Posted under: Relationships
My name is Olga. I live in Ukraine. I have served in the role of translator/interpreter for Western men seeking to meet Ukrainian or Russian women. In the process over the years, I have observed a number of things about these encounters, some good and some not so good. I would like to talk about some of these observations here on 4060men. Today, I’ll talk about cultural norms.
Social norms, or the idea that the certain things should be done in a certain way in a society, play a very important role in our daily lives. Often they play a positive role as they provide clues as to what to expect in a given situation. Things as simple as smiling at each other and greeting each other when we meet someone expecting the same in return, would be an example of this.
Everyone in a society knows the rules and regulations of everyday life and we don’t need to create these rules every day. They simplify life routines. This system of norms is often used by public figures to predict public reaction to certain actions or decisions.
With all their advantages, our social norms can hinder us when looking for love, searching for a life partner, especially one from abroad. Since childhood we were told that every woman and every man deserves happiness and love and we created an image in our minds as to the ideal partner based on these social definitions, even stereotypes. I don’t only mean physical traits such as hair color, height and weight of the future partner, but more important things such as the number of positive traits the future partner should have. Things like humor, or integrity, or work ethic, might be some of these traits.
The main challenge in dating foreigners is in these different social constructions that are built on different cultural platforms. We often are told that all humans are the same fundamentally, where we seek things such as freedom, equal rights, respect, and such things like this. This is only a partially true. Even males and females of the same culture often seem to be creatures from different planets, imagine how much more so those from different cultures!
First of all, we often prefer not to remember that since the dawn of human history the development of cultures and norms were rooted in certain religious ideas. You can accept it or not, yet it’s enough to say that the influence is extensive, ranging from art masterpieces inspired by religious views, to bloody wars fought on religious principles, to church regulated social and mental development over thousands of years. It is only in relatively recent history has religious ideas stopped playing such a central role, at least from my perspective.
The point is that religious ideas differ in different countries and what is a hundred short years of relatively less impact compared to thousands of years of profound impact on a people and nation!
Beyond religious and philosophical histories, there are genetic histories that help define the appearance and characteristics of a people, making them distinct in many ways.
I hope this rather long introduction will make us think about how very different we can really be from each other, even though we may look similar and maybe even converse in a similar language. I am convinced that when an American or a EU citizen starts looking for a wife in Russia or Ukraine, he first of all will want to find as much in common with his future wife as possible, but also understand in what ways she is different. Could people who have grown up on different planets be the same? Of course not.
Yet, it doesn’t mean that couples from different countries cannot be happy together. Moreover, they often have better chances to create a happy family than those from the same country, due to those different yet complementary perspectives.
My hope in this introduction would be that Western men would open their eyes to see past their own preconceived notions about these women and value the unique aspects the Russian or Ukrainian wife will possess and what she can bring to your life. Until next time.
About the Author: Noser