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zingo
09-08-2010, 18:04
I was talking with a good friend 2 some days ago, about foreigners in Russia. Great topic, really :)

In short he told me that, globally, most of foreigners who come and live here can be sorted in 2 categories:


Those who live in a third world country and wanted just to LIVE correctly here. These ones really want to succeed and work hard, respect their new home. He gave examples of Caucasian republics, India and Philipines,


And those who lived in a developed country but had not enough abilities to succeed at home, so are trying to succeed here. In other words, those who are called "losers" in their countries. These ones arrive with a superiority feeling, forgetting that if they moved to Russia, it is because they weren't able to succeed at home, they think they are better than Russians, and feel that they were waited in Russia. He gave examples of US, UK, France.


But he moderated telling that this concerns only MOST of expats, not all, and that in his opinion about 10% of expats are successful people in their country who just wanted to move to see something else, and described them as "good guys".

I am sure that each of you feels to be in the 3rd category, but what do you think, dear expats?

TolkoRaz
09-08-2010, 18:58
Does the above include diplomats and spooks etc? :confused:

sweetfart
09-08-2010, 19:05
I don't know. A lot of the expats from "developed nations" come to Russia via their home country's companies. They might work for a computer company at home, for example, that has offices in Russia. In this case, I don't think they would necessarily fall into the loser category.

And I don't know as if even the loser expats have superiority complexes. I've found from reading posts on this board that many of them are the far opposite, in which they will bend over backwards to make Russia look like a much more stable country than it actually is.

And what exactly do you mean by succeed? I never thought of Russia as being a nation easy to become successful in, even if you're American or British. It's not the same situation as many Latin American and some Middle Eastern countries, in which we have American contractors moving their headquarters over there and making 5x more than they did in the States. Russia has too many restrictive laws and policies to make it that easy. And these expats that move to Russia to teach English are probably doing it more so because they want to be in Russia. That job usually isn't sought after with the sole means of gaining income. There are higher paying opportunities that those expats could get at home, so clearly they are teaching because they like teaching and/or they want to be in Russia.

So, I would have to say your friend is mixed up as to any supposed percentages. I'm pretty sure the majority of expats from developed nations come to Russia because they wanna be in Russia first and foremost.

dontcallme
09-08-2010, 19:12
I don't judge myself solely on financial or career success anyway so it doesn't really apply to me.

In England I had a pretty average job where I could have climbed the career ladder if I desired to, but I didn't. In Moscow I worked as a teacher where I could earn a low to high salary depending on how hard I wanted to work. I decided to get the work to life balance right and I had a good time there while earning an OK salary.

I really came to Moscow to see what it was like to live there and gain a new experience in life. That for me was the success, not the money.

inorcist
09-08-2010, 22:20
I think there's something else to it.

When we look at 'foreigners' at the companies we work at, we see the hard working Gerorgian or Armenian guy who's really clever and works his way up. And then we see the Western managers who seem to have no clue about the things going on and to lack a lot of knowledge.

But those Western guys are not hired for their factual knowledge as specialists, they're hired for managerial and social skills. It's their job to find the good local people, promote them and also keep them happy in the company. Another aspect is that they have to act as a bridge function between the local Russian subsidiaries and Western headquarters, which in many cases isn't so easy.

Quite honestly, most of my Russian friends prefer to work for a Western manager rather than a Russian one.

BrandonL
09-08-2010, 22:56
Interesting I must say.

I dunno, I was a successful regional VP on a large chain of restaurants in the states, the reason I moved here?
First place I ever visited abroad, and no other country I ever visited felt like Russia, always had a longing to go back, as it just felt "right" here.

I love it here.

tvadim133
09-08-2010, 23:21
I have been working for international companies "for ages" and I have never met expats who can be considered to be loosers in their countries.

All my expats colleagues were here because of 3 main reasons:

1. Many wanted to get a higher position as soon as possible and go abroad within one comany (incl. Russia) was one of the way to do it faster;

So it was good and is good for professional development

2. quite many got better compensation packages and for them it was important for this or that period of time;

3. quite few went here because of curiousity.

sweetfart
09-08-2010, 23:26
Quite honestly, most of my Russian friends prefer to work for a Western manager rather than a Russian one.
lol I always thought it was funny how the waiters at the Starlite Diner (Mayakovskaya) seem way friendlier and just happier compared to waiters at any other (presumably Russian-managed) restaurants. :P

yakspeare
09-08-2010, 23:47
i was a Paltinum award(the highest) salespeson for century 21 real estate...income around 250k a year for the last several years...worked 100-120 hours a week for it though.

here i work 20 hours a week and make enough money to support a family if i need( i have military pension on top) and life's a breeze....it's a no brainer...i think i was a loser before....now there is hope for me! oh and my salary from teaching is about 15k a year lol...

zingo
09-08-2010, 23:59
Interesting replies for sure, but I am a bit sad that the TENORS of expat.ru do not reply, after all they use their great experience (about all) to give lessons to poor Russians (about all). Maybe they are a bit afraid that my friend's analysis is too much correct for them?

ReallyGreatConcerts
10-08-2010, 00:02
Russia is a meritocracy. Ability is rewarded.

No-one gives a stuff what Old School Tie you wear, or which College you went to at Cambridge. They are just interested in what you can do now.

martpark
10-08-2010, 00:33
Russia is a meritocracy. Ability is rewarded.

No-one gives a stuff what Old School Tie you wear, or which College you went to at Cambridge. They are just interested in what you can do now.

Almost every executive I talk to was in the military or went to military school. I'll put it at 80%. That's a different kind of old school.

Desert Addict
10-08-2010, 00:47
Compare the salaries which are paid here with other countriesand you have the answer why I am here. And apparantly locally they could not find someone with that profile because that would have been a lot cheaper.

And even though there are high salaries most of my colleages will not come but go intead to Singapore, Osaka, Dubai... because it is not nice living here.

The moment there are no or limited expats anymore this country will be on the same levels as other big economical power hpuses (e.g. Brazil)

Swordfish90293
10-08-2010, 13:16
Most expats I know are highly educated and either upper managers or owners of their own businesses. The rest are teachers. I suppose in the first case they came here for the dough, or because their spouse is Russian. In the latter case they're here for the adventure.

People travel and relocate for one of two reasons...to move towards something, or away from something. I think Russia is no place for 'losers'...it's too expensive both financially and emotionally.

"Every relationship ends with a tear and a journey"
Dame Judy Dench - Shakespeare in Love

Gypsy
10-08-2010, 14:01
Most expats I know are highly educated and either upper managers or owners of their own businesses. The rest are teachers. I suppose in the first case they came here for the dough, or because their spouse is Russian. In the latter case they're here for the adventure.

People travel and relocate for one of two reasons...to move towards something, or away from something. I think Russia is no place for 'losers'...it's too expensive both financially and emotionally.

"Every relationship ends with a tear and a journey"
Dame Judy Dench - Shakespeare in Love

There are also many who came for the same reason as the teachers you mention but work as Editors and Translators - earning far less than teachers by the way.

People stay because they like it here; simple as that.

mk182
10-08-2010, 14:04
Although I do fall into the lower bracket of "Teacher" I don't consider myself a loser. I have too much money in the bank and my girlfriend is too smokingly beautiful for me to even apply for the loser position.

I consider myself more a connoisseur of fine looking females, long nights on the town and 12 year old whiskey with a cube of ice.

But who am I kidding, I'm a loser.:10518:

GaNozri
10-08-2010, 14:08
I was talking with a good friend 2 some days ago, about foreigners in Russia. Great topic, really :)

In short he told me that, globally, most of foreigners who come and live here can be sorted in 2 categories:


Those who live in a third world country and wanted just to LIVE correctly here. These ones really want to succeed and work hard, respect their new home. He gave examples of Caucasian republics, India and Philipines,


And those who lived in a developed country but had not enough abilities to succeed at home, so are trying to succeed here. In other words, those who are called "losers" in their countries. These ones arrive with a superiority feeling, forgetting that if they moved to Russia, it is because they weren't able to succeed at home, they think they are better than Russians, and feel that they were waited in Russia. He gave examples of US, UK, France.


But he moderated telling that this concerns only MOST of expats, not all, and that in his opinion about 10% of expats are successful people in their country who just wanted to move to see something else, and described them as "good guys".

I am sure that each of you feels to be in the 3rd category, but what do you think, dear expats?

I wonder, in which category are Russian losers who post BS on expat forums? What do you think, dear Zingo?

waxyweller
10-08-2010, 15:06
I was talking with a good friend 2 some days ago, about foreigners in Russia. Great topic, really :)

In short he told me that, globally, most of foreigners who come and live here can be sorted in 2 categories:


Those who live in a third world country and wanted just to LIVE correctly here. These ones really want to succeed and work hard, respect their new home. He gave examples of Caucasian republics, India and Philipines,


And those who lived in a developed country but had not enough abilities to succeed at home, so are trying to succeed here. In other words, those who are called "losers" in their countries. These ones arrive with a superiority feeling, forgetting that if they moved to Russia, it is because they weren't able to succeed at home, they think they are better than Russians, and feel that they were waited in Russia. He gave examples of US, UK, France.


But he moderated telling that this concerns only MOST of expats, not all, and that in his opinion about 10% of expats are successful people in their country who just wanted to move to see something else, and described them as "good guys".

I am sure that each of you feels to be in the 3rd category, but what do you think, dear expats?

YOU ARE %100 PERCENT RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:12115:

Periwinkle
10-08-2010, 15:14
I think Zingo is a foreigner himself...

trancophile
10-08-2010, 15:49
Yeah Zingo, where were you born and raised?

GaNozri
10-08-2010, 15:56
Yeah Zingo, where were you born and raised?

I would think - Zhmerenka.

trancophile
10-08-2010, 16:04
That would hardly make Zingo an expat.

GaNozri
10-08-2010, 16:11
That would hardly make Zingo an expat.

Why not? Are expats only westerners? How about a good ol' expat from Zhmerenka, Ukraine? Or are these "gasterbaitery"? I forget. Anyways, I think that this is a stupid OP. I've met a lot of very decent expats, and a lot of slimy Russians. It doesn't matter where you're from, or why you came here. All that matters is what kind of person you are. Regardless of nationality, race, or financial standing. Those who think otherwise - are biggots, be it Russian or expat.

Jack17
10-08-2010, 20:29
Great question answered very well by all who have posted thus far. Maybe I'm alone, but how many times have I read or heard it said that any western guy who works in Russia or marries a Russka is only doing so because he's a loser in his own country. I wonder why any Russian would assume such a thing? I'd say the opposite assumption is made in the US; the assumption here is, if you landed a job in the US or got an American gal to marry you - you must be someone pretty good! Why would any Russian take the opposite view of a foreigner who does the same in their country?

Gypsy
10-08-2010, 20:42
Great question answered very well by all who have posted thus far. Maybe I'm alone, but how many times have I read or heard it said that any western guy who works in Russia or marries a Russka is only doing so because he's a loser in his own country. I wonder why any Russian would assume such a thing? I'd say the opposite assumption is made in the US; the assumption here is, if you landed a job in the US or got an American gal to marry you - you must be someone pretty good! Why would any Russian take the opposite view of a foreigner who does the same in their country?

In my experience it is only a very, very small minority who think that.

Most russians I have met in and outside work understand exactly what is happening. Most inside work are like sponges, they really want to learn and have a great work ethic and desire to progress.

Jack17
10-08-2010, 20:49
In my experience it is only a very, very small minority who think that. Most russians I have met in and outside work understand exactly what is happening. Most inside work are like sponges, they really want to learn and have a great work ethic and desire to progress.

I hope your experience is more representative than mine, I really do; but honestly, isn't that one of the assumptions of this very thread?

I've been reading posts on this site for more than two years and if I had a nickle for every time I've read something to that effect, well, I wouldn't be rich, but I could eat out more often.

On the other hand, I haven't worked in Russia and it's good to hear that in a professional setting you don't experience that kind of negative bias.

Gypsy
10-08-2010, 21:21
I hope your experience is more representative than mine, I really do; but honestly, isn't that one of the assumptions of this very thread?

I've been reading posts on this site for more than two years and if I had a nickle for every time I've read something to that effect, well, I wouldn't be rich, but I could eat out more often.

On the other hand, I haven't worked in Russia and it's good to hear that in a professional setting you don't experience that kind of negative bias.

No, your post summed up the assumption of the thread perfectly. And many of the insults thrown about in the last few weeks have backed it up.

But they really are minority opinions, and when you think about the situation, how else could it be?

Russian companies are recruiting expats - why? Because they need them.

The Russian Government agrees that expats are needed. They wouldn't grant people like me a work permit and a work visa if they did not - so who are the small vocal minority to complain? They are just attacking the policies of their own government and insulting the immigration department officials after all.

alouette
10-08-2010, 21:58
No, your post summed up the assumption of the thread perfectly. And many of the insults thrown about in the last few weeks have backed it up.

But they really are minority opinions, and when you think about the situation, how else could it be?

Russian companies are recruiting expats - why? Because they need them.

The Russian Government agrees that expats are needed. They wouldn't grant people like me a work permit and a work visa if they did not - so who are the small vocal minority to complain? They are just attacking the policies of their own government and insulting the immigration department officials after all.

And from western countries the Russian Government expects much more than just labor force, they need PROFESSIONALS. This rule applies to any country, doesn't it?

trancophile
10-08-2010, 22:07
Why not? Are expats only westerners? How about a good ol' expat from Zhmerenka, Ukraine? Or are these "gasterbaitery"? I forget. Anyways, I think that this is a stupid OP. I've met a lot of very decent expats, and a lot of slimy Russians. It doesn't matter where you're from, or why you came here. All that matters is what kind of person you are. Regardless of nationality, race, or financial standing. Those who think otherwise - are biggots, be it Russian or expat.

It matters muchly why a person comes to define themselves as an expatriate, just as much as it is to define oneself a male or female, hungry or not, so on and so forth.

Let’s briefly look at what it is to be an expat.

To use a generic definition from an online dictionary as a basis:

1. to withdraw (oneself, let’s say voluntarily) from residence in one's native country.

2. to withdraw (oneself, let’s say voluntarily) from allegiance to one's country.

Yes, we can grant that if Zingo is from the now Ukraine, he/she can be considered an expat to an extent. I just don’t think it is so clear cut and would establish a scale of say 1-5 to rate how much a person is an expat based on a series of criteria. A good start would be to look at the definition above and ask if oneself identifies with the criteria or not. Perhaps more criteria could be raised, but I think that the two we have so far are quite central to what it is to be a genuine (say grade 5) expatriate, as unclarified as they are.

jknig4
11-08-2010, 02:07
We were successful at home and moved to Russia and were successful as well, but it was difficult being away from family.

Gypsy
11-08-2010, 10:36
We were successful at home and moved to Russia and were successful as well, but it was difficult being away from family.
Indeed.

The idea that the best recruitment companies in the world are consistently finding failures and putting them in front of their Russian clients is laughable.

I think Guest/Zingo must have a very low opinion of Russia if he thinks it cannot attract the best to work here.

xSnoofovich
11-08-2010, 11:10
Indeed.

The idea that the best recruitment companies in the world are consistently finding failures and putting them in front of their Russian clients is laughable.

I think Guest/Zingo must have a very low opinion of Russia if he thinks it cannot attract the best to work here.

It prob depends on the circle of people you know. I doubt very much that teachers hang out with execs from any major company. It happens, for sure, but not all of the time. Execs are recruited, whereas teachers are begged, and anyone can come and do the job.

So, there are expats out there that none of us on expat know, that for sure, would fall into this loser category. I know I have run into them here in Moscow.

Gypsy
11-08-2010, 12:13
It prob depends on the circle of people you know. I doubt very much that teachers hang out with execs from any major company. It happens, for sure, but not all of the time. Execs are recruited, whereas teachers are begged, and anyone can come and do the job.

So, there are expats out there that none of us on expat know, that for sure, would fall into this loser category. I know I have run into them here in Moscow.

I guess so. The ones I know - Mud here is a good example - are exceptionally good, very professional, and you could see him being a success anywhere. Some of the others - and you can tell from their written english how bad they are - I am not so sure.

ReallyGreatConcerts
11-08-2010, 12:23
and you can tell from their written english how bad they are.

:applause:

Matt24
11-08-2010, 12:50
I was talking with a good friend 2 some days ago, about foreigners in Russia. Great topic, really :)

In short he told me that, globally, most of foreigners who come and live here can be sorted in 2 categories:


Those who live in a third world country and wanted just to LIVE correctly here. These ones really want to succeed and work hard, respect their new home. He gave examples of Caucasian republics, India and Philipines,


And those who lived in a developed country but had not enough abilities to succeed at home, so are trying to succeed here. In other words, those who are called "losers" in their countries. These ones arrive with a superiority feeling, forgetting that if they moved to Russia, it is because they weren't able to succeed at home, they think they are better than Russians, and feel that they were waited in Russia. He gave examples of US, UK, France.


But he moderated telling that this concerns only MOST of expats, not all, and that in his opinion about 10% of expats are successful people in their country who just wanted to move to see something else, and described them as "good guys".

I am sure that each of you feels to be in the 3rd category, but what do you think, dear expats?

I don't think there are enough categories in your list to choose from, from my experience there are:

the professional expat project roll outers - these guys usually appear do and leave, they represent the biting edge of large corporate investment, they can be the rough necks and the lumber jacks who came to put in 'proven systems' through the guys that set up banks and IT cos. I don't think their masters had a problem with Russians or Russian culture, they sent this specialists to accelerate the return on investment for funds that their hold cos had invested - time being money and all that. These roll-outers are successful at what they do if they achieve the return goals within the company set time limits:

Missionaries, be they religious / political / or commercial - people who believe they have the right message, be it christianity / neo-conservatism / or capitalism, and they come to preach and teach their mantra - these guys can come over as quite weird, and quite annoying - at least to me.

Chancers and Adventurers - on a scale these people might appear to be complete losers or indeed winners in life's lottery, but a great many people still want more from their lives, and however patronising it might seem, Russia is still seen as a land of opportunities - if you equate 'still wanting more' as 'not having achieved enough' - then maybe this category might be a bit loserish - but contrary to how I read your original hypothesis, I think this type of expat might be much more self critical of themselves than their general external reputation.

I have a couple of subsegments of the chancer / adventurer : Those who think they are in the last chance saloon, jobwise, nestegg wise, having children and finding love wise; Those who have a skill and a passion for a career that isn't marketable in their home market, for example it's hard to make a living in the UK for instance teaching English as a foreign language, when 20% of recent graduates are unemployed;

The Expat spouses and children - tough choice and probably quite tough lives,

And of course there are those of us who like being here and like being Expats - Russia suits me brilliantly, I like the weather, I like my happy Russian family, I like the 13% income tax, I like the real progress that I see day in day out, and I like the fact that for me now Belfast has become a holiday destination, whenever I go everybody is happy to see me, this might be inertia, but equally it might be true integration.

On the downside, I do think that the expat life does attract a higher proportion of misfits than a normal sample of mother tongue english speakers for example, people who don't get on with their own native culture, often will not get on with any culture, I think often people set extremely high and irrational expectations of their new homes and when these are not met they become bitter and twisted, also nostalgia kicks in pretty hard pretty quickly with a lot of bodies imagining that life was so much better / more polite / tastier where they came from - these people moan and complain and advise - it's a well known fact in PR and Marketing that it's hundreds of times easier to gather complaints than compliments.

IMHO I think there are losers in the the Expat community, everywhere, however I figure if you reversed your friends statistics the 10% Good guys now becoming the 10% losers, this would still massively overestimate the problem.

If it doesn't make sense, I'll agree that I'm just another loser trying to kid myself, which I absolutely don't discount.

Matt

ReallyGreatConcerts
11-08-2010, 13:52
I don't think there are enough categories in your list to choose from, from my experience there are:


I'd certainly agree with your categories, and I'd add another one...

... people who have a career or profession which is highly-valued in Russia, or in which the working conditions and career opportunities are better in Russia than in their home country.

I'm certainly in this group, and I have a fairly easy comparison, because my brother (who lives in UK) and I have near-identical professions. He is, perhaps, a harder worker than I am (although he has young family to feed, which provides extra stimulus). He may well be better at the job - I don't exclude that possibility either! But our profession of Classical Music is better-resourced in Russia as a whole, and in Moscow in particular.

Compare... London has two opera-houses, Covent Garden and English National Opera (I used to work at the latter). If you can't work there, the nearest opera-house is Leeds (Opera North), after which there's Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, and Scottish Opera... but Scottish are near to bankruptcy and half the staff are laid-off, closure seems imminent. And that's *it* for the entire UK, in terms of full-time opera theatres where you could get a job. And the wages, frankly, are crap throughout the industry - arising from a whole generation of Nigels and Belindas who have independent income and don't "need" a job that pays their bills.

Moscow, on the other hand, has SIX full-time professional opera companies with full orchestras and staffing. (Bolshoi, Stanislavsky, Novaya, Helikon, Pokrovsky Chamber Opera, and the Moscow Operetta). All of these theatres operate year-round, with occupancy-rates (av 96%) that London theatres (av 68%) dream of. So there are 200% more opera jobs in Moscow than in London, straight off the bat. Meaning Moscow alone has more opera jobs than the entire UK. Factor in four opera theatres in St Petersburg (one of which is of international standing, the Mariinsky is up there with Covent Garden and the Met), then two in Ekaterinburg, and then in almost every city in Russia with more than around 500,000 population (Ufa, Perm', Smolensk, Novosibirsk, there are dozens and dozens of them). Russians like opera and ballet more than Brits... and will pay to go to more performances, more often than the public in the UK. (This not a cultural criticism - there are lots of factors that dissuade Brits from going to live theatre & music, beginning with high ticket prices and ending with shite transport home after the show).

Then add in the non-permanent touring troupes and ensembles who present professional performances on tour. (I do work for two of these, with my main "registered" place of work at one of them). Then Moscow has at least a dozen professional orchestras (where I also work - getting hold of muic not printed in Russia, clearing Performing Rights payments, Copyrights, hiring foreign soloists, arranging foreign tours... a foreigner can be handy for all this stuff), and Music Festivals etc.

Frankly I didn't plan my career in Russia in this way - in the bad-ol' 90s, trying to earn a crust here as a musician was a great way to lose weight :) But a resurgent Russia values the Arts more than many other European countries, and pursues an enlightened approach to them. I can think of other expats I know who are also involved in this side of the Arts - especially in the sphere of Sponsorship, which is an industry not previously practiced in the USSR, and one where - even though I'm uncomfortable with some aspects of it - foreigners have something to bring to the party. The Hermitage, in St P, for example, employs a Brit to handle all the travelling arrangements of its exhibitions touring overseas... she's worked there 18 years, in fact.

Oh, and I like sour cream, and dill.

On another thread here I've been less optimistic about music in Moscow... it's also true that there's a lot of quantity but the quality sometimes lacks. It's a problem that expats can help solving - the musicians are great, but they need better facilities (adequate rehearsals instead of corner-cutting, better instruments in some cases, concert-halls that are a pleasure to visit etc). Same too on bringing live music and theatre in schools, colleges and communities - the USA and Britain are lightyears ahead of Russia on this stuff, and it needs to be expanded in Russia... where it's barely done at all.

Cherchez la femme? Tu ne trouves pas rien. I'm here for the music, and happily single after 10+ years here :)

Moscow News - Handel at Ostankino - with expats. [PDF] (http://www.prozrachny.com/mne_0608_05.pdf) <- some tickets still left for tomorrow, last shows sold-out (hint)

canadian
11-08-2010, 16:51
No, your post summed up the assumption of the thread perfectly. And many of the insults thrown about in the last few weeks have backed it up.

But they really are minority opinions, and when you think about the situation, how else could it be?

Russian companies are recruiting expats - why? Because they need them.

The Russian Government agrees that expats are needed. They wouldn't grant people like me a work permit and a work visa if they did not - so who are the small vocal minority to complain? They are just attacking the policies of their own government and insulting the immigration department officials after all.

Don't know if you noticed that this labeling and insult throwing is crucial defining characteristic of the Moscow society. While similar attitudes exist elsewhere in Russia, I heard it is much better there. Moscovites however deep down inside have this feeling of resentment towards newcomers. They might say that its only to cheap labour from former republics and minorities from the Caucasus yet I would argue that Russians in general and especially Moscovites think they are special. By special they mean better and more "complicated". and while the educated Russian very well might be more than an average American, their arrogance completely eliminates any if any educational superiority they had......

xSnoofovich
11-08-2010, 17:16
and while the educated Russian very well might be more than an average American......

It would be better to compare Moscow to New York City, or even better, D.C.

The average Russian is on par with the average American.

objective
11-08-2010, 19:22
I was talking with a good friend 2 some days ago, about foreigners in Russia. Great topic, really :)

In short he told me that, globally, most of foreigners who come and live here can be sorted in 2 categories:


Those who live in a third world country and wanted just to LIVE correctly here. These ones really want to succeed and work hard, respect their new home. He gave examples of Caucasian republics, India and Philipines,


And those who lived in a developed country but had not enough abilities to succeed at home, so are trying to succeed here. In other words, those who are called "losers" in their countries. These ones arrive with a superiority feeling, forgetting that if they moved to Russia, it is because they weren't able to succeed at home, they think they are better than Russians, and feel that they were waited in Russia. He gave examples of US, UK, France.


But he moderated telling that this concerns only MOST of expats, not all, and that in his opinion about 10% of expats are successful people in their country who just wanted to move to see something else, and described them as "good guys".

I am sure that each of you feels to be in the 3rd category, but what do you think, dear expats?

Well, the employment market around here has changed so significantly, and I have always worked in such a narrow niche that I cannot seem to find reasonable new work, besides, I never obtained a marketable degree or other credentials, so, you might think that I fall into the 'loser' category.
however, I have become so jaded about the business climate in general, policies and blah-blah-blah, That I really want to leave, in order to seek a better, more fulfilling way of life, so in truth, I am a closer fit to the 4th category!:10241: (that is how i feel at the moment!!)

objective
11-08-2010, 19:48
I'd certainly agree with your categories, and I'd add another one...

... people who have a career or profession which is highly-valued in Russia, or in which the working conditions and career opportunities are better in Russia than in their home country.

I'm certainly in this group, and I have a fairly easy comparison, because my brother (who lives in UK) and I have near-identical professions. He is, perhaps, a harder worker than I am (although he has young family to feed, which provides extra stimulus). He may well be better at the job - I don't exclude that possibility either! But our profession of Classical Music is better-resourced in Russia as a whole, and in Moscow in particular.
(hint)[/B][/COLOR]

I am glad that you mention classical music, because the rich Russian musical/cultural history is one of the items of greatest attraction for me to go there!!:7525:

Jack17
11-08-2010, 20:10
It would be better to compare Moscow to New York City, or even better, D.C.

The average Russian is on par with the average American.
Huh? It's a comparison difficult to fathom. I can't think of two cultures and peoples more dissimilar than America and Russia. I love contrast and it's precisely for this reason that, as an American, I love Russia so much.

Swordfish90293
11-08-2010, 23:47
It would be better to compare Moscow to New York City, or even better, D.C.

The average Russian is on par with the average American.

You're comparing apples and oranges on most fronts with this statement.

Carbo
12-08-2010, 08:39
I was talking with a good friend 2 some days ago, about foreigners in Russia. Great topic, really :)

In short he told me that, globally, most of foreigners who come and live here can be sorted in 2 categories:


Those who live in a third world country and wanted just to LIVE correctly here. These ones really want to succeed and work hard, respect their new home. He gave examples of Caucasian republics, India and Philipines,


And those who lived in a developed country but had not enough abilities to succeed at home, so are trying to succeed here. In other words, those who are called "losers" in their countries. These ones arrive with a superiority feeling, forgetting that if they moved to Russia, it is because they weren't able to succeed at home, they think they are better than Russians, and feel that they were waited in Russia. He gave examples of US, UK, France.


But he moderated telling that this concerns only MOST of expats, not all, and that in his opinion about 10% of expats are successful people in their country who just wanted to move to see something else, and described them as "good guys".

I am sure that each of you feels to be in the 3rd category, but what do you think, dear expats?
I think you're mistaken, in simple terms, Zingo.

I, for instance, came here because I met a girl and wanted to live with her. She is Russian, didn't want to leave Moscow, and I decided that if I wanted to take things to the next level, I would have to man-up and take the plunge. I make less in gross terms than I did at home, but given the tax rates, I probably earn more net. That said, given what I can get for that money (for instance, I had a three room apartment in an excellent neighbourhood, beautifully remonted with new furniture, new oven, fridge-freezer, microwave, satellite dish, etc -- all for GBP400 (RUB20,000), which is impossible in Moscow), I think my standard of living is far lower. Especially since you consider that the crisis has meant that my wage has remained static for three years, while CPI is running at between 10 and 15%. In the UK, that's about 2%.

So what does that tell you? I'm certainly not here because I earn more money. I'm here because I wanted to make the next step in a relationship, and since I've been here I've generally not been unhappy. I'm met some tremendous people who I really like, enjoy living in a foreign country that's genuinely different to the west, and am not ready to leave. I don't think I'm alone.

Of course, that doesn't fit into your convenient caricature of evil westerners, so you ignore it.

Meantime, my guess woul be that a significant number of westerners are here because they're posted here by the firms they work for. They already have a job, but they're sent here as experts in a specific field. What category do they fall into, Zingo?

Interestingly, though, I do know quite a large number of Russians who are here because they can earn more than in the West. Granted, my experience is limited to the financial sector, but I know more than one or two Russians who've gone abroad for a American or British education, worked there, and then realized, post-2000 that Moscow is screaming for financial experts with western experience -- especially in investment banking and related areas -- and the competition is far, far lower than in New York or London. They're earning many times more than they could have back where they started their careers, and doing jobs with better titles.

Anyway, suffice to say that your silly theory is largely incorrect, although it may fit the profile of a few here.

I would say, though, that if you're a bit bitter -- which you clearly are -- that there are people who aren't Russian, and perhaps won't be here for long, who are earning more than you, and who were brought up in societies where liberal thought was encouraged, and you see these people out, having a good time, spending their money, and passing opinion in lively debate, and that makes you furious, just say. But, for the love of God, don't make up these preposterous bar-room theories and foist them on us.

TolkoRaz
12-08-2010, 08:56
Almost every executive I talk to was in the military or went to military school. I'll put it at 80%. That's a different kind of old school.

I think that some 10 - 15 years ago, a good number of British and US Expats working in the CIS etc were former members of the Military and Foreign Office etc as we were Russian speakers and naturally saw opportunities in the Rotten Onion. Of course, many of us had previously worked there when employed by our respective governments and / spoke the language.

As for teachers of English, it seems that some of them should spend more time in cl**** not teaching, but as students! ;)

xSnoofovich
12-08-2010, 09:32
Swordfish, a little help? where did I go wrong?


yet I would argue that Russians in general and especially Moscovites think they are special. By special they mean better and more "complicated". and while the educated Russian very well might be more than an average American, their arrogance completely eliminates any if any educational superiority they had......



It would be better to compare Moscow to New York City, or even better, D.C.

The average Russian is on par with the average American.


You're comparing apples and oranges on most fronts with this statement.

Carbo
12-08-2010, 10:32
I'd certainly agree with your categories, and I'd add another one...

... people who have a career or profession which is highly-valued in Russia, or in which the working conditions and career opportunities are better in Russia than in their home country.

I'm certainly in this group, and I have a fairly easy comparison, because my brother (who lives in UK) and I have near-identical professions. He is, perhaps, a harder worker than I am (although he has young family to feed, which provides extra stimulus). He may well be better at the job - I don't exclude that possibility either! But our profession of Classical Music is better-resourced in Russia as a whole, and in Moscow in particular.

Compare... London has two opera-houses, Covent Garden and English National Opera (I used to work at the latter). If you can't work there, the nearest opera-house is Leeds (Opera North), after which there's Welsh National Opera in Cardiff, and Scottish Opera... but Scottish are near to bankruptcy and half the staff are laid-off, closure seems imminent. And that's *it* for the entire UK, in terms of full-time opera theatres where you could get a job. And the wages, frankly, are crap throughout the industry - arising from a whole generation of Nigels and Belindas who have independent income and don't "need" a job that pays their bills.

Moscow, on the other hand, has SIX full-time professional opera companies with full orchestras and staffing. (Bolshoi, Stanislavsky, Novaya, Helikon, Pokrovsky Chamber Opera, and the Moscow Operetta). All of these theatres operate year-round, with occupancy-rates (av 96%) that London theatres (av 68%) dream of. So there are 200% more opera jobs in Moscow than in London, straight off the bat. Meaning Moscow alone has more opera jobs than the entire UK. Factor in four opera theatres in St Petersburg (one of which is of international standing, the Mariinsky is up there with Covent Garden and the Met), then two in Ekaterinburg, and then in almost every city in Russia with more than around 500,000 population (Ufa, Perm', Smolensk, Novosibirsk, there are dozens and dozens of them). Russians like opera and ballet more than Brits... and will pay to go to more performances, more often than the public in the UK. (This not a cultural criticism - there are lots of factors that dissuade Brits from going to live theatre & music, beginning with high ticket prices and ending with shite transport home after the show).

Then add in the non-permanent touring troupes and ensembles who present professional performances on tour. (I do work for two of these, with my main "registered" place of work at one of them). Then Moscow has at least a dozen professional orchestras (where I also work - getting hold of muic not printed in Russia, clearing Performing Rights payments, Copyrights, hiring foreign soloists, arranging foreign tours... a foreigner can be handy for all this stuff), and Music Festivals etc.

Frankly I didn't plan my career in Russia in this way - in the bad-ol' 90s, trying to earn a crust here as a musician was a great way to lose weight :) But a resurgent Russia values the Arts more than many other European countries, and pursues an enlightened approach to them. I can think of other expats I know who are also involved in this side of the Arts - especially in the sphere of Sponsorship, which is an industry not previously practiced in the USSR, and one where - even though I'm uncomfortable with some aspects of it - foreigners have something to bring to the party. The Hermitage, in St P, for example, employs a Brit to handle all the travelling arrangements of its exhibitions touring overseas... she's worked there 18 years, in fact.

Oh, and I like sour cream, and dill.

On another thread here I've been less optimistic about music in Moscow... it's also true that there's a lot of quantity but the quality sometimes lacks. It's a problem that expats can help solving - the musicians are great, but they need better facilities (adequate rehearsals instead of corner-cutting, better instruments in some cases, concert-halls that are a pleasure to visit etc). Same too on bringing live music and theatre in schools, colleges and communities - the USA and Britain are lightyears ahead of Russia on this stuff, and it needs to be expanded in Russia... where it's barely done at all.

Cherchez la femme? Tu ne trouves pas rien. I'm here for the music, and happily single after 10+ years here :)

Moscow News - Handel at Ostankino - with expats. [PDF] (http://www.prozrachny.com/mne_0608_05.pdf) <- some tickets still left for tomorrow, last shows sold-out (hint)
This is a tremendous post, and indicative on another reason many people come here: simply because different economies have different areas of need.

If you're an EFL teacher, it's probably going to be better moving abroad.
If you're an offshore oil engineer, or an expert in engineering administration, or are an oil man, you're going to have a limited number of countries in which to find work
If you want to practice your Russian, you're going to probably want to come and work in Russia

RGC is quite right. Russians are far more interested and knowledgeable about the classical arts than British people. I may have that impression because I grew up in a very blue-collar, industrial, working class neighbourhood and city at home, and still have a circle of friends from that general environement, whereas here, many of my friends are educated and/or intelligentsia Russians; however, I still think it's true.

Some of the looks and comments I got at home when I mentioned I'd been to the ballet at loved it. You would have thought that I had said I liked to put dog-faeces on my chips from the expressions which emerged on peoples' faces. Frankly, I didn't even understand what ballet was before I came here, and while I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the arts, I'm not a lumpen philistine, either -- and I don't think I'm alone. If you're from the North, it's pretty much impossible to get good theatre, opera, ballet and concerts.

So what's RGC going to do?

It's not that he was a failure at home, it's just there's a bigger market here.

The thread was started by a bitter, angry man who does not have the intelligence to tell the difference between criticism and insult, who takes the Israeli-patented view that criticism of government policy and the government's record means criticism of the country and its people, and who takes all this idiocy, bitterness, and hair-trigger anger and turns it on the expats on this forum.

ReallyGreatConcerts
12-08-2010, 11:18
Some of the looks and comments I got at home when I mentioned I'd been to the ballet at loved it. You would have thought that I had said I liked to put dog-faeces on my chips from the expressions which emerged on peoples' faces. Frankly, I didn't even understand what ballet was before I came here, and while I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the arts, I'm not a lumpen philistine, either -- and I don't think I'm alone. If you're from the North, it's pretty much impossible to get good theatre, opera, ballet and concerts.
.

I'd like to hope that this is changing in Britain?

The arts should never be on a pedestal, although regrettably in Britain they're often put on one. Agreeing with Carbo again (blimey!), the accessible nature of the arts in Russia seems both positive and beneficial. Most performances in Russia are priced accessibly so that anyone who wanted to go could afford a ticket without the pips squeaking. Similarly a juice, or even a glass of champagne in the interval is priced so that everyone can enjoy it. (It's all part of an enjoyable evening out). I especially appreciate the fact that in most concert-halls and theatres, a proportion of tickets are held back and distributed to schools and to socially-disadvantaged groups, and even to the military? I saw a whole platoon of navy cadets at the ballet in St Petersburg, and they were enjoying the show.

To borrow a neat phrase from the Director of New York City Ballet - "young people aren't the audience of tomorrow. They're the audience of NOW".

Matt24
12-08-2010, 11:51
Sun is shining, Carbo's recognising merit in RGC / RGC's recognising merit in Carbo, nobody took Zingo's bait too seriously, some nice and honest posts, it really is quite pleasant, of course tomorrow being the dreaded 'Friday the 13th' it'll all go TU, but at least today, nobody's looking too evil, if the congratulations of an imperialist loser are worth anything, I'd like to say well done all.

Matt

Carbo
12-08-2010, 12:10
I'd like to hope that this is changing in Britain?

The arts should never be on a pedestal, although regrettably in Britain they're often put on one. Agreeing with Carbo again (blimey!), the accessible nature of the arts in Russia seems both positive and beneficial. Most performances in Russia are priced accessibly so that anyone who wanted to go could afford a ticket without the pips squeaking. Similarly a juice, or even a glass of champagne in the interval is priced so that everyone can enjoy it. (It's all part of an enjoyable evening out). I especially appreciate the fact that in most concert-halls and theatres, a proportion of tickets are held back and distributed to schools and to socially-disadvantaged groups, and even to the military? I saw a whole platoon of navy cadets at the ballet in St Petersburg, and they were enjoying the show.

To borrow a neat phrase from the Director of New York City Ballet - "young people aren't the audience of tomorrow. They're the audience of NOW".
I actually think that it comes to a certain degree from the difference between positive and negative liberty. Positive liberty, as in the Soviet Union, banned pop culture -- or at least heavily filtered it -- and made accessible the "higher" arts, hoping this would "free" the proletariat to reach their full potential. It's the same with things like chess.

Obviously, negative freedom, as in the anglo-saxon world, believes that government and other people, should in general leave the individual alone and allow him to be "Free" to make his own choices in life.

So, in Russia, you have a working and middle class which are used to Ballet, Opera, Classical music and a nation which has probably produced the greatest artists in these fields in the twentieth century.

The working and middle classes in the west simply don't have exposure in that, there's no culture of it. My girlfriend's parents weren't rich, but they took her to the ballet. And in Britain, the supply-demand dynamic really mitigates and self-reinforces against such a culture developing.

You give free tickets to the ballet to a bunch of working class kids near where I grew up, and see the response. Or a bunch of squaddies. Perhaps that's a terrifically pessimistic view, but going home, I do feel pessimistic about the Yoof sometimes.

And, actually, I think it's getting worse in the UK, RGC -- especially in the working classes, where younger people go out of their way to not appear intellectual, and self-betterment and education seems to be actively frowned upon as the working class appear increasingly trapped in a vicious, self-feeding cycle of poor education, lack of opportunity, worklessness, hopelessness and lethargy.

You look at somewhere like Ashington, near where I come from. I was amazed to read a Bill Bryson book recently where he went to visit the site of the pit artists. They were a group of miners -- I think in the early part of the twentieth century, although I can't be sure -- who had been given the opportunity by one of the chairs at Durham University to learn how to paint, and turned out to be good enough to go on an exhibition tour. But what got me was that apparently there were hundreds and hundreds of such societies in Ashington, philosophy, political science, arts and crafts, history, debate, literature, book clubs -- everything. Yet now there are... none!

Britain is getting stupider and more ignorant -- and what's more, less interested in not being stupid or ignorant,

xSnoofovich
12-08-2010, 12:19
Britain is getting stupider and more ignorant -- and what's more, less interested in not being stupid or ignorant,

The same could be said about America !

Swordfish90293
12-08-2010, 12:21
Swordfish, a little help? where did I go wrong?

NYC cannot be equated with Moscow except that they are both megalopolises. The people are inside-out different, the food, the culture, the business climate, the worldliness. New York pours the energy walking out the door, whereas in Moscow I find one must create their own energy. NY and Moscow wring you out in different ways.

As well, the average American and Russian are on most planes not on par with each other...there's too much cultural difference of which level and quality of education is but one facet. I venture to say that Americans understand Asians and Latinos better than they understand Russians due the large Asian and Latin American influence in the U.S. and the closed society Russia endured for so long which kept her culture under wraps from the rest of the world during the Soviet period. Conversely, the average Moscovan, at least the ladies, knows much more about the world than the average American...apples and oranges

Carbo
12-08-2010, 12:31
The same could be said about America !

The impression I get is that America is at a more advanced stage where in fact it's important now for people who want to rule the country to appear stupid.

Anyone who comes across as intelligent is hammered as "elitist" and not connected with "the real Americans".

At least we British still accept the notion that it's perhaps a good idea to have people with a modicum of intelligence running the country.

Which is an amazing state of affairs when you consider how awesomely intelligent the founding fathers were.

mikegulf
12-08-2010, 17:17
Is there a category for those of us who just like the place and enjoy visiting family with the intent of someday moving there?

Gypsy
12-08-2010, 17:32
Is there a category for those of us who just like the place and enjoy visiting family with the intent of someday moving there?

You can have any category you want.

Regarding RGC's post, I am not arguing with it here at all, but I do have a friend who is a classical pianist, she has recorded many CD's performs in concerts around the world and was recently a judge in a competition in Greece somewhere - Santorini maybe.

Anyway she was a child prodigy and was sent to Russia when quite young to study at the conservatoire. She stayed in Moscow for another 10 years but had to leave 2 years ago because she could not make a living. She still comes back and studies with her old Professor twice a year, but is making more money based in France, she is French.

Maybe her manager/agent were rubbish - I suspect so, because if anyone should be a star she should.

What I find most sad is that even now she earns less than an accounts clerk. A god given talent allied to 20 years hard study and that is the best we can come up with. The world is not fair and opportunities don't come up when and where they should.

If anyone is interested google Marylin Frascone, she has a page on Myspace I think where you can listen to her play.

Jack17
12-08-2010, 23:11
I actually think that it comes to a certain degree from the difference between positive and negative liberty. Positive liberty, as in the Soviet Union, banned pop culture -- or at least heavily filtered it -- and made accessible the "higher" arts, hoping this would "free" the proletariat to reach their full potential. It's the same with things like chess.

Obviously, negative freedom, as in the anglo-saxon world, believes that government and other people, should in general leave the individual alone and allow him to be "Free" to make his own choices in life.

So, in Russia, you have a working and middle class which are used to Ballet, Opera, Classical music and a nation which has probably produced the greatest artists in these fields in the twentieth century.

The working and middle classes in the west simply don't have exposure in that, there's no culture of it. My girlfriend's parents weren't rich, but they took her to the ballet. And in Britain, the supply-demand dynamic really mitigates and self-reinforces against such a culture developing.

You give free tickets to the ballet to a bunch of working class kids near where I grew up, and see the response. Or a bunch of squaddies. Perhaps that's a terrifically pessimistic view, but going home, I do feel pessimistic about the Yoof sometimes.

And, actually, I think it's getting worse in the UK, RGC -- especially in the working classes, where younger people go out of their way to not appear intellectual, and self-betterment and education seems to be actively frowned upon as the working class appear increasingly trapped in a vicious, self-feeding cycle of poor education, lack of opportunity, worklessness, hopelessness and lethargy.

You look at somewhere like Ashington, near where I come from. I was amazed to read a Bill Bryson book recently where he went to visit the site of the pit artists. They were a group of miners -- I think in the early part of the twentieth century, although I can't be sure -- who had been given the opportunity by one of the chairs at Durham University to learn how to paint, and turned out to be good enough to go on an exhibition tour. But what got me was that apparently there were hundreds and hundreds of such societies in Ashington, philosophy, political science, arts and crafts, history, debate, literature, book clubs -- everything. Yet now there are... none!

Britain is getting stupider and more ignorant -- and what's more, less interested in not being stupid or ignorant,
You're describing the legacy of 75 years of a Marxist society, that, by necessity or otherwise, was largely free of the materialism we know today.

In the CCCP, the painter or aspiring dancer was going to earn as much as the medical doctor or any other professional; so, youth had just as much motivation to aspire to an artistic career as any other.

It's also the product of a very old and highly cultivated society; but I doubt that many working class Russians attended the Marinsky or Bolshoi in Czarists times (could be wrong, but in most countries, opera and ballet were the almost exclusive domain of the wealthy until the 20th Century).

As for the US, everything is about money; the US is an ode to money. There is a very large and educated class of people who love and support the arts in America. A large segment of this group are the Jewish communities in every American city. I doubt there would be many symphony orchestras, opera or ballet companies in the US if there were no Jews.

Jack17
12-08-2010, 23:16
NYC cannot be equated with Moscow except that they are both megalopolises. The people are inside-out different, the food, the culture, the business climate, the worldliness. New York pours the energy walking out the door, whereas in Moscow I find one must create their own energy. NY and Moscow wring you out in different ways.

As well, the average American and Russian are on most planes not on par with each other...there's too much cultural difference of which level and quality of education is but one facet. I venture to say that Americans understand Asians and Latinos better than they understand Russians due the large Asian and Latin American influence in the U.S. and the closed society Russia endured for so long which kept her culture under wraps from the rest of the world during the Soviet period. Conversely, the average Moscovan, at least the ladies, knows much more about the world than the average American...apples and oranges
Swordfish, everyone knows more about the world than the average American; I cannot imagine a more insular society unless it is Myanmar.

As for what Russian ladies know, hmm, trust me, I've been on all continents and they are the real national treasure of Russia.

sashadidi
12-08-2010, 23:23
I'd like to hope that this is changing in Britain?

The arts should never be on a pedestal, although regrettably in Britain they're often put on one. Agreeing with Carbo again (blimey!), the accessible nature of the arts in Russia seems both positive and beneficial. Most performances in Russia are priced accessibly so that anyone who wanted to go could afford a ticket without the pips squeaking. Similarly a juice, or even a glass of champagne in the interval is priced so that everyone can enjoy it. (It's all part of an enjoyable evening out). I especially appreciate the fact that in most concert-halls and theatres, a proportion of tickets are held back and distributed to schools and to socially-disadvantaged groups, and even to the military? I saw a whole platoon of navy cadets at the ballet in St Petersburg, and they were enjoying the show.



To borrow a neat phrase from the Director of New York City Ballet - "young people aren't the audience of tomorrow. They're the audience of NOW".
Hi RGC really interesting story about your job glad its all good you would appreciate this program a little from the 1980s!!!

YouTube- Yes Prime Minister - S02E06 - The Patron of the Arts - Part 1

Fibre
12-08-2010, 23:32
As for what Russian ladies know, hmm, trust me, I've been on all continents and they are the real national treasure of Russia.

YouTube- Billy Joel "She's Always A Woman" HD

Jack17
12-08-2010, 23:34
The impression I get is that America is at a more advanced stage where in fact it's important now for people who want to rule the country to appear stupid.

Anyone who comes across as intelligent is hammered as "elitist" and not connected with "the real Americans".

At least we British still accept the notion that it's perhaps a good idea to have people with a modicum of intelligence running the country.

Which is an amazing state of affairs when you consider how awesomely intelligent the founding fathers were.
True, but Obama is an intellectual. Go figure. It is a dicotomy in American society. We love the raw, uncultured quality in everything; Gary Cooper was the best example, John Wayne is another. Just honest, unadorned and simple people in the bucolic sense. But there must be intellectual integrity that always arrives at the correct and fair decision. Cuture for Americans is secretly admired as something foreign, European, largely out of the reach and not understandable for most Americans. But when you graft the cultural and intellectual man onto the essential "simple" American soul, then you have the American hero, the Lincoln, Kennedy, Roosevelt or Obama perhaps.

Jack17
12-08-2010, 23:37
I'd like to hope that this is changing in Britain?

The arts should never be on a pedestal, although regrettably in Britain they're often put on one. Agreeing with Carbo again (blimey!), the accessible nature of the arts in Russia seems both positive and beneficial. Most performances in Russia are priced accessibly so that anyone who wanted to go could afford a ticket without the pips squeaking. Similarly a juice, or even a glass of champagne in the interval is priced so that everyone can enjoy it. (It's all part of an enjoyable evening out). I especially appreciate the fact that in most concert-halls and theatres, a proportion of tickets are held back and distributed to schools and to socially-disadvantaged groups, and even to the military? I saw a whole platoon of navy cadets at the ballet in St Petersburg, and they were enjoying the show.

To borrow a neat phrase from the Director of New York City Ballet - "young people aren't the audience of tomorrow. They're the audience of NOW".
Sadly, I'd bet my last dollar you'll never see a group of West Point cadets at the New York City Ballet.

alouette
12-08-2010, 23:53
I'd like to hope that this is changing in Britain?

The arts should never be on a pedestal, although regrettably in Britain they're often put on one. Agreeing with Carbo again (blimey!), the accessible nature of the arts in Russia seems both positive and beneficial. Most performances in Russia are priced accessibly so that anyone who wanted to go could afford a ticket without the pips squeaking. Similarly a juice, or even a glass of champagne in the interval is priced so that everyone can enjoy it. (It's all part of an enjoyable evening out). I especially appreciate the fact that in most concert-halls and theatres, a proportion of tickets are held back and distributed to schools and to socially-disadvantaged groups, and even to the military? I saw a whole platoon of navy cadets at the ballet in St Petersburg, and they were enjoying the show.
To borrow a neat phrase from the Director of New York City Ballet - "young people aren't the audience of tomorrow. They're the audience of NOW".


I've seen BBC Proms at Albert Hall on telly and been amazed at the number of people presented. And how many free museums do you know in Moscow? What about London? And all of them are kept in perfect conditions. And when you buy a ticket in places which are not free the price is the same for locals and foreigners. About performances priced accessibly, I've got my doubts. I've heard people asking for the price of a ticket in a box office and given up hearing the price :(.

xSnoofovich
13-08-2010, 00:29
NYC cannot be equated with Moscow except that they are both megalopolises. The people are inside-out different, the food, the culture, the business climate, the worldliness. New York pours the energy walking out the door, whereas in Moscow I find one must create their own energy. NY and Moscow wring you out in different ways.

As well, the average American and Russian are on most planes not on par with each other...there's too much cultural difference of which level and quality of education is but one facet. I venture to say that Americans understand Asians and Latinos better than they understand Russians due the large Asian and Latin American influence in the U.S. and the closed society Russia endured for so long which kept her culture under wraps from the rest of the world during the Soviet period. Conversely, the average Moscovan, at least the ladies, knows much more about the world than the average American...apples and oranges

I see.

Whereas you were comparing cities, the OP was comparing Muscovites, and how they were complicated, and so I threw out the NYC and DC comparisons. We weren't comparing cities, we were comparing complexes, and complex lives

Muscovite women? yikes ! I wouldn't say that as much as if you comparing them against NYC or DC women in the same social spheres. I am guessing DC would wins hands down.

I said average Russian vs average American. Which is the guy that works with your hands, works paycheck to paycheck, and does all of the little tasks that white collar guys tell him to do.

And I stick by my guns when I repeat, they are on par. One thinks that every citizen has a house, the yard has a little money tree, the fences always white, and they give you a car at the border, while the other thinks that bears roam the street, everyone drinks vodka for breakfast, the only thing in the stores are beets and potatoes, and boris the local mafia guy hangs out in the pool halls.

In the end though, I guess our opinions are shaped by the experiances we have had.

ReallyGreatConcerts
13-08-2010, 01:41
I've seen BBC Proms at Albert Hall on telly and been amazed at the number of people presented. And how many free museums do you know in Moscow? What about London? And all of them are kept in perfect conditions. And when you buy a ticket in places which are not free the price is the same for locals and foreigners. About performances priced accessibly, I've got my doubts. I've heard people asking for the price of a ticket in a box office and given up hearing the price :(.

I won't argue that the Proms is a very successful concert series. But it is a summer festival, and thrives off the fact that everything else has shut down for summer - there's no competition.

I don't know which theatres and concert halls you go to, of course. But at Helikon Opera or Novaya Opera, you can buy a ticket for 500R for any performances. You won't find an opera ticket in London for 10 quid (except with a student discount... or if they are doing a "shifting the duds" exercise with an offer in the Evening Standard).

Jack17
13-08-2010, 04:32
I see.

Whereas you were comparing cities, the OP was comparing Muscovites, and how they were complicated, and so I threw out the NYC and DC comparisons. We weren't comparing cities, we were comparing complexes, and complex lives

Muscovite women? yikes ! I wouldn't say that as much as if you comparing them against NYC or DC women in the same social spheres. I am guessing DC would wins hands down.

I said average Russian vs average American. Which is the guy that works with your hands, works paycheck to paycheck, and does all of the little tasks that white collar guys tell him to do.

And I stick by my guns when I repeat, they are on par. One thinks that every citizen has a house, the yard has a little money tree, the fences always white, and they give you a car at the border, while the other thinks that bears roam the street, everyone drinks vodka for breakfast, the only thing in the stores are beets and potatoes, and boris the local mafia guy hangs out in the pool halls.

In the end though, I guess our opinions are shaped by the experiances we have had.
You make a very good point that it is too easy to make broad, sweeping judgments based on stereotypes. People and societies are complex. Yet, narrowing the comparison to laborers, blue collar, yes, there is probably greater similarity at that strata of society between Russians and Americans. I'd have to say that is true. But here, I'm thinking of men; with respect to women, I'd say they are very different irrespective of their education or background.