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Subject: Question for Russian Posters about Russian psyché
Godofgamblers    2/9/2009 6:37:57 AM
Question for Russian Posters Many Poles whom I have known have told me at one time or another that Russia is different from Poland in that Russia is not a genuine European country but rather an Asian one. Unlike Poland, Russia had not gone through the ?History of Ideas? in the same way as Poles did. They stated that while Poland was an active participant in the various movements in Europe such as the Reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, etc, the Russians missed out. This separation from Europe was caused , they explained, by the fact that while the Poles were immune from the Mongol invasions, the Russians lived under the Mongol/Tartar yoke and assimilated the Mongols, thus incorporating Eastern culture into the Russian psyche. In fact, once out of the Soviet orbit in the early 90s, in publications such as the Paris-based KULTURA and Res Publica, Polish intellectuals made a firm statement that Poland is not and HAS NEVER BEEN part of Eastern Europe (!). It is and has always been part of CENTRAL EUROPE, a cultural tradition dating back a thousand years and thus Poland has always been closer to Austria and Germany than to the Ukraine and Russia. Once I started reading up on these interesting (and widely held) views, I found them to be somewhat faulty. Russia has always very much been part of Europe?s cultural life and had many great thinkers in every phase of European intellectual life from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and so on. So my question is, is there any truth to the Polish assertions? It seems a handy way of explaining the Russian penchant for authoritarian governments over the years, but is there any truth to it or is it just a convenient simplification? spasiba
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Knjaz       2/10/2009 6:36:46 PM
Ohhh.... Pretty "famous" theme on runet.

I'll try to answer ur question with just 1 example - on forums, which translates foreign press, "polyaki" are somewhat etalon of the most biased opinion ever. One user even started to translate not only polish press, but even comments to articles, and he gets hell alot of visitors per day - ppl just love to read translation of polish forums. Nowhere else in this world u will see SUCH biased opinion, such childish logic. It's alot of fun reading these, I'd say u. And the fun thing is that the proportion of how much significance we give to each other (i mean nations) is about 95 (from Poland to Russia) to 5 (from Russia to Poland) so it adds even more fun.
But in a few words, they often see us as barbarians that want to wipe em out and undermensch, we see them as the most complete idiots in our neighbourhood with ridiculous policy. However, they dont hurt much... now. Back then, in the beginning of 17th century their empire had a good chance of wiping us out. This ended with their country being finished off in the end of 18th century... and everything was ok with them till they got back their independence after collapse of Russian Empire. then again, 50 years of them bein under communists, and now again.... i really have no idea when this story will end. But there's no1 on European continent who hates Russia as much.

So, as u see, there's a lot of "love" from each side to other.... but, plz, when u're taking opinion on comparsion of polish and russian culture... take it from ANYONE, even Antarctic penguins, but not from them......

P.S. I personally dont have any hate for their country, just gave u some info on how these 2 often see each other. And what opinions u can expect when asking 1 about other. (however, as practice shows, there's no much hate for Poland.... more often we laugh at them)

P.P.S Could have written it better, but my english isn't very good =\
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Godofgamblers       2/10/2009 7:02:21 PM
Thanks for your response knjaz. I appreciate your opinion and also your sense of humor;0
you're right, the Poles used to have a "miedzymorske" concept, under Pilsudski i believe, that advocated creating a Polish empire in the east and they had a large empire for a while, including Poles, Russians, Belorussians, Ukis and Balts , but they eventually settled on a Poland based on ethnicity, which has probably led to some of the racism that Jews and non-Poles experience there. A country based on religion and race was also more in line with the rest of Europe at that time.
But tell me about the cultural differences, the Mongols, the effect of Asia on Russia, or do you brush aside such observations as completely baseless? I have heard that Mongol culture directly influenced many aspects of Russian life such as language, the military, the postal system, etc.
What do you think? 
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