We Americans pride ourselves on our skill, skill, and practicality. But, having lived in Russia, I realized with sadness that this is sweet self-deception. Maybe - it was like that once. Now we - and especially our children - are slaves of a comfortable cage, in the bars of which a current is passed, which completely prevents the normal, free development of a person in our society. If the Russians are somehow weaned from drinking, they will easily conquer the entire modern world without firing a single shot. I declare this responsibly.
There was in Soviet times, if anyone remembers, such a program - "They chose the USSR." About the inhabitants of the capitalist countries who, for whatever reason, moved to the right side of the Iron Curtain. With the beginning of "perestroika", the program was, of course, buried - it became fashionable to talk about the Kramarovs and Nurievs, who, hoping for a high assessment of their talent, went to the West and found great creative happiness there, incomprehensible to the sovkobydlu. Although in fact the flow was reciprocal - moreover, then "from here to there" was MORE, although this thought to our contemporaries, poisoned by ophthalmology and other heresy, will seem strange and unusual - even to those of them who take patriotic positions.
Yes Yes. "From there" "here" - we went more. It was just that there was less noise, since these were the most ordinary people, and not "bagema", living with the attention of her beloved.
But even more strange for many will be the idea that with the fall of the USSR this stream did not dry up. Decreased - but did not stop. And in the last decade, it began to gain strength again.
This is connected, of course, not with the wise policy of Pu and Me - nothing of the kind. And we are not talking about Depardieu's Chechen buffoonery. People, ordinary people, simply run away from the distraught pederastic authorities, from mass snitching, robbery, callousness - to the "Russian expanses", where in fact it is easy to get lost and live in accordance with reason and conscience, and not with the decisions of the municipality headed by another aggressive asshole.
Many are led here by fear for children and their future. They want to be sure that the child will not be put on drugs, will not be corrupted in the classroom, they will not be made a hysterical bum, and finally - they simply will not be taken away from their parents, who, in spite of everything, want to raise him as a human being.
It is precisely about several such people - more precisely, their children and the comical (sometimes) situations in which they fell here, I will tell you a little. I will not name any places, or names and surnames. I will not even cover the details of the plot and details of the stories - readers who are interested in this will guess what they are talking about. But these stories are real. They were told to me by their eyewitnesses, and often by direct participants.
All the names of the young heroes are fictitious, like gritsa.:-)
* * *
Hans, 11 years old, German,
I don’t want to be "German"!
The very game of war warped me and even frightened me. The fact that Russian children are enthusiastically playing it, I saw even from the window of our new house in a large garden on the outskirts. It seemed to me wild that boys of 10-12 years old could play murder with such passion. I even talked about it with Hans's class teacher, but she completely unexpectedly, after listening carefully to me, asked if Hans played computer games with shooting and if I knew what was shown on the screen? I was embarrassed and could not find an answer.
At home, I mean, in Germany, I was not very happy with the fact that he sits behind such toys a lot, but at least that way he was not drawn to the street, and I could be calm for him.In addition, a computer game is not a reality, but here everything happens with living children, isn't it? I even wanted to say it, but suddenly I acutely felt that I was wrong, for which I also had no words. The class teacher looked at me very carefully, but kindly, and then said softly and confidentially: “Listen, it will be unusual for you here, understand. But your son is not you, he is a boy, and if you don’t interfere with his growth, as the local children, then nothing bad will happen to him - except perhaps only the unusual. But in fact, bad things, I think, are the same both here and in Germany. " It seemed to me that these are wise words, and I calmed down a little.
Previously, the son never played war and did not even hold a toy weapon in his hands. I must say that he did not often ask me for some gifts, being content with what I bought for him or what he himself bought with pocket money. But then he very persistently began to ask me for a toy machine, because he does not like playing with strangers, although he is given a weapon by one boy who he really likes - he named the boy, and I disliked this new friend in advance. But I didn’t want to refuse, especially since after sitting from the very beginning over the calculations, I realized an amazing thing: life in Russia is cheaper than ours, its external surroundings and some kind of carelessness and unkemptness are simply very unusual.
On the weekend in May (there are several of them here) we went shopping; Hans' new friend joined us, and I had to change my mind about him, although not immediately, because he appeared barefoot, and on the street, walking next to the boys, I was taut like a string - it seemed to me every second that now they will simply detain us, and I will have to explain that I am not the mother of this boy. But despite his appearance, he turned out to be very well-mannered and cultured. In addition, in Australia, I saw that many children also walk in something like this.
The purchase was made competently, with a discussion of the weapon and even its fitting. I felt like the leader of the gang. In the end, we bought some kind of pistol (the boys called it, but I forgot) and a machine gun, exactly the same one used by our German soldiers in the last World War. Now my son was armed and could take part in the hostilities.
Later I learned that the fighting itself had caused him a lot of grief at first. The fact is that Russian children have a tradition of sharing in such a game into teams with the names of real peoples - as a rule, those with whom the Russians fought. And, of course, it is considered honorable to be "Russian", because of the division into teams, even fights arise. After Hans brought his new weapon of such a characteristic look into the game, he was immediately recorded as "Germans". I mean, Hitler's Nazis, which, of course, he didn't want.
They objected to him, and from the point of view of logic it is quite reasonable: "Why don't you want to, you are German!" "But I'm not that German!" - yelled my unfortunate son. He has already watched several very unpleasant films on television and, although I understand that what was shown there is true, and we are really to blame, it is difficult to explain it to a boy of eleven years: he flatly refused to be such a German.
Hans helped out, and the whole game, that same boy, my son's new friend. I convey his words as Hans conveyed them to me - apparently, literally: "Then you know what ?! We will all fight against the Americans together!"
This is a completely insane country. But I like it here, and so does my boy.
Max, 13 years old, German,
burglary from a neighbor's cellar
(not the first burglary on his account, but the first in Russia)
The district police officer who came to us was very polite. This is generally a commonplace among Russians - they treat foreigners from Europe with shy, polite, cautious attitude, it takes a lot of time for you to be recognized as "their own." But the things he said scared us.It turns out that Max committed a CRIMINAL CRIME - HACKING! And we are lucky that he is not yet 14 years old, otherwise the question of a real term of imprisonment of up to five years could be considered! That is, the three days that remained until his birthday separated him from the crime in full responsibility! We couldn't believe our ears.
It turns out that in Russia from the age of 14 you can really go to jail! We regretted coming. On our timid questions - they say, how is it, why a child should answer from such an age - the district police officer was surprised, we just did not understand each other. We are used to the fact that in Germany a child is in a super-priority position, the maximum that would threaten Max for such a thing in his old homeland is a preventive conversation. However, the district police officer said that after all, the court would hardly have appointed our son, even after 14 years, a real prison term; this is very rarely done the first time for crimes not related to an attempt on personal safety.
We were also lucky that the neighbors did not write a statement (in Russia this plays a big role - without a statement from the injured party, more serious crimes are not considered), and we don’t even have to pay a fine. This also surprised us - a combination of such a cruel law and such a strange position of people who do not want to use it. After hesitating just before leaving, the district police officer asked if Max was generally inclined to antisocial behavior.
I had to admit that he was inclined, moreover, he did not like it in Russia, but this is connected, of course, with the period of growing up and should pass with age. To which the district police officer remarked that the boy should have been ripped out after his very first trick, and that was the end, and not wait until he grew into a thief. And left.
We were also struck by this wish from the mouth of the law enforcement officer. We, frankly, did not even think at that moment how close to fulfilling the officer's wishes.
Immediately after he left, the husband talked to Max and demanded that he go to the neighbors, apologize and offer to work out the damage. A huge scandal began - Max flatly refused to do so. I will not describe further - after another very rude attack on our son, my husband did exactly as the district police officer advised. Now I realize that it looked and was more ridiculous than it actually was, but then it amazed me and shocked Max. When his husband let him go - shocked by what he had done - our son ran into the room. Apparently, it was catharsis - it suddenly dawned on him that his father was much stronger physically, that he had nowhere to complain about "parental violence", that he was required to compensate for the damage himself, that he was one step away from real court and prison.
In the room he cried, not for show, but for real. We sat in the living room like two statues, feeling like real criminals, moreover - violators of taboos. We waited for a demanding knock on the door. Horrible thoughts swarmed in our heads - that our son would stop trusting us, that he would commit suicide, that we inflicted severe mental trauma on him - in general, a lot of those words and formulas that we learned in psycho-trainings even before Max was born.
For dinner, Max did not come out and shouted, still with tears, that he would eat in his room. To my surprise and horror, my husband replied that in this case Max would not get dinner, and if he didn’t sit at the table in a minute, he wouldn’t get breakfast either.
Max left after half a minute. I've never seen him like this before. However, I also did not see my husband like that - he sent Max to wash and ordered, when he returned, to ask first forgiveness, and then permission to sit down at the table. I was amazed - Max did all this, sullenly, not looking up at us. Before starting to eat, my husband said: “Listen, sonny. and you heard what the officer said. But I also don’t want you to grow up to be an insensitive bum. And here I do not care about your opinion.Tomorrow you will go to your neighbors with an apology and you will work there and so, where and how they say. Until you work out the amount you deprived them of. You understood me?"
Max was silent for a few seconds. Then he raised his eyes and answered quietly, but clearly: "Yes, dad." …
… Believe it or not, we not only no longer had the need for such wild scenes as that played out in the living room after the district police officer left - it was as if our son had been replaced. At first I was even afraid of this change. It seemed to me that Max harbored a grudge. And only after more than a month I realized that there was nothing like it. And I also realized a much more important thing. In our house and at our expense, for many years there lived a small (and no longer very small) despot and loafer who did not trust us at all and did not look at us as friends, as those by whose methods we "raised him" convinced us "- he secretly despised us and skillfully used us. And it was we who were to blame for this - we were to blame for behaving with him the way the "authoritative experts" suggested to us.
On the other hand, did we have a choice in Germany? No, it wasn't, I honestly tell myself. There, a ridiculous law stood guard over our fear and Max's childish selfishness. There is a choice here. We made it, and it turned out to be correct. We are happy, and most importantly, Max is actually happy. He had parents. And my husband and I have a son. And we have a FAMILY.
Mikko, 10 years old, finn,
snitched on classmates
The four of him were beaten by classmates. As we understood, they weren't beaten very hard, knocked down and knocked down with our backpacks. The reason was that Mikko bumped into two of them smoking outside the school in the garden. He was also offered to smoke, he refused and immediately informed the teacher about it. She punished the little smokers by taking away their cigarettes and forcing them to clean the floors in the classroom (which in itself amazed us in this story). She did not name Mikko, but it was easy to guess who told about them.
He was completely upset and not so much even experienced the beatings as bewildered - shouldn't the teacher be told about such things ?! I had to explain to him that it is not customary for Russian children to do this, on the contrary, it is customary to keep silent about such things, even if adults ask directly. We were angry with ourselves - we did not explain this to our son. I suggested that my husband tell the teacher or talk to the parents of those who participated in the attack on Mikko, however, after discussing this issue, we refused such actions.
Meanwhile, our son did not find a place for himself. "But then it turns out that now they will despise me ?!" - he asked. He was terrified. He looked like a man who got to aliens and found that he knew nothing about their laws. And we could not advise him anything, because nothing from previous experience told us how to be here. I was personally angered here by some kind of Russian double morality - is it really possible to teach children to tell the truth and immediately teach that it is impossible to tell the truth ?! But at the same time, I was tormented by some doubts - something told me: not everything is so simple, although I could not formulate it.
Meanwhile, the husband thought - his face was sullen. Suddenly he took Mikko by the elbows, put it in front of him and told him, making a gesture to me so that I did not interfere: “Tomorrow just tell those guys that you didn’t want to inform, you didn’t know that it’s impossible and you ask for forgiveness. laugh with you. And then you hit the one who laughs first. " "But dad, they'll really beat me!" - whimpered Mikko. "I know. You will fight back and they will beat you, because there are a lot of them. But you are strong, and you will also have time to hit more than once. And then, the next day, you will repeat the same thing again and if someone laughs, you hit him again. " "But daddy!" - Mikko almost howled, but his father cut him off: "You will do as I said, you understand ?!" And the son nodded, although there were tears in his eyes. The father also added: "I will find out on purpose whether there was a conversation or not."
The next day Mikko was beaten. Pretty strong. I could not find a place for myself. My husband was also tormented, I saw it.But to our amazement and joy Mikko, after a day there was no fight. He ran home very cheerful and excitedly told that he did as his father ordered, and no one began to laugh, only someone muttered: "Enough, everyone has already heard …" The strangest, in my opinion, is that from that moment on took our son completely for his own, and no one reminded him of that conflict.
Zorko, 13 years old, Serb,
about the carelessness of Russians
The country itself Zorko really liked. The fact is that he does not remember how it happens when there is no war, explosions, terrorists and other things. He was born just during the Patriotic War of 1999 and practically his whole life he lived behind barbed wire in an enclave, and I had a machine gun over my bed. Two shotguns with buckshot lay on a cabinet by the outer window. Until we got two shotguns in place, Zorko was in constant anxiety. He was also alarmed that the windows of the room overlook the forest. In general, it was a real revelation for him to get into a world where no one shoots except in the forest while hunting. Our older girl and younger brother Zorko took everything much faster and calmer due to their age.
But most of all my son was struck and horrified by the fact that Russian children are incredibly careless. They are ready to be friends with anyone, as Russian adults say, "if only a person is good." Vigilantly quickly got along with them, and the fact that he stopped living in constant expectation of war is mainly their merit. But he never stopped carrying a knife with him, and even with his light hand, almost all the boys in his class began to carry some kind of knives. Just because boys are worse than monkeys, imitation is in their blood.
So that's about carelessness. Several Muslims from different nations study at the school. Russian children are friends with them. Vigilantly from the very first day, he set a border between himself and the "Muslimans" - he does not notice them, if they are far enough away, if they are near - he pushes them away, pushes them away in order to go somewhere, sharply and clearly threatens with beatings even in response to an ordinary glance, saying that they have no right to raise their eyes to a Serb and a "Pravoslavian" in Russia.
Russian children were amazed at this behavior, we even had some, though small, problems with school bosses. These Muslims themselves are quite peaceful, I would even say - polite people. I spoke with my son, but he answered me that I wanted to deceive myself and that I myself told him that in Kosovo they were also at first polite and peaceful, while there were few of them. He also told Russian boys about this many times and kept repeating that they were too kind and too careless. He really likes it here, he literally thawed out, but at the same time my son is convinced that war awaits us here too. And, it seems, is preparing to fight in earnest.
Ann, 16 and Bill, 12, Americans,
What is work?
Offers to work as a babysitter caused either bewilderment or laughter in people. Ann was extremely upset and very surprised when I explained to her, interested in the problem, that it is not customary for Russians to hire people to monitor children over 7-10 years old - they play themselves, walk themselves and generally outside of school or some circles and sections left to their own devices. And young children are most often watched by grandmothers, sometimes mothers, and only for very little children, wealthy families sometimes hire nannies, but these are not high school girls, but women with solid experience who earn a living from this.
So my daughter was left without a job. A terrible loss. Terrible Russian customs.
After a short time, Bill was also hit. Russians are very strange people, they do not mow their lawns and do not hire children to deliver mail … The job that Bill found turned out to be "plantation work" - for five hundred rubles he was digging a hefty vegetable garden from some lovely old woman for half a day with a hand shovel. What he turned his hands into looked like chops with blood. However, unlike Ann, my son took it rather with humor and already quite seriously noticed that this could become a good business when his hands get used to, you just need to hang up advertisements, preferably colored ones.He offered Ann to share with the weeding - again by hand pulling out the weeds - and they immediately quarreled.
Charlie and Charlene, 9 years old, Americans,
features of the Russian perception of the world in the countryside.
The Russians have two unpleasant characteristics. The first is that in conversation they strive to grab you by the elbow or shoulder. Second, they drink incredibly a lot. No, I know that in fact many peoples on Earth drink more than Russians. But Russians drink very openly and even with some kind of pleasure.
Nevertheless, these shortcomings seemed to be bathed in the wonderful area in which we settled. It was just a fairy tale. True, the settlement itself resembled the settlement from the disaster movie. My husband said that this is how it is almost everywhere and that it is not worth paying attention to - the people here are good.
I didn't really believe it. And our twins were, it seemed to me, a little frightened by what was happening.
Finally, I was horrified that on the very first school day, when I was just about to drive up to pick up the twins in our car (it was about a mile to school), they were already brought directly to the house by some not quite sober man in a creepy semi-rusty jeep similar to the old Fords. In front of me, he apologized for a long time and wordy for something, referred to some holidays, scattered in praise for my children, conveyed greetings from someone and left. I fell upon my innocent angels, who were violently and cheerfully discussing the first day of school, with stern questions: did I really tell them little so that they NEVER DARE EVEN TO APPEAR CLOSE TO ANOTHER PEOPLE ?! How could they get into the car with this man ?!
In response, I heard that this is not a stranger, but the head of the school, who has golden hands and whom everyone loves very much, and whose wife works as a cook in the school cafeteria. I was numb with horror. I sent my children to the den !!! And everything seemed so cute at first sight … Numerous stories from the press about the wild morals reigning in the Russian outback were spinning in my head …
… I will not intrigue you further. Life here turned out to be really wonderful, and especially wonderful for our children. Although I'm afraid I got a lot of gray hair because of their behavior. It was incredibly difficult for me to get used to the very idea that nine-year-olds (and ten-, and so on later) my children, according to local customs, are, first of all, considered more than independent. They go for a walk with the local kids for five, eight, ten hours - two, three, five miles, into the forest or into a terrible completely wild pond. That everyone goes to and from school here on foot, and they soon began to do the same - I just don't mention it.
And secondly, here children are largely considered common. They can, for example, come with the whole company to visit someone and immediately have lunch - not drink something and eat a couple of cookies, namely, have a hearty lunch, purely in Russian. In addition, in fact, every woman, in whose field of vision they come, immediately takes responsibility for other people's children, somehow completely automatically; I, for example, learned to do this only in the third year of our stay here.
NOTHING HAPPENS TO CHILDREN HERE. I mean, they are not in any danger from humans. None of them. In big cities, as far as I know, the situation is more similar to the American one, but here it is so and so. Of course, children themselves can do a lot of harm to themselves, and at first I tried to somehow control this, but it turned out to be simply impossible.
At first I was amazed at how soulless our neighbors are, who, when asked where their child is, answered quite calmly "running somewhere, will gallop to dinner!" Lord, in America this is a matter of jurisdiction, such an attitude! It took a long time before I realized that these women are much wiser than me, and their children are much more adapted to life than mine - at least as they were in the beginning.
We Americans pride ourselves on our skill, skill, and practicality. But, having lived here, I realized with sadness that this is sweet self-deception. Maybe - it was like that once.Now we - and especially our children - are slaves of a comfortable cage, in the bars of which a current is passed, which completely prevents the normal, free development of a person in our society. If the Russians are somehow weaned from drinking, they will easily conquer the entire modern world without firing a single shot. I declare this responsibly.
Adolf Breivik, 35 years old, Swede,
father of three children.
The fact that Russians, adults, can quarrel and scandal, that under a hot hand they can inflate a wife, and a wife whip a child with a towel - BUT AT THIS THEY ALL REALLY LOVE EACH OTHER AND WITHOUT A FRIEND the standards adopted in our native lands simply do not fit. I will not say that I approve of this, such behavior of many Russians. I do not believe that hitting my wife and physically punishing children is the right way, and I myself have never done this and will not do so. But I'm just asking you to understand: family here is not just a word.
Children run away from Russian orphanages to their parents. Of our cunningly named "replacement families" - almost never. Our children are so accustomed to the fact that they essentially have no parents, that they calmly submit to everything that any adult does with them. They are not capable of rebellion, or escape, or resistance, even when it comes to their life or health - they are accustomed to the fact that they are not the property of the family, but of EVERYONE AT ONCE.
Russian children are running. They often run to terrifying living conditions. At the same time, in orphanages in Russia it is not at all as scary as we used to imagine. Regular and plentiful food, computers, entertainment, care and supervision. Nevertheless, escapes "home" are very, very frequent and are met with full understanding even among those who, on duty, return their children back to the orphanage. “What do you want?” They say, words that are completely unimaginable for our policeman or guardianship officer.
But we must take into account that in Russia there is not even close to that anti-family arbitrariness that prevails in our country. In order for a Russian child to be taken to an orphanage, it really should be AWESOME in his family, believe me.
It is difficult for us to understand that, in general, a child who is often beaten by his father, but at the same time takes him on a fishing trip and teaches him to own tools and tinker with a car or motorcycle - can be much happier and in fact much happier than a child whom his father did not touch with a finger, but with whom he sees fifteen minutes a day at breakfast and dinner.
This may sound seditious to a modern Westerner, but it is true, believe my experience as a resident of two paradoxically different countries. We tried so hard to create a "safe world" for our children at someone's bad order that we destroyed everything human in ourselves and in them. Only in Russia did I really understand, with horror I realized that all those words that are used in my old homeland, destroying families, are in fact a mixture of utter stupidity, generated by a sick mind and the most disgusting cynicism, generated by the thirst for rewards and the fear of losing their place. in the guardianship authorities.
When it comes to “protecting children,” officials in Sweden - and not only in Sweden - are destroying their souls. They destroy shamelessly and madly. There I could not say it openly. Here - I say: my unhappy homeland is gravely ill with abstract, speculative "rights of children", for the sake of observance of which happy families are killed and living children are maimed.
Home, father, mother - for a Russian these are not just words, concepts. These are symbolic words, almost sacred spells. It is amazing that we do not have this. We don't feel connected to the place we live in, even a very comfortable place. We do not feel connected with our children, they do not need a connection with us. And, in my opinion, all this was taken from us on purpose. This is one of the reasons why I came here.
In Russia, I can feel like a father and husband, my wife - mother and wife, our children - beloved children. We are people, free people, not hired employees of the Semya State Limited Liability Corporation. And this is very nice. This is psychologically comfortable.To such an extent that it expiates a whole bunch of flaws and absurdities of life here.
Honestly, I believe that we have a brownie in our house, left over from the previous owners. Russian brownie, kind. And our children believe in this.