The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Is it true that Americans are hypocritical: the opinion of a Russian-speaking immigrant

'29.07.2022'

Source: "Russian in America" ​​on Yandex.Zen

Many Russians blame Americans for insincerity and hypocrisy. To understand how fair this accusation is, the author of the channel suggests "Russian in America" ​​on Yandex.Zen. Next - from the first person.

Photo: Shutterstock

First, just in case, I want to emphasize that neither my blog, nor this post in particular, are intended to present the United States or Russia in a favorable or unfavorable light. Everything said here is based on my experience of living in Russia and the USA and is published for those who are interested in learning about the life and culture of the States from the personal experience of migrants, and not supporters of anti-Russian or anti-American propaganda.

Actually, what is hypocrisy in general?

This is when in the face - one thing, and behind the eyes - another. Let's be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves if we are doing the same to our loved ones, colleagues and strangers? You read the comments under posts and videos on the Internet and sometimes ask yourself a question: people willingly write insults anonymously, but would they say all this to the author in the face? I would like to believe that the majority still do not.

Then what is hypocrisy? No, this is good breeding, a culture that we are taught with varying degrees of success from an early age. Then how can we say that the Americans are "hypocritical" and the Russians, as in Gogol's "The Government Inspector", showing off before the arrival of a big shot, are not?

On the subject: Point of view: the myth of fake smiles and dumb Americans

Friend ≠ friend

An American, having once talked to you at a party, will already call you my friend (“My friend”) or a friend of mine ("one of my friends"). To me personally, this scenario reminds me of the image of drunken Russian men who, after a few shots of vodka, already turn to their drinking companions “friend” and “brother”. A Russian may have a misunderstanding: he calls me a friend, but in a relationship he doesn't let me get closer to him (only smiles) - what kind of hypocrisy?

But the point is that the concept courier in English and the concept "friend" in Russian do not coincide. Any translator will tell you that there are no words identical in meaning and use between languages. Anyway, one of these words will be wider or narrower in meaning than its analogue in another language. therefore courier in my example, it would be more correct to translate as “buddy”. And we do not expect the same from friends as from friends. Right?

American to American strife

Here in the south, the expression is common southern hospitality (“Southern hospitality”) - this is what the southern states are famous for. Residents receive guests with all the warmth and courtesy, which is sometimes unusual for visitors from other, more individualized regions.

On the subject: What American Food Unpleasantly Surprised Me: Tourist Experience in New York

Let me give you another example, this time with the northern state. Minnesota is recognized as the friendliest state in the United States, there is even an expression here minnesota nice (“polite in Minnesota”). In the parking lot, residents will give you a seat even if it is rush hour and there are practically no places, and in a store or on a table there will never be an empty shelf / plate / pack, because in their culture it is always to leave the last piece untouched in case someone the other wants to eat it. At the same time, stereotypes about other states say that there is every man for himself, that people do not make eye contact with strangers (yes, this is shocking to some Americans).

I know Americans who, for the sake of meeting with their foreign friends, travel for 7-8 hours by car to another city, and even bring home-made cake with them.

I know Americans who for every holiday, out of love and respect, give small surprises to their teachers.

I know Americans who, despite years of family tradition, prepare vegetarian versions of just about everything on Thanksgiving (except, of course, turkey) simply because one of their guests doesn't eat meat, fish, eggs, or mayonnaise.

My long-term experience of communicating with people from different countries and cultures shows that we are all just people, so nothing human is alien to us.

Original column published on channel "Russian in America" ​​on Yandex.Zen

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