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Muscovites Learned to Get Along With Migrants

Three million migrants dwelling in Moscow, it seems, taught townspeople to accept them. From last year in the capital Russian language schools have been operating that teach the uncommon subject of Russian as a Foreign Language. Muscovites almost do not pay attention to visitors on street or in the metro. They learned without error to pronounce this rough word gastarbeiter (guest-worker). In general, they are beginning to if not love them then, at the very least, peacefully get along with them. This surprising conclusion was reached by sociologists from the N.N. Miklukho-Maklaya Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology. Komsomolskaya Pravda gives the results of a long study, such results which Muscovites readily accept, but that migrants in the capital do not so easily digest.

Even in 2002 sociologists tried to explain whether or not Muscovites liked guest-workers. Then, it turned out that capital inhabitants related to them much moor poorly than now. There was 10% more hostility towards visitors then. In five years the situation noticeably changed. Relations between Muscovites and non-Russian visitors became calmer. Townspeople increasingly to not show hostility to migrants, but about 20% of Muscovites are indifferent to whether there are migrants in Moscow or not.

A study showed that those that relate negatively to migrants in the capital number more, up until now. 57% of townspeople to one extent or another do not receive guest-workers well. Yet nevertheless 40% of Muscovites do not fell any hostility towards them.

Interestingly, it is people between the ages of 25 to 40 that relate more peacefully to visitors than the elderly do. So it is in vain that the young generation is frequently charged with xenophobia and nationalism. They are not guilty of such charges, especially in comparison with the elderly, although, of course there are racists and skinheads in Moscow.

In spite of the sufficiently negative relations of Muscovites to migrants, only 20% of townspeople consider that migrants should be immediately kicked out of the city. Although half of those interviewed express that the inflow of guest workers into Moscow must be limited. The rest give advice to migrants on how to become accustomed to life in the capital. Muscovites do not want separate regions for the migrants to be created, like Chinatowns in the west. Many understand perfectly that it would be difficult to purchase a new dwelling complex, but to live in the environment of some visitors would be not very pleasant.

Ukrainians, Tatars and Jews are accepted best of all by townspeople. All other ethnicities in general do not bring about any sympathy.

The main factor that influences good relations to migrants is the closeness to Russian culture and lifestyle. This is why Muscovites are friendly to Ukrainians, and consider Tatars and Moldovans, who know Russian well, to be their own.

It is interesting that young people sympathize more with migrants. Moldavians are now one of the most numerous groups of guest workers in the capital (a third of all the migrants in the capital). As it turns out, that contemporary young Muscovites often work and study with them. For elderly Muscovites, in contrast, people led separate lives and worked and lived in different spheres of housing and utilities economy.

Expert evaluations state that the number of migrants found in the territory of Moscow is between 1-3 million people. Officially, registration accounts according to the data of the Moscow Department of Education, from January 15 to August 31, 2007 were set at 1, 080, 185 people. The number of the non-Russian population in the capital exceeded a 15% boundary. In Moscow schools more than 100 000 children of migrants are taught.

Source: Noviy Region 2.0


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