It’s a very rare moment in my life when someone I knew so briefly sticks in my mind and resounds in my soul. This one beautiful, smart and feminine Slavic woman managed to do just that. My brief memories with her set me on an epic quest to find the “Russian Soul”.
What sets most Slavic woman apart from the rest of the West is not just their beauty. It’s how they still value it and remain very feminine. They may be strong and independent woman who are well educated, but they are still very in touch with what makes them special, attractive. Their sexuality is strong and they accept their societal place and love a chivalrous man. They didn’t buy into Western stupidity calling such roles as “micro aggression”. This femininity is intoxicating and addictive.
A Lasting Impact
I met a young Slavic woman many years ago and our brief time together, the conversations we had stayed with me through the years and through many relationships. She didn’t speak English very well, but she was able to still find the right words to say. Russians are very proud of their origins, not ashamed of who they are. She proudly taught me about her culture, her language and started my quest in finding the Russian Soul.
Мужчины любят глазами, а женщины – ушами, Which means “A woman wins a man over with her looks, a man wins a woman with what he says”. This is true. She won me over first with her looks, but then with her mind.
So What is the Russian Soul?
“In two cases we can definitely say that you’re dealing with a liar: if a man says he can drink champagne the whole night without getting drunk, and if he says he understands Russians.” — Charles Bohlen
Backstory out of the way. Here’s what my personal journey has taught me. If I am wrong, or missing details, I hope to find the corrections in the comments. I still have a long way to go. But the more I learn the more I love.
In Russia the woman are amazingly feminine, yet they’re not just weak feeble eye candy for men. They are also (mostly) well educated, strong and independent. Quite a contradiction to the American binary way of thinking. This contradiction is intoxicating. It’s hard to forget a person like this even as the years roll on by. They have an amazing self respect and command that respect from any many who would potentially be their suiter. Otherwise they’ll use you up and cast you aside, hollowed out and dead inside.
Fate (судьба). Slavic people in general believe in fate. Russians learned to accept it, while the Polish feel they can change it. This acceptance of fate may also be why Russian men above 50 are dying off at a high rate. Times are tough, live short and party hard. This and many other contradictions is the complex heart of the Russian soul and what confuses their more binary Westerners to no end. How can you be both warm and cold, happy and sad?
The Russian Soul is the bond of family, friends and lovers. Russians tend to be devoutly loyal to their friends and family. If you ever want to have a chance for long term relationship, you need to be a part of every aspect of their life. Family, friends, pets. Even if they leave them all behind to move to your country, you still need to know their family is the most important thing.
Their nationalism (what America unreasonably hates) is what held them together through multiple government collapses and many hardships (suffering purifies the soul). The Russian soul is strengthened in the fires of hardship. Going through tough times together will only make you closer. Americans tend to run from trouble, abandon relationships and start anew at the slightest hint of problems.
The Russian Soul is deeply rooted in their literature. From books by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Golog, and the “War and Peace” series. You’ll need to read up on this to really understand who you are dealing with. A complex world of contradictions that also compliment each other well. Remember that respect is a HUGE part of the Russian Soul. So learning the culture, the history and some literature will go a long way with your friend/lover.
Holidays, ceremony and festivals are a huge part of their culture. I was taught about Maslenitsa (Масленица) which literally translates to “Pancake Week” and I’m ok with that. But it’s a recently passed festival ushering in the end of winter and beginning of spring. It’s when young men propose to their love interests and seek out a new one. The Russian woman I know sent pictures of this festival, and explained it to me. A month later the Arkona song of the same name was stuck in my head. I looked it up and realized was the same festival she had told me about a month prior. It was as if fate was sending me a message to keep in touch. So I did just that. She was happy and impressed that I was reminded of her and learned more of the culture.
While I don’t have personal experience in this realm 🙁 , Russians are very passionate lovers. They are intense and full of emotion. This passion drives their sexuality, education and desire for success. It’s a deeply embedded energy that flows through them and you can feel it by just being in their presence. This may be why, years after parting ways I still remember every detail of our first meeting as if it were yesterday. We had a strong connection and that stuck with me in a way never felt before.
As Explained by my Russian Language Tutor
The “mysterious Russian soul” is a well-known concept. It is mysterious because sometimes Russians (and when I say “Russians” I mean people from all the former Soviet Union) do things that people from other countries don’t quite understand. For example, why we wouldn’t smile and say ‘hi’ to you in the street (or would even be rude to you). But if you were our friend or even just an acquaintance, we would give you the last shirt off our back.
Or why Russians would complain about everything in Russia, but in case of external threat or invasion would suddenly become extremely patriotic. Things like that.
There is a saying that goes like this: “Russians do not feel happy enough if the rest of the world is unhappy” and I personally share this feeling completely. I’m sure your friend shares it too, and so she wants you to understand this feeling (in my opinion).