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Are immigrants traitors or opportunists?

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Today I take a rest from work, and just returned home from the grocery store. On the way out, I met the driver of this car. It's quite difficult to miss the huge patriotic sticker plastered on the back of his bumper, and it peaked my curiosity. I approached him as he walked toward the car, and we began chatting. His hometown is Lviv, but he left for the USA ten years ago because he was offered a good job in the Washington, DC area. Yet he's still proud to be Ukrainian and loves his homeland. It was apparent from the gleam in his eyes when he spoke about it.

For me, this mentality is understandable because if I ever immigrate to a new country, this would not lessen my love for the USA.  America is my homeland, and there has never been a reason for me to leave. Life here is good, at least for me, and I have every desired opportunity needed for happiness and survival. Yet I don't know what the future might bring, perhaps I'll fall in love with a foreigner, relocate, or move abroad for a unique job opportunity. I'm not opposed to the idea, but it would definitely be a difficult choice, only because I'm so close to my family. I began to think about how others would view me if I started a life in another country...as a traitor, or something else?



I don't understand the aggression and hostility I often see in LJ immigrant communities like pora_valit, where those who leave Russia for better job prospects, marriage, or other reasons are constantly berated and criticized, especially if they dare criticize any aspect of the homeland. They are often called "traitors" or some other slanderous name. I want to mention one other thing. I live in a very multi-cultural area, and it's common to see flags or other symbolic emblems stuck on cars, bumpers or license plates. I mostly see them from Central American countries like El Salvador or Honduras, and of course lots of Mexican flags. But it's not so uncommon to see the blue and yellow symbol of Ukraine on cars, or the Ukrainian flag hanging from apartment balconies. I've seen it several times in my small hometown, but never once have I seen a Russian flag hanging, nor any type of Russian sticker or symbol on an automobile. Maybe other readers who now live in the U.S. can speak to whether they've seen Russian symbols on cars or balconies, etc., but for me - never. I don't know why, because there are plenty of Russians living in my region.

Do you consider people who leave your country to pursue better opportunities abroad to be traitors? I sometimes see the comment that such people are traitors because they're taking their bright scientific, literary or journalistic minds and putting them to use for the contribution of another country, rather their own. Do you agree?

P.S.: the driver of the car says hello to his countrymen and women in Ukraine, and peoples of Russia and everywhere else. :) He did not want to be photographed.

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( 170 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Anonymous)
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:38 pm (UTC)
Нет, не считаю.
И тех, кто критикует не считаю предателями.
А вот тех, кто поливает грязью и оскорбляет считаю мудаками вне зависимости от того эмигрировали они или нет.
vasha_masha
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:40 pm (UTC)
Это я написала случайно анонимно.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 15th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
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ilay_original
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:43 pm (UTC)
- Do I consider them traitors?
- No I don't.

The only thing, which strongly irritates me is a (quite common) case, when emmigrants start to consider their former fellow compatriots as some sort of off-sort people.

Otherwise - i don't care.

I decided to stay in Russia.
I considered the opportunities higher if I do.
Some others didn't.

It's a free world.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:02 pm (UTC)
Well, it's a free world but opportunities are not the same everywhere. It's good that you are happy in Russia. This is the main thing. :)
(no subject) - ilay_original - Mar. 15th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
askold_kr
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
"where those who leave Russia" - не совсем так. Большинство там - не эмигранты, а местные идиотики, комплексующие, что они еще не уехали и вынуждены жить в проклятой Рашке=). Оттого их так и крючит.

А насчет Украины - с очень давних пор все её наиболее пламенные патриоты, как правило, живут за её пределами. Что многое говорит о самой стране=).
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:04 pm (UTC)
Not all of Russia is damned and doomed. :) Many of my friends live quite well there, have good jobs, apartments, etc., but they are all in Moscow and Peter.
den_dark
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it is funny thing. I know that chineese immigrants often percieved in China as people who spread chineese culture and influence to the world. And yes in Russia most people think that if you leave country - you are traitor. Maybe future enemy? Why it is so? Hard question. Is it echo of cold war, or my countrymen think they are very special and Russia is so better and different than other countries that leaving Russia is insult by itself?
Maybe problem hide in idea that everyone must serve to his country for all life to repay for education and medicine. It seems most people think that all things are GIVEN to them rather than they EARN it. And they must repay with theirs life and life theirs children. It is why so many people want to leave country too.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:11 pm (UTC)
I never thought about it that way. Do I feel like I owe America anything? Not sure, it's an interesting question. About the admiration of Russians to their fearless leaders, well I will never understand it. I think most Americans have the mentality to criticize and question the government, not trust and obey it.
(no subject) - transcendentnij - Mar. 15th, 2016 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mesier
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
Считаю подонками тех, кто сначала скипанёт из нашей несчастной страны, а потом оттуда начинает помоями поливать бывшую Родину.
Остальных - нет.
polenov
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:59 pm (UTC)
Почему? Что плохого в том, чтобы поливать помоями бывшую Родину?
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 15th, 2016 03:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - info_infanterie - Mar. 15th, 2016 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
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10_4
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
Well, the trend is really disturbing. When easily manipulated immigrants try to turn this nation into some shithole, they came from. I can see it here in PA when look at dumbass NJ transplants. They ran away from higher taxes, crime and other factors, that turned Jersey into the shithole, that they escaped, and then here they vote for the very same left wing nuts, that turned NJ into that shithole. Why the heck did they leave, then?

Are you a patriot of your country? Stay there, make it better. I have tremendous amount of respect for people, like that. But dont come to the US to take advantage of the American ways, while trying to change those ways and turn this great country into something else.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
In what ways did immigrants turn NJ into a shithole? Specific examples please.
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(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 15th, 2016 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
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yacc11
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:00 pm (UTC)
>Do you consider people who leave your country to pursue better opportunities abroad to be traitors?
Ha-ha - what do you think about my opinion? :))))
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:01 pm (UTC)
I don't know your opinion, that's why I asked. :)
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Alex Winter
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:09 pm (UTC)
раз уж свинтил в америку, чего теперь флагами российскими размахивать. резонно, я считаю. если такой патриот, то оставайся дома.
хотя есть всякие дети белоэмигрантов, они патриоты по наследству, они могут всячески подчёркивать, что они из россии.
siberian_cat
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:18 pm (UTC)
This is quite understandable considering that for many Russians life is a battlefield. Your every day is a fight against morons, scoundrels, bureaucracy, greedy bastards. As my friend, a businessman and a patriot, says every time at the end of conversation, "держи оборону" (hold your defense). This is the mentality. Of course you need comrades to keep fighting, and of course you will see everyone who leaves the battlefield as a deserter, especially if you considered him your ally.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:27 pm (UTC)
We must all fight against morons. :) Do you notice Russian flags or stickers in Canada?
(no subject) - siberian_cat - Mar. 15th, 2016 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Это всё ЖЖ - andrey_kaminsky - Mar. 15th, 2016 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Это всё ЖЖ - siberian_cat - Mar. 15th, 2016 09:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Это всё ЖЖ - andrey_kaminsky - Mar. 16th, 2016 05:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - modest_so_zvezd - Mar. 16th, 2016 07:37 am (UTC) - Expand
rider3099
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:18 pm (UTC)
Here we are! Stickers on the bumper of our and Sergey’s daughter’s car bumpers. BTW she came in the USA when she was 6 month, so she was almost newborn. She is 21 years old now and she is American but Ukrainian as well.
Stickers on bumpers
peacetraveler22
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:28 pm (UTC)
Great! It's nice to still have connections to your homeland, even if you are far away. Is there a big Ukrainian immigrant community in your part of California?
(no subject) - rider3099 - Mar. 15th, 2016 04:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Ну и толку? - andrey_kaminsky - Mar. 15th, 2016 07:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - modest_so_zvezd - Mar. 16th, 2016 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
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pin_gwin
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:30 pm (UTC)
As you know Russia is listed as one of threat for US now. It turned out, that cold war was never stopped, while Russia was under that impression for about a decade or so. At the same time, US is proudly stating that it won it. That also an interesting turn. If you won it, may be it's time to stop it. Smaller countries can digest American exceptionalism as given, but there are some "regional" powers that will never accept that. As well as those who are from these countries. That may cause some guilt, since you find youself in an opposite side.
And one more issue - some people from Russia, living around you, may be Russian Jews. Many of them arrived here as refugees. By this agenda, you are not suppose to be proud of a country you are running for your life from.
Another one - safety. You car may be vandalized by Russophobs, I see some... I did not see a Star of David on the cars as well, I think, by the safety reasons as well.
I would rather see our countries cooperating, not confronting. Unfortunately, my current study of college textbook on International Relations(I got it by accident) gives me no hope. This college book only shows the world as a permanent conflict of powers, covered by nice wording for internal electoral manipulation.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 16th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, it would be nice if our countries cooperated, but I don't see it happening anytime in the future. However, do you really think most Americans think anything about Russia or Russians? Absolutely no one I know does, except me. None of my friends know much about the country, or even have any interest in it at all.
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Mar. 16th, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 16th, 2016 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
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siberian_cat
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC)
A linguistic sidenote: in Russian, the word оппортунист has a very negative connotation (thanks to Lenin and his rhetorics): someone who trades his ideals and beliefs for an opportunity, so it's almost the same as traitor. :))
genka8
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:36 pm (UTC)
pora_valit is a good entertainment, but it is not by any means a reflection of the Russian society or the emigrant community.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 16th, 2016 06:22 pm (UTC)
The Internet is like when people are drunk. Their true emotions and feelings sometimes come out. But, yes, there are many bored trolls who simply write nonsense to provoke others.
alexanderr
Mar. 15th, 2016 03:59 pm (UTC)
my only self-identification comes from wearing Adidas track pants. you know, the ones with three stripes.
that, and my accent, gives me away every time
peacetraveler22
Mar. 16th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)
:)) But you write almost perfect English every time, so at least you have mastered the language of your new country. Respect for that.
cossache
Mar. 15th, 2016 04:06 pm (UTC)
Howdy,Shannon :)
I think its not a good thing to place stickers on your car and especially flags or other "patriotic" stuff. If you live in the USA then be american. If you love that much your birthplace then move back. The only place for such a showy patriotism is on your room wall or a shelf.
I don't think that nowedays russian people find the one who moved in US or EU as a traitor. Its not the soviet years. Those who call them traitors just typical trolls. They try to get attention.

Edited at 2016-03-15 04:12 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Mar. 16th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)
Howdy! Yes, the army of trolls on RuNet is like no other.
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