The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

How do Russians help their emigration

Stories about how Russians living abroad "throw" their compatriots, unfortunately, not uncommon. This includes a frank retreat in fraudulent adventures, participation in which threatens with a criminal term, and formally legal ways to cash inwhen former compatriots offer newly arrived emigrants work for nothing. From immigrants from Russia who have long lived in the United States, I myself often heard the advice of “not working for ours,” as well as many examples of unpaid wages, exaggerated demands, arbitrariness and rudeness.

Brighton Beach, New York. Photo: Andrey Barth

My acquaintances also encountered cases of fraud lawyers promising to make green cards almost out of thin air and without even having a lawyer's license; and fake accounts of “sellers” offering souvenirs from Russia and disappearing along with the money received. Among those who live in the United States for a long time and managed to get on their feet, there are indeed quite a few people hostile to newcomers. Almost all my acquaintances who have lived in America 20 and over for years give examples of how old-time immigrants met them with the words: "We have already eaten our own, and now it's your turn." They also had to hear a considerable amount of "friendly" advice to return home.

And yet I want to add a little light to this, at first glance, bleak picture. Indeed, if we compare Russians with Mexicans or other national communities, it would seem that Russian-speaking immigrants literally hate each other and perceive each compatriot as a competitor in the struggle for survival. However, this is not quite true. Like other emigrants, Russians help their own people with the only difference that the concept of “friends” in this case is not determined by nationality or citizenship, but by belonging to a certain group. Here are some examples where you can get from Russian-speaking Americans not attacks and insults, but real help with advice, information, and even deed.

Brighton Beach, New York. Photo: Andrey Barth

1. For newly arrived girls and women in the USA, the so-called "Girl" and parent groups in social networks. They are created in almost every state where there is a large Russian-speaking community. "Girls Bay Area","Russian moms and dads Seattle"And so on - these are just some examples of such groups. They can ask for advice on any domestic situations: from finding a doctor and insurance recommendations to finding a nail salon and a recording studio. As a rule, the answers to the questions are given quite favorably and to the point.

2. Territorial and thematic groups. This includes pages dedicated to work, rental property, free classifieds or just the cities where immigrants live, whether San Francisco, Sacramento, Washington or New York. Of course, in such groups, personal relationships are not so well developed. In them sometimes there are scammers. However, if the moderators honestly perform their function and expose rogues, and the activists of the group were able to establish sincere friendly interaction, such sites can be quite valuable and safe help. Particularly active in helping others are young and not so long ago immigrants of the “new generation” who have arrived, no longer bearing the traces of Soviet bitterness, more open to the world and less envious.

3. Professional community help. Representatives of one professional sphere usually help their compatriots at least by sharing their experience. This is often the case, for example, with programmers. In this case, it is hardly worth sitting at Russian-speaking IT forums among those who have not yet left for the United States - there can be a lot of “militant pessimists” among the inhabitants of such sites, who advise everyone else to stay at home, since they “still won't work” . But if you have already arrived in America and settled in a large American company, be it Google, Facebook, Amazon or others, there is almost certainly an internal Russian-language chat. Programmers move from company to company, and rather willingly share their experiences on what are the features of an interview in a particular corporation, which company makes its employees with green cards on more favorable terms, etc.

Similar solidarity is also found in health care workers. For example, a refugee from Donetsk Peter Kovalenkowho worked as a doctor at home and tried to return to the profession, found Russian-speaking colleagues in New York, who advised him to retrain for a nurse, and even suggested a specific school, where Peter was helped not only with retraining and preparation for the exam, but also with resume writing and job search.

4. Groups of views. The peculiarity of Russian-speaking immigrants is a very serious attitude to political issues, which has suffered from the bitter experience that political confrontation in the post-Soviet space too often flows into the social, including war and repression. That is why the Russians often treat emigrants of opposing views not as compatriots, but as enemies. But in like-minded people they see truly “their own”, with whom they are ready to help.

Anti-Putin rally of Ukrainians in the United States. Photo: / Alex Zaporozhtsev

For example, if you miss the Soviet past and periodically visit the processions of the "Immortal Regiment", you will easily meet your like-minded people on these processions. You can also find them virtually. Conversely, Russian dissidents and political refugees also create their own groups, in which for the most part there is an atmosphere of understanding and mutual assistance. These may be special support groups for LGBT refugees, Groupdefending the rule of law and democracy in Russia, communities supporters Alexey Navalny in the US, American and canadian groups against war with Ukraine, etc.

Emigrants who have long lived in the United States and are more focused on American realities are also quite tough divided according to political convictions. There are like groups convinced Russian-speaking Republicansso and no less active opponents Donald Trump. Members of these communities are often intransigently inclined towards the opposite camp, but within groups there can be very strong friendships and genuine mutual help.

5. National and religious groups. As a rule, diasporas from other post-Soviet countries are more united than Russians. So, if you have, let's say, Ukrainian and Armenian roots, you can easily join the relevant communities. However, in order to make friends with emigrants from neighboring states, it is not at all necessarily “blood kinship” - it is enough just to treat their historic homeland with favor and support. If you have Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian friends, etc., you can easily become friends with a large number of people in the relevant diasporas.

In addition to national cultural centers and public events, people from national communities can always be found on the Internet. For example, Ukrainian groups exist in virtually every major US city. If you are religious, you can choose for yourself the appropriate national church - Russian, Ukrainian, or simply “Slavic”, which includes parishioners from various countries.

These are just some examples of groups and communities where Russian-speaking immigrants, despite our usual disunity, may find help and support.

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