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Guide to Russia > Russian Culture




We try to clear up a few mysteries. You can judge the results.

As we observe in our article on Russian women, the phenomenon of Russian women marrying foreign men continues. But why are Russian women so eager to marry foreigners? Are their native men that bad?

In fact they are. And at the same time they are not. Fundamentally, Russian men are not any different from Europeans or Americans. The men living in the large cities are well-educated, mostly in technical specialties. Many work in big companies and are busy with careers; many work with computers or in computer programming; some work in the sales departments of big stores or firms. Men also do most of the public transportation driving. The younger generation is very career-orientated and they are eager to live a good and comfortable life. To achieve this, they are ready to study and work hard. As a matter of fact, in major Russian cities today the younger generation can have quite a comfortable life.

Unfortunately, in the smaller cites and villages life is completely different. There is much less opportunity and life is very dull. The salaries are very low. Younger people try to go to the big cities to get a better job and a more interesting life, but it is very complicated. In Russia we still have a registration law that makes people have to prove they have a place to live before they can work there. It is therefore very hard to pick up and move to another city in search of work! Thus, only the strongest and smartest can survive in the big city. The others stay in the smaller cities, cut off from opportunity. This fuels alcoholism. The level of education is also quite low; people are depressed and unhappy with their lives. This situation is very hard for men because they are the traditional head of and provider for the family, and being unable to fulfill this role generates a lot of stress and depression for them. These negative feelings and this sense of little or no worth are often expressed in alcoholism.

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The same goes for the older generation in a way. They lived most of their lives in the Soviet period, when life was completely different from how it is now. They used to work, but not necessarily very hard. They knew that there was little choice between foods and goods and all received pretty much the same salaries. They didn't have to compete; they just lived their lives and tried to make the most of simple things. As one can see the older generation obviously is experiencing trouble orientating to the new life in Russia. Not many of them adjusted well to the new circumstances. This has caused a lot of suffering. Since many men in the older generation are well educated, they do not drink as much as men do in the villages, but this doesn't mean that they are happy.

So as we see, life in Russia is tough for men nowadays. They feel responsible for providing for their families, but in many cases they just don't have the opportunity. So from time to time they become aggressive, they become alcoholics, they become depressed. Poor them. But this doesn't mean that they are bad. Usually they are well educated and kind hearted as well, they can be as romantic as any men from any country. They can deeply understand a woman with her different way of thinking and taking in the world.. Many men in Russia have a great sense of humor and they can really have fun. They can also be very good friends. So if it wasn’t for the troubles Russia has suffered through all the times, Russian men could probably win the title of the best men in the world. But you can start discovering that for yourselves.

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