Cultural Differences Between the West and the East (Russia in the Middle)

Cultural Differences Between the West and the East (Russia in the Middle)

Original Article posted in Russian:

“West is West, East is East, and never the twain shall meet,” – written almost a half a century ago by the Englishman Rudyard Kipling. It is often interpreted as a fundamental incompatibility of the Eastern and Western mentality.

The artist Yang Liu drew this series of illustrations after belonging to both the Eastern and Western worlds. She lived in China until she was 14 years old, then she moved to Germany. She was able to feel the differences of Eastern and Western cultures. Her creative talent made ​​it possible to share this experience with us graphically. In my opinion Russian culture tends to be in the middle of these two extremes but more often falls to the right in the Eastern mentality.

The Western approach to a situation is shown on the left as a blue square, and the Eastern approach is on the right as a red square.

1. How People Express Their Point of View

2. Behavior in a Line

3. Behavior at a Party

4. Placing “I” in the Overall Social System and its Importance

5. Problem Solving

6. The Relationship Between Mood and Weather

7. The Daily Life of the Older Generation

8. The Noise Level in Drinking Establishments

9. Perception of Superiors

10. Features of Public Relations

11. The Preferred Mode of Transport

12. Place of the Child in a Family

13. The Behavior of Tourists Abroad

14. Fashionable Food

15. Favorite Drink

16. Seasonal Casual Dining

17. Understanding of Punctuality

As you can see there are plenty of differences. However, understanding them is a step towards understanding each other.

Do any Russians want to comment on their view of the Western and Eastern mentality? Which is more Russian?

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“I would say it’s I think it’s just the mentality. Like the Russians, a lot of us, we didn’t have many thgnis when we were growing up. It’s just the hunger for playing and just wanting to do better and get as many opportunities as you can to be better in your life.”I don’t care for these kinds of romanticized generalizations because it implies that other countries *cough, USA* lack drive and ambition because they are bunch of rich lazy fat cats, and I don’t think that’s true at all. Most Americans are not rich but there’s this perpetual myth from other countries that we are. Many people, regardless of where they’re from, are simply born with a competitive edge that eclipses all others. These special folks become professional athletes. Still others (like Nadal and Federer who also came from well off families) are freaks of nature who take their competitiveness one step further. This drive and ambition is innate in each individual, and I don’t think money or lack of money has anything to do with it.Just my two cent rant for today. 😉

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