|e-Book on Russian Women (Part 3)
Russian Women in the Workplace
Below is a description of the Russian educational system and RW. When reading this it appears that there are many opportunities available to RW. In practice this is not true. Young girls have always been approached by their male teachers to satisfy their sick fantasies. There are numerous cases where grades are withheld until the girl complies. This behaviour can be traced all the way until the end of university.
And it does not get any better when the – now – woman starts looking for a job. Russia turns out thousands of musicians to serve a music industry smaller than that in Boise, Idaho. With limited opportunities for employment, men understand the power they have over woman looking for careers. It is very common for sexual favours to be demanded in return for employment. This is why RW turn so frequently to marrying Western men. While sexual harassment does happen in the West, at least it is not an ingrained part of society nor is it unpunished by the courts
Russian women have the right to attend all levels of education. The problem lies in balancing the needs of education with the need to earn money. The compulsory secondary education is free. It provides the minimal required level of education and enables her to continue her studies. There are also private schools with high fees, but it is up to the parents where they will place their child. As a rule the curricular are the same for boys and girls as they study together. The only essential distinction lies in courses of housekeeping activities. During this course girls study the ABC of cooking, dressmaking, embroidery, designing and housekeeping. This in itself gives RW some indication of where they are expected to fit into society.
Having got the certificate of secondary education, every Russian girl may take a two-year course of higher grade course or enter a specialized institution of secondary education (technical school, vocational school, college etc.) where she will receive training in some profession alongside with completing her secondary education that will enable her to enter an institution of higher education.
In most cases there is no sex discrimination in receiving training in any profession. Not long ago girls were not admitted to military or marine schools but in recent years this restriction has been lifted so that everybody who passed the entrance exams and was approved by the medical board could get the profession of a policeman/woman, an army officer, a captain of a sea vessel, etc.
What professions are most favored nowadays by Russian women? In specialized secondary schools those of book-keeper, shop-assistant, secretary, manager, hairdresser and dressmaker. In universities those of lawyer and economist that are considered to be in demand and offer an opportunity to get a well-paid job. At present Russian universities release twice as much lawyers and economists than in 1991. No less prestigious are the faculties of psychology and sociology where the competition has increased considerably during last 4-5 years. The most attractive among the medical professions is that of a dentist. When choosing a University and a Faculty to enter a Russian girl acts in accordance with her preferences, aptitudes, interest, prestige of a certain profession, a possibility to get a well-paid job after graduation. But we have to admit, to our regret, that a diploma of any educational institution of any level even if there are only top marks there doesn't guarantee a Russian girl the job she has been trained for. Her knowledge turns out to be unnecessary. This is a paradox of nowadays: the Russian state, having invested huge sums of money in education of top-class specialists, does not allow provide careers for these trained professionals
Women in Russia may theoretically take courses in two or even three universities. Besides, there is a possibility of improving one's knowledge in his/her field at the Faculties of raising qualification, at the post-graduate courses for people writing a theses to obtain candidate or doctor of science degree, at various seminars and specialized courses. Many middle aged Russian women, unemployed or seeking for a more satisfying job, start to attend specialized courses to master a chosen trade that is in keen labor demand. The courses offer assistance in mastering the trades of lawyer, psychologist, book-keeper, auditor, manager, economist, secretary, hairdresser and shop-assistant. Many educational centers guarantee provision of employment. But the way things go in reality proves it is practically impossible to find a job in a good firm after six months courses. Nevertheless life offers Russian women greater opportunities nowadays. Many women ventured to give up their steady jobs, even if they yielded good money, for a try to make use of their creative business gifts and started their own businesses.
Russian Women and Attire
Many people have said “Russia has the worlds most beautiful women”. After travelling to South African, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria and Israel – I would have to disagree. Each of these countries possess women of comparable if not more beauty and grace.
But if you were too look at the average RW in a shopping in a market or buying books for her family, then I would say there is no comparison. The average Russian women takes much better care of herself and her appearance so that she looks betters than another women.
In Russia a pretty woman will succeed not only in private life, but also in business. That is why a Russian woman strives to keep herself in good form. The desire to look pretty has been an integral part of her life style for so long that it has deeply rooted in her mentality. Odd woman, going out, wouldn't line the eyes, apply lipstick and powder her nose. If a Russian woman didn't use make up she would feel as if she were naked. Expensive cosmetics are available for rich women only. But would the opening of Eastern Europe and Russia’s impending ascension to the WTO, cheap cosmetics have arrived. Also many women live with their parents and they can easily afford to buy just a little cosmetics.
Russian Woman and Clothes
When a man abroad arrives in Moscow he is shocked at first to see that the streets are swarming with, so it seems to him, prostitutes: all women are wearing provocative clothes, make up and manicured hands.
But he must remember that in Russia a woman ignoring her sex peculiarities and engrossed in her work is viewed as an odd and absurd creature - a "bluestocking". You imagine incredible affection for grey colors, baggy skirt with a slit with knee-high stocking visible in it, hair of indefinite color tied up in a pitiful ponytail, grey face without any lively colors. This image has been repeatedly reproduced in the Russian cinema and is universally despised. Perhaps, this can account for the extraordinary attention of a Russian woman to her looks. Whatever the trends in fashion, the major goal a Russian woman tries to attain in her clothes is to emphasize her gentleness and beauty.
Russian Women and Health
When you speak to most RW about their health, they will usually refer to their spiritual health and their physical health. RW are firm believers that the way the way they conduct their lives determines their spiritual health. They will also talk about their physical health. RW would rather avoid Russian hospitals. They believe the doctors are not very good nor do they care much about their patients. Every RW will know of a case where a friend visited many doctors and was unable to be cured. The story will not stop there. They will then refer to a “not usually” doctor who managed to cure the ailment.
Russia’s developing medical system does yet recognise these “not usually” doctors. In the West they are called aromatherapists or some other fancy name. These doctors try to explain their methods to the general population by talking about spiritual health and well-being. Do not be surprised if your prospective partner wants to see a “not usually” doctor. She is simply referring to alternative medical practices.
It is common knowledge that there are no absolutely healthy people in the modern world. This is also true for Russia. A CNN/Time poll conducted in Russia yielded the following results: 7.9% of the population consider
themselves healthy; 46.5% - subject to occasional illnesses; 41% have chronic diseases; and 4.5% think they are incurable. However one must remember that the environment can influence this greatly. The high death toll, shorter length of life, increase in the number of infectious and chronic diseases that have boomed in recent years result essentially from social disturbances. Change the living conditions and you will see the above mentioned rates change for the better. What is most important is that genetically sound constitution permits a Russia woman, under optimum conditions, give birth to healthy babies.
Doctors have been trying with various success to help the Russian woman preserve health. Though the system of preventive treatment and early diagnosing of diseases has yet found its proper employment, 67.4% of Russian women are treated in the regional polyclinics, 19.3% - at medical centers, 8.6% are treated by private doctors.
A great number of Russian women (about 63.4%) venture a course of treatment without first consulting a specialist, and 5.5% of women apply to “healers”
The most 'popular' kind of medical service is dentistry - 54% of the people questioned, then come gynecology - 36.2%, and gastroenterology - 35%. Many need a psychological treatment (this is especially relevant to housewives) - 32.8%.
Sport plays an important part in healthcare. In recent years there have been a universal tendency among Russian girls and young women to go in for aerobics, shaping and gymnastics. The women of forty and more years old attend health groups. A vigorous development is experienced by socially prestigious kinds of sport that were not encouraged before, such as lawn-tennis and mountain skiing.
While RW make every effort to lead a healthy life, there are many cases of excessive alcoholism, drug abuse and cigarette smoking. Many women almost never admit to these peculiarities during the early stages of correspondence with men. They feel the man will simply not be interested. But they believe that their lives are so miserable, they just cannot survive without them.
Here it is important for every man seeking a RW to consider this. No Russian agency will tell you this upfront, and many will simply change the woman’s application so that there is no indication. If this is important for the man, a good way of getting around this is to use a personalized match-making services. In these services the experienced agency staff serve as a filter to find compatible partners.
Russian and Eating
Very few RW buy pre-cooked meals. The concept is absolutely foreign to them. Do not be surprised if your wife mentions Russian food is much better the first time you go shopping in her new home. She is not being rude, she simply equates freshness to healthy food. Russian people prefer buying vegetables and fruits in markets because it is more fresh.
Typical Russian women will try to cook food at home because for her, it is the wife’s job to ensure her husband eats wholesome and healthy food. A true Russian women will shun fancy restaurants for the joy of preparing a meal at home. This can be a traumatic time for most women if they cannot find the right recipe and they strive for perfection. Please refer to our section on Post Marriage Support for more advice.
Russians take great care of nutrition. A person's food must be abundant, tasty and nourishing. Though public restaurants and bars numerous, especially in big cities, the Russians would prefer home-made food. Naturally, the major daily responsibility for cooking lies upon the woman. Nobody pays attention whether she likes it or not; the cooking is her moral obligation.
Russian women prefer natural products to feed their families with. This is what you would find in a typical Russian family rations:
Dairy products. They take one of the top positions in the list of products Russians cannot do without. As a rule they use fresh dairy products, i.e. they are to be eaten within three days. Therefore these products do not contain any preservatives, so called "live" products. They are milk (fat content may vary from 1.5 to 3.5 per cent), fermented dairy products (kefir, ryazhenka, varenets, curdled milk, bifidok, etc.), cottage cheese products (cottage cheese, sweet cottage cheese paste, etc.), sour cream, yogurts. The consumption level of butter and cheese is also very high.
Do not be surprised if your new dribe refuses to buy products with long expiry dates. She believes they not so fresh
Porridge and cereals. These are real Russian dishes that date back to ancient times. That is why breakfast menu in many families includes cereals: rice, semolina, millet, fine-barley, buckwheat, pumpkin, etc. Porridge is a necessary component of the diet of the women who take care of their good looks.
Vegetables. Is there a Russian woman who wouldn't cook a dozen of potato dishes. And beets, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, black radishes, turnips, cabbage, marrows, aubergines? They are all included in the Russian diet, and very often they are grown at private garden plots (dachas). That means that they don't need to be tested for nitrates. Russian women, provided with creative imagination in cooking, can make very healthy and delicious dishes of these vegetables.
Meat. It is practically impossible to survive a severe Russian winter without meat, which is, first of all, a powerful source of energy. The idea of using concentrated dry broth cubes instead of fresh-made natural meat broth for cooking a soup will seem absurd to any Russian woman. The daily menu of most Russian families necessarily includes a meat or a sausage dish, though recently the number of women refriaining from eating meat products has increased. They are not vegetarians in full sense, more likely, they follow one of the theories that meat is bad for the body.
Fish. It doesn't play a significant role in the Russian diet as meat. Still at least once a week a fish dish makes one of the courses.
Baking. Pies, patties, rolls, tarts, buns, cakes - the Russian woman is proficient in cooking them all. What can be found in the stores of a Russian woman of any age living in a small town or in the city? A sack of flour and a sack of sugar. She herself prepares the dough and bakes. Can you think of anything more delicious than a fresh-baked home-made bun?
Tea. Famous Russian tea ceremony is not just mere words. If the hostess of the house doesn't offer tea to her guest she will be considered inhospitable. The tea should be accompanied by cookies, buns, sweets, jam, honey. This is what we mean by Russian tea. And if you are invited to tea on weekend or a holiday, you will be treated to pastries and cakes baked for the occasion.
Speaking about general tendencies in a Russian woman's attitude to nutrition and cooking we should bear in mind that women in Russia differ from one another, as women everywhere in the world, in their habits, ways and affections. Some are fond of cooking and are culinary geniuses, others feel like criminals serving a life sentence of cooking. Still others would be happy to devote some time to cooking but can't allot any. One person is a culinary connoisseur, the other - is utterly unsusceptible to what she eats. One person adhere to some specific diet, the other will eat anything in any combinations.
Also depending the region your wife is from can have a significant affect on her style of cooking. Women from the far east city of Vladivostok will have strong Asian influences in their cooking. Women from Moscow and St. Petersburg will tend be be more Eurocentric.
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