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Sociologists found out what Russians associate with terms like Jew or Chechen


The Center of Interethnic Interaction, Dialog, published the results of a survey on stereotypes connected with ten different nationalities. Some of them were absolutely predictable, but others were quite unexpected. In the opinion of the participants of the survey, Russians are alcoholics, Ukrainians love lard, Jews are sly, and Kurds are fighters for freedom.

The survey was carried out in the beginning of summer among students of Nizhegorod institutes of higher education. 505 people were polled. They were asked to say the first association that comes to mind when someone mentions one of the ten nationalities. The word Russian was mostly (15%) associated with vodka and alcoholism. The next associations most named were me/us (8%) and Russia (6%). 3% named laziness as their first association, 2% named strength and hospitability. So the main stereotype connected with Russian is an inclination to alcohol.

Ukrainians were mainly associated with lard (24%). The next terms mentioned were khokhol (a slang word for Ukrainian, 20%), Gorilka (a Ukrainian type of Vodka) and orange revolution (both 6%). Only 3% thought about borshch. The sociologists concluded from this that the image of the Ukrainian is mainly connected with the national cuisine and in general is rather negative.

The word Jew was mainly connected with Judaism (14%), slyness (13%) and greed (11%). 6% considered Jews to be clever, 3% first of all thought of the words money and Holocaust. In 4% of the cases the first associations were pejorative nicknames.

When it came to Azerbaijani, 5% named pejorative nicknames. The main association about them was tradesmen in markets (22%), and fruit (water melon) salesmen (19%). 10% associated Azerbaijani with a person from the Caucasus, 4% with a black (black is a Russian pejorative term for all nationalities who come from the South of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, and whose skin therefore is darker than the skin of a typical Slav), 2% with shashlik.

When they were asked about Chechens, the first association of 30% of the participants was war. Participants of the Chechen conflict boeviki (Chechen forces), shakhidy (martyrs), separatists took the second place (15%). In the conception of 10% of the interrogated students Chechens are, first of all, terrorists. 3% named associations like evil and dagger.

Gypsies were mainly considered to be nomads who live in tents (16%). 12% associated this nationality with songs and dances, 10% with theft, 6% with fortune-telling and panhandling. 4% thought that Gypsies are mainly drug dealers.

Connected with the word Tartars the main associations were Islam (17%), Kazan(13%) and the Mongol-Tartar Yoke (10%). 4% consider Tartars to be sly, 2% consider them to be malicious.

For some reason the main associations about Chuvashi were stupid (4%), beer (3%), and dirty (2%). Udmurty were considered to be reindeer breeders who live in the self-made tents in the North. Furthermore, such terms as Ichevsk (7%), slit eye (4%) and Siberia (2%). Kurds-Ezids did not evoke any associations in two thirds of the participants. Only 5% said that they are connected with the Caucasus, 3% said with Kurdistan, and 2% considered them to be either refugees or fighters for freedom.

It turned out the surveys participants who can be seen like the Russian society in miniature cannot give any flattering characteristics, neither for their neighbors nor for themselves. Nearly all associations were extremely negative or pejorative. So we do not care who we talk about, Udmurty, Jews or Azerbaijani. They are all (by the way, Russians included) alike: evil, greedy and stupid.

[29.07.2005]

Source: Novye Izvestiya

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