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Old 06-25-2012, 04:55 PM
 
26,787 posts, read 22,549,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Most Russians are European.. is eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia etc) considered to be part of the West?
Quite honestly if you ask me, Western Europe is Western Europe and Eastern Europe is Eastern Europe for a reason.
( You need to look into history of each and every country specifically, to see how different/similar they are comparably to Western Europe.)
However if we are talking about Estonia in particular, I wouldn't lump it up with "Eastern Europeans" just because they used to be part of Russian Empire, as much as Finland. As Finns, Estonians never made impression of Eastern Europeans in my eyes; to me they always came across more as Scandinavians, far more aloof and introverted than your typical Russian/Eastern European.
I am not so sure about Latvians and Lithuanians in particular, although I probably dealt with them the most.
They probably fit more in definition of "Eastern Europeans" then "Nordic" culture.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Are ethnic Russians (Русский народ) Easterners or Westerners? By what criteria would they be considered either one (or both)? Is Russia itself an Eastern or a Western country? Geographically, it's predominantly Asian. Does that make it Eastern? What about the worldview and traditions of the people as a factor? Are they different enough from the West European mindset to be considered quasi-Eastern?
I might be wrong, but if you talk to Russians, they generally don't see themselves as either Eastern or Western. They're simply Russians.
In fact, it was among others through conversations with Russians that I realized how absurd the entitlement of Europe as a continent (whilst calling South Asia a "subcontinent") is.
The border between the "continents" have been changed time and again in the course of history and even today nobody's totally sure where exactly the border is in the Caucasus.

Anyway, it's absurd because there has been no real "racial" and geographical divide between Asia & Europe. In comparison to other real mountain ranges in Eurasia, Ural deserve more to be called a range of tall hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
It's worth noting that the national (and continental) identities of many countries outside of Europe arose from foreign, in most cases European perspectives.
On a large scale, the peoples in Asia never saw themselves as Asians until European Exceptionalism deemed Europe worthy to be a separate continent within Eurasia. The non-European rest didn't see themselves as Asians but as Chinese, Malay, Thai, Tamil, Bengali, Persian, Arab, Turk, etc.
Similarly, Hinduism got to be considered a religion through the eyes of Europeans. Beliefs and "religions" that fit into certain schemes got to be grouped together and called Hindu.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: White House, TN
6,486 posts, read 6,184,988 times
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I would consider Russia Western, albeit on the border of West and East. Russia has the Slavic culture originating from Eastern Europe, and are a Christian nation. 75% of Russians live within the boundaries of Europe.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:36 PM
 
Location: State Fire and Ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wawa1992 View Post
I would consider Russia Western, albeit on the border of West and East. Russia has the Slavic culture originating from Eastern Europe, and are a Christian nation. 75% of Russians live within the boundaries of Europe.
No 75 per cent, so you think it's wrong to think so.such a feeling that in your opinion the most part of the territory of Russia or who do not live? A lot of people live in Central Russia, in the far East much less.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:38 PM
 
Location: State Fire and Ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
I might be wrong, but if you talk to Russians, they generally don't see themselves as either Eastern or Western. They're simply Russians.
In fact, it was among others through conversations with Russians that I realized how absurd the entitlement of Europe as a continent (whilst calling South Asia a "subcontinent") is.
The border between the "continents" have been changed time and again in the course of history and even today nobody's totally sure where exactly the border is in the Caucasus.

Anyway, it's absurd because there has been no real "racial" and geographical divide between Asia & Europe. In comparison to other real mountain ranges in Eurasia, Ural deserve more to be called a range of tall hills.
I wrote about this, We Western people with the elements of the East, but we are not the West and not East we, the Russians, and this is their own civilization
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:39 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,210 posts, read 107,904,670 times
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What a great discussion! Nice to see you, Grey, I haven't seen you on the forum for awhile.
For nuala's point: I deliberately left out the Siberian peoples and other Native peoples of Russia, because I wanted to focus on ethnic Russians, Slavic Russians.

I agree with those who posted that Russia is Eastern, or maybe more accurately, a blend of East and West. There are elements of Russian culture that are from the East, and the mysticism and belief among many Russians in traditional healers seems very Eastern. The mindset seems more Eastern to me, though that depends on which Russians you talk to, haha. Although if you dig back far enough in West European history, you'd find those elements there, too. It's probably something common to all humanity, though in some "modern" cultures it got lost.

As for Russian culture being "very patriarchal", it has always seemed to me to be much less so than "Western" culture. Russian tradition is closer to its matriarchal roots than Western culture (with the possible exception of parts of Scandinavia). You can see this in some of the folklore. It shows up in subtle ways, for example, how girls and boys in school are given equal importance, whereas in American schools the boys have always been given more attention by teachers. This would be considered scandalous, and evidence of poor teaching skills in Russia. Girls are raised in the family with the same career expectations as boys (or used to be. I don't know how it is now). There's no bias in favor of the boys, no assumption that their careers will be more important.

But maybe this has all changed now. Maybe women now are raised mainly to be goddesses for worship.

Thank you, everyone, for wonderful posts. By all means, continue enjoying the discussion.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:50 PM
 
4,253 posts, read 9,453,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
Anyway, it's absurd because there has been no real "racial" and geographical divide between Asia & Europe.
Still fun to celebrate the only symbolic Europe-Asia boundary; this woman is standing on it; the sign says Asia - Europe:

Ekaterinburg | AskUral.com

Boundaries between continents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by nuala; 02-20-2013 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:42 PM
 
983 posts, read 3,598,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post
You may think so, but -- this woman stays on the boundary; the sign says Asia - Europe:

Ekaterinburg | AskUral.com

Boundaries between continents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You're right, a symbolic and artificial boundary that is.
The so called Indian "subcontinent" has more reasons to be called a continent, yet the exceptionalism is reserved for Europe.

There have been various differing boundaries proposed between Europe and Asia. Even though most of the world has accepted the status quo that decided that Ural be the boundary, not everybody agrees.



One only needs to look at a topographic map to see how Ural must have been chosen as one of the last resorts to define a boundary as geographers and other scientists realized that Europe is actually part of the larger Eurasian continental plate.
Compared to other real mountain ranges Ural is just a a range of hills.

That being said, I know that most textbooks in our Eurocentric world will continue to categorize Europe as a separate continent. So I'm not trying to fool myself or anybody here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neutre View Post
It's worth noting that the national (and continental) identities of many countries outside of Europe arose from foreign, in most cases European perspectives.
On a large scale, the peoples in Asia never saw themselves as Asians until European Exceptionalism deemed Europe worthy to be a separate continent within Eurasia. The non-European rest didn't see themselves as Asians but as Chinese, Malay, Thai, Tamil, Bengali, Persian, Arab, Turk, etc.
Similarly, Hinduism got to be considered a religion through the eyes of Europeans. Beliefs and "religions" that fit into certain schemes got to be grouped together and called Hindu.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:45 PM
 
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I classify Russians as "Eastern Europeans" which kind of captures the Eastern-ness and the Western-ness in one.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:53 PM
 
10,449 posts, read 12,462,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuala View Post
Fair enough about ethnicity and citizenship. I would make an exception about "Russians prevailing everywhere" though. In Yakutsk, you see 80% of population are Yakuts. In the tundra, you see 80% of the population are the ethnic groups.

Perhaps they are just as invisible not only to the rest of the world, but to their own government that was pretending they didn't exist, relegated to the back of the society's mind (while "christening" them out of their "shamanism") - just as the Natives of America and Canada are sort of "invisible" when people talk about "Americans" and "Canadians".
There are two words in Russian that would be translated more or less as "Russian".

Русский Russki refers to someone who is ethnically Russian.

Российский Rossiiskii refers to someone who is a citizen of the Russian Federation.

The second term includes other ethnic groups such as Yakut and Buryad people, etc., who live on Russian soil, despite not being culturally and ethnically Russian.

I think the fact Russia is ethnically diverse makes answering the OP question impossible. Russia isn't Eastern or Western. It's a blend of Eastern and Western people.

To give you an idea, I look European white, but where I was born, there are also people who would be mistaken for Chinese or Mongolian on a subway car.
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