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Russians and Americans Still Striving to Understand Each Other

15. July 2011 by Michelle 0 Comments

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While Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is visiting Washington D.C. this week to discuss major issues like the missile defense program, the Middle East and the World Trade Organization, Russian businesses and educators are also trying to strengthen relationships between themselves and Americans.


Despite dozens of U.S. History and Russian Studies courses at both countries’ universities, Russians and Americans still “don’t know what’s really going on” with each other, says Edward Lozansky, president of the American University in Moscow and founder of the World Russia Forum.


Russian students are often asked what comes to mind when thinking about America. Some say Elvis, Washington and democracy, while others bring up baseball and hot dogs. “I have friends who think America is still full of cowboys and Marines,” says 19-year-old Ivan Ivanov.


Marika Kupreyshvili, a student in the Department of International Relations, says she takes American Studies classes to gain a deeper understanding of a society that many Russians know only superficially through movies.


"Breaking the stereotype is impossible," she says, but with more exposure "the attitude toward the stereotype will change.”


Click to see more pics of hot Russian bride Alleksa!Yevgeny Savostyanov, senior vice president of Sistema Mass-Media and deputy chairman of the rapprochement society, offers this explanation:


“There is a profound difference in the histories, cultures and mentalities of our two peoples. At the heart of the American tradition are individualism, initiative and personal responsibility. The basis of ours is paternalism and conformity. This is the reason for the irregular and sometimes aggressive treatment of internal events, when you look at them from the other side.”


Russian dating is another avenue for these varied cultures to come together and understand more about each other. Gentlemen who travel to countries of the Former Soviet Union tend to think about them in a whole new way.


“In my experience, when Americans come to Russia, they fall in love with it,” says Irina Morozova, a professor of American literature at the Russian State University for the Humanities.


The Moscow Times