Thursday, December 01, 2005


W.Churchill said that “the action of Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”. Here you can learn the seven secrets of Russian soul and mentality:

1. Beauty, Красота = Inner but inaccessible beauty, spiritual strength based on the history of ideas, not on the outward appearance.

2. Community, Община = A real union of individuals having resigned from their individuality - and from their little individualities…

3. Compassion, Сострадание = Sympathy for people suffering, allegedly the opposite of Western self-absorbed behaviour.

4. Freedom, Свобода = Internal freedom, self-respect, different from the Western idea of self-control and “lack of authority”.

5. Goodness, Доброта = Goodness in this context means “living by following your heart”, not by obeying orders.

6. Spritiual–Soulful, Духовньій–Душевньій = Warmth, sacrifice of personal interest, allegedly the opposite of Western rationalism.

7. Virtue, Целомудрие = Spiritual harmony, unity with nature, power of personality and even sexual purity.

[ Source : Andrzej Lazari (Ed.) The Russian Mentality Dictionary, published by the Interdisciplinary Team of Soviet Studies at the University of Łodz, Poland. My comment : Comprehensive book, explains complicated behaviour patterns in clear words. Some of the authors seem to have a bias against Russia, but nevertheless their powers of observation are striking. I discovered this book in a Warsaw bookshop and would recommend it to all of you ! ]


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