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Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Old Apr 7th 2012, 10:02 am
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Smile Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Hello, everyone I'm new to the Forum so just finding my way around. Already received warm welcomes from several new friends, and it was suggested people may be interested in learning a little about Russia and Siberia in particular. One poster said that little was known about it in the West. So, I'll be glad to join in discussions and answer questions. Let's hope there is someone else from this part of the world tuned into the Forum!

One little story to begin. Maybe this is how people think of Siberia:

When I was a small boy I had a picture book named "Peoples of the World". it featured a French onion seller wheeling a bicycle and wearing beret; an Austrian boy in those funny clothes; and the Russian was wearing a fur hat, big coat and had snow on his boots. In his hand he was holding lead at the end of which was a bear! The text read:
"In Siberia men walk in the streets with bears, and wolves stand on the corners of the streets."

Maybe this is how we think of Siberia. In fact, I know all my British and French friends do!

Vanya
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Old Apr 8th 2012, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by Vanya
Hello, everyone I'm new to the Forum so just finding my way around. Already received warm welcomes from several new friends, and it was suggested people may be interested in learning a little about Russia and Siberia in particular. One poster said that little was known about it in the West. So, I'll be glad to join in discussions and answer questions. Let's hope there is someone else from this part of the world tuned into the Forum!

One little story to begin. Maybe this is how people think of Siberia:

When I was a small boy I had a picture book named "Peoples of the World". it featured a French onion seller wheeling a bicycle and wearing beret; an Austrian boy in those funny clothes; and the Russian was wearing a fur hat, big coat and had snow on his boots. In his hand he was holding lead at the end of which was a bear! The text read:
"In Siberia men walk in the streets with bears, and wolves stand on the corners of the streets."

Maybe this is how we think of Siberia. In fact, I know all my British and French friends do!

Vanya
So, assuming you're a Brit in expatlandSiberia, describe to me ...never mind the rest, I'm in sunny Southern Spain!... how you and your native Siberian neighbours take breakfast. Here it would be either a coffee (of very specific but various hues depending on how strong you like it) and a split bread roll of various possible sizes/girths and served most likely with tomato mash and/or garlic and/or olive oil.
???
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Old Apr 9th 2012, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by fionamw
So, assuming you're a Brit in expatlandSiberia, describe to me ...never mind the rest, I'm in sunny Southern Spain!... how you and your native Siberian neighbours take breakfast. Here it would be either a coffee (of very specific but various hues depending on how strong you like it) and a split bread roll of various possible sizes/girths and served most likely with tomato mash and/or garlic and/or olive oil.
???
Hello, and thanks for your question: you are the first.

Yes, I am a Britwhich is why I get a lot of invitations to meals with Russian families.

The temperature is getting warmer and now in the day it is reaching 50/55 degrees so soon spring will arrive. Last Saturday was "Subodnik" (in English script) when people clean the streets of the rubbish in front of their houses after the snow has disappeared. Today is the first day we have no lying snow since early November, so everyone is rather happy.

Spanish breakfast sounds very nice, but in Siberia people like to eat a more substantial morning meal. Today, for example, we had kasha (similar to the Scotts porridge) bread with cheese, sweet biscuits and tea with jam. Another breakfast might be curds and sour cream and jam, or fried eggs and sausages with bread and cheese. Sometimes we have pancakes with jam and sour cream. It depends if it is a special celebration. Next Sunday will be Easter Day (not yesterday as in the west) so there will be special food. Maybe even vodka for breakfast too.

For four months of the year I return to France where I have lived for eight years. There I return to French food, but still eat porridge.

Meals in Russia are always eaten together at the table with the family and, of course, a lot of tea is drunk - as it is throughout the day.

Thanks for the first question!
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Old Apr 9th 2012, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Thats interesting
I like the way that the family eats together, thats something lacking these days in the UK .... but very regular in Spain
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Hi Vanya

I would also be interested in reading information about Siberia as for me it is a place full of mystery on account of not knowing much about the place.

Firstly, what is the highest temperature in the summer there?
Secondly, how do you find life in Siberia compares with the UK and France and what made you decide to live there? And finally :

If I was a visitor to Siberia, what local customs and practices should I be aware of and also what things would you recommend to someone visiting Siberia?

Thanks

Dread - x
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Hello again!! Yes, it can become quite hot in summer and normally the temperature is around 26 plus degrees in July, but can sometime be hotter than 30. The sun can very very strong and it's necessary to wear a hat. The main problem is mosquitoes in the countryside but no so much in the city. However, it's usually comfortable at night.

After very hot weather there can be very violent thunder storms when the electricity is turned off to prevent damage to the systems.

I'll have to take a lot of time to tell you about life here but it is very different to the UK and even France, where I live some of the time. I do a lot of teaching in schools and find the children very nice, polite and hard-working, with few of the problems one experiences in the UK schools - or so I am told - as it is some years since I taught in a UK state school. I'll post some photos of our school on my profile when I get a better connection.

Prices here are cheaper but wages are lower. I think the quality of life is very good. I notice that there are very few overweight children, most engaging in a lot of sport or activities with their friends. Of course, there are problems too, but I'll post more soon. But maybe you want to ask about the school system or home life!

You would be welcome to visit Siberia and it is not so difficult to get a visa to visit. You would receive very warm welcome and the culture is very rich with many customs and traditions followed. It is much more a communal society with people living together in quite small apartments.

If you were to visit it is important to know that Siberia is a very traditional society and is not what one might describe as 'politically correct'. Maybe younger visitors would find this strange but older people will recognise many of the traditional attitudes we used to have in the UK.

You asked me why I came here: some years ago after I 'retired' to France I was asked to go to Siberia to do some teaching, so i gave it a try. It gives me the best of both worlds, as I can be back in France for several months every year.

Vanya
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by Vanya
Hello again!! Yes, it can become quite hot in summer and normally the temperature is around 26 plus degrees in July, but can sometime be hotter than 30. The sun can very very strong and it's necessary to wear a hat. The main problem is mosquitoes in the countryside but no so much in the city. However, it's usually comfortable at night.

After very hot weather there can be very violent thunder storms when the electricity is turned off to prevent damage to the systems.

I'll have to take a lot of time to tell you about life here but it is very different to the UK and even France, where I live some of the time. I do a lot of teaching in schools and find the children very nice, polite and hard-working, with few of the problems one experiences in the UK schools - or so I am told - as it is some years since I taught in a UK state school. I'll post some photos of our school on my profile when I get a better connection.

Prices here are cheaper but wages are lower. I think the quality of life is very good. I notice that there are very few overweight children, most engaging in a lot of sport or activities with their friends. Of course, there are problems too, but I'll post more soon. But maybe you want to ask about the school system or home life!

You would be welcome to visit Siberia and it is not so difficult to get a visa to visit. You would receive very warm welcome and the culture is very rich with many customs and traditions followed. It is much more a communal society with people living together in quite small apartments.

If you were to visit it is important to know that Siberia is a very traditional society and is not what one might describe as 'politically correct'. Maybe younger visitors would find this strange but older people will recognise many of the traditional attitudes we used to have in the UK.

You asked me why I came here: some years ago after I 'retired' to France I was asked to go to Siberia to do some teaching, so i gave it a try. It gives me the best of both worlds, as I can be back in France for several months every year.

Vanya
I'm intrigued by the 'not politically correct' comment..... give us a for instance!
I hate the tendency of folk on (seems particularly Spain) forums to assume that if you draw comparisons it's to criticise one culture or nationality against another however I find the Spanish (men!) spit a great deal, and people in general seem to disregard the environment in the sense of litter, dumping, chemical use, etc. Sure there's both of those in the UK but in my experience not to the same extent. How does Siberia shape up on those? Oh, and also - where else have you been in the USSR as was? I'm guessing there are huge differences given it's so vast?
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by fionamw
I'm intrigued by the 'not politically correct' comment..... give us a for instance!
I hate the tendency of folk on (seems particularly Spain) forums to assume that if you draw comparisons it's to criticise one culture or nationality against another however I find the Spanish (men!) spit a great deal, and people in general seem to disregard the environment in the sense of litter, dumping, chemical use, etc. Sure there's both of those in the UK but in my experience not to the same extent. How does Siberia shape up on those? Oh, and also - where else have you been in the USSR as was? I'm guessing there are huge differences given it's so vast?
I agree with you, and one does not compare to criticise, but to show differences. One of the nice things about not being politically correct is that one finds that women are treated with a great deal of respect. Men will carry bags and cases for women in the street and open doors. In fact there is a strict rule in the metro that children and young men should give up their seat to elderly and "invalids".

Another thing is that people (especially grandmothers) will not hesitate to correct children (or anyone) if they behave badly on a bus or train - or anywhere for that matter! I remember being on a tram in Tomsk and a girl got on eating some garlic sandwich or other. An old woman took exception to this and told her to put it away or get off the tram. If she did not she told the girl she would throw the food off the tram.

In schools the teachers are rather strict, and the work is very hard and tested every fortnight with a lot of learning necessary. They start Algebra at eight years old in the 2nd class!

Another non-PC thing is that children have to help with cleaning tasks. For example, this week is Subodnik, a time for cleaning the houses and schools and streets of the winter litter now that the snow has melted.

Also, Russians love photographs and take them all the time whether you like it or not. In schools the first think you will be asked for by the children is your vkontakte profile (Russian Facebook) so that they can communicate with you. Can you imagine that happening in the UK!

Spitting in the streets is frowned upon, but many boys and men do it, but it's not really allowed and you can get into trouble for it.

Many people smoke and drink a lot - it's rather a tradition, especially as the cigarettes are about the equivalent of 10 pence for twenty! And the vodka is not much more expensive.

I've been to Moscow (you asked where else in the USSR) and several Siberian towns. Given the huge territory it's remarkable that everything is so standardised, especially the accent and language.

There are some non-PC things that you wouldn't like I think. Also since the fall of the there has been a lot of corruption. But personally I feel more free here than in may other countries.


Must go now for supper and some Vodka. I had 12 lessons today and am tired. More questions welcome.

Vanya
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Old Apr 10th 2012, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Fascinating - I may have to put it on my list of places to visit.

Dread - x
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Old Apr 12th 2012, 9:37 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by dreadsoc
Hi Vanya

I would also be interested in reading information about Siberia as for me it is a place full of mystery on account of not knowing much about the place.

Firstly, what is the highest temperature in the summer there?
Secondly, how do you find life in Siberia compares with the UK and France and what made you decide to live there? And finally :

If I was a visitor to Siberia, what local customs and practices should I be aware of and also what things would you recommend to someone visiting Siberia?

Thanks

Dread - x
I'm not sure if I recommended that you should try drinking Tomsk's famous unfiltered beer. It is would be very popular with real-ale lovers.
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Old Apr 12th 2012, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by Vanya
I'm not sure if I recommended that you should try drinking Tomsk's famous unfiltered beer. It is would be very popular with real-ale lovers.
So what's it a bit like? I was going to say ... 'if you can remember a UK beer!' but of course I don't know how long since you were in the UK..... for example, I rate Adnams ordinary bitter which has since been rebranded, Southwold I think; or Everards Tiger, or Youngs Ordinary or.... (you get the picture!) Or is it more like a Weissbeer?
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Old Apr 12th 2012, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by fionamw
So what's it a bit like? I was going to say ... 'if you can remember a UK beer!' but of course I don't know how long since you were in the UK..... for example, I rate Adnams ordinary bitter which has since been rebranded, Southwold I think; or Everards Tiger, or Youngs Ordinary or.... (you get the picture!) Or is it more like a Weissbeer?
There are several types: one type like mild ale which is very tasty; another like old Mansfield Ale (if you remember it); and you can get sweeter beers too. The brewery make around 10 brews but the normal unfiltered is very nice. It is not flat (by any means) but contains no added gas and so is good for the stomach (or so I am told)!

Living in France for the rest of the year I don't drink beer (only wine); so it's a long time since I drank UK beer.
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Old Apr 12th 2012, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

And it costs 40 rubles for 2 litres - around 80p
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Old Jul 25th 2012, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

do not go to Russia, it's most terrible place in the world. KGB took power in the former Soviet Union. The president - former KGB kernel, russian says, "there is no former KGB, even if retired they r still KGB guys".
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Old Jul 25th 2012, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Russia - Siberia- Ask Vanya!

Originally Posted by r00Perth Murderck
do not go to Russia, it's most terrible place in the world. KGB took power in the former Soviet Union. The president - former KGB kernel, russian says, "there is no former KGB, even if retired they r still KGB guys".
Of course, we wait for our great Soviet Union to be restored Let it be soon!
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