Topic: Russian cultures and traditions
Russia is a federal semi- presidential republic that lies on the northern side of the Eurasian continent. It s the largest country in the world, formed by the East Slavs in the 3rd and 8th centuries. Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest constituent of the Soviet Union.
The perception of home by Russian culture…
Russians view their homes in spiritual aspect; they have the perception and respect for their homes as a spiritual dwelling and are sacred. According to their culture a home should not be built in regions close to cemeteries, where tragic events have occurred or marshy places. They have good or bad places for building their homes hence they just do not build any where they must first follow the spiritual aspect about it. This is evident in some of the decorations and objects in their homes; tables are a symbol of prosperity in the house, should be covered by a white cloth and people should not eat on uncovered table. They consider home as a place to relax and have bonding time with the family.(Singleton, 88)
Effects of Western culture on Russians…
After the post-war period in the Soviet Union isolation of the youth, lead to no infiltration of the western way of living in Russia; consequently western youth culture and their lifestyle rarely infiltrated the soviet nation. Under Khrushchev’s rule though, things began to change the western ways slowly dissolved in the Russian youth. Over the past half century the Russian youth have changed and have little in common as compared to the past. The youth started imitating the western culture which lead gradually to the diminishing of Russian culture. The ‘normals’ (soviets who had not embraced westernization) used their leisure time the soviet way but the ones who had already embraced the western way combined both leisure activities and studying which was not the trend before. The type of music too changed and suggested more of the western way than the soviet way; Russians viewed music as an element of the soul while the west viewed it as an element of the body, leading to a difference in the kind of music produced in the country (Pilkington, 7).
Russians and religion…
Russia has been a Christian community from the past. Most of the population are of Christian religion. There are two theories to the origin of Christianity in Russia one theory suggests that Russia started as a catholic community another describes them as an Orthodox community. From the time of Peter the great to Alexander there has been conflict between the catholic community and the Orthodox institution, through protest and demonstrations organised by the Orthodox brotherhood. This institution and form of religion has dominated most of Russia and has hindered most of other Christian forms and other religions from establishing themselves (Fagan, 3).
The influence of Dostoevsky on Russian culture…
He was supportive of the Russian legacy in Europe and always wanted Russia to maintain that aspect. He was very interested in the European literature, and as a child he would dream of himself travelling to countries like Italy and Switzerland. He promoted the importance of Europe to Russia and the other way round and encouraged people to ignore the western culture. He is quoted saying “do you not know how dear this land is to us and the tribes that constitute it?” he was a patriot to Russia even after his years in prison he still sent messages for people to love and take their mother country seriously and proudly. He influenced people to follow and preserve their cultural heritage (Rzhevsky, 131). He found the Russians more noble and above other people in European community. He foresaw a bad end in the west and warned Russia to stay away from the west to prevent it from falling as the rest of the nations did. He supported the knowledge of all cultures though even though he still wanted people to live the Russian way; through knowledge about other European cultures he believed that Russia would be the saviour of Europe. He influenced people to maintain their families and the relationship and customs in the family set up in Russia.
Stereotypes about Russians in media…
After the fall of the Soviet Union as others may still see Russia as a strong nation, western nation, U.S.A does not see it that way. And they have lost interest in the country. But as result they do not have an idea of the political, social and cultural development going on in the country. Some of the stereotypic information being passed on about Russia are; Putin is a former KGB member who is suppressing opposition and accumulating power, that Russian media is not free and is under state control, that Russians live under Putin’s tyranny, brutality and human right violation still are found in Chechnya. That Kremlin supports Hamas and Iran (Barfoot, 67).
This is the history religious and political status and origin of Russia. Russians are people that respect and love their country and still have the hope to keep it their strength and maintain their culture.
Fagan, Geraldine. Believing in Russia – Religious Policy After Communism. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2012. Print.
Pilkington, Harry. Looking West?: cultural globalization and Russian youth cultures. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002. Print.
Rzhevsky, Nicholas. An anthology of Russian literature from earliest writings to modern fiction: introduction to a culture. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2005. Print.
Singleton, Amy C.. Noplace like home the literary artist and Russia’s search for cultural identity. Albany, NY: State
Barfoot, C. C.. Beyond Pug’s tour: national and ethnic stereotyping in theory and literary practice. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997. Print