As mentioned in my other posts, most Russians have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to negotiating their identity.
This does not come as a surprise, when many great Russian figures throughout history have been of the opinion that the best things about their homeland originated abroad. So whenever asked to speak about their own country, Russians tend to stick to humble, self-ironic, and somewhat masochistic statements about how they drink, go to the banya, bribe each other, and walk around with guns while wearing in fur hats. So this next video comes a little as a surprise, since it has it all, but in a very good way:
“This is Russia,” was recently posted on the AIFS group wall by one of our program advisers.
First off, this video was paid for by a commercial lighting company. Why make a video about how hard it is to do business with Russians? Something’s a riddle wrapped inside an enigma, or whatever. But hey, it’s fun.
Secondly, for reasons that elude me, Russians think they eat pickles with vodka all the time. Truth be told, they tend to have pickles with everything. I guess it’s a traditional food-and-beverage pairing here, like Oreos and milk, Moon Pies and RC Cola (if you’re south of the Mason-Dixon line), or pineapple soda and Aunt Jemima instant pancakes (if you’re from my family).
As for the other things, you never know—all of those scenarios can happen in Russia, sometimes at once, in many cases contradicting one another. The only problem is that if you just adjusted a few very minor details, this commercial could very well be about India, Qatar, Ecuador, or anywhere on the Mediterranean for that matter. In fact, it’s probably applicable to every country aside from the US, the UK, and maybe Germany (where there are nasty rules about being on time).
I’m still confused about why a lightning solutions provider would make a culture-sensitive video about Russia. Are they that customer-conscious? If so, cheers to Tochka Opory! I salute you like a troop of Lenin pioneers with horns, red ties, and all the razzle-dazzle of the Soviet era!