. New items intended to capture distinctive, emic aspects of Russian personality provided no new information beyond the familiar Big Five dimensions. Religion, ethnicity, and beliefs about the uniqueness of the Russian character and the malleability of personality traits had little effect on personality ratings. Perceptions of the Russian soul do not seem to be based on the personality traits of Russians."

Juri Aliik et al., Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, March 2011, v. 42, no. 3, pp. 372-389.
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Offline lilianna

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #125 on: April 11, 2011, 09:15:00 PM »
No one understood what the "Russian soul". Even we ourselves, are Russian. We are so born. We will always defend their homeland. Russian never give up and become accustomed to hardship.
As we wrote the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin "Here the Russian spirit, here Russ smells." Russian - is not a nationality. Russian - is the soul. Jack Nicholson in the past year, arrived in Moscow and then said: "I came for 3 days, stayed for a week and want to live here all my life." Perhaps he understood the Russian soul.


Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #126 on: April 17, 2011, 02:04:43 PM »
No one understood what the "Russian soul". Even we ourselves, are Russian. We are so born. We will always defend their homeland. Russian never give up and become accustomed to hardship.
As we wrote the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin "Here the Russian spirit, here Russ smells." Russian - is not a nationality. Russian - is the soul. Jack Nicholson in the past year, arrived in Moscow and then said: "I came for 3 days, stayed for a week and want to live here all my life." Perhaps he understood the Russian soul.

I appreciate your viewpoint, lilianna, although I disagree with it somewhat. It seems to me that when we discuss the "Russian soul" we are not so much discussing actual individual characteristics of Russians but something quite different, Russian national identity -- i.e., how a people perceives itself and bonds together in cultural, social, political, geographical and of course ethnic terms. Perhaps contrary to scholarly opinion (at least as I have interpreted it), ethnic Russians do have a strong sense of national identity, and conceive of themselves, not individually, but as a group and a country, as especially distinctive in terms of national characteristics. And, in turn, this is how we as outsiders, foreigners, perceive Russians, as your literature and music and other arts tell us we should perceive you.

Whether or not this perception is true in reality, on the individual level, is kind of beside the point, I guess. I mean, I don't honestly think that most Americans as a rule fit the stereotype of Americans: brash, friendly, candid, individualistic, skeptical of any and every kind of authority, impatient with any kind of official rigmarole. Although I suspect that most Americans would easily identify these traits as "typical" of our so-called national character and/or identity. In other words, this is how we like to look at ourselves as individual Americans, even if that self-image is completely false, objectively speaking.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 02:24:33 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Petr

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #127 on: April 18, 2011, 11:47:52 AM »
...identified an ethnically Russian adult or college-aged man or woman whom they knew well and rated the target using the Russian observer-rating version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory.

Dear Elizabeth:
I am curious what "the Russian observer-rating version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory" means and whether using survey subjects whom the surveyor "knew well" yields an objective result or tends to confirm built in bias.  I mean was this a double blind survey? What was the methodology used? As we all know poll results can be heavily influenced by the questions asked (just contrast a Democratic pollster's results with a Republican pollster's results on the same topics).

I don't doubt that Russians as members of the species Homo Sapiens share commmon characteristics with other citizens of the world but the implication of the excerpt is that one should discount national identity, shared cultural experience and history, ethnicity and other like factors which I think is too simplistic an analysis.  the results might fit a statistical model but often statistical models mirror their creators' inherent biases. 
   
Regards
Petr
Rumpo non plecto

Offline Nathalie

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #128 on: April 22, 2011, 03:57:53 PM »
Quote
Russia. The beginning of the 19 th century.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEE4TYMhLvw

Hi Lilianna,

Thanks for the music.
May I ask where is the videoclip from? Is it a movie?
Dites-moi, Vladimir Lvovich, si j'avais une amie ou une sœur plus jeune, et si vous appreniez qu’elle…enfin, supposons qu’elle vous aime…que feriez vous á cette nouvelle?

Alixz

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #129 on: April 23, 2011, 10:58:18 AM »
I don't think that Americans (citizens or illegals living in the US) ever see themselves as a "type".  Americans have become far too concerned with belonging to a "community" and not to the nation as a whole.

Everyone (as this may be the fault of the media) is now pigeon holed into a community.  Latino Community, African American Community, Gay and Lesbian Community, Asian American Community, etc. 

After every international disaster or insurrection we hear about the Muslim Community or the Jewish Community or the Haitian Community or the Japanese Community.

There is no single cohesiveness of the people of America any longer.  We have been divided (whether by choice or by media action) into groups who have no common ground and who now fear and despise each other.

The melting pot has tipped over and the contents were spilled a long time ago.  IMHO there is no American soul or American type (except maybe the "ugly American tourist" who desecrates the lands that they visit) that is recognized by the world.

When I have visited other countries, I have noticed that Americans are not respected as are the citizens of other countries who are also visitors.  Just open your mouth and speak American English and the facial expression and tone of the person changes.  When in Bermuda many years ago, my husband and I were treated indifferently by the staff of the Hamilton Princess until one night I asked about the bread pudding on the menu and mentioned that my mother was Canadian and wondered if the bread pudding might be like what she had always made at home.  The waiter perked up and said, "Your mother is Canadian?"  I said yes, and for the rest of the trip he was most helpful and went out of his way to be sure that we were well taken care of every night.

We are not working together to make America a pleasant place to live and work, but are arrogantly claiming our right to bring our cultures and our ancestor's customs into a "community" that expels everyone else.

Just walk down a street in any fair sized city and try to look into the faces of those you pass on the street.  Either they look nervously away or contemptuously at you as if waiting for a chance to attack.  There are no friendly smiles or relaxed body language.  All is held tightly and suspiciously away.

Americans are scared of each other and of everyone else in the world.  Children are no longer allowed to play outside at night.  People don't walk after dinner or visit next door neighbors to sit on the porch or deck and share a glass of lemonade or a beer.

Everyone is encased in their own little air conditioned house or car and each flies by the other at speeds in excess of 50 mph.  That doesn't make for a unified "soul" of the country.

Offline Petr

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #130 on: April 23, 2011, 12:55:42 PM »
Perhaps the following oft repeated joke might help illustrate that despite denials there are generally popularly recognized national archtypes (for better or for worse) much like the ugly American.  It involves the European idea of Heaven and Hell (with apologies to all those who may be offended by this decidedly non-politically correct anecdote):

In Heaven:
The English are the policemen;
The French are the cooks;
The Italians are the lovers;
The Germans are the mechanics; and
The Swiss are the managers.
 
In Hell:
The English are the cooks;
The French are the mechanics;
The Italians are the managers;
The Germans are the policemen; and
The Swiss are the lovers.
 
Petr
Rumpo non plecto

Alixz

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #131 on: April 23, 2011, 01:52:27 PM »
Petr - LOL.  You are right that in today's society that would not be considered "politically correct" but it feels true.

On rereading what I wrote above, I know that many will say that Americans have a right to be "closed off" and suspicious after 9/11.  However, I don't think that is fair to other countries where horrible things have been happening for centuries.

Americans have always had the luxury of oceans that were not speedily cross-able to protect them from the horrors of the wars of the 20th century.  Yes, we have sent troops to fight, but those at home had not, until 9/11 ever felt the fall out of the death of innocents in the name of Jihad or war.

What was done to Dresden in Germany during WWI was a war crime, but no one was ever tried for that catastrophe because those who perpetrated it won.  The same could be said about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Had the US lost the war, it would have been Truman on trial and MacArthur and Billy Mitchell and even Eisenhower and, of course, those who built and provided the bombs.

But this thread is about the Russian Soul.  I am not sure that I understand that.  I am currently rereading The Tragic Bride by V. Poliakoff and he talks extensively about the Russian Soul and how it provided the entry for Rasputin into the closeness of the Imperial Family.  When I have finished, I will try to post some of his thoughts without copyright infringement.  He has an interesting take on the subject.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #132 on: April 25, 2011, 02:49:23 PM »
I don't think that Americans (citizens or illegals living in the US) ever see themselves as a "type".  Americans have become far too concerned with belonging to a "community" and not to the nation as a whole.

Everyone (as this may be the fault of the media) is now pigeon holed into a community.  Latino Community, African American Community, Gay and Lesbian Community, Asian American Community, etc.  

After every international disaster or insurrection we hear about the Muslim Community or the Jewish Community or the Haitian Community or the Japanese Community.

There is no single cohesiveness of the people of America any longer.  We have been divided (whether by choice or by media action) into groups who have no common ground and who now fear and despise each other.

The melting pot has tipped over and the contents were spilled a long time ago.  IMHO there is no American soul or American type (except maybe the "ugly American tourist" who desecrates the lands that they visit) that is recognized by the world.

Well, I simply disagree. Completely. In my opinion, late 20th-century and early 21st-century Americans have learned to pride ourselves on our diversity. Whereas for much of our nation's history the "typical" (read "ideal") American was the WASPM (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Male) from New England, nowadays the "typical" American is not so easily categorized. And this is a real sign of change, and, I believe, of progress and hope. More and more, immigrants and their descendants from different races, ethnicities, and religions feel part of the American dream and consequently contribute to our overall conception of our national identity. What's wrong with this?

All this stuff about "identities" counts for nothing when a tragedy like 9/11 occurs. Excuse me, but I didn't see average Americans, back then, saying things like, "I, as an Irish American... I, as an African American... I, as a Gay American....etc., etc." On 9/11 I saw a nation coming together to grieve and commemorate their dead. And don't misunderstand me, I don't think there's anything wrong with "identities" when they're kept in their proper place, i.e., when we're picking intellectual hairs in academia, but I don't believe most Americans outside of the academy (or even most of them in it) feel this way in reality, in their everyday lives. If we did, we wouldn't have elected Barack Obama as our president less than a decade after a guy with a very similar (foreign! Muslim!) name sent terrorists to destroy the International Trade Center.

When I have visited other countries, I have noticed that Americans are not respected as are the citizens of other countries who are also visitors.  Just open your mouth and speak American English and the facial expression and tone of the person changes.

I've never had this experience as an American in Europe, and I visit Europe all the time, and have done so for the last 20 years. Maybe it depends on the individual American tourist or visitor? For example, over the years (long before the Iraq War) I've heard a lot of Americans badmouth French people for being rude, but the French have always been unfailingly kind and courteous to me -- perhaps because I make an honest effort to speak their language? And in Eastern Europe, excuse me, Americans are more popular than ever. Again, I can only speak from my own experience. But I would say that Americans are much admired in this region for their energy, efficiency, and organizing skills -- much as Germans and Scandinavians are also admired for these same qualities. Only in Russia do you encounter a real, pervasive anti-American spirit (to rival perhaps that of French intellectuals, as opposed to the average Frenchman in the street). And as far as I am concerned, such is the abysmal state of Russia in almost every category of political, economic, and social development these days, that I actually welcome their government's disdain. In the current geopolitical climate, Russian hostility towards the USA is practically a compliment.

We are not working together to make America a pleasant place to live and work, but are arrogantly claiming our right to bring our cultures and our ancestor's customs into a "community" that expels everyone else.

Just walk down a street in any fair sized city and try to look into the faces of those you pass on the street.  Either they look nervously away or contemptuously at you as if waiting for a chance to attack.  There are no friendly smiles or relaxed body language.  All is held tightly and suspiciously away.

As a matter of fact I have noticed quite the opposite happening since the election of Barack Obama as president. I noticed almost immediately after the November 2008 election that black Americans were much more willing to initiate a conversation with white Americans they were not personally acquainted with. This happened to me several times, whereas it had rarely if ever happened to me before. For example, one day I was trying on a dress and an older woman, who happened to be black and a total stranger to me, smiled and said, "That dress looks really cute on you." And this kind of thing happened several times over the next several weeks. Ohmygod... Black and white strangers talking to each other in mundane public spaces like grocery and department stores -- what a novel concept! -- and such a refreshing change... And that's also when it occurred to me for the first time in my life that black Americans might be far more frightened of white Americans -- and for far more justifiable reasons -- than whites are of them.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 03:03:45 PM by Elisabeth »
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Alixz

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #133 on: April 25, 2011, 03:37:14 PM »
I just have to ask, "Do you watch the news?"

Burning of the Qu'ran?

Birthers?

Courting the Latino Community to get elected?  

Riots and demonstrations over illegal aliens and building walls on the boarders or offering amnesty to millions of people who shouldn't be here to begin with?  I actually saw a program where a woman from Mexico purposely came into Texas every time she had a child so that the child would be a US citizen and then moved back into Mexico.  She hid her pregnancy from the crossing guards and lived quietly until she gave birth and then moved back, but she told the reporter that she always knew that her children would be able to "take advantage" of the US citizenship laws if they needed them in the future!

Demonstrations against building a Muslim Cultural Center any where near the "hallowed" ground of the World Trade Center sites?

Anti Semitic hate crimes and the swastika being drawn on temples?

Matthew Shepard killed in a "gay bashing" incident in Wyoming?

Does this sound like a cohesive yet diverse "soul" of the American people?

But as a moderator, I have to ask that we either begin a new thread or go back to the original discussion of the Russian Soul.


« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 03:39:05 PM by Alixz »

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Soul
« Reply #134 on: April 25, 2011, 04:32:33 PM »
I just have to ask, "Do you watch the news?"

Burning of the Qu'ran?

Birthers?

Courting the Latino Community to get elected?  

Riots and demonstrations over illegal aliens and building walls on the boarders or offering amnesty to millions of people who shouldn't be here to begin with?  I actually saw a program where a woman from Mexico purposely came into Texas every time she had a child so that the child would be a US citizen and then moved back into Mexico.  She hid her pregnancy from the crossing guards and lived quietly until she gave birth and then moved back, but she told the reporter that she always knew that her children would be able to "take advantage" of the US citizenship laws if they needed them in the future!

Demonstrations against building a Muslim Cultural Center any where near the "hallowed" ground of the World Trade Center sites?

Anti Semitic hate crimes and the swastika being drawn on temples?

Matthew Shepard killed in a "gay bashing" incident in Wyoming?

Does this sound like a cohesive yet diverse "soul" of the American people?

But as a moderator, I have to ask that we either begin a new thread or go back to the original discussion of the Russian Soul.

Well, Alixz, before you switch the topic back to the Russian Soul (I thought we were actually on topic, since we were discussing the accuracy of national characteristics as a barometer of national identity and so on, but please excuse me if I'm wrong), I would appreciate it if I could address your points.

Yes, actually, I do watch the news, gosh, I even read it. What I am aware of is that the overall sociopolitical climate has changed since even the early 1960s. And if you look back before that... In the 1890s my Finnish great-grandfather couldn't find a job in the mines when he came to this country because the Irish Americans controlled the mines -- he had to pretend he was a mute Irishman to get a job (he was aided in this deception by his very red hair!). Similarly, less than 20 years later my grandmother and her siblings were pelted with clods of dirt every day by their schoolmates on their way to school because they were "dirty Finns."

You will probably argue that the more things change, the more things stay the same. But I think this is negativity at its very worst, a good example of the kind of closet disdain for America of certain Americans nowadays, this inability, indeed this outright refusal, to accept that American society is, and always has been, gradually changing for the better. Because as you know (or should know), in actual fact every fresh wave of new immigrants in this nation's history (practically the only exception being the Pilgrims and their ilk) has initially been hated and reviled. There was total hatred of the Irish, total hatred of the Finns, the Italians, the Russians, the Eastern European Jews, etc., etc., in their time. Nevertheless every wave of immigration eventually became accepted and even celebrated by the existing mainstream culture. Even the Eastern European Jews, the most hated and reviled of all, with the exception of African Americans, was eventually accepted. (They became, in fact, "honorary whites.") And now we have an African American as president of our country. So there you go. The more things change... the more things DON'T stay the same.

And you can quote me... It's in places like Russia, which conspicuously lack a strong democracy, civil society, and political institutions, that things always stay the same, or, if they do change, change only for the worse. If you think we have racial hatred and ethnic conflict here, in the United States, my God, Alixz, go to Russia and see what the real thing looks like in all its hideous living color and all-pervasive violence.

To put it bluntly, what we have in the States is basically DISAGREEMENT. What they have over there is basically WAR.

Of course, it's true that nowadays there is a lot of hostility and discrimination directed against Mexican and other Latin American immigrants. But who precisely is behind all that hostility? As far as I can make out, a bunch of very self-satisfied white people who think they're the one and only true Americans who understand America and all it stands for... And in that context the examples you cite of Mexican immigration to the US are very telling -- I mean, even glaring, since instead of listing all the numerous examples of Latino immigrant success and contribution to our economy and cultural life you chose examples of an entire ethnic group using the system to cheat the average American taxpayer. Also, the example of a politician courting the Latino vote in this country. Please forgive me, but what exactly is wrong with a politician courting a significant voting bloc? Forgive me for saying so, because I honestly don't think I'm wrong, but whether or not you ever vote for them, isn't the Tea Party courting your own vote, Alixz?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 04:42:29 PM by Elisabeth »
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam