Jazz Bridge Journal Post #12: Receiving Line

Posted on December 21, 2011

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Here is a short post I didn’t get to send.  From 12/15, our third full day in Khabarovsk

We met the Minister of Culture today.  We were sitting in the theater waiting for him, talking amongst ourselves, when our interpreter Masha stood up and said, someone important is coming.  So we all stood up.  The Minister strode into the room, walked down the line of and briskly shook our hands in welcome.

We were talking later about how in America we don’t do this.  We don’t stand at attention when someone walks into a room.  Unless were giving the person standing ovation, or they are the President.  Although it does depend on which president.

We speculated that Russia is a militaristic culture.  Rank and deference to power are more important here than in America.  We stand in appreciation, we stand out or respect, but we know we don’t have to stand if we don’t want to.

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