Monday, May 10, 2010

Sayings / Поговорки: Russian Class

In the picture above, our teacher Nina is taking my friend Ariel's blood pressure to confirm the suspicion that Arie's headaches are due to the difference between her blood pressure and the air pressure outside.

"Children need mothers and fathers. Mothers love with their hearts. Fathers love in practical ways. Children need to know and learn both ways."

"Women are like the weather. They are not stable. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad. Men can never understand them." When I objected to this statement, Nina simply laughed and explained that only American women would oppose such a concept.

"The psychological condition of the contemporary Russian is that they doubt themselves; they do not trust themselves. It is a catastrophe, a parasite."

"I am not propaganda-ing anything. It is just that crime is a part of life." (There is a specific word in Russian for the verbal version of "propaganda"). For some reason, when Yulia brings up something that she considers semi-controversial, including talking about traditional Russian Orthodox religious holidays, she quickly apologizes and tells us that she is not trying to make "propaganda" for anything. Likewise when we went over the theme of crime and punishment in contemporary Russia. However, she did not follow this trend when discussing art and literature. Ah, the interesting manifestations of the Russian mentality.

"Life is too stressful everyday to be able to think of higher things, of philosophical things." A potential answer to my greatest questions about Russia?

While watching a Soviet-era cartoon about two girls out-smarting two boys in hunting mushrooms in a rural area, we asked our teacher why one of the girls had a huge, bloody scratch on her face. After all, these were actors in a children's show. Nina answers with a face indicating the obviousness of it: "Because she lives in the country."

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