Americans and Russians: Most Peculiar Differences
By: Zarema Ross
Since I am Russian living in the U.S., I get to notice several peculiar differences between these two country. The most funny one is presented in the photo with three cosmonauts.
Americans smile a lot, give a lot of compliments to the strangers and enjoy talking to people in the streets. On the contrary, Russians are more reserved, strict, and smile rarely. Therefore, this could be the beginning of one joke. If there is a Russian and an American together and take a picture, one will smile, the other will not. Now, try to guess the nation by facial expression from the picture taken.
Americans and Russians both have strong stereotypes. While Americans are considered to be silly and fat, Russians seem to drink a lot of Vodka, wear black Adidas pants with white stripes, and have bears walking on the streets; however, that is not entirely true. Not all Russians drink Vodka even if it is our national drink. Russians wore Adidas in the 90's, nowadays it is not as popular as it used to be. We do have bears, but in the forests only. Same with American stereotypes: not all Americans are fat and, definitely, not silly.
American and Russian lifestyles differ in many ways. Most of the Americans prefer to live in houses, while Russians mainly live in what they call flats, or apartments that tend to be larger in size. Russians enjoy decorating their flats. They put up colorful wallpaper and decorate their hardwood floors with rugs. In the times of the Soviet Union, the Russians put different ornamental rugs on the walls; however, this trend is has since fallen out of fashion. On the other hand, Americans prefer to decorate their houses simply with light painted walls and light carpets on the floor. Russians also love to garden. Many Russian families have a small summer house, called a dacha, with land where they grow many varieties of vegetables.
Another difference between these two cultures is shopping. Americans prefer to use the internet for much of their shopping. They order not only food and clothing online, but also hygiene products such as shower gels or toilette paper which might be shipped directly to the house. In contrast, the Russians still prefer their local supermarkets to buy clothing and hygiene products, and simple street markets to buy groceries from. Some products on the market differ, as well. For example, Russian supermarkets sell milk in a plastic bag while milk sold in the United States is most often sold in plastic containers. The Kinder Surprise chocolate egg is very popular among Russian children. On the contrary, it is not sold in every U.S. supermarket. Unlike Russian supermarkets the U.S. markets provide more variety of ingredients, such as spices, for cooking.
Even though Americans and Russians may perceive each other with harsh stereotypes, they share good features, too. Perhaps even more similarities and differences might be found once someone look at either culture through an objective lens. What do you think about it?