Russia vs. Moscow

The other day in the park I overheard to kids talking. One of them was saying that he is from Russia. Another one was claiming to be from Moscow. There was a confusion in their talk. They couldn’t understand each other because neither of them knew the difference between the country and city. They were “feeling” that they were from the same place, but they couldn’t just figured the connection between Moscow and Russia.

They were discussing the issue for about five minutes or so, which is a long time for any kids’ conversation. I was laughing almost out loud as they argued. It was really amazing.

Few days later I realized that I was thinking way too much about that episode. My memory was coming back to it and replaying it back and forth. And I couldn’t understand why. And then it suddently hit me.

Many adults argue the same issue, using practically the same arguments. You see, currently there are so much money and power concentrated in Moscow that it is very separated from the rest of Russia. There is even a joke that says: the only problem with Moscow is that it is surrounded by Russia. If you are to watch a person from Moscow talking to a person from somewhere else in Russia, you’ll see that they can hardly understand each other. The differences in culture, level of life, money, jobs, and opportunities are just too great.

So, I find it very ironic how those two kids were discussing the issue and it seemed like the only thing on the way was the knowledge that Moscow is the city in the country of Russia. But many adults have this knowledge is still have a problem in understanding.