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No Killing Sheep in Courtyards: Moscow Readies Etiquette Guide for Foreigners
The Moscow Times ^ | 17 June 2010 | Alexey Eremenko

Posted on 06/29/2010 11:41:01 PM PDT by saundby

Moscow authorities are preparing an etiquette handbook for foreigners that advises them to speak in Russian, not to walk around the city in national attire and to avoid slaughtering sheep in the courtyard of their apartment building.

City Hall is collaborating with diasporas and scientists to create the “Muscovite’s Code,” a list of nonbinding behavior guidelines to be presented to every foreigner who moves to Moscow.

“There are unwritten rules that residents of our city are obliged to follow, such as not slaughtering sheep in the backyard, not grilling shashliks on the balcony, not walking around the city in national attire, and speaking in Russian,” Mikhail Solomentsev, head of City Hall’s committee for interregional cooperation and national policy, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

“Now we want to develop a code to speed up the integration of migrants who take up permanent residency in Moscow,” Solomentsev said in an interview published Wednesday.

No Killing Sheep in Courtyards: Moscow Readies Etiquette Guide for Foreigners 17 June 2010 By Alexey Eremenko

A planned City Hall handbook advises against wearing national costumes. Igor Tabakov / MT

A planned City Hall handbook advises against wearing national costumes.

Moscow authorities are preparing an etiquette handbook for foreigners that advises them to speak in Russian, not to walk around the city in national attire and to avoid slaughtering sheep in the courtyard of their apartment building.

City Hall is collaborating with diasporas and scientists to create the “Muscovite’s Code,” a list of nonbinding behavior guidelines to be presented to every foreigner who moves to Moscow.

“There are unwritten rules that residents of our city are obliged to follow, such as not slaughtering sheep in the backyard, not grilling shashliks on the balcony, not walking around the city in national attire, and speaking in Russian,” Mikhail Solomentsev, head of City Hall’s committee for interregional cooperation and national policy, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

“Now we want to develop a code to speed up the integration of migrants who take up permanent residency in Moscow,” Solomentsev said in an interview published Wednesday.

“We have asked Moscow diasporas themselves to draft the rules. We’ll study their suggestions and consult with scientists to create the ‘Muscovite’s Code,’ so to speak. When a person moves to Moscow, he will receive a book from his countrymen to tell him what is acceptable here and what is not,” he said.

Solomentsev first announced plans for the “Muscovite’s Code” in 2008, but the idea was put on the back burner.

It is a rare sight to see foreigners walking around Moscow in national costume, and sheep slaughtering is unheard of, except at special locations during Islamic holidays.

Yulia Vaidakova, a spokeswoman for Solomentsev, said Wednesday that she could not disclose any additional details at the moment.

But Ekho Moskvy radio reported Wednesday that the code might be completed by early next year.

Representatives of diasporas contacted by The Moscow Times were cautiously optimistic about the project, which they said may help new migrants integrate, but they warned that it must not infringe on their rights to follow their traditions.

Gavkhar Dzhurayeva, head of the Migration and Law Center, praised the call for dialogue but said “the absurdization” of the discussion might result in serious matters, such as the proper treatment of migrants, being dropped in favor of more controversial issues.

“The idea of a common code for everyone is great, but it must not be reduced to a false intrigue such as dress style, eating habits and behavior patterns,” said Dzhurayeva, who is the former head of the Tajikistan Foundation.

Eldar Guliyev, executive director of the All-Russian Azeri Congress, said people who move to a big city from a village — which includes Russian citizens as well as foreigners — really require help in integrating, but the new norms should be “delicate.”

“Rules are needed, but they must not be something the officials can use against a person’s rights,” he said.

Solomentsev said the handbook would preserve Moscow’s way of life.

“Moscow’s lifestyle is based on Russian culture and centuries-old traditions, and everyone moving to the city must reckon with this,” Solomentsev said.

But he added that Muscovites are “a community that is bigger than a nationality because it is a tangle of various cultures.”

Solomentsev also said the city has more migrant workers than it needs.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: customs; immigration; language; russia
Telling foreign immigrants to speak the local lingo? The nerve of some countries! Next they'll be claiming they can say who crosses the border.

The pic at the article is something else. An American Indian, perhaps? I can't tell. Not for the faint of heart, though.

1 posted on 06/29/2010 11:41:09 PM PDT by saundby
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To: saundby

BOYCOTT! BOYCOTT!


2 posted on 06/29/2010 11:57:00 PM PDT by Mr. Blond
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To: saundby
If I ever get around to visiting Russia, I will reciprocate precisely to the degree that the thousands of Russian immigrants who live nearby me conform to our norms.
ie. I will speak only ENGLISH, I will dress like an American as far as is practical, and I will allow women and children to walk along side me on the sidewalk, rather than trail behind like servants.
3 posted on 06/30/2010 12:03:32 AM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (Darn, lost my tagline... something about boarders, in-laws and bad language.)
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To: saundby
The pic at the article is something else. An American Indian, perhaps?

The grass skirt is a dead giveaway. Obviously a mathematics student going to Moscow for post-Doctoral work.

4 posted on 06/30/2010 12:09:12 AM PDT by ARepublicanForAllReasons (Darn, lost my tagline... something about boarders, in-laws and bad language.)
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To: Salamander; JoeProBono; humblegunner; Eaker; Markos33; Allegra

Well, looks like we need a new location for our shashlik cookout.

While you’re here, you’ll want to click the link and play the “What Country is that the Costume Of?” game. (Trust me on this one.)


5 posted on 06/30/2010 12:14:17 AM PDT by shibumi ((Topop Gigiop!!!!!))
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To: saundby

Sounds sensible to me. My sister used to teach English to Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s. Some of them had lived extremely primitively, so she had to teach them not to barbecue in their living room, among other things. I’m not surprised that some people need to be told not to kill a goat in their apartment courtyard.

In America, I’d like to tell immigrants to refrain from trashing public restrooms. Also, when camping in a campground or picnicking at the park, keep music turned down so the people nearby can’t hear it. Finally, they should remember that they don’t speak English nearly as well as they think they do, so they must slow down and separate the words.


6 posted on 06/30/2010 12:27:52 AM PDT by married21
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To: saundby

But he added that Muscovites are “a community that is bigger than a nationality because it is a tangle of various cultures.”
____________________________________________________________

Mmmnnnnnnoooo....I think not. In the 90’s, after the wall fell and the former Soviet Union broke apart - it turned out that ‘some were more equal than others’. Living in Moscow was quite a privilege and meant access to resources only dreamed of in the rest of the country. This had been true for years prior to the breakup of the USSR -so much so that a person had to have a permit to live in Moscow and those without permits knew not to try to stay without one.
However, once the USSR broke apart, ‘white Russians’ laid claim to Russia. Unfortunately that meant driving out persons who had lived in Moscow all their lives if they were ‘diverse’ (i.e. any other ethnicity than ‘White Russian’). A friend spent nights crying in fear for her Georgian mother who was living in Russia; the elderly woman was afraid to go to the store or be seen in public because she was ‘too dark skinned’ to pass for ‘White Russian’ and was legitimately afraid of being abused and cast out of Moscow. She had no place else to go but...she was the wrong ethnicity. So, no, I don’t imagine you’ll find quite the ‘Melting Pot’ described in the article although I am sure there are exceptions.


7 posted on 06/30/2010 12:35:21 AM PDT by ransomnote
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To: saundby
"...not grilling shashliks on the balcony...

And no shrimp on the barbie? Backwards savages!

8 posted on 06/30/2010 12:45:28 AM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: saundby
“Moscow’s lifestyle is based on Russian culture and centuries-old traditions, and everyone moving to the city must reckon with this,” Solomentsev said.

Says the guy while showing a picture with a Pepsi ad in the background.

I don't think there is one thing "centuries-old Muscovite" in that photo including "fat guy with boutique shopping bag", "nosy lady with Bermuda shorts" and "umbrella girl with denim vest", even the weird guy looks like he is pulling up Mapquest on his cell.

9 posted on 06/30/2010 1:05:26 AM PDT by this_ol_patriot
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To: ransomnote
...prior to the breakup of the USSR -so much so that a person had to have a permit to live in Moscow and those without permits knew not to try to stay without one.

This is still true. A Russian's internal National Passport says where they live. They are not allowed to reside in any other city within Russia. They cannot even rent a hotel room in another city. Many workers stay just outside the city limits (camping out at night) and enter the city during the day for work (day laborers, you might say - just no Home Depots).

10 posted on 06/30/2010 1:54:58 AM PDT by TexasRedeye (Eschew obfuscation)
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To: this_ol_patriot

Pepsi does not equal culture.


11 posted on 06/30/2010 2:30:14 AM PDT by Smith Winston
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To: TexasRedeye
They are not allowed to reside in any other city within Russia. They cannot even rent a hotel room in another city. Many workers stay just outside the city limits (camping out at night) and enter the city during the day for work (day laborers, you might say - just no Home Depots).

That's rubbish. A Russian may reside wherever he wants excluding certain areas of military importance. He's required to register his residence with the police. He needs a document to prove owning/hiring an accomodation. And no tent camps outside Russian cities!

12 posted on 06/30/2010 4:10:13 AM PDT by Freelance Warrior (A Russian.)
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To: saundby

No killing of sheep, but beheading infidels is okay?...............


13 posted on 06/30/2010 5:20:25 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. He's just some guy in the neighborhood.............)
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To: Freelance Warrior

Guess we have a slight disagreement here. My Russian wife “owns” a flat in Russia. Her sister and her brother-in-law occupy it because they can’t get a flat authorized by the gov’t. My wife is an authorized resident of Nab. Chelny and is “allowed “ to stay in a hotel room I reserve in Moscow only because the hotel staff allows it. She could not register with the local police because they would not have allowed it. Of course, as a foreigner, i can stay anywhere I want but I have to turn over my passport to the hotel staff so they can report my residence to the local Moscow police. I have many times recently seen workers standing around a fire in the woods outside of Moscow city limits early in the morning waiting for work start time because they are not allowed to stay in the borders of Moscow at night. You have to have a Moscow internal passport and gov’t authorization to reside in Moscow or any other city. I don’t say a Russian can’t get permission to reside in any other city, only that they are not authorized to reside in any city for which their internal passport address is different. They can move, but only with gov’t approval. The problem is getting a gov’t authorized flat within a different city. It can take years and you have to show a need (usually spelled b-r-i-b-e) that is important to the gov’t.


14 posted on 06/30/2010 5:26:17 AM PDT by TexasRedeye (Eschew obfuscation)
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To: saundby

And don’t mention the labor camps in Siberia.


15 posted on 06/30/2010 5:30:32 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: saundby

Years ago I did a job in a subdivision at a rent house occupied by some Pakistani folks that had a blood stained tree stump surrounded by goat hooves in the backyard.


16 posted on 06/30/2010 5:46:08 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Political correctness in America today is a Rip Van Winkle acid trip.)
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To: TexasRedeye

>...prior to the breakup of the USSR -so much so that a person had to have a permit to live in Moscow and those without permits knew not to try to stay without one.
This is still true. A Russian’s internal National Passport says where they live. They are not allowed to reside in any other city within Russia. They cannot even rent a hotel room in another city. Many workers stay just outside the city limits (camping out at night) and enter the city during the day for work (day laborers, you might say - just no Home Depots).>
Wrong. You are not allowed to be in any other city if you have no place to stay there having arrived more than 3 days ago. It is a minor offence there. If you have property, relatives or friends who are giving you a place to stay you have to inform local police and they gives you some sort of visa. If you are renting a room in a hotel you are getting that visa by default.
IMO that is quite fair in terms of immigration and crime control.
Police enforces the law by random stop of unusual people (mostly asians or wearing muslim clothes)checking their passports, visas and tickets to know if they are overstay their 3 days or not.
If you are a well dressed Russian or a white American they will never engage you.

Same is about so called day laborers who are mostly illegal Tajik or Vietnamese nationals. They are stay outside the cities for a good reason not to be prosecuted or deported.


17 posted on 06/30/2010 6:15:38 AM PDT by cunning_fish
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To: TexasRedeye

>...prior to the breakup of the USSR -so much so that a person had to have a permit to live in Moscow and those without permits knew not to try to stay without one.
This is still true. A Russian’s internal National Passport says where they live. They are not allowed to reside in any other city within Russia. They cannot even rent a hotel room in another city. Many workers stay just outside the city limits (camping out at night) and enter the city during the day for work (day laborers, you might say - just no Home Depots).>
Wrong. You are not allowed to be in any other city if you have no place to stay there having arrived more than 3 days ago. It is a minor offence there. If you have property, relatives or friends who are giving you a place to stay you have to inform local police and they gives you some sort of visa. If you are renting a room in a hotel you are getting that visa by default.
IMO that is quite fair in terms of immigration and crime control.
Police enforces the law by random stop of unusual people (mostly asians or wearing muslim clothes)checking their passports, visas and tickets to know if they are overstay their 3 days or not.
If you are a well dressed Russian or a white American they will never engage you.

Same is about so called day laborers who are mostly illegal Tajik or Vietnamese nationals. They are stay outside the cities for a good reason not to be prosecuted or deported.


18 posted on 06/30/2010 6:15:56 AM PDT by cunning_fish
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To: saundby

I can’t slaughter my sheep in the courtyard?!!! Well, that tears it... I won’t be visiting Moscow anytime soon. Did they say anything about slaughtering goats?


19 posted on 06/30/2010 8:04:57 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: saundby

I can’t slaughter my sheep in the courtyard?!!! Well, that tears it... I won’t be visiting Moscow anytime soon. Did they say anything about slaughtering goats?


20 posted on 06/30/2010 8:06:32 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: TexasRedeye
Guess we have a slight disagreement here.
The reason is you don't know Russian legal details.

Owning an accomodation and the right to live there (residence registration) are two different things. An owner doesn't have an absolute right to strip someone from the right to live on his property, there're legal restrictions. If he has this right, the process is burdensome. Selling out an accomodation requires consent of all registered.

There are also apartments rented from the government, that's how most people lived during the Soviet era. All registered in such apartments are equal co-tenants.

Registration is a key thing to get a job, to use social services. Americans use utility bills as a counterpart. Those who own a house/apartment are eligible for residence registration, others must have an allowance paper from an owner.

Getting such paper is almost impossible, owners wouldn't want to get in this difficult way. That's the main reason of the Russian freedom-to-move problem.

My Russian wife “owns” a flat in Russia.
Why in quotes? Does she own the flat or rent it from the government (the technical term is "unprivatised flat")?

My wife is an authorized resident of Nab. Chelny and is “allowed “ to stay in a hotel room I reserve in Moscow only because the hotel staff allows it.
If she's officially married to you, she has the right to stay. In case of a Russian couple, a hotel's staff needs to see their internal passports. I don't know the case of international couples, the trick is to have a suitable document that you're married.

She could not register with the local police because they would not have allowed it. Of course, as a foreigner, i can stay anywhere I want but I have to turn over my passport to the hotel staff so they can report my residence to the local Moscow police.
If she books a room in a hotel with her name, she gets registered by the hotel staff like they do about you. Otherwise she needs a paper as I've written about above.

21 posted on 06/30/2010 8:13:05 AM PDT by Freelance Warrior (A Russian.)
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