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Hi Nixan, Thank you for some interesting points and being so involved in the topic. To answer a few of your questions - Natallia is the way my name is spelled in my passport. So your you may refer your suspicions to the passport offices in Russia and hopefully educate them on the proper spelling techniques that you seem to master)) As for my surname, in case this thought hasn't crossed your mind, there is this old-fashioned tendency among girls to get married. So my (my husband's) surname is French by origin. Sorry for poking a hole in your "regional name" theory). And as for the other points, all I have done is list a number of EXPAT stereotypes that I have encountered having lived in China over 4 years. Of course, they are subjective and based on personal experience. Chinese stereotypes I have mentioned are based on 2 years of experience working as a mediator in Chinese-Russian negotiations. Thank you for sharing your experiences as well. We all have different stories in China and what we face may represent only a small part of the whole picture)
May 26, 2013 16:48 Report Abuse
Hi, Natalia! Thank you for attention to my person. I am not so vulgar and familiar as to poke my nose into your private life, to discuss your personality. Never! Only a declaration of one participant that you are “Of Russian blood”(used as argument) forced me to talk of this circumstance. Now when you explained that those were stereotypes of EXPATs (not of Chinese people) , I can agree with you: those listed above were rather ordinary, popular stereotypes of Western cold-war style propaganda, one can find in many Western papers even now. True attitude of Chinese people towards Russians is quite different, it is very positive, respectful, sympathetic, friendly. At this point for me discussion is over. By the way (purely for academic interest), GOOGLE says , that your husbands surname Slimani is of Arabian origin, last times more and more popular in France. Your personal name according to the Law on transliteration (1997) should be written correctly as “Natalia” (but there is still a lot of chaos in this matter).
May 26, 2013 18:14 Report Abuse
Hi Nixan, Thank you for the information) I hope the people responsible for putting names in passports would refer to the Law of Transliteration more often) To be totally honest, I am not very knowledgeable as to the origin of surnames so thank you foe letting me know. I am happy that you have met only positive response from Chinese people. Good luck)
May 26, 2013 19:37 Report Abuse
As a university student where most of my classmates are Russian (or Ukrainian), I can say that they never want to do any socializing with people from other countries, always speak only Russian with each other, and either do extremely well or extremely poor on their tests/classwork. I can't say this applies to everyone, but to the group I deal with, they seem very elitist and have no real interest in China.
May 24, 2013 13:10 Report Abuse
We judge people on what they do.If you are known to have women with loose manners,or men with a drinking problem,people will use these against you before working hard to find out the stuff you are made of.The idea of shooting foreign students in Russia has nothing to do with politics,but has more to do with racism.Isn't it a paradox that Russians are everywhere,but at the same time people from other countries are murdered just because of their race or skin color? without going into politics,even the way Russian leaders treat their own people,and others can hardly elicit sympathy from around the world. All what the world seees is brutality,so people internalize these things.Individual Russians maybe decent,but a bad picture has been painted over a long time.I don't think anybody can explain clearly why foreign students are always attacked by skinheads in Russia.By doing this,they only incur the anger and hatred of the rest of the world.
May 23, 2013 22:48 Report Abuse
Firefigter says: I don't think anybody can explain clearly why foreign students are always attacked by skinheads in Russia.By doing this,they only incur the anger and hatred of the rest of the world. I can give you some explanations about such conflicts in Russia. Here is one story. Mass-median announced: In St-Petersburg a group of Russian skinheads attacked two little children of Asian (Tadzhikistan) immigrants family, a boy about 12 years was wounded by knives and a girl about 7 years was wounded and later she died. That horrible story of course immediately attracted attention of Western medias , inspired broad talks on “Russian racism” , skinheads, and so on. I then searched Russian media and the true story looks like this. "Skinheads" also were 14-16 years, i.e. they also were children. That immigrant (Tadzhick) worked in this place as a yard cleaner. But his main business was import and sales of drugs (heroine), and he used his children as retail sellers. Russian children living in the yard sometimes complained to the policeman about this heroine trade (and some children also became drug consumers), but the cleaner corrupted the local policemen and policemen ignored their information. And once has happened a tragedy. A Russian boy has bought from this little girl dirty drugs, accepted, and died. His friends (“skinheads”) got angry and went to revenge upon this retailers, and with knives they wounded two above-mentioned children. Reaction of some liberal and western media was standard: Russia…racism…skinheads…(and no one word about drugs, dead Russian child and so on). I will tell you more one story from our ordinary life. An African boy came to Russia as a student, graduated Univesity here, fall in love with a Russian girl and married her. But after graduation he didn’t want return home to Africa (war, poverty) and they cannot stay in Moscow (no money, Moscow is expensive), and they both went to live in the village of his Russian wife. After some years local men decided: this African boy can speak Russian, he is an educated man (university degree) and unlike Russians he doesn’t like to drink vodka, and they elected him as a chairman of local agricultural cooperative. That story was broadcasted by TV as a funny story. That is what Russians are. Of course, you will never know such stories from Western media. I may say: If a foreign student doesn’t bring and sell drugs to Russia, if he respects laws and moral of this country , the Russia will answer him in the same way. And when you read Western media information of Russia – be very cautious, careful, think by your own brains, don’t become a slave of subversive propaganda.
Jun 05, 2013 11:20 Report Abuse
I really like the way Nixan and The-Final discussed this issue and I think people should read and understand their discussion.For me,I believe there's there's good and bad in any society,country or race.How do we as humans allow this to affect our daily interraction with a fellow human is the question.After all,to be human is the only one thing that connect us together.It's a bad and an unfortunate thing to be a stereotype.As a person of colour from Africa,I'm facing the problem of discrimination due to stereotypic nature of the locals and even some other foreigners from the west at large.It is often quite believed that Africans don't go to sch,diseases and poverty rate is high,etc.I used to be a science oriented student back in high school.But when I ask my western colleagues who were also science students back in high sch some basic science questions just to play with and remember old times.They never answered correctly.Things like the first 20 elements on the periodic table in basic chemistry.And some of them are college graduate of science.And when I say the answer in just few seconds,they will be amazed.And yet,I'm African and I schooled in Africa.A lot of Africans are senior professors in alot of Western Universities.Infact,there's a saying that,the worst student in Africa,can always become the best in the west.This is to show how good we are in terms of education and other things too.Stereotype also beleives that Africans or people of colour are peddling drugs for money.But may I ask them,if they know of any narcotic labs in Africa?Or can we eradicate drug biz without wiping out the production labs? of course they won' talk about the labs.They are hypocrites!If Africans are poor and uneducated,why would the father of the president of the most powerful nation in the world leave Kenya for America to study? And there are many African scholars and biz men all over the world.We should just look at the individual cases and not generalize things when dealing with people.Cos,we might miss the right and the best person around.I've met Russians and other people around the world and never a time I've allowed my experience with one affect or judge the other.It's quite immature to judge one by the experience encountered with others.Where the experience is good or bad.The experience should just be a guiding too and not to judge.
Jul 18, 2013 14:19 Report Abuse
I think this article illustrate how stereotypes can be true or misleading sometimes. I Did not know any Russians before I come to China and like everybody else I did not think Russians were the best people to be friends with, but after few years and few more Russian friends I realized that they are not so bad and that most of them are very nice and decent people at least the ones I know. Of course, it's easy to generalize but you have to start giving individuals a chance, you will be amazed how sometimes people are different from what they seem to be.
May 23, 2013 15:14 Report Abuse
I've run into several Russian men and most of them just sort of glare back at me. The women I've seen tend to be of the rich sort and shot at the expensive boutiques in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Then there's the odd news story every now and then of a Russian going on a drunken rampage.
May 23, 2013 13:23 Report Abuse
You've only harped about the historical reasons and stereotypes about Russians,but you've glossed over the real problem. It doesn't escape people's scrutiny around the world some of the wicked things Russians do. When skinheads in Russian cities perch on high rise buildings to gun down students from Mostly African, Eastern European and Asian countries,they shouldn't think the world laughs about it. When people around the world see tens of journalists being gunned in Russian cities every year,it further aggravates the image people have of Russians. When the whole world sees polonium being used to murder Russian citizens abroad, everyone starts taking their distance from citizens of such a country. When the world Russia has a dwindling population because the men spend more time drinking liquor s and have difficulty procreating,the country further loses respect. Most Russian students in cities like Harbin spend all their nights in bars drinking. Playing high life is the real reason they came to China ,not to study. We can go on and on,but we should start telling the truth. People are afraid of Russians because they do things that scare the hell out of others. Their sulky faces may be an expression of the real moi interieur of Russians. The world judges you on what you actually do,not some perceived historical stereotypes.
May 23, 2013 12:32 Report Abuse
Good points. But don't you think that if we formed our judgements of an entire nation based on a few criminals in power and a handful of drunks in a bar there would be any country that could stand the scrutiny? There would be no journalists to "gun down" if there were no people writing the truth, there would be no demonstrations on the Red Square if people were OK with poisoning of their compatriots. Many countries across the world have found themselves in a position where the government no longer represented the interests or values of its people. So I completely agree that every person should be "judged" on what he/she does. Individually.
May 23, 2013 15:06 Report Abuse
Firefighter you are so right...When I was in Dalian and Shenyang...Most of the Russian students I came across partied all night...The "soviet union" men were so racist against black men because the Russian girls were hardcore into us. I even had some threatening to beat me up because the girl that he liked was chasing after me! I didn't make first contact, she did. In the night clubs you could see 5-6 Russian/Turkish comrades beating up on single African men all the time...They were cowards...they would always catch people of color when they were alone...But when us people of color were together you wouldn't hear a peep from them. And all that stuff going on in Russia where skin heads and nazi's are beating up lonely African students...Bitch ass move by a bitch ass country.
May 24, 2013 09:45 Report Abuse
It’s really not fair to judge a people by how they react to black people. Everywhere is not the USA, where political correctness is held in high esteem, and black people in general are not a very well-behaved group. Obviously this doesn’t apply to every single person, but it wouldn’t be a stereotype if it wasn’t generally true. Honestly put yourselves in the shoes of others, would black people be a group that YOU would want around if you had the choice? If YOU were the store owner getting shoplifted by the groups of African students, wouldn’t you want to put up a sign saying ‘locals only’ if you had the option? It doesn’t matter whose fault African poverty is, at least in terms of changing things, maybe it is entirely the fault of European colonialism, but the only people who can affect positive change are black people themselves. They can say “No, I’m not going to steal this and prove everyone who hates me right. I can be an upright and honorable man like anybody else.” If enough people did that, eventually the prejudice would go away. 100 years ago everybody hated the irish…society didn’t change for them, they just got their shit together. Society did change for blacks, at least in the US, and now it’s up to them to rise up!
Jun 03, 2013 12:50 Report Abuse
Staaaap it. Mass school and movie theater shootings done by whites Serial killing mostly done by whites Drug dealing done by blacks World wide distribution of drugs done by Latin Americans Thievery and Skullduggery done by Chinese what does this prove? Every culture and race have bad apples...It's 2013 we have a robot on Mars but we still cannot deviate from the color of one's skin, and gender discrimination? You are harping on about how h Africans are evil and will rob you blind...what have you been watching? Menace to Society? Boyz in the Hood? Gangsta's paradise?...and it's a shame because you are the type of dingbat that has my future in your hands when I go for a job interview.
Jun 05, 2013 08:35 Report Abuse
Thanks for a very informative and interesting article. You're right on the money with the way you suggest we think of Russians. Funny that the Chinese think Russians are rude! Chinese don't like the direct approach that's for sure. In my trips to Harbin I have met quite a few Russians but the association with them has been too brief.
May 23, 2013 09:17 Report Abuse
-I enjoyed the article, but you know that the majority of white prostitutes in Asia are Russian or from other ex-soviet states. Notice I say WHITE, obvious most Russian girls are not hookers, and most working girls in China/Korea/etc are natives, but you ignore this in your article. Instead of ignoring that, why don't you discuss how damaging it is for women from your country to be associated with the sex trade?
May 23, 2013 07:07 Report Abuse
You raise a really good point. It damages the reputation of foreign women in general, in fact. My friends and I went out to a club the other night and they had some "foreign entertainment" (ie. Russian strippers). When my girlfriend and I went to the washroom, we were propositioned, and she was groped by some disgusting local guy. I explained that we were not hookers and not for sale, and we left. But my city, Nanning, is currently full of Russian "talent" in the bars and clubs, and it's getting harder and harder to find a club where we won't be mistaken for prostitutes, even though we generally wear jeans and a t-shirt when we go out.
May 23, 2013 09:55 Report Abuse
Good point, for sure. Unfortunately, being/looking Russian in a club is often interpreted as being "a working girl". But I hope that it is still in our power to make this stereotype a thing of the past. And if more and more girls start putting "disgusting groping individuals" in place - we may be able to get the message through. This may be the right time to show off that infamous Russian "toughness")
May 23, 2013 10:35 Report Abuse