Monday, January 24, 2022

Jokes about Bosses and Social Problems OK; Jokes about Religion and Ethnicity Aren’t, Russians Tell VTsIOM

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 5 – More than 60 percent of Russians say jokes about bosses, family members and social and economic problems are perfectly acceptable; but even higher percentages say jokes about health, religion or national differences are not, according to a new VTsIOM poll.

            Three Russians out of four have a negative attitude toward black humor, the polling agency says; only five percent have positive feelings about it, with 16 percent more saying they are neutral or indifferent to it (

            Most Russians think they have a sense of humor, with 40 percent saying they have it to a great extent, and 45 percent more saying they have some. Only one in 25 – four percent – say they don’t have a sense of humor at all.

            However all this may be, and it is likely that some of these answers reflect the judgments of Russians about what they should say rather than how they actually feel and behave, Russians continue to come up with anecdotes about all aspects of their lives. This week’s selection by Larisa Kazakevich, focuses on family issues (

Three are especially good, although not necessarily specifically Russian:


·       A man prays to God that he be allowed to change places with his wife because he works hard and she in his view doesn’t. God grants his wish. But a week later, after having to do all his wife had been doing, the man asks God to change their roles back to what they were. God says that unfortunately he can’t do that because the man has become pregnant.

·       A psychiatrist asks a woman whether she comes from a family where anyone suffers from a false believe in his or her greatness. The woman replies that unfortunately she does. Sometimes her husband absurdly claims that he is the head of the family.

·       A boss assembles his employees to tell them that their secretary has given birth to a child. He says he wants to collect 100 rubles from each for a present and to give all the men a paternity test.

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