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

“Privezenka”: what to do if you are being discriminated in a new country



They emigrate for various reasons: someone goes to study, someone works, and someone leaves for family reasons. And when you watch Facebook on the background of exotic plants and the sparkling sea behind girlfriends and acquaintances who have become emigrants, it seems that everything is fine with them. However, behind the visible ideal picture often hides depression, lack of demand and social loneliness. And if to this “cocktail” add discrimination on the basis of nationality or in the workplace, it becomes clear why many immigrant women dream to go back.

Photos from the personal archive of Angela Vladimirova

But our heroine is not a timid one. After emigrating to Israel, Angela Vladimirova managed to overcome the depression, rebuild her business under the realities of a new country for her, and also put in place those who used the words "goyke" and "imported" in her address.

Who needs me here?

After moving to Israel, I spent the first year in a severe depression. The only thing that saved me was training in Istituto Marangoni and joint project with the brand theBODYwear. Working with them pulled me out of an unpleasant psychological state. Arriving in Israel and even looking around, but not having a certain circle of acquaintances (my husband had no circle that I needed), I was afraid that I might become unnecessary here. I also thought that because of the non-mastery of Hebrew, I would have nothing left but to be just the wife of my husband. But I soon realized that language was not an obstacle. And immersion in the environment in which I got.

Traumatic environment

This is the environment of old migrants, repatriates (here they are called so) who moved in the most difficult years for them. They were repatriated from the Soviet Union, which stripped them down to the bone. Everything was taken away - apartments, salaries (for many a year they had not been paid before leaving), property, it was also impossible to take out the savings. It was possible to take out $ 200 per person. The family was given a container in which you could collect a small amount of acquired property - that's all. The repatriation of these people was the largest in the history of Israel. And Israel just choked, the country did not expect that there will be so many repatriates. And everyone should be given work, shelter, social guarantees, food. On the one hand, a lot of workers came, a lot of smart minds, but at the same time, people came who could not do much. And there was a very difficult situation in the country, there was a struggle for survival. Sometimes it was a struggle with ourselves, and sometimes - among ourselves. Plus, constant military conflicts also cause trauma to society.

Finding myself in a small but “concentrated” environment of people, I had to resist this environment. Looking from the outside, you understand that their decisions are biased and dictated by a certain background. But I have my own background, and I needed to use it. And this resistance to the environment for the first year prevented me from getting my bearings. Plus depression. It was interconnected.

“Go first, wash the floors and learn Hebrew!”

It so happened that I found myself among people who, whether better or worse, passed this struggle. They are traumatic, let's call them that. So, communication with traumatics, apparently, awakened memories of some of my traumas - childhood and adulthood. And the move itself is also stressful, especially to another country. And these experiences associated with emigration were aggravated after contact with traumatic people. The state became such that outside my house I had nothing to do. I didn't understand what people were talking about, even if they were Russian-speaking, because they seemed to be “mothballed” in the distant 90s. And there was no understanding between us.

I say: “I want to sew beautiful dresses, sewing has always saved me, I will have clients. Anyway, those who know how to sew have always had a piece of bread. " To which they told me that they don’t pay for sewing here, here you don’t make money, clients will not come to you, you cannot sew for the same price as in Kiev, because there are no such prices as in Kiev, but Kiev is generally a village.

Like, a neck for three rubles, and we will bring you our friends, and you will be fine. I retorted: “You can not sew, but do something completely different - I see Russian-speaking people in the atelier, shops and how hard it is for them, how tired they are, how expensive rent is for them, and so on, and I know how to help them. I can advise them. " To which they answered me: “You? Consult? Where did you come from? What can you teach them? They've been here for 27 years! Go wash the floors first and learn Hebrew! ”. This favorite phrase about “cleaning the floors” was rarely applied to me, because people apparently respected and loved me.

Photos from the personal archive of Angela Vladimirova


In general, not finding a common language and understanding, I closed at home and, at most, where I spoke, - in the Israeli Russian-speaking community Facebook... I didn’t post anything serious, wrote about my travels and put a photo on the topic “how beautiful I look against the background of these flowers”. But suddenly people began to notice me and somehow I began to annoy some of them. As part of some political discussion, they wrote a comment to my husband, like: “You have ceased to be a Jew at all, you have become a goi, because you have taken a goyka wife for yourself.”

And I have a question, what does "goyka" mean? When I asked it in FacebookI was told that there is nothing offensive about this, because goyim call all non-Jewish people, that is, goi are people of any other nationality. But the word goy, uttered with a certain emotion, becomes abusive. In relation to the Jews there is a similar word - Jew.

Although in the Polish language the word Yid is not abusive, but naming Jews, but in the Russian-speaking environment this word, pronounced emotionally, is already an anti-Semitic attack. Therefore, people, speaking about me goy, made a nationalist attack. I do not like disputes at the level of nations, so I try to avoid them.


I also saw this “term” in the comments of the Israeli community. They did not sound to me, but they concerned girls from post-Soviet countries, whom Israeli men married and brought them to Israel. Actually, the epithet “brought” comes from the word “to bring”. And if the word is spoken with emotion, then it expresses a negative attitude towards these women.

Let me explain why there is a negative. What kind of girls go: for the most part, they are educated and able to fight for life. They know how to fight for comfort, social benefits, for material well-being, for their status, etc. Externally they are very attractive: with well-groomed hair, beautiful eyebrows and in very rare cases with something artificial on the body or on the face, light-skinned , blonde and in certain clothes. Their dresses are a little more elegant than a summer T-shirt or what is needed at some point, their dresses are ironed and sewn of good fabrics.

Most interestingly, they don't always have makeup on their face, unlike Russian-speaking Israeli women who love lipsticks, pencils, shadows, tonics and powders. And all this distinguishes the “brought-up” from the crowd, and, objectively speaking, it makes it profitable. But the Russian-speaking Israeli women, who decided that they did not have enough beauty, for some reason, were complex. This is the first thing.

And second, despite the fact that there is an absolutely sufficient number of men here, Israeli women are not so often married. They are not always comfortable in everyday life. Although men accept them as they are, they do not always associate themselves with them in marriage. There are a lot of couples here, just living together, but not registering their relationship.

It is believed here that it is not necessary to get married in order to maintain your rights as a spouse or mother. But a woman from the post-Soviet space, without getting married, simply cannot be brought here. And here this difference in statuses between an Israeli woman and a "foreign woman" adds fuel to the fire.

Photos from the personal archive of Angela Vladimirova

How I overcame it all

  1. I told my story to the Israelis: I met 48 years ago with my husband, I do not pursue mercantile goals. It became clear to people that I had never taken it away from anyone.
  2. I showed my husband - we went out together in society, I showed our photos in Facebookhow we live, what we do.
  3. And most importantly, some time later I “separated” from him. That is, I showed that I am a person, I have my own life, a field of activity in which I can express myself on any territory, be it Kiev or Beer Sheva, I have my own goals. I just honestly voiced them and spoke directly about what I was doing.
  4. When I suddenly got into some unfamiliar society or saw comments in Facebook in his address: "You, in general, where did they bring you?" Several times they said this to my face. I just started talking to these people, I opened up to them, showed myself from all sides. And in most cases, they started to like me.
  5. Sometimes I came across absolutely "stoned" people who saw nothing at all behind their postulates. With them, I swore with some short phrase, said that we were not on the way. She did not block anyone, did not remove anyone from her friends. If they wanted to unsubscribe, they did it themselves, if they didn't, they could continue to watch my virtual life.
  6. I began to visit a psychologist. She helped me a lot. Honestly, I did not do it myself. I think that the most cope, maybe real, but for a very long time.
  7. In the end, I got up and left the house myself, although I had never left my husband anywhere before. I was not afraid of the street, I just did not want to go out, because I had nothing to do there. Who will I talk to there? What is the purpose of my going there? When the psychologist brought me out of the depressive state, I began to attend many events where there were a lot of people, a lot of communication. And not only my virtual life could be seen, but you could touch me and talk live. And over time, my old enemies became my good friends, and ill-wishers became friends.

And the moment I left, my eyes opened instantly: I realized where I was needed. I saw who I can work with in the framework of cool collaborations, where there are “holes” that can be patched up. And I took up patching and communicating with those who have already done a lot for the country and for the fashion of this country. But especially with those who never say that “there is no fashion in Israel”.

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