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Who knew that it was shameful to eat off of paper plates, or sip from a plastic cup? My translated post about Thanksgiving appeared in TOP LJ all day yesterday, and the comments were just a feast for the soul and mind! Many people immediately commented on the fact that my family eats off of paper plates, not porcelain or china! This is a sign of bad taste and a lower class upbringing, of course! We are poorly educated American rednecks! :)) Apparently after slaving over the oven all day cooking for 40 people, many Russians would prefer to stand at the sink in the evening for hours loading the dishwasher multiple times or hand-washing precious porcelain than demean themselves and use disposable plates and cups! My family certainly owns nice porcelain, but we don't feel the need to eat off of sparkling plates at such huge gatherings. Does the food taste different if it's served on a fancy plate? I don't think so. :) Other common observations in the comments:

(1) "It's horrible that everyone in your family is sitting at different tables! Why aren't you all seated at one long table?" Let me remind you that there are over 40 people at this feast, and my family does not like formal, stuffy gatherings where everyone sits in the same place for hours at a time. We like to get up and move around, talk to different relatives, go outside for fresh air....

(2) "Did you pray before the feast, or has America forgotten God?" No, I don't pray. Not at Thanksgiving, or any other day. I am not a religious person,  and don't believe prayer solves anything. However, there are plenty of holy people in the USA who pray daily and definitely at Thanksgiving. Don't worry, faith and religion is still very strong in the USA. :)

(3) "What slobs! Everyone is wearing their shoes in the house!" YES! In the USA, it is not customary to remove your shoes as soon as you enter the house, especially in a place like Virginia where we don't get much snow. Each time I visit Russia, I must remind myself to immediately remove my boots when entering my friend's apartment. For me, it's something unusual and not a personal habit. I wear my shoes inside the house all the time, as do many Americans.

(4) "Why don't the children sing, dance or read stories at the table?" The children are outside, playing in the nice weather, not sitting in the house singing, performing, or reading prose to the adults. We usually gather and sing Christmas songs during our December holiday celebration, which I will try to show you.

(5) "Why do you ask people to write comments in English! This is a Russian speaking community."  I'm exhausted over the English vs. Russian language hysteria that so commonly arises when my posts appear in other forums. I can't understand the problem, when a kind reader spent hours translating my text into Russian so it could reach a mass audience, yet people still complain! :(

Based on the comments, Russia is the most highly cultured nation, using the best porcelain, dressing in ball gowns and discussing deep and weighty subjects such as politics, literature and the fine arts at all holiday gatherings. :))

I don't claim that my family represents all of America. Of course, there are highly sophisticated and elite families who eat off of beautiful porcelain, have fancy table settings and even maids that prepare and serve their meals. But this is not my family. We are ordinary, middle-class folks, and most of my relatives are blue collar workers. We don't feel the need to dress up and impress anyone. We are surrounded by each other all the time, and to me this is the most important part of Thanksgiving, or any other celebration. Not prayer, not songs, not porcelain. Unconditional love - the highest form of spirituality!

Do you think it's shameful and unacceptable to eat off of paper plates? Is it really important to use porcelain or expensive china at holiday gatherings?

Let's end with the most amusing and delusional comment to the post from my LJ enemy "lenkaolenka," please enjoy! :))

"Старая добрая Шенон со своей скрытой идеей ударить побольнее русских в то время, когда в экономике не совсем хорошо.

Мой бывший Американский муж был Мастером праздника Благодарения. Шенон права: это праздник еды. О еде начинают думать задолго до праздника, потому что это отвлекает от проблем, которыми кишит жизнь, теле и интернетный эфир. Еда - это смысл и утешение.

Как правило, все блюда этого праздника состоят из сахара, крахмала (кукуруза, картофель), муки, шоколадного порошка с небольшим количеством дешевых, чаще всего консервированных овощей (стручки гороха).

Количество еды обратно пропорционально качеству, вкусу и полезности. Поскольку мясо индющки само по себе очень сухое и невкусное, то его заедают громадным количеством "клюквенного варенья" и других сладких блюд, в которые кладется немысленное количество кукурузного сиропа. "Ветчина" - это нечто пересоленное и бесвкусное. Поэтому для нее нужно варенье. Традиция!

Еда еда и еда этого праздника - единственный повод для собрания. Сначала все о ней говорят, потом ее постоянно вталкивают и обсуждают одновременно, потом лениво переваривают. Потом разговоры о деньгах, ценах и предстоящих распродажах.


Песен не поют. Книги и фильмы (как и политику) не обсуждают. Просто переваривают еду и вспоминают, каким каждое блюдо было вкусным и необыкновенным.

Сначала это для русской души интересно. Ждешь какого-то таинства. Но его нет. Есть еда. Как будто втретилось большое количество очень примитивных особей, все счастье которых заключается в наличии большого и сытного корыта.

Мой муж никогда не готовил на праздник макароны с сыром.
Это - блюдо на случай безработицы. Сыр в этом блюде - дешевый заменитель с некоторым привкусом сыра. Это не такой сыр, который представляют себе россияне! Да и птица вроде ножек буша. От долгого чревоугодия еда постоянно подогреваемая в течение теряет вкус и пищевую ценность. Она похожа на кухни для бедных и бездомных. Но сытная. Она дает ощущение безопасности.

Вот как мы обращаемся к тортикам, если нас обидели, так бедные люди в Америке набрасываются на еду.

А потом телевизор. Да. С сытыми пустыми глазами.

И наряды обсуждать, и любоваться - флиртовать - оценивать фасончики никто не будет. Как будто ты в хлеву и тебя откормили. И у тебя небольшая передышка перед новым ударом кнута.

Да... никто не танцует и не поет. Не играют в какие то общие игры. Никто не делится сокровенным даже в кругу своих. Никто не вспоминает индейцев и историю. Все заедается сахарной бесвкусной клюквой."

You can read the other 900 comments to the post here. Welcome to all of the new readers in this blog! I'm glad you're here! :)


(Deleted comment)
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
And what is the purpose of being fed with the shovel? I've seen posts about this tradition, but don't understand it!
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
Purpose is simple. Some functionary in Russia made a "bliny" festival, but failed at actually serving the crepes to the people, so it was found completely acceptable to use shovels to feed the masses.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
There is no such tradition :))

As someone else said this is an "innovation" of some folks feeding people on festivals. Everybody show the same photo.

There is a traditional legend about a witch (Баба-Яга) which eats children and before eating she puts them into the oven on a shovel.

Nice cartoon about this with English subtitles.
www. youtube. com/watch?v=dF3wJNVs7Ss

Dec. 4th, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC)
"Innovative"? I'm sorry, but humans should not be fed with shovels as animals. Why can't they use a simple concept called a "line" or "queue", where people wait in turn for their handout. I remember at the Sochi Olympics that many Russians did not seem to understand or wish to follow the concept of an orderly line. I guess they are still traumatized from waiting in lines during Soviet times. You would not be humiliated to grab food or be fed from a shovel?
Dec. 4th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
I found the source of it. It was easy.

It was an attempt to create the biggest pancake in the world.
www. youtube. com/watch?v=a6Ho9qOwt8g

Dec. 4th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
The idea is nice, but implementation and distribution of this giant pancake was horrible, and unsanitary! :)
Dec. 4th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC)
...it is not a tradition : (
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
You Knowledge russia so well , don't you?

Edited at 2015-12-03 05:24 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC)
I don´t think so.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:14 pm (UTC)
Much beteer than in ukraine where they fight for food. And for all the rest btw.
(Deleted comment)


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