Cultural Differences between Russia and Canada?

If you're planning to travel to Russia or the Ukraine, or you're an expat living there - this is the place to chat!
ybelovNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:09 am
Location: Turku

Re: Cultural Differences between Russia and Canada?

Post Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:37 am

I am both Canadian and Russian citizen, but my mentality is mainly Russian, because I have lived in the USSR and Russia most of my life.

I think Russians are more emotional and irrational than Westerners. Long Russian winter, absence of good roads and other communications (only now it is at last possible to buy a car or get an own phone), unjust courts, arbitrariness and corruption of local officials - of all this have been making people moody and inclined to drinking. Alcoholism is a serious problem, especially for men, whose average life expectancy is only 59 years. Women are more stable, because generally it is only women who are left to care for the family if men drink. Women are also more feminine in Russia than in North America.

Most Russians do not trust the state, because throughout the country’s history it has existed to oppress the society and individuals. Therefore, people are prepared to circumvent laws in order to survive or improve their lot. Anyway, even good laws are seldom enforced in this country. However, during the Soviet times and now, during Putinism, people have been brainwashed by the state propaganda, which tells them that the country is surrounded by enemies, so many people believe this and others are just passive. The interest in politics, in democracy, compared with the years of perestoyka (end of the 1980s), is very low.

Russians are different. Some of them, mainly living in larger cities, are well-educated. Especially in St. Petersburg people think as Europeans and wish to have more contacts with the West. St. Petersburg has stronger cultural traditions going back to the pre-revolutionary times. Muscovites are generally more mercantile and cynical (Moscow has been spoiled by money and power). In provinces (villages and industrial towns) people tend to be more narrow-minded, they are much poorer and more supportive of the ruling class, though in bigger cities, such as Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg, there are many highly educated people. In Canada and other industrialised countries there is no such sharp contrast between ”the capitals” (Moscow and St. Pete) and the provinces.

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