People dream about different things, but they say that there are dreams that are not individual, but collective. Have you ever heard of American dream? Is there a collective Russian dream in your opinion?
We all know what the American Dream is … but what makes every Russian's heart skip a beat?
While discussing the notion of "The Russian Dream" within the Russia Beyond editorial team, we quickly understood that we all mean something similar, although everyone describes it in their own way. So, here are three completely different opinions from three different members of our team.
"All Russian citizens will have a three-year vacation on the Canary Islands!"
This phrase is the funny embodiment of The Russian Dream one can find in "What A Mess!" ("Shirly-Myrli"), a 1995 comedy about the late post-Perestroika era. Only one of the movie's characters, Lucienne, the protagonist's wife, says reasonably: "Why the heck should I care about these Canary Islands — I just put my laundry in the washing machine!"
This dialogue is, to my mind, The Russian Dream in a nutshell. It's great to dream of something big and beautiful, while it's still a dream. But when it starts to come true, a thousand distracting reasons and questions appear. Is it fun there on the Canary Islands? What are the things one can do? And where will we be after the three-year vacation ends? Will we move back to Russia or what?
A Russian needs a shiny, beautiful, and unattainable dream — as soon as the dream becomes achievable, it's not so fantastic and attractive anymore. Maybe because one needs to work to achieve results? Such a drag, isn't it? Luckily, we always have a down-to-earth, hard-working Russian woman somewhere about, who'll say: "Hey, honey, drop all this nonsense, we have to feed the kids. Go to work!"
To my mind, The Russian Dream has always consisted of small, but doable things. Adopt a dog, travel abroad, buy a small country house, and so on. But often these dreams don't get fulfilled because of two reasons: 1) lack of money; 2) not being ready for change.
I have a bunch of friends who only dream of buying a house, moving there, adopting a dog and growing old gracefully. They find a thousand reasons that prevent them from doing it: "I must make more money, so I must change my job, and the new job might be far from home, and what about the colleagues there … so maybe, to hell with it all?"
So, the majority of Russians are not ready to get out of their own comfort zone to make even a simple, realistic dream come true. For example — according to a recent survey, only 6 percent of Russians went abroad on vacation in 2018.
Could it be that the Russian dream is exactly this — get up from the sofa and start doing something?
When I hear the words "The Russian Dream", it's hard to divorce it from the modern-day American concept. I think this happens because, for the first time in a while, a country (the U.S.) has managed to marry the idea of personal freedom and the pursuit of enrichment with that of the health of a nation. In other words, in America, your personal desire for owning stuff is synonymous with the national "path". That's a very powerful way of building a national identity.
Russia is different, and while the phrase "national path" gets repeated to us incessantly (God, family, sacrifice, national service), the concept of "national dream" hardly comes up in conversation unless two people happen to be talking about the United States. Why is that? Because in our culture, the individual is absorbed by the national idea. His 'dream' takes a back seat. That is why, to us — or to me personally — it is such an American phrase.
Sophie has decided to support her local shelter. After going there and seeing all the animals, she decided to find out more about the situation with animal shelters in Russia. Let's read the article about the work routine of one of the Moscow shelters that Sophie found interesting.
Volunteers in Moscow and other Russian cities work around the clock to save
Natalia Chekina, a volunteer at the Shcherbinka shelter in Moscow, answers yet another phone call from residents of the Novye Cheremushki district.
"They don't want to leave a dog freezing in the street, but don't know what to do with it," she explains.
Temperatures outside today have sunk to minus 13 Celsius, but Natalia is soon on the scene with her friend Yevgenia. They contacted a dog catcher, who soon arrived, and quickly tranquilized the dog so that it could be easily transported to a
The dog was hungry, so when it woke up it wasn't difficult to convince it to try the doggie treat. "I'm sure such a cute dog will soon find a loving master," Natalia says. She has an extensive network of volunteers, and is often able to find a new home for strays.
This happy ending is not always the case, however.
"My work began a while ago when I saw a dog in the street with a head wound, and it approached me," Natalia recalled. She always wanted to help animals, and so she
She then found a kennel where Lada could stay warm and well-fed until new and caring
"She has become so fat," Natalia chuckled, showing us the dog's latest pictures.
Little by little Natalia's activism in animal protection grew, and eventually she
Some activists work with social media, make arrangements with actors and venues for
That's not so easy, however, because
"We give them time to think and get to know the animal
Kennels, catchers and treatment require considerable
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