Modern Russian culture requires a deep and multifaceted consideration. On the one hand, directly connected with the Russian culture of the past centuries, modern culture is closely linked with the accumulated cultural experience. On the other hand, being a part of world culture, the modern culture of Russia absorbs, reprocesses, transforms the tendencies related to the development of culture as a whole. Therefore, in order to understand the contemporary culture of Russia, it is necessary to address both the Russian culture of the preceding epochs and the world culture in general, and the general tendencies of the cultural development of the present.
It can also be noted that the problems of culture today are of paramount importance also because culture is a powerful factor in social development. “Permeating” to all aspects of human life activity – from the foundations of material production and human needs to the greatest manifestations of the human spirit, culture plays an increasing role in solving the program objectives of the social movement, which includes the formation and strengthening of civil society, and the disclosure of the creative abilities of man, and the construction of the rule of law.
Culture influences all spheres of social and individual life activity – work, life, leisure, the field of thinking, etc., on the way of life of society and the individual. Social culture, first of all, acquires social influence as a necessary aspect of the activity of a social person, which by its nature presupposes the organization of joint activities of people, and consequently, its regulation by certain rules accumulated in symbolic and symbolic systems, traditions, etc.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Russia’s culture was distinguished by its unity and versatility, as Russia was part of the great USSR. The peoples of the Soviet Union have exchanged experience, shared knowledge, the cultures of all peoples were inextricably linked. However, for a certain period the situation changed. The beginning of the 90s of the last century is characterized by the accelerated disintegration of a single culture of the USSR into individual national cultures for which not only the values of the common culture of the USSR, but also the cultural traditions of each other were unacceptable. Sharp opposition of various national cultures led to the growth of cultural tension and caused the disintegration of a single socio-cultural space. However, with the advent of the 21st century, the cultural denial of the USSR was replaced by the widespread introduction of its settlement in modern Russia. The culture of Russia once again became a cumulative culture of countries and nationalities living on the territory of the Soviet Union.
Theatrical art, cinematography, and visual arts were intensively developing. In some periods, the development of cultures of ethnic minorities and national cultures was encouraged.
The modern history of culture in Russia relates to the restoration of the elements of culture of the Russian Empire and its integration into the cultural heritage of the USSR. In Russia, active restoration of churches and religious customs is being carried out.
The culture of the Russian Federation has become separate from the culture of the USSR not only for the Russians themselves, but also for foreigners as well. Sometimes foreigners have not quite the right impression about the country, because they see only the surface of the iceberg. In this regard, in my opinion, it is necessary to consider both visible and invisible factors of Russian culture.
THE ICEBERG MODEL OF RUSSIAN CULTURE
Visible part usually includes a language, food, celebrations, arts, language, dress and others.
Let us consider the visible part of Russian culture. Many people associate Russia as a country where the Russian mafia is thriving, people do nothing but drink vodka, play balalayka, and bears walk along the sidewalks. However, it’s all stereotypes. Russia has a truly rich cultural heritage which we are proud of.
Russian people are the mix of 185 ethnic communities of the world. Despite the large number of nationalities in Russia, most Russians belong to an East Slavic ethnic group. Russians have a highly attractive appearance. Men and women both have a flashy adaptation of fashion. Especially women who are always dressed up like models from fashion magazines. Unlike Europeans, Russians are more important than beauty, than the convenience of clothing. All over the world Russian women are considered the most beautiful. Russian women are so different, but always gorgeous and they like to give their best appearance in public places.
Russia is the largest country in the world, therefore Russian cuisine is a collection of the different cooking traditions of different nationalities from Russia. The cuisine is so diverse, it includes Northern European, Central European, Asian, Siberian and Middle Eastern influences.
Porridge is one of the most important dishes in the traditional Russian cuisine. The staple of Russia is a buckwheat. Also as a popular cereal Russians like millet, semolina, oats, barley, and rice. These cereals are traditionally cooked in milk, especially for breakfast.
Soups. Soups have always played an important role in the Russian meal.
Borscht. It is believed that this is actually a Ukrainian dish, and not originally Russian. However, if you go deeper into history, earlier Ukraine and Russia were participants in one country, therefore Borscht is widely cooked in Russia and is considered a national dish. Borscht is made of beef broth, beets, and tomatoes with various vegetables, including onions, cabbage, tomato, carrots, and celery.
Shchi – Russian cabbage soup
Ukha – hick fish soup with vegetables and rice, the main feature of which is the addition of a fish head to the dish.
Okroshka – cold soup based on kvass or sour milk with boiled meat and different vegetables such as boiled potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, fresh cucumbers, green onion, greens of dill, parsley, chervil, celery, or tarragon.
Olivier salad (also known as Russian salad), a mayonnaise-based salad with boiled potato, meat, carrots and canned peas. This dish is one of the main New Year buffet.
Sel’d’ pod shuboy (herring under the fur coat), salad, the basis of which is herring under several layers of boiled vegetables and eggs, and the top is decorated with grated beets.
Vinegret – a salad made of boiled beets, potatoes, carrots, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, and sometimes peas or white beans. Dressed with sunflower or olive oil.
As it has already mentioned, Russia it a biggest country in this world, so even Russian is an official language in this country, there are over 100 minority languages spoken in Russia today and more than 35 different languages which are considered official languages in various regions of Russia.
The current (from 1993) Constitution of Russia defines the Russian Federation as a secular state. The Constitution guarantees “freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, including the right to individually or jointly with others to profess any religion or not to profess any, freely choose, have and disseminate religious and other beliefs and act in accordance with them”. Most Russians are Orthodox Christians, however there are different religious practices existing in Russia:
Spiritual, but not religious (10%)
Russia is quite a sporting country, not only in hockey, as many people think, but in football, handball, basketball, boxing, auto racing, volleyball, athletics, tennis and chess rounding as well.
As Mikhail Lermontov said “Russians have a subtle soul, we are people of arts”. Russia has made a great contribution to world art. Ballet is a popular art form coming out of Russia. Also, Russian are very proud of their literature, because it has made worldwide impact, with writers such as Leon Tolstoy (“Anna Karenina” and “War and Peace”) and Fyodor Dostoevsky (“Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov”) still being read around the world. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a 19th-century Russian composer, became famous for his “Swan Lake” and the “1812 Overture” all over the world glorified the name of Russian classical music.
Like most people, Russians like to relax, and especially on public holidays. In Russia they are:
January 1-8 – New Year holidays;
January 7 – Christmas;
February 23 – Defender of the Motherland Day;
March 8 – International Women’s Day;
May 1 – Holiday of Spring and Labor;
May 9 – Victory Day;
June 12 is the Day of Russia;
November 4 is the Day of National Unity.
Also, Paskha (Easter) is a major holiday in Russia. During it people go to church, consecrate eggs, painted in festive lights, cottage cheese and Kulich (cake of cylindrical shape with glaze on top)
Other popular holidays, which are not public, include Old New Year (January 13), Tatiana Day (day of Russian students and women with the name Tatiana on 25 January), Maslenitsa (an old pagan holiday a week before the Great Lent; During this holiday, people bake bliny (thin pancakes) treat their friends and neighbors.), and Peter and Fevronia Day (on 8 July and this is the Russian analogue of Valentine’s Day, which is called The Day of love, family and fidelity).
However, I would attribute traditions to the mixed part of the iceberg model of culture. It does not mean traditions on holidays, but the traditions of Russian people in general, unspoken rules like their business and social etiquette, as well as means of nonverbal communication, eye contact, how they show emotions, their concepts of personal space, definitions of beauty, and basic ideas about manners and contextual behavior.
The Russian people, in their essence, are honest and open. However, despite their openness, unlike European people, Russian people do not smile at strangers, because in this country this is a signal of personal sympathy or familiarity; they do it sincerely.
However, eye contact is highly important in Russia, you will be expected to keep eye contact during a conversation, especially when first introduced. It shows a respect to this person.
Russians usually show very respectful behavior in public. Russian people dislike talking loud and expressing strong emotions in public, as well as gesticulate a lot. This is considered impolite in Russia. Only mild gesticulation within its own space is considered decent, since Russian people are very respectful of their personal space and do not like it to be violated. A handshake is considered an acceptable and even respectful gesture towards the Russians. However, there are gestures that people in this country consider indecent. For example, showing a person with a forefinger is the height of impropriety. It is worth pointing at the person with all four fingers, opening the palm of your hand. Also keeping hands in your pockets during a conversation can offend a person. Moreover, people should pay attention, especially foreign businessmen, on the fact that in Russia it is not accepted to show the OK sign. This is considered a disrespectful gesture towards your partner.
As for social etiquette, in Russia there is an unspoken rule: when if you are going to visit someone’s home as a guest you have to bring a small gift (a cake, a bottle of wine, sweets, especially if there are children in the house). When entering the house, you need to take off your shoes.
This is a part of the country’s culture, which can only be understood by penetrating this culture, having lived with this country for many years. This part includes the values of people, their beliefs, superstitions, assumptions, attitudes toward the elders, the future, their history, ideas about childrearing, the feeling of compassion, definitions of adulthood, concepts of self, roles of gender/sex/age/class and others.
Russian people as two of their main values position education and family. From an early age, understanding the importance of education in the future, they pay great attention to the choice of the institution, as well as the quality of teaching. Also, a belief about the importance of the family as a primary value is absorbed by children from an early age. That’s why Russian people treat the elders with great care and respect.
Russian people mostly treat their country with great patriotism. They are very respectful and proud of their history. It is very important for Russian people to know and remember the history of their country. And not knowing is considered shameful. However, the Russians are not so optimistic about their future. In essence, the Russians are highly freedom-loving people and therefore are very skeptical towards the state authorities, considering modern politicians to be corrupt and guilty of all the failures in the country.
Russian people greatly value friendship and human relations based on sincerity and mutual understanding. They hold fast to the notion of “truth” and “justice,” always struggle for these two components. In disputes a Russian person will be committed to the last, defending his truth. Russian people, especially men are distinguished by a serious moral force. In contrast to Western countries, in Russia prevails let’s say “patriarchy”. A man in a relationship is considered more powerful and a major member, taking the basic decisions and defending his family. However, in Russia, women are not deprived of their rights. From early childhood parents educate in boys respect for all women, as well as for their mother.
The Russians are very superstitious people. In Russia there are still beliefs about the evil eye and about the existing means against the evil eye. In houses it is not accepted to whistle, according to the Russians’ belief this entails material problems. Russian people sincerely believe that the number 13 can bring failure or financial problems, but a broken dish will bring happiness.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF RUSSIAN CULTURE
Value of family, relationships, friendship
High human morality
Respect for elders and women
Russian cohesion and mutual assistance
Multifaceted culture (due to the large number of different nationalities and cultures)
Cultural patriotism of people
Value of traditions and history of the country Weaknesses
Weak discipline, rejection of state power
Low level of tolerance
Lack of Initiative
Irresponsibility and a propensity for a loose life
The influence of Western experience on the Russian sphere of sport and education (In many higher institutions, instruction is conducted on European technologies, the importance of learning foreign languages is increased, and training is conducted on student exchange programs, which raises the level of education in Russia.
In Russia, gradually comes the idea of the importance of sport, both leisure and a healthy lifestyle. This is very good, to my mind, because statistics show that young people are more and more fond of sports, the percentage of young people who smoke and drink alcohol decreases.)
Against the backdrop of strong influence on the part of other countries, state programs are conducted, drawing the attention of Russians to their own culture in the first place. They are based on knowledge of the history and culture of their country, the architectural heritage of Russia is also being restored, which helps Russians to more appreciate the true Russian culture and preserve its original role. Threats
The impact of European culture in a negative way. The Federal Service of State Statistics, and in particular the Department of Cultural Studies, concluded: Over the past five years, Russians have become more subordinate to European culture. The values of people began to change. Instead of sincerity and human relations, material values and money came to the fore. People became more cold-blooded, became intolerant of human pain and ailments. According to a recent poll, more than 50% of people expressed the opinion that people with incurable diseases should not be treated and allocate money for this, they should be isolated. 60% of them explained this by the fact that such practice has been practiced in the West for a long time.
The culture of Russia begins to overflow with Western components. Real Russian architecture has gone to the background, Russian people began to forget the true Russian words, replacing them with English.
All these factors inevitably lead to the loss of Russia’s own image and culture, making it only a copy of the Western countries, which is a great threat to the prosperity of Russian Culture.
Obviously, Russian culture has both negative and positive sides. As for me, in the culture of my country I do not like the low level of tolerance. Russian people see themselves in everything much better than others. This is a great cultural disadvantage, in my opinion. As the well-known writer Leo Tolstoy said: “It is bad and stupid to regard ourselves as the best of all, as we all know.
To consider your nationality better than all others is already more stupid than anything that can be. But this is not only not considered bad, but considered a great virtue. ”
But on the other hand, I have great respect for the culture of my country, masculinity, purposefulness and “humanity” of people. They are open and sincere, live by the present and are able to rejoice at every moment of life, despite all the difficulties. I am proud of the culture of my country and its multifaceted history. Multifacetedness, multinationality and cohesion are the biggest pluses of the Russian mentality.
-40386039243000MACRO-, MICRO-, SUB- CULTURE ISSUE
Culture has several levels, which I presented graphically.
Macro culture is its more extensive meaning, it usually includes a set of values, opinions, goals, relationships and visions that are practiced by society. This culture in its own form. In this case, this is the culture of Russia.
A small unit of culture in a broad common culture is called microculture. When a group of people lives their own identity in a broad and dominant culture, accepting it, but not losing their identity, it is called microculture. Social beliefs, social forms, religious beliefs and racial traits, all of them together constitute a microculture. An excellent example is the culture of the Yakuts. Microcultures are of great importance. Culture becomes more versatile, diverse and tolerant.
When a group of people has a unique culture that distinguishes them from a larger culture, they want to be different from other people, express themselves in a special way, called subculture. Subculture can differ from the dominant culture by its own value system, language, behavior, clothing and other aspects. There are subcultures that are formed on the national, demographic, professional, geographical and other bases. A well-known example is the youth subcultures (for example, Rastafari). Subcultures arise because they are important and necessary for society: they give an opportunity, especially to youth and adolescents, to show themselves creatively, to determine their place in life, to find friends. Youth subcultures are very necessary for the socialization of the individual – this is the most important role of the subculture in our society.
Arguing about these three levels of Russian culture one can set a good example on me. I am a part of Russian culture, but at the same time, being an Azerbaijani by nationality, I belong to the vast Azerbaijani culture, which exists for a long time on the territory of the Russian Federation.
DR. GEERT HOFSTEDE’S 6 CULTURAL DIMENSIONS
The typology of cultural measurements, developed by Geert Hofstede, is the basis for cross-cultural communication. Using information derived from factor analysis, she describes the impact of society’s culture on the individual values of its members, and how these values affect their behavior. The typology is based on the idea that value can be divided into six dimensions of culture. These dimensions include: distance from power, isolation, masculinity, avoidance of uncertainty, strategic thinking and assumption (or indulgence).
Thinking about the culture of my country, I would make the following conclusion about the levels of these six dimensions in Russia:
However, Dr.Hofstede had another result of his research:
Now, I’m going to explain my opinion and factors why I don’t agree with Dr.Hofstede’s one.
In the first dimension our opinions converged. Less powerful members of institutions and organisations within Russia expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.
Russians do not have a strong individualism trait. Russian people are very close-knit, not used to making decisions alone, often acting in a team. There is such a famous saying “when the Russians are together, they are invincible.” So, the index of individualism in Russia is low.
Masculinity is characterized by a focus on achieving results at any cost; For Russian characteristics such qualities as rivalry, courage, perseverance, self-confidence, purposefulness and perseverance are characteristic. That is why I would describe Russia as a country with a high index of this dimension.
Avoidance of uncertainty (rejection of uncertainty) – the degree of perception and response to unfamiliar situations; It is typical for Russia to prevent undefined, unclear situations, the desire to establish clear rules of behavior, trust in traditions and beliefs, a tendency to intragroup agreement, intolerance towards people with a different life position, way of thinking.
Russians have very well developed strategic thinking, they are persistent and persistent in achieving their goals. They look to the future and value force and persistence, adapting to changes.
With the last change, I was extremely disagreed. Russian people are very positive about their life, it is very important for them to live happily, as they are guided by the rule “only one life” and often use the quote of the famous writer Nikolai Ostrovsky “Man’s dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past.” Therefore, they pay great attention to their leisure, satisfaction of their needs. Russian people see joy even in simple things. They know how to be happy. This is my personal opinion about people in my country, which I can back up with statistics. The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion concluded that 84% of Russians consider themselves to be happy and satisfacted, despite any difficulties in life.
Differences in our researches could have arisen because of the difference in acquaintance with Russian culture. Dr. Hofstede is not part of Russian culture and can not know it from all sides, like a real Russian. He sees only the tip of the iceberg of Russian culture. Many factors of the Russian mentality and thinking are hidden for him. In my study, I reasoned from the position of a Russian person, I described how I know my fellow countrymen.
In our modern life, we often have to deal with people of different cultural backgrounds, with whom we need to cooperate, work and communicate. So how successfully work among people of different cultures, languages and countries? You need some components of competence in the field of culture, such as: motivation, tolerance for ambiguity, openness and knowledge and skills of intercultural communication, as well as good language skills.
Being able to deal with this cultural difference peacefully, never mind creatively and innovatively, is becoming a survival issue to thrive in a global world as a global leader.
The knowledge of cultural differences can help us to understand
• How people communicate (verbal and nonverbal);
• How culture impacts how people view time and deadlines (Time consciousness – cyclical or lineal);
• How they are likely to ask questions or highlight problems;
• How people respond to management and authority;
• How people perceive verbal and physical communication;
• How people make decisions;
• How they process information (abstract thinking/rote memory).
Many of the t?chniques, skills and theories of intercultural communication are widely applicable in any aspect of our life. In particular in our careers, skills of intercultural communication are essential.
As national economies develop, intersect and merge, the need to conduct business in a variety of cultures is an irreversible necessity. International corporations are increasingly looking for managers who are flexible and able to adapt and apply their communicational, tolerance and integrity skills that will contribute to success at the international level.
As a manager, you may face the problem of cultural differences in the importance of the team, but you must be able to take control of the situation.
First of all, pay attention to recognition. You need to recognize that people of different nationalities and cultures work with you.
Improve your negotiating skills with people of different cultures
Improve cultural competence skills. Communicate and learn the cultures of your colleagues. Be considerate and respectful of employees. For example, it would be very disrespectful to appoint a meeting with a person on any important religious holiday of his country.
Based on the previous paragraph, pay attention not to diversity, but to the similarity of cultures. Build the right commands. Some cultures can be very similar, people from such cultures will be pleased to work together.
Create an atmosphere of openness and acceptance. Arrange a friendly briefing for the staff, where they could tell their colleagues about their cultures and countries.
Encourage interaction. When you identify the problems associated with diversity in the workplace, discuss them with your employees in a polite manner. For example, encourage employees who want to collaborate with people of other cultures and nationalities who submit new ideas on this matter. Initiation of these types of interactions encourages your employees to learn more about the styles of communication, talents and goals – their own and their colleagues.
Suppress the intercultural conflicts at the very beginning. Participate in the working life of your employees. Try to help them to come to a compromise and understand the cause of the conflict in order to settle it.