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Samza
15-10-2012, 21:15
In short I am trying to figure out if my Russian colleague is a bit loopy or telling the truth.

I am a teacher at an affluent school and a couple of weeks ago I did a math project in which I had students glue a certain number of those fish crackers on paper in shapes (counting & division.) Proud of them I put their work up for everyone to see.

The Russian director forced me to take them down! ...Being she is quite paranoid of appearances/parents she said at first that she was afraid the kids were going to try and eat them off the walls (LOL!)

Last week Friday she took down my Halloween wall hanging sheet because playful skeletons were popping out of graves with small crucifixes on them. Granted staff/kids are 100% Muslim but not so religious as to you know actually: not drink, fast for Ramadan, pray five times a day or admit to anyone that they are actually Muslim:sick:

Too tired to deal with this behaviour again I just let it slide, but somehow we got back to the fish crackers and she said the parents were so "shocked" to see fish crackers on the wall because "bread is sacred in Russia." Funny didn't mention this at all a couple of weeks ago.

Is my advisor telling the truth or just loopy and on a possible power trip?

Merry Mary
15-10-2012, 21:35
There's an old Russian saying - Bread is the head of everything. Oldfashioned people wouldn't let you throw bread away or do anything else 'violent' like that. Nowadays it doesn't work like that. Russia (esp Moscow) is not that poor anymore so people don't care about food, and bread in particular, that much. I'd say your boss is acting weird anyway.

martpark
15-10-2012, 22:40
In short I am trying to figure out if my Russian colleague is a bit loopy or telling the truth.

I am a teacher at an affluent school and a couple of weeks ago I did a math project in which I had students glue a certain number of those fish crackers on paper in shapes (counting & division.) Proud of them I put their work up for everyone to see.

The Russian director forced me to take them down! ...Being she is quite paranoid of appearances/parents she said at first that she was afraid the kids were going to try and eat them off the walls (LOL!)

Last week Friday she took down my Halloween wall hanging sheet because playful skeletons were popping out of graves with small crucifixes on them. Granted staff/kids are 100% Muslim but not so religious as to you know actually: not drink, fast for Ramadan, pray five times a day or admit to anyone that they are actually Muslim:sick:

Too tired to deal with this behaviour again I just let it slide, but somehow we got back to the fish crackers and she said the parents were so "shocked" to see fish crackers on the wall because "bread is sacred in Russia." Funny didn't mention this at all a couple of weeks ago.

Is my advisor telling the truth or just loopy and on a possible power trip?

A lot of superstitious people about. Just throw some salt over your shoulder and walk on.

Benedikt
16-10-2012, 07:11
didn't your mother tell you that. and sticking fish crackerso nto paper is indeed not acceptable. there is plenty of paper or carton around where you could cut out shapes. your superiours were correct.
and just because Halloween is great in the USA, it does no mean it is here in Russia.
start using some common sense and discretion or from the looks of it you might be looking for a new job soom.-elitnaya- school or not. people are very conservative deep down. and we should respect that.

Samza
16-10-2012, 07:41
Thanks guys, this helps me understand what she is talking about a little bit. Do I believe her reasoning? No. Especially because students are so affluent and they seem to waste so much food and classroom materials but all the same, I'll try not to disrespect the bread anymore...I guess no maccaroni necklaces/art for my kids!

ps. does anyone else have a Russian advisor who picks on them for small stuff like this?

Samza
16-10-2012, 07:46
didn't your mother tell you that. and sticking fish crackerso nto paper is indeed not acceptable. there is plenty of paper or carton around where you could cut out shapes. your superiours were correct.
and just because Halloween is great in the USA, it does no mean it is here in Russia.
start using some common sense and discretion or from the looks of it you might be looking for a new job soom.-elitnaya- school or not. people are very conservative deep down. and we should respect that.

Are you being sarcastic/"taking the piss" out on me or are you being serious?

My employer intentionally asked for a foreign trained/foreign teacher and I am acting like one. There's no shame in that...if they wanted a Russian person with Russian mores and superstions I am sure they could have found one.

I have been at my job for a year.

Ps. my friend's school in Moscow celebrated Holloween...and it was enjoyed by everyone.

martpark
16-10-2012, 10:55
Thanks guys, this helps me understand what she is talking about a little bit. Do I believe her reasoning? No. Especially because students are so affluent and they seem to waste so much food and classroom materials but all the same, I'll try not to disrespect the bread anymore...I guess no maccaroni necklaces/art for my kids!

ps. does anyone else have a Russian advisor who picks on them for small stuff like this?

I had a DoS who couldn't bother to tell me when the marks/grades were due in or how their 3 different marking systems worked but spent twenty minutes saying you had to use a blue pen not black in 'the book' and that an 'H' was an 'N' in Russian, which I already knew. Their ways are mysterious.

Benedikt
16-10-2012, 13:39
[QUOTE=Samza;1074109]Are you being sarcastic/"taking the piss" out on me or are you being serious?

http://www.grint.ru/dodont.

and here is some more that might be helpfull.
i have worked in more than 10 countries and 5 continents during my career as Chef and also have learned in the beginning the more or less hard way.
might that have been the Thai spirit houses, the South Afrcan Tokoloshe or the Russain Domovoi.
I never make fun of local superstition or customsand try always to find out the do'es and don'ts of my new country.

Russian Lad
16-10-2012, 21:22
Is my advisor telling the truth or just loopy and on a possible power trip?

I would say it is not about superstitions, it is about the historical memory. My grandmother, 89 now, is still alive and she remembers days when bread wasn't available, so they had to cook soup out of oak acorns and grass to survive. Those who went through the nazi blockade here in Saint Pete also remember well those 125-250 grams of surrogate bread per day, and they passed some of this memory on to further generations. Hence the attitude to bread. I have to admit I felt rather awkward and even dismayed in the US when the local people would start a food fight.
Of course, nowadays many young people mostly don't bother about it, they haven't seen any hardship. I myself remember the days when only stale bread was available in supermarkets, nothing else, and there were big queues for it, during the break up of USSR. Most of young kids don't have even that kind of experience.

bydand
16-10-2012, 21:37
Mrs. Bydand is recalcitrant to throw out bread, even if moldy. It will feed birds, or somebodies pigs...

Samza
16-10-2012, 21:50
If one goes back and reads my original post you will see I was laughing about a person thinking kids want to eat fish crackers with glue on them off a display wall, not the idea of bread being sacred which I just found out about.

I am from a very tiny, misunderstood ethnic group and my family's customs are looked on strangely all the time but that is was not my intention in this case. I am also very well travelled and trilingual.

I can understand how the older generations would take this very seriously having lived through WWII and the communist era...but not my little dudes who waste so much food, come to school in designer clothing and spend more time abroad living it up seemingly than in school :/

bydand
16-10-2012, 22:05
If one goes back and reads my original post you will see I was laughing about a person thinking kids want to eat fish crackers with glue on them off a display wall, not the idea of bread being sacred which I just found out about.

I am from a very tiny, misunderstood ethnic group and my family's customs are looked on strangely all the time but that is was not my intention in this case. I am also very well travelled and trilingual.

I can understand how the older generations would take this very seriously having lived through WWII and the communist era...but not my little dudes who waste so much food, come to school in designer clothing and spend more time abroad living it up seemingly than in school :/

Welcome to Russia, logic need not necessarily apply!

Russian Lad
16-10-2012, 22:21
If one goes back and reads my original post you will see I was laughing about a person thinking kids want to eat fish crackers with glue on them off a display wall

What surprises you that much? Don't you think some little kids may try to do it in any country, just for fun?


Welcome to Russia, logic need not necessarily apply!

Yes, teach us logic please, and also we know you have the secret of making fire, please share it with us too.

abrausman
17-10-2012, 00:54
I consider that playing with food, no matter what is it - bread, maccaroni or fish crackers is a very bad idea in any cases.
This behaviour could be considered as disrespectful towards food and labor in general.
I would have felt insulted if anyone had forsed my children to do this kind of things, especially in school.

Samza
17-10-2012, 12:21
What surprises you that much? Don't you think some little kids may try to do it in any country, just for fun?



Yes, teach us logic please, and also we know you have the secret of making fire, please share it with us too.


They can't eat what they can't reach...these things were on display.

If I apply the same logic in my classroom towards everything I suposse then no crayons, no markers (could eat those too in theory,) no paper...we have to give the common sense and coping skills of kids a little bit more benefit of the doubt, something I see lacking constantly with my Russian colleagues and I do say this out of love as overall they are good people.

Not to pick on you Russian lad but there are a lot of things here that do defy logic as many of us non-Russians would understand it. My personal favourite:

Dressing children in incredibly warm (too warm) clothing on bright and sunny spring days but *never* applying sunscreen to their delicate skin. A bit odd no?

Samza
17-10-2012, 12:25
I consider that playing with food, no matter what is it - bread, maccaroni or fish crackers is a very bad idea in any cases.
This behaviour could be considered as disrespectful towards food and labor in general.
I would have felt insulted if anyone had forsed my children to do this kind of things, especially in school.

I never "force" a child to do anything in class. I am against such practices and will always be.

Using fish crackers to teach children maths, spacial skills, the colours, fine motor skills, choice making skills? I am a horrible, horrible person.

Find something else to be insulted about.

Russian Lad
17-10-2012, 15:07
Dressing children in incredibly warm (too warm) clothing on bright and sunny spring days but *never* applying sunscreen to their delicate skin. A bit odd no?

What sunscreen? Are you sure you haven't mistaken Russia for Brazil or Thailand? For example, in Saint Pete here we have sun on very rare occasions, so every ray is precious. There is even a joke:
A lady asks a boy from Saint Pete:
- Oh, boy, you look so pale, didn't you have summer in Saint Pete?
- Yes, we did, but I was sick that day!
And what I see in Russia, every parent dresses his kids differently, so such generalizations are rather futile.


They can't eat what they can't reach...these things were on display.

You didn't tell us they could not reach it. If so, then there wouldn't have been a problem.

Kartoshka
17-10-2012, 21:40
And what I see in Russia, every parent dresses his kids differently, so such generalizations are rather futile.

On the contrary, when it comes to Russian children's outdoor clothing it is easy to generalise! Tights under trousers, snow trousers even before the temperature has dropped below freezing, wooly hats almost all year round.

rubyrussia
17-10-2012, 22:03
I agree on the peculiarity of bundling children up like an abominable snowman. However, I understand the cultural understanding of the idea that if the child isn't warm or perhaps wind blowing on the body could help the child catch a cold. To me a bit crazy... but hey, in the USA, fat people whose primarily problem is stuffing their face too much try to solve their problem with wait-loss pills or fad diets. The problem is putting too much stuff in your mouth. How do we try to solve it? By putting something else into the mouth. :question: ;)

okiey
17-10-2012, 22:47
What sunscreen? Are you sure you haven't mistaken Russia for Brazil or Thailand? For example, in Saint Pete here we have sun on very rare occasions, so every ray is precious. There is even a joke:
A lady asks a boy from Saint Pete:
- Oh, boy, you look so pale, didn't you have summer in Saint Pete?
- Yes, we did, but I was sick that day!
And what I see in Russia, every parent dresses his kids differently, so such generalizations are rather futile.



You didn't tell us they could not reach it. If so, then there wouldn't have been a problem.

We have even less sun in Ireland than here in Russia, but the government has endless campaigns urging people to use sunscreens. Skin cancer is more widespread then people realise.

You do not need to be out in hot/strong sunshine, or for very long, to get skin damage from UV rays

okiey
17-10-2012, 22:52
Not to forget no cold drinks or ice-cream. No open windows or drafts:) Cultural differences, now I am starting to remember why I got divorsed. So many battles with my ex and mother-in-law over how to take care of my daughter!

Russian Lad
18-10-2012, 01:20
Skin cancer is more widespread then people realise.

You do not need to be out in hot/strong sunshine, or for very long, to get skin damage from UV rays

Yeah-yeah, it is a great danger indeed in Russia.

On the whole, I find it strange that some Westerners here on this thread, many of whom come from mild climates, begin to teach Russians how to overcome winter and how to dress children during this season. It is as if I, being Russian, would lecture Americans on how to make hamburgers or Coke. :neiner: Wonder if any of you even have a notion what it feels like when it is, say, minus 48... Do you have such weather often in Ireland? I experienced it in Siberia just last year. You are really preaching to the choir, I think...

Korotky Gennady
18-10-2012, 01:24
and she said the parents were so "shocked" to see fish crackers on the wall because "bread is sacred in Russia." Funny didn't mention this at all a couple of weeks ago.



Samza, I don't know how about many russian families... but in our family - yes... the bread isn't an ordinary food product.

We always try not to throw the stale bread into the bin.

Russians have big respect to the bread.

robertmf
18-10-2012, 02:03
Yeah-yeah, it is a great danger indeed in Russia.

On the whole, I find it strange that some Westerners here on this thread, many of whom come from mild climates, begin to teach Russians how to overcome winter and how to dress children during this season. It is as if I, being Russian, would lecture Americans on how to make hamburgers or Coke. :neiner: Wonder if any of you even have a notion what it feels like when it is, say, minus 48... Do you have such weather often in Ireland? I experienced it in Siberia just last year. You are really preaching to the choir, I think...

touche' :bong: Bloody :alien: foreigners :alien:

rubyrussia
18-10-2012, 15:43
Is it offensive if I don't eat all my Big Tastey at McDonald's and through part of the bun away? :D

robertmf
18-10-2012, 16:54
Is it offensive if I don't eat all my Big Tastey at McDonald's and throw part of the bun away? :D

No. :whisper: McDs is not real хлеб :trampoline:

rubyrussia
18-10-2012, 19:05
throw* ;)

Russian Lad
18-10-2012, 23:51
Is it offensive if I don't eat all my Big Tastey at McDonald's and through part of the bun away?

Well, there is nothing like personal experience. Try to eat only 200 grams of stale brown bread per day and drink only water for a year, then, if you survive, decide for yourself.:)