Tag Archives: babies

Make babies for the good of your country. And for Lenin.

A couple of years ago, Putin described the rapidly decreasing birth rate as a serious, national problem. Coupled with the increasingly high death rate and the low life expectancy (both of which are partly in due to alcohol), Russia’s national population is faltering. Also throw in the fact that women use abortion as birth control into the mix, and it’s understandable why the population is supposed plunge by a million or so within the next 10 years.

So what is Russia to do? Well, have government-endorsed sex, of course.

Do it for the Motherland.

Nashi, a Kremlin-run youth movement, organizes a procreation camp, where young people are heavily encouraged to have sex and babies for the good of the Motherland. At a mass wedding, the organizers said, “Remember the mammoths. They became extinct because they did not have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia.”

It doesn’t stop at procreation camps! Oh no! In the Ulyanovsk region, they have had a conception holiday for the past five years now. Governor Sergei Morozov declared September 12th as the day to “Give birth to a patriot.”

I don’t think that Russia has a problem with having too little sex. There’s nothing wrong with having an absurd amount of sex and babies. But Russia’s bigger problem is that, with its terrible health care and terrible life style, Russia has an obscenely higher death rate in comparison to other civilized countries. Russia’s pharmaceuticals are painfully lagging and its medicine is laughed at and considered backwards. From drinking alone, Russia’s male population is nose diving. The government can encourage sex to its hearts’ desire, but if they truly want to fix the population problem, they’re going to have to focus on not just creating children, but saving their lives in the long run. Tackle the drinking problem, which is no easy feat. Tackle the booming AIDS problem, which is one of the fastest growing epidemics in civilized country.

*I’d also like to point out that “Give Birth to a Patriot” Day falls on my birthday.


Leave a comment

Filed under Cultural differences

Married at 24, babies at 25, a haggard shrew by 30.

I was sitting at the table with my host sisters and host mom, drinking some tea, when the conversation somehow turned to the topic of marriage. As nonchalantly as i could, I put in my 2 cents (or kopecks, rather), and said that I didn’t want to get married. I thought it was an innocuous comment. They looked at me as if I suggested murder.

No Pochemu??” My host mom asked me incredulously. But why!? My host sisters continued to stare at me as if I just drowned a puppy in the Neva. I bit my lip as I wondered how to wage this battle. Did I really want to go into the fact that I think marriage is a suffocating institution? That I don’t think real love exists? Oh damned language barrier.

“I don’t want kids,” I said at last, quickly adding, “I’d probably be a terrible mother.”

Nope, not happening. Sorry Mom and Dad.

The expression on my host mom’s face softened.”Oh Grace, you’re still young. Things will change when you’re 24.” At this, my host sister sighed, put her head in her hands, and wailed, “So where is my husband??” Keep in mind that she is only 22.

This is a half-baked theory that I came up with in the past three minutes, but I think that the reason that Russian women are desperate to get married is that, well, to them married life is the ideal to work towards. You have a strong male figure putting bread on the table, and a bunch of kids to take care of (and dress ridiculously.) Everything is peachy keen. And there’s also the stigma of being single, too. Half-baked theory or not, at least it partially explains why you see beautiful Russian women paired up with short, paunchy, overall goofy-looking Russian men. To exacerbate matters, there is a significant dearth of Russian men — there are much more women than there are men, and when women are trying so hard to get married, it seems as if they’ll settle.  A lot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cultural differences