A bridge costing $1.1 billion is making waves — and raising eyebrows — in Russia, where it connects the city of Vladivostok to the remote Russky Island. At over 1,000 meters long, it knocks China’s Sutong bridge down to second place to become the longest suspension bridge in the world.
More Photography from Time
- Prince Harry Returns to the U.S.
- Up in the Air: Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day
- The Empire State Building: A City Icon Turns 82 Amid Battle to Go Public
- Behind the Curtain: An Open Audition for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall
- PHOTOS: U.S. Newspapers Lead with Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line
- Lindsay Lohan’s Brushes With the Law … in Mug Shots
As an open-minded American spending about 4 years observing and studying russian society and culture, I want to present my viewpoints. I hope this provides some insight to anybody intending to spend anytime over in russia. And, hopefully avoid any problems that could arise.
Don't expect that any american ideals will be of any use in russia - the people are stubborn to the extreme not to change - and have no concept of a 'good' society (see 'Stubborn to be Stupid' below).
< STUBBORN TO BE STUPID
Russians can and will not listen or learn new ideas - such as to improve themselves. They are too proud and stubborn - that they prefer keeping stupid ways - just because they refuse to change. ..And yes, I have heard many a russian say - that they would prefer just being 'stupid' than changing - QED.
This stubborn trait seems to be a builtin instinct - like they are born with it. I have seen this in ALL russians that I have met in the country in the 4 years that I have been here - in moscow and in other cities.
People will jam up at the front of a bus because they want to be in the front of the bus - leaving many people jammed on the entry steps (like 5-7 people). I have had many an argument trying to get peple to move to the empty middle and back of the bus.
I have even seen on the Train, people rarely slide over to allow a family to sit down. They might give up a seat for a child - but they don't think far ahead enough to just slide over 1 seat and allow both parents to sit down with the child.
Peons and Robots - Like an ant nest - you lift up a rock and remove the queen ant - the ants will run around for a few days - defending and running their now useless nest - because they do not know better on how to fix it. Russian people do not seem to have any understanding of what-makes or how-to-build a society - they just stubbornly follow the broken system - and insist that what they have will always work.
* DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU.
Russians have no concept of this idea. Russians follow a minimal set of rules in society - it seems because of a fear of getting in trouble.
* IDEAS OF GOOD AND BAD.
I have seen none of this in any people older than in the 20's. I have seen some people in the young generation, that have only a naive concept of this. They sometimes try to be nice, but they can not extend it beyond the immediate situation.
Level of Society in Russia (Moscow supposedly they call the center and best of their country) is no better than American Elementary School Level.
TABLE COMPARISON OF MY FINDINGS :
Societal Ethic : | Russian Society : | American Elementary School : | American High School : | Normal American Society : |
Stand up for Others to Improve Society | NO | NO | NO | YES |
Feeling of how Actions Affect Other People | NO | NO | NO | YES |
Build/Improve Society for total Good | NO | NO | YES | YES |
Common Politenesses | NO (only as Rules -see below) | NO | YES | YES |
Learn/Copy Self Improvement from Others | NO | YES | YES | YES |
Follow Rules from Penalty of Punishment | YES | YES | YES | YES |
So from comparing these commonly known traits of Societal Ethics, I can only conclude that the Russians only rate at about an Elementary School Societal Level in America. This comes from spending about 4 years in russia: working, shopping, living in appartments of a few neighborhoods around moscow, becoming/being part of the society, raising a young child there. This includes that I actively worked in a few supposedly professional job environments.
Keep note, that in my 4 years, probably having discussions and/or atleast relating to maybe 50 people on workdays on the trains(metros), shopping, busses,etc - (do the math) probably related to about 52000 people. I saw no EXCEPTIONS to these Behaviors. NO russians showed any sense of Higher Sociological Behavior than an American Elementary School Level !
The perspective (always) that I get is that the people do not respect others. For example, people will usually wait in a line in Moscow, but only 50/50 in most other lesser cities - be prepared often to be in a mob of people shoving and fighting to get into a building or buy something at outside markets. While people pushing into lines are ignored - and Nobody stands up for others. It seems that people only wait in lines to follow rules - it is not for Politeness - everybody still pushes and shoves at the same time while waiting in line.
Of course, entering ALL trains in russia (including Moscow) is ALWAYS a mob of people shoving to get on. I even saw a baby get shoved and dropped between the Train and Platform because of this - And No 'Sorry' or Help from ANYBODY for this baby - even in this worst case scenario that had happened.
Also they can not learn to improve (on all levels). People will not correct a negative facet of their personality, or in any way acknowledge it to anybody - including themselves. The closest is an Animalistic way of blindly following example out of view - no discussion or sharing ideas - nor thinking about it - only like a baby copying somebody else's actions.
The society has no capability of development (like in schools) and no ingenuity in developing technology. The Moscow Silicon Valley Skolkovo was an obvious attempt to engulf technology and development from the rest of the world. But still seems to be a failure anyway.
And, nobody seems capable of discussing new ideas. Everybody is to worried that it would affect their own ideas - and this would infringe on their stuborness. See below for viewpoint of russian discussions.
< A GENIUS IN ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IS CONSIDERED A GENIUS - IN RUSSIA A GENIUS/INVENTOR IS CONSIDERED ONLY CRAZY - the standard and normal russian saying and viewpoint.
This is the normal and standard perspective of most people and population to inventors in russia.
In having discussions with Russian People (even in America - try it yourself), they only take things literally - they can not visualize or imagine a 'theoretical' viewpoint - it is too hard or they don't want to. Most russian people are very stubborn - even to the point of discussions - they refuse to imagine other peoples' ideas (under fear that it would conflict with their own idea). This would very well explain the lack in all of innovation and invention and advancement in russia.
I had many an argument or indifference or refusing to see (even at professional work), when I tried to have a 'What If ..' discussion. I was not even discusing politics or anything personnal - just a new idea.
As I said, the russian people only seem to talk in the literal - as if everything is fact/fiction or real/not or right/wrong or mine/yours. There seemed to be no discussion capability or concept in the people to discuss possibilities - or imagine - it seemed to not be part of the language or capability of even thinking about it in russia. Russians just wanted to hear a fact or yes/no or statement or action ... etc. Theoretical seems to not be in their capability.
* STANDING UP WITH FELLOW WORKER(S)
This has absolutely no concept in russia. Russian workers (as everybody) only protect themselves. Fellow workers will spy on you (and everybody else) - and report ALL info back to management. This is the standard everywhere in russia. Nobody cares about anybody else's problems - all complaints just go up to management as negatives to the one who stated the complaints.
Management will even offer bonusses (or cut pay then offer makeup) - ONLY if you agree to spy on others.
I faced this problem time and time again while working - and heard of it everywhere else. I even had the problem of a few different people (outside our group) were directly hindering the progress of the workers in my group. we complained many times to management - but the problem was never faced - and probably ended up harming our work environment instead.
The overall work system is based upon the idea - of undermining ANY unity between the workers. The peon system is still quite the standard in russia even today.
* HELPING FELLOW MAN.
Russian people will Not help others - including their own people. I have seen this a number of times. 50 or more people just casually glancing at a bleeding person (who was mugged) on the ground. Nobody helped him. Nobody wanted to. Or a baby falling between a train and the platform - no Help or even aknowledgment from anybody.
I NEVER saw any russian help another russian (or any person) on the ground or hurt or bleeding or help old lady, etc - in my 4 years in the society. Only I myself did this.
Many a time that I helped an old lady - or told people standing at the front of the bus - so that others did not have to stand on the bus stairs or next to the windshield (commonly 6 people often had to do this). The society gave me a feeling that I was odd or wrong or should not do these things. Of course, the old later was always intensely surpised or happy that somebody helped her on the bus or across the street. But in the end, I also had to keep quiet about such things, trying not to be obtrusive in the society - which hindered me.
Also, russians are quick to argue (and fight) - so be ready for somebody to punch you in the face if you disagree with them. There is no heavy criminal justice in russia - only a light fine. Don't expect the authorities (or people) to be of any help either.
Best comparison that I can say is 'Lord Of the Flies'.
OK. It is the longest "cable-stayed" suspension bridge. The Akashi Kaikyo suspension bridge in Japan is 3,911 long in total with a central span of 1,991 meters.