tisdag 29 maj 2012

De ohälsosamma delarna av den ryska kulturen...

Marilyn Murray skriver vidare i Moscow Times och den senaste artikeln handlar om hur viktigt det är att ryssarna inser att de ohälsosamma inslagen i den ryska kulturen bör ses över ordentligt för att skapa en hälsosammare framtid för alla.  Läs hela artikeln här.

I then challenge some issues that are considered culturally acceptable in Russia and result in widespread damage: the enabling of alcoholism within families and notions that aggression is part of being Russian and that they must have a strong, controlling leader because they are not capable of thinking for themselves.
Many Russians recognize these issues are not good but feel it is useless to change and attempt to become healthy when they live in such unhealthy systems. One woman said: "But we are Russian. This is our destiny. You can't expect us to be any different." A man said: "Why should we even try, it won't do any good. With my family, my friends, my workplace and especially within my country, everything will always continue to be this way, so horribly messed up. I'm just one person, I can't influence anyone else."
I then often reply with a quote from U.S. author and anthropologist Margaret Mead, who said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
While acknowledging that Russians have endured enormous trauma, abuse and deprivation, being a victim should not be their personal or national identity. I know that Russia has some of the most brilliant people in the world and has one of the highest literacy rates. They are talented and competent people. They are perfectly capable of addressing major problems and can make a difference in their own lives and in this country as a result.
When we discuss the specific issues facing Russia today that need to change, the participants in my classes are often startled when faced with actual statistics:
  • United Nations studies show that Russia has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. Abortions peaked in 1965 when there were 5.4 million reported abortions — 2.74 abortions for every one live birth. Not until 2007 did live births and abortions in Russia reach near equal figures.
  • The World Health Organization in 2006 reported that Russia is No. 2 in the world in male suicide. Nine of the top 11 countries in this category are from the former Soviet Union and former Warsaw Pact countries.
  • The average Russian male life expectancy has risen in the past decade but still remains 10 to 20 years under other developed countries in Europe and the Americas.
  • Alcohol. Russia's statistics are staggering: The per capita consumption of alcohol in Russia is now about 18 liters. But if you remove infants, nondrinkers and the elderly, then the figure reaches 30 liters per capita — almost eight times more than in the United States. Alcohol is blamed for 52 percent of deaths in the country during the last decade, versus 4 percent average for the rest of the world.
The good news is that many Russians are acknowledging that they cannot change other people, only themselves. They are starting to respond in new healthy ways and showing a willingness to challenge old belief systems. Much to everyone's surprise, as they change, others around them begin to change as well. They are treating their family members with new love and respect and are amazed at the responses they receive from their loved ones as a result.

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