Рефераты. Cultural Values

peanuts. Sometimes maize is ground to a size a little bigger than rice and

is cooked like rice. Finally, we have the fine cornmeal which is called

mealie-meal in Zambia. This is used for making nsima, the most popular way

of cooking maize. Nsima is steamed cornmeal.

Meat from cows, goats, sheep, and fish are used in sauces over nsima.

There are also a lot of vegetables put in sauces, such as leaves from bean

plants, okra, peas and pumpkins. Other vegetables eaten almost daily

include onions and tomatoe. Nsima is usually prepared for lunch and dinner

and not for breakfast. All the cooking is done by the wife.

Cuisine & Etiquette in Uganda

In Uganda, the staple food is matoke (a variety of semi-sweet bananas

with green peels used in cooking). Other food crops include sweet potatoes

or yams, white potatoes, beans, peas, peanuts, cabbage, onions, pumpkins,

and tomatoes. Some fruits, such as oranges, papayas, lemons, and

pineapples, are also grown.

Most people, except for a few who live in the city centers, produce

their own food. The responsibility of preparing the family's meals belongs

solely to the women and the girls in the family. Men and boys of age 12 and

above are not even expected to sit in the kitchen, which is separate from

the main house.

Most families eat two meals a day. The two meals are lunch and supper.

Breakfast is just a cup of tea or a bowl of porridge.

When a meal is ready, all members of the household wash their hands

and sit down on floor mats. Hands have to be washed before and after the

meal. At mealtime everybody is welcome; visitors and neighbors who drop in

are expected to join the family at a meal.

Food is served by the women. "Sauce" — a stew with vegetables, beans,

butter, salt, and curry powder — is served to each person on a plate.

Sometimes fish or beef stew is served.

Normally a short prayer is said before the family starts eating.

During the meal, children talk only when asked a question. It is bad

manners to reach for salt or a spoon. It is better to ask someone sitting

close to it to pass it. It is also bad manners to leave the room while

others are still eating. Everyone respects the meal by staying seated until

the meal is over. Leaning on the left hand or stretching ones legs while at

a meal is a sign of disrespect and is not tolerated.

People usually drink water at the end of the meal. It is considered

odd to drink water while eating.

When the meal is finished, everyone in turn gives a compliment to the

mother by saying, "Thank you for preparing the meal, madam." No dessert is

served after the meal. Fruits like papaya, pineapple, or sweet bananas are

normally eaten as a snack between meals.

Cuisine & Etiquette in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, the staple food is rice. "If I haven't had my rice, I

haven't really eaten today," is a popular saying of this people. They eat

rice at least twice a day. Only women and girls prepare the food.

If you visit a there friend, he or she will almost always invite you

to stay and eat. Sharing is an important part of life in Sierra Leone!

Everyone washes their hands before they eat, and then they gather in a

circle with a huge dish of food placed in the middle.

The oldest males get the choicest food, the best pieces of meat or

fish. Then the young males take the next best pieces, and then finally the

women and girls get any meat or fish that is left. Sometimes the women and

girls wait until the men and boys have had all they want before they eat.

Rice is eaten with the hands by squeezing or rolling it into a ball,

dipping it into the sauce, and then popping it into the mouth. When

everyone finishes eating, they wash their hands and thank the cook.

When you are eating, you usually don't talk. Talking shows a lack of

respect for the food. It is rude to lean on your left hand while you are

eating. People usually drink water only after a meal is over.

Many ingredients go into sauces or stews to go with rice. The most

popular sauces are made of greens. Other common ingredients include palm

oil, onions, tomatoes, yams, and red peppers. Sometimes peanut oil or

coconut oil are used. Sources of protein that go into the sauces include

peanuts and beans, as well as fish, chicken, goat meat, or pork. Seafood,

such as oysters, lobster, and crab, may also be used. Most of the calories,

however, come from rice, which is eaten in large quantities.

Fruits include oranges, bananas, papayas, lemons, avocados,

watermelon, mangoes, and pineapples. Fruit is usually eaten as a snack.

Plantains (cooking bananas) are sometimes sliced and fried as chips for a

snack. Tea and coffee are drunk in some parts of the country for breakfast.

Coke and beer are popular with people who can afford them.


A language is more than the sum of its words, its grammar, and the

expressive quality of its melody.

Language =Words+ Grammar + Melody + "?"

Every cultural group has unique patterns of speech — patterns for

doing things like giving and responding to compliments, saying no, and

forming business relationships. And even the most elementary of speech acts

— the greeting — is more complex than you might think!


Many visitors to the United States are perplexed every time an

American flashes one of those famous smiles, looks you straight in the eye,

exclaims "How are you?" —and then disappears without waiting to hear a

word. These visitors must feel like Alice in Wonderland, trying to

communicate with the White Rabbit. That's because they are taking the

question "How are you?" literally, as a request for information about ones

health and well-being. "How are you?" (when said in passing or as part of

an everyday greeting) may be a question according to the rules of grammar,

but in practice it is not a question at all! It is a friendly and polite

greeting. No one expects to give or hear a long answer. A one or two word

answer will do. In fact, it's considered rude to tell a long story.

When Americans are not simply greeting you and truly want to know how

you are, they may put a small emphasis on the word "are." How ARE you? Or,

to make the message absolutely clear, they might say "How ARE you, REALLY?"

Then you can tell a very long story indeed.


In Moroccan Arabic, people greet each other with the words "Salaam Oo-

allay-kum." Ibis greeting means "Peace be with you." The response is "Oo-

allay-kum salaam" — "And with you peace." But the greeting does not end

there! Greetings in Morocco may continue for many minutes - sometimes as

long as half an hour — as people ask about each other's health, faith in

Allah, families, work, etc.

Moroccans shake hands when greeting, touching the heart immediately

after the handshake to show that the greeting is sincere. Sometimes instead

of touching the heart, they will kiss their own hand after the handshake as

a sign of particular esteem or affection. In the case of family members or

close friends, women greeting women and men greeting men will kiss each

other's cheeks back and forth a few times. In the north, it's right cheek-

left cheek-left cheek. In other parts of the country, it could be right-

left-right, or right-left only. How many times you kiss cheeks also depends

on how much you like the person, or how long it's been since you've seen

them. The longer it's been, the more kisses are exchanged.


A stereotype is a statement that simplifies human and social

realities. For example, a single quality is said to belong to every member

of a group: "Men hate to cook."

Prejudice is to prejudge: to form an opinion, usually negative, about

someone before you know many facts. "Richard can't cook - he's a guy!" If

you have seen the film Shrek, about an ogre who falls in love with a

princess, you may remember Shrek's lament — his sad complaint that "They

judge me before they even know me!"

Stereotypes and prejudice are based on incomplete or faulty

information. They get in the way of knowing people as individuals and of

understanding the world in a complex and sophisticated way; they can offend

& hurt people; and they can lead to serious misunderstandings.


The nine comments a non-Russian might make about Russians:

1. Russians are dreamers and not doers.

2. Russians are not materialistic. They consider other people more

important than what you can buy.

3. Russians value familiar faces and distrusts those they do not


4. There is a right and a wrong way to do almost anything, and

Russians will not hesitate to tell you when you are doing something wrong —

or "nyekulturno."

5. Russians don't think about the future — they don't plan far

ahead. If they have money today, they spend money today.

6. Russians are certain that they are right, they know everything &

they have all the answers.

7. Russians are fatalistic — they feel nothing they can do will

make a difference.

8. Russians disapprove of people who are different or who break

social conventions (like Tattoo).

9. Russians are "lazy" — if you don't tell them what to do and

supervise them carefully they will do as little as possible or nothing at


If we can understand what lies behind the stereotypes, we are able to

politely challenge or correct others' misperceptions if we so choose. We

all stereotype others sometimes

—and it can be a shock to hear about how others stereotype us. Just

think of a time you have stereotyped someone, as we all have, and imagine

their reaction if they heard your words!

For an explanation of each of the nine notions, we shall learn some

reasons that some observers and scholars might give as to why Russians may

appear to others the way they do.

1. As a general rule Americans are oriented towards doing. They

measure their own value, and that of others, by what & how much they do.

Ideas are not valued as highly as the practical application of ideas and

results. Russians are more oriented towards contemplating ideas and valuing

ideas in and of themselves. A Russian who attended an American/Russian

conference described the different ways each group would spend conference

evenings. "The Russians would sit all night drinking tea, discussing and

reflecting upon the events and ideas of the day, while the Americans would

be dunking of what they had to do the next day and preparing for it."

2. "It's better to have 100 friends than 100 rubles." Russians have

very close bonds with and depend upon a close network of friends, family

and familiar faces — people they know they can trust. Government, banks, &

bureaucracies are not trusted or depended upon. Friends, however, can trust

each other and depend upon one other.

3. Again, many Russians belong to close-knit groups of family &

friends. Within these groups, there is great trust and a strong sense of

closeness — however strangers and outsiders are not immediately trusted and

are kept at a greater social and emotional distance.

4. Russian culture, more than many others, emphasizes clear

cultural norms, rules and scripts (what people should say). Many Russians

expect others to conform to these social or cultural rules and freely

correct those who "stray." They may feel that they are being helpful and

saving others from future trouble or embarrassment

5. Russians may believe that planning for the future and living for

tomorrow is sinful and contradicts Christian teachings. One Russian student

quoted the Bible as proof that this belief is sacred: "Now listen to me,

you that say, 'today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we

will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.' You don't

even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke,

which appears for a moment and then disappears." Making the most of each

day, living 'it to the fullest, and facing only the hardships of the

current day are valued.

Many Russians appear to prefer a consensus on truth to a plurality of

opinions or truths. Some writers trace this preference to the early Russian

Empire - when Russia was "ruled by an autocratic dynasty with a holy

mission to defend its faith against the barbarians of the East and the

heresies and pluralism of the West" "The pluralism of the West was seen by

Russia as chaotic, without harmony, a disunity or thought and purpose."

Historically, Russia has held to a vision of a single, unifying truth — the

truth as told by the Communist party and Communist ideology; or a Russian

Orthodox vision of an absolute truth with no room for conflicting opinions.

Russian Orthodoxy, according to one writer, was envisioned as "a fellowship

uniting all souls under a single and correct religious rite" actively

agreed upon and shared by all. The faithful were envisioned as members of

one big family - just as the 15 Soviet republics were envisioned as


7. It is a general Russian cultural belief that people cannot

necessarily or easily change things or influence events. The goal is to be

patient & persevere. Some writers say this may be because of the physical

hardships of Russian life — from the long winters to shortages of goods.

8. Again, Russians appear to prefer dear cultural norms and rules

and to easily judge and criticize those who break them.

9. Russian workers and Russian students appear to prefer detailed

and precise instructions from supervisors or teachers. Decisions about what

should be done, and how, appear to be made at the top. Supervisors/teachers

appear to know best. People may prefer to follow clear directions from

above rather than risk errors or innovations that may harm their careers.


When your first arrived in Russia, what stood out the most?

. The forests, the vast number of green trees I saw from the

airplane window.

. It was my dream to study in Russia. It's a great country and

there are many opportunities for study. I love the writings of

Gorky, and through reading Gorky I got the impression that

Russians are clever and patient- it's a great country, as great

as the US.

What stereotypes did you hear about Russians before coming to


. People are poor. They have to wait in line for bread.

. It's liked a military zone, closed to most people.

. People are hospitable. You can knock on your neighbor's door.

There is brotherly love.

What stereotypes do Russians have of your part of the world?

. Everyone is very rich. There is lots of oil. (They don't

differentiate among countries).

. Women wear veils.

. People ride camels.

. Men marry four or five women.

. Everyone is Muslim. (They don't know about other religions).

. They don't know our history.

. Terrorists

. Not much knowledge, they only know the name Arafat.

Russian perceptions of Arabs/Southerners

. Southerners are called "black." There is discrimination based

on skin color. There are unpleasant encounters on the street.

Many international students have been assaulted. Flats have

been broken into. Almost everyone has been assaulted,

especially in bars, nightclubs, and discos. Students go out in

groups for safety in numbers.

. One student had two brothers who came to Russia. One brother

was beaten and had a severe head injury. Another had a leg


. Some babushki yell "Chechens go home!" One interviewee says

that he doesn't pay attention- he understands that they are old

and he understands the psychological reasons. Another says they

have no right to say those things. We are students here. We

have come here for our education. We are spending money and

adding to the Russian economy. We are not troubling anyone.

. Overall crime rate is high, but foreigners are particularly

victimized. There is no police protection. There seems to be no

law. There are police document checks and bribes. There has

been a big change in the past ten years. Now there is more

economic disorder, corruption, violence, and crime.

Why Questions

Why are women streetcar drivers? Why do they do manual and construction


. Why are young Russians rude to older people?

. Why don't young men don't give up seats on the trolley bus for


. Why do young people sometimes yell or shout bad words at old


Your Perceptions of Russia and Russians Now

. The people are friendly and sympathetic. Teachers are friendly

and sympathetic. Sympathy is the key to understanding.

. Russian women are very beautiful. They are patient, they work

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