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Cultural Differences in Communication
Lynn Visson makes the following statements in her book, ‘Wedded Strangers’:
“The body language of Russians and Americans are different. Russians stand closer than Americans. They look directly and unwaveringly into your eyes.”
“Russians are long winded. Americans are short and to the point. Russians think that giving a short answer is impolite, as if they had not given the matter enough consideration. Americans think a long answer is impolite, as if they are boring the other person and wasting their time.”
At our wedding, my wife wanted me to give a long-winded toast to her parents. I was to tell them of the story of how we met. I was to thank her parents and her ancestors for bringing life to her. I was to make a toast to all of her relatives and friends.
We were married in America. Her parents, friends, and relatives were not in attendance. I explained to my wife that in America, the custom was that other people made toasts to the wedding couple. They did not toast each other.
We had some Russian friends in attendance who made toasts in Russian to us. My best man tried to make a toast in Russian that no one understood. The Americans didn’t understand the Russian. And his Russian pronunciation was so bad that the Russians didn’t understand him either.
However, none of that satisfied my wife who would accept no substitute to a long-winded toast to her from me.
About the Author: John has been successfully married to a Belarussian wife for over five years. He has traveled extensively through Russia and other CIS countries. He will tell you why you should consider Russian women, how to meet them, how to bring your special woman home, and how to survive married life.