There are many strange prejudges of Europeans and Russians about each other. Let’s find it out.

One of the interesting problems in tourism is the prevention of European citizens to Russia, and vice versa for Russians to Europeans.

Issues are often based on childhood fears. Nevertheless, all these questions must be answered patiently and clearly, since prejudices, first of all, are felt at the level of feelings. On the other hand, it seems that our focus on bad news from Russia directs these feelings to the wrong direction. But I can actually understand it in some way. “Good news” is not for sale, only shocking, or suffering-describing news is good.

Concern of Europeans

All this is reflected in our views. We are concerned about security in Russia, social problems of the country, street children and so on. It is worth mentioning that Moscow and St. Petersburg are probably one of the safest megapolises in the world to extremely worried tourists. On the streets of these cities, you can feel much safer than, for example, in London, where during my studies I had to witness a riot with violence. It is more secure for European in Russia than, for example, in the popular Thai resort of Pattaya!

These prejudices have been actively studied over the past 10 years, and it seems that they are gradually beginning to disappear. An excellent example for it could be research of Magdalena Jaakkola « Immigrants through the eyes of Finns » (Helsingin tietokeskus tutkimuksia 1.2009). The study shows how relationships with foreigners have changed over a long period.

Europeans value education and labor culture

According to the results, Europeans mostly value education and a culture of work in foreigners. The favorite national groups are Estonians, Chinese and Poles. What comes to Russians or Somalis, not many people are ready to accept them. There is no positive or negative development either. Before the crisis of the early 1990s, Russians were much more popular than nowadays. It is also obvious that the attitude towards foreigners and Russians is more favorable in the capital region than in other areas of the country.

The new crisis, which began in 2008, has tightened the attitude towards foreigners, but the situation is gradually leveling off. On the other hand, in the eastern regions of the country, the attitude towards Russians has changed for the better and has become more ordinary. This, first of all, happened thanks to the St. Petersburg tourists who come to other countries not with empty hands but create new markets and contribute to the development of well-being. In this sense, even such a simple thing as money effectively changes the attitude for the better.

Dynamic and developing relationships create problems with the size of a person

Prejudices are slowly disappearing. It is important that young people can get to know each other, and that ordinary citizens have the opportunity to meet and revise their vain prejudices in this way.

Meanwhile, these cases also indicate how good the relationships between the countries are. Once I told it, one Russian diplomat, I knew, and after a while, he agreed with me. “Is it bad that there are many small issues between our countries, which are the result of normal relationships between people? Imagine how sad it would be if we had some big problem. It would poison and ruin all relationships. On the other hand, if we had no problems at all, this would indicate that our nations do not communicate either. Now we have small, the size of a person, problems, for the solution of which we need everything.”