Recently I’ve finalized my thoughts in regards to different types of Russian-speakers who live here in US (as a matter of fact, it could be true for any other part of the world). I have been watching and analyzing this for many years. And it is rather simple. The first type is the people who will never really assimilate here. It doesn’t matter, how many years they have lived here, but they still mostly speak Russian and care about what’s going on in the former Soviet Union. They predominantly watch Russian language TV, read only in Russian language, and go to Russian concerts. They will only go to a Russian doctor or lawyer or mechanic. Obviously, this group is older in age. The second type is people who consciously or unconsciously, or merely by the fact that they have grown up here, have distanced themselves very far away from anything Russian-speaking. They are pretty much Americans without an accent or just a hint of an accent. They don’t know who Kirkorov is, or what Comedy Club is. They don’t go to Russian restaurants or concerts, they don’t even call Sveta or Lyuba or Ira to get the best (actually ze bestest) deal for a vacation in Dominican. They are preoccupied by the same things as the rest of America is preoccupied with, and it pretty much has nothing to do with anything Russian-speaking. Finally, the third type is everyone in between (myself included). Specifically, people who know stuff from both worlds and can switch seamlessly. They know Garik Kharlamov and they know Jimmy Kimmel. They can argue simultaneously in two places on Facebook: in a Russian group in Russian and somewhere else in English. Equally eloquent. They will be speaking in English and then start swearing in Russian, or just the opposite, speak Russian and start swearing in English. This group is the most confused. I don’t mean this in a negative way. This group is our audience. All of our media efforts are geared towards this third type. The question is where are we going? How long are we going to be around for? Another 20-30 years or so? Maybe more? I don’t have the answer. The funny thing is that out of the three types, the first one is the most vicious and vocal when it comes to American politics and politicians. They know what’s right and what’s wrong with this country (mostly what’s wrong) and how to fix it. They will rip you apart, if you argue with them using any real data, statistics or facts. They go by what was written by someone somewhere and then reprinted in some Russian newspaper. You can’t argue with that really, can you?!.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Russian Chicago magazine. I’m really proud of our team of writers and editors who work extra hard on each new issue and have been always improving over the years. This magazine is a collaborative effort of over a dozen people working tirelessly each and every week. Talk soon and cheers!