Sunday, July 3, 2022

Introduction of Chinese Courses in Russian Far East Already Subject of an Anecdote

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 13 – The announcement that Russian schools in the Far East will introduce required courses in Chinese ( has attracted widespread attention and expressions of concern. Symbolic of that is the appearance of an anecdote about this.

            According to a story now circulating in Russia, “in Blagoveshchensk, all schools will begin teaching Chinese as a required course given that over the past four months, the demand there for workers who speak Chinese has doubled. This is how it always happens in Russia: while we are advancing in Ukraine, China is even more successfully stepping on our rear.”

            This is one of the new Russian anecdotes Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova has collected and published ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       The Russian emperor says he has no objection to the introduction of democracy in his country as long as things are arranged so that he remains in charge. Everything else, he says, is “just details.”

 ·       Russians think that if Kremlin leaders walked among them, they would immediately see how bad things are and take measures. But in fact, those leaders know exactly how bad things are and don’t care. Instead, their aides carry with them everything they need, including special toilets concealed in suitcases.

·       The name the Russian company is using now that it has taken over McDonald’s in Russia was stolen from a Portuguese company which makes dog food. A criminal case has been opened against the firm but it isn’t quite clear why: did the company not do due diligence or did it too it too well.

·       Now that McDonalds has reopened under a new name, many expect dealerships handling Western luxury cars to do the same and to offer Ladas instead of Land Rovers and Bentleys.

·       The letter Z has become so widely used that Russians say they live in the year Z0ZZ.

·       Under Putin, Russians no longer have to worry about stepping on Soviet rakes, the term they use for tripping over their own shortcomings. Instead, they must worry about stepping on tsarist rakes.

 ·       According to a post on a singles site, an unmarried man with 20 kilos of buckwheat, 16 kilos of rice and 120 cans of stew wants to meet up with a woman with sugar, flour, and pasta so that they can live together. Intimacy is possible but not required. 

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