Russia: “Renat+Ainara=Love”

Global Voices Online
Wednesday, December 3, 2008

IZO translates from Russian LJ user avmalgin's observation (RUS) on Moscow's changing ethnic composition:

The benches on Tsvetnoi Boulevard are covered with inscriptions: "I love you, Rustamchik. Gyuzel." "Renat+Ainara=Love", everything in the same vein. Not a single Russian name. I went through them all, from one end to the other. Early on a Sunday morning the place was empty, but in the evenings it's a real Central Asian settlement. Why there? Or is it the same everywhere?

Below are a few responses (RUS) from LJ user avmalgin's readers.

LJ user dmitrivrubel:

Normal assimilation. Please note that everything is written in Russian, and Renat and Gyuzel are writing about their love for one another rather than declaring their faithfulness to Allah. It will get alarming when inscriptions in Arabic appear, which will feature quotes from the Quran or fatwas of Khomeini or Nasrallah.

LJ user ja_mayka:

Three weeks ago, also on Tsvetnoi Boulevard, I caught myself thinking that they were building Moscow on weekdays and spending their time off there on weekends )

LJ user sted_ats_02:

Perhaps not everything is as straightforward, though there's definitely a tendency. And Moscow, of course, isn't just the Russian people's capital, but also the capital of an empire (the former and the present one), with all the consequences inherent in this status.

LJ user avdoshin:

I think it's a totally normal situation for a multi-million city, whose government and business are acutely interested in the influx of cheap labor. It would be worse if all our gastarbeiters lived in some reservations and ghettos, as in New York or Paris. [...]

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