April 25, 2019
Two misconceptions prior to RSSS 150B2 include; its dangerous and all Russians are racists. My involvement in the course allowed me to remove these two misconceptions because Russians are neither dangerous nor they are racists. Before taking the course I used to believe that all Russians are dangerous due to the country’s history and war and ruthless attitudes of Russians in the past. I always associated Russians with their history that caused me to neglect their current roles. The second thing that misconceived me was that all Russians are racists. This also provoked me to believe that they dislike Americans.
The course focused on multiculturalism by providing opportunities for exploring different aspects of Russian culture. The course covered different aspects of the Russian religion that allowed me to change my perspectives about them. I learned about ethnic diversity, language religion and beliefs of Russians. I also learned that historical incidents and happenings had profound impacts on the identities of Russians.
By analysis work of literature like Aleksandr Solzhenitsynn's book "One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich" I uncovered different aspects.
My engagement with the book helped me learn the nature of Russians and factors that contributed to the development of such identities. The story narrates the harsh realities and tragic lives of the Russians. In the Stalinist labor camps where Russians were forced to live the people were victims. I learned the history of such camps and how they deteriorated the lives of common people. By reading the literature I learned that Russians were not dangerous but they suffered the consequences of labor camps. It allowed me to change my misconception that Russians are dangerous people. In history, they have undergone miserable incidents that affected the lives of such people. The course provided me with opportunities for exploring the ways in which minority populations are living in the country. This reflects that Russians pose no challenge to the minority population. The incidents mentioned in the book improved my awareness of the Russian people and their past. The book provides some answers to the questions such as the role of prison camps. The history of the Soviet camps allowed me to witness how Russians suffered in the past.
The course offered me opportunities for interacting with the Russian culture that improved my knowledge about the country. I learned that Russia is no more dangerous place because the state has taken numerous measures for preventing illegal activities. There is a lot of police in the country that works to eliminate threats of murders and crimes. My encounter with Russians allowed me to see the bright side of the country. Russians who were part of the course shared their personal experience and told me that it is as safe on Russian streets as it is in America. I viewed a few movies made by Russian directors that revealed that Russians are normal people having similar issues of love, poverty, struggles and dream.
My encounter with Russians in the course also allowed me to overcome my misconception that Russians are racists. The Russian guys whom I interacted with were not racist and they talked to me in a normal way. I also explored through my interaction with them that Russians are friendly and they are no different from Americans. By observing Russians I realized that they like to talk and have a good nature. The entire course had a positive impact on me as I managed to change my misconceptions associated with Russians.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Solzhenitsyn, A. (2003). One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich. Vintage Publishing.
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