1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

One Russian Tourist visiting … Russia March 19, 2008

My holidays this time was a double-exotic journey. From cosy and stuffed Austria I went to hot and developing India via cold and diverse Russia.

Born Russian and being a Russian citizen I actually spend only 5 years of my life in Russia: every time I visit it I feel more like a tourist (which gives me an interesting perspective and still the ability to act like a native).

This slide show can give you some impressions I got from staying in Moscow for several days.

My last visit to Russia was 2 years ago. Any changes? Any new impressions? 

It feels like people have become more satisfied, more peaceful. At the same time more reserved – some Russian friends mean it can be because of the political situation, but I believe it is just the result of the today’s capitalistic system: when people get richer, they are not that open-hearted any more. They are kind of afraid (that is what Russians used to say about the West some years ago, and now they are in the same boat!). 

Russian women are still beautiful 🙂 Their make-up is more decent, but the rest is the same: high hills, fur coats, long hair, pretty faces… Something I noticed this time very strongly: Russian women are being extremely gentle and tender – in their relations to each other and to their man. This is something I miss in the West… 

Russians living in Russia have very pale faces – I could not find out the reason, apparently some iron deficiency ? One can assume it is because of the lack of sun – but I find it is almost same in the Middle Europe where I live – we do not see much sun here, but people’s faces have some better colour. 

Russians still do not smile… Sad but true… Every time I come, I keep smiling only 1-3 days, and then my cheerful mood vanishes, for no one smiles and one feels stupid (generally Russian find it very stupid when Westerners keep smiling). 

I wonder if any of you have any other recent impressions about Russia? 

LOVE, axinia


22 Responses to “One Russian Tourist visiting … Russia”

  1. Nita Says:

    Hi Axinia! It must be great to go back to Russia. hope your mom liked the stuff you bought for her in India.
    I don’t know any Russians (except you) but I have heard they are very serious. I think life must be hard in Russia, with the weather and all that.
    Looking forward to you post on India!

  2. Russia changed completely for the last several years. It became more advanced in industrial and cultural aspects. The attituded to Russia has also changed. It was considered to be a backward country, but now it is more and more respected. Plus Moscow is almost the capital of Europe and the most expensive city, isn’t it?

  3. axinia Says:

    @Nita: thanks a lot! My Mom loves the Indian wearing, it was a good choice. It is intresting why many people think the life is so heavy and difficult in Russia, but this image is very sprong. I wonder why noone thinks that life is hard in Sakdinavia? – they live very well there and have everthing, thought the climat must me much worse than in Russia… But Skandinavian image is different!

    @ Russian Lawyer: you are right, there are lots of changes and all in all the image of Russia has improved a lot in the West (I can expreince it daily). Unfortunately the Russian image is still not a nice one: the Western mass media shows Russia dengerous and tricky, rich and vulgar… Seems like they are afraid (as usual 🙂 There is still a lot to work on!

  4. Peter Says:

    Usually big countries have a big Ego.
    What is your impression Axinia?

  5. axinia Says:

    Who does not have a big ego? :))
    Sure, Russia has a huge ego, but also lots of good points (as everyone else!)

    As a good citizen I belive one should be very much aware of the problems (like Nita does at her great blog http://nitawriter.wordpress.com/) but still the true love (and not phanaticism or hypocracy) is the most importat…

  6. sunshineforlife Says:

    hi axinia, nice to see u back with fresh pics from russia. i look forward too for the ones from india.

    about russia? i can’t say much because i haven’t been there. but seeing the pics, they show color and riches. with your description, i just hope that as these people gets riches as part of the change in time, they can also learn to smile.

    sending you smiles from the far away philippines, today! lots of it plus warms hugs and clasps of hands. (((hugsss))))

  7. Al'bina Says:

    well, i dont undertand either why many ppl think that the life in Russia is hard,Russia is a freezing cold country, Russia is this and that….. i agree with Axinia’s words abt Scandinavia.why does Russia has such a strange image? I curently live in England and i have a mexican friend who said: i would never marry a woman from Russia bcos ppl in this country are cold like their country and their weather”. That’s a shame, isnt it?
    Once i had an opportunity to listen to a presentation of one of the biggest europen ice-cream factory’s engineer who were stating: “you will never believe it but russians eat ice-cream not to get cool, but to get warm!” That is rediculous i think…
    And many ppl around the world think of russians like of polar bears… But we are neither bears nor robots not even snow men!!! We are warm-hearted, open sincere and understanding people!!!
    So welcome to Russia!!

  8. axinia Says:

    very true comment, I often have to hear things like that – I guess the reason is a simple ignorance…Everyone who ever met a Russian (I mean met in a since of learned) will tell just the opposite of all this “Russian bear” nonsense…

    There are certainly many important reasons why the politics and Mass media in the West do not want to show us as normal, nice people… The only thing we can do is to show with our personal example that all these nonsense is just nonsense… BWT, have you seen this http://russianwomen.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/a-real-russian-woman-maschas-video-q-a-part-1/
    I am writing a big post on Russian Women for my shaktipower blog
    http://shaktipower.wordpress.com/- please check soon, you will definitely enjoy :))

  9. draupadi16 Says:

    A very interesting article and so nice impressions of “Your” country. Thank you a lot! Draupadi.

  10. Marina Says:

    very interesting comments after 2 years without russia!
    i would just confirm that.
    russia is a bit late after the west, but it goes (almost) the same way. even if some western people don’t beleive that..
    and yes, more smiling would make this way easier! i think…

  11. radha Says:

    i never trust the media when they talk about any country, in these times. you must go and see for yourself and see and perceive and experience a country and the people living there. I love Russia, some of my relatives in Croatia can sepak good russian too and i have a close friend (he is a guy) here in HK who whose born in Moscow and almost never smiles but it doesnt matter. Chinese also almost never smiles, my hubby seems the most depressed person in the world but i know it is not true. I am looking forward to go and see some parts of Russia before the end of this year (very probably). i have more than 2 favorite best girlfriends from Russia, 2 live in Italy and one in San Diego, it is very simple and smooth for me to connect to them and exchange goor stuff at any nice level. so, lots of love to you and please speak more about Russia, for example about artists and authors, i have apost in my blog for example. i use to read quite a lot about them, their sensibility fascinates me so much. My absolutely first book i received for Xmas (i was 10 years old) from my mom has been Anna Karenina in italian of course, i still keep it and i loved to read it at that time. Pls post anything you like about Russia, also recipe would be great! 🙂

  12. axinia Says:

    Dear Radha, thanks a lot for this nice comment!

    Unfortunately one will not find some positive information about Russian easily. The western media is so much negavite about it!!!
    I decieded to write more about Russia (also inspired my Nita who is doing a great job in telling the world the truth about India)… There are so many wonderful, wondrful thing and really great people living there… Hope I will be able to show some of it. not sure about recipe though :))

  13. Guqin Says:

    Dear Axinia,

    I was a bit surprised when you used the term “westerner”, since I had always thought that Russians are westerners. The Caucasian looks of the people, the languages, the religions, the arts etc. mostly seem western to me. Wasn’t Peter the Great initiated Russia’s westernization?

    I was also reading your other article about Russian women, I noticed that Russian women usually have nice voices. Unsure if this is the Russian accent or just the physical voice.

    I am Chinese by the way.

  14. axinia Says:

    I am also surprised that you think of Russians as of Westerners – even if some of them would like to consider themselves Westerners, they are not! I hoped I explained it well in the post on Russian women some reasons. Russia has always been somewhere in between, and we do have lots of Asian influence. Dont be confused by the Caucasian looks – the soul is indeed Asian :))

  15. […] March turned out to be a holiday month for me – apart from the great journey to Russia and India I went to Italy on corporate […]

  16. draupadi16 Says:

    Liebe Axinia!
    Heute spielte die kleine Hannah über 20 Minuten ganz konzentriert mit meinen drei russischen Puppen – Babuschkas. Es war so faszinierend, sie zu beobachten. Wie präzise die keinen Finger arbeiteten. Die Freude, wenn sie die kleinste Puppe auspackte, das Zusammenstellen….
    Ich dachte gleich an Dich. Ganz herzliche Grüße von Draupadi.

  17. Randhir Sinha Says:

    we are a Film Production House we help tourist from russia and also help them find work in Bollywood film Indutry

    • solveig75 Says:

      interesting idea- to help tourist from Russia to find work in Bollywood??! 🙂 I wonder what kind of roles they can play? 🙂

  18. sailaja Says:

    hi Axinia,
    Lovely pictures. most of them look like dolls are they? i like your picture which was previous avatar than the present one and the first one ( when i entered your blog for the first time in oct, 2008) in purple and pink salwar kameez is the BEST!!!
    I think you know the story told by Shri Mataji about the twin sons of Lord Rama, Luv and Kush, who incarnated later in many forms. She told that Luv had migrated to Russia and all Russians are the descendants of Him and tha’s why they have ‘lov’ or ‘lova” at the end of their family names. (and yours too). what i feel is being the great descendants of Luv all Russians are bound to be filled with complete love in their hearts. and as said above in the replies may be because of the extreme cold conditions they are frozen and only need to be melted and initiated. does it sound funny?

  19. axinia Says:

    interesting comment Sailaja!

    – I heard also from swaps that my best avatar is the one you like the most 🙂 I am using it sometimes but I like to change according to the way I feel myself. I like the present one because I feel it is soft and lovely, but I will definitely change it after some time.

    – I don’t know if we can call Russian hears frozen 🙂 I mean Russians will not hug you immediately – but you feel the goodnest a their hearts very soon. And the breath of the spirit too (comapred to some western countries that feel liek dead).

  20. es Says:

    dear Axinia..
    I liked a lot your blog, and all ur comments about Russia. as i can not travel as lot as i’d like… i do many friends on internet, so I can get to all those all places where my eyes can not reach.
    Recently, I started an emailing correspondence with a russian man…yes, i think he never or almost never smile, when I asked him about that he gave me his opinion about most of latins always are with a smile in the face… also gave me that comment that for Russian having a easy smile is not so good, they feel as stupid being with a smile most of the time when is no needed. Anyway, I can tell you is the most respectful guy I have found in internet, he likes to share opinions, picts, comments related to both cultures. Some months ago he traveled to NY, and he was surprised about latins, he liked a lot. ….and the great concluison we made is that media gives us another idea related to the “others”…. different countries… We agree with talk about our cultures finding afinities instead differences. Now, I feel in love with him and his russian culture… i think if people can be connected by the heart, this world would be much better! leaving apart wrong ideas and living to the people…also I love his blue eyes and that so white skin…is really fantastic… love es

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