Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva
avezink

'Only the Russians can enjoy music on an empty stomach.'

This curious assessment of Russian personality traits appeared in a Shanghai newspaper almost ninety years ago:

'In all manner of things the average Russian is individualistic, and this proves true whether he is hungry or well-fed. There are other countries in the this world where the men will have their little eccentricities when their pockets are lined with gold ans silver, only quickly to discard them and become one with the masses in hard times. [...] Only the Russians can enjoy music on an empty stomach. There are many of them in Shanghai at the moment who still are on a reduced vegetable diet due to the visit here last month of Jascha Heifetz.'

'Their women dress, when they can afford it, and often when they cannot afford it, with a flare for the bizarre. Their men are inveterate enemies of efficiency and the machine. Even the little children are individuals. American boys play marbles and spin top; Chinese lads throw coppers against the wall. But Russian children never seem to be able to agree upon what game to play at any given time.'


Herb Lewis, The China Press; Dec 7, 1931.


Image: University of Wisconsin Milwaukie.
Tags: 1930s, article, herb lewis, russians, the china press
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