CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF RUSSIAN POPULATION 2 Cross cultural issues arise from differences in values, behavior and thinking between Americans and people from other countries. Misunderstandings frequently result from cultural differences which lead to ineffective communication and implications for the healthcare system (Kaakinen, Gedaly-Duff, Coehlo, & Harmon Hansen, 2010). In order to provide a culturally competent care, a health care professional needs to know about the life ways of various cultures and their values and meanings which govern behavior. Population trends within the United States are increasingly characterized by diversity of people, languages, and culture. Russian –born immigrants account 2.04 percent of the US population(American Association for Russian Language, Culture and Education, 2011). I am one of those immigrants who encounters the American healthcare system as a consumer and a healthcare professional. Home healthcare agency where I am employed as a registered nurse and an interpreter provides care and services to elderly Russian people who do not speak English and exhibit a very strong preference for in- culture and in-language communications.
Russia is a multinational country inhabited by representatives of more than a hundred nationalities and ethnic groups. Every nationality exhibits unique customs and behaviors. While identifying as Russian, each person has a strong sense of regional cultural identity. The region where the person lived will impact on the person’s preferences related to such things as language, communication styles, diet, customs and beliefs.
The official language of Russia is Russian. In the multicultural regions non-Russian residents are generally bilingual: they speak both their mother tongue and Russian. Many schools in Russia mandate foreign languages in their curriculums. Majority of students choose to learn English. Younger immigrants who learned English in Russia adjust to English with less difficulty upon immigrating to the United States . Some elderly Russian immigrants never learn English and have to rely on their families or interpreter services in order their needs to be known. CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF RUSSIAN POPULATION 3 Within Russia itself the differences exist not only in language but also in dietary Preferences. Tastes in foods vary enormously. For example, Tatars and Bashkirs, ethnic groups in Russia eat horsemeat while other ethnic groups are repulsed by it(Elliottt,1997). The essential components of true Russia cuisine are those foods that provide the most carbohydrates and fat rather than protein. Sausage , potatoes , and bread are common foods for breakfast, lunch and supper. The Russian immigrant who has come from a rural area will prefer to beet, cabbage, buckwheat, barley and sour dough bread. Also religions have a great impact on dietary preferences. Russian speaking ethnic groups who are Muslims do not eat pork and prohibit alcohol in their diet. It is imperative for healthcare provider to ask a Russian speaking patient about one’s food preferences.
Religion in Russia is mainly Eastern Orthodox. The Eastern Orthodox church is widely respected by both believers and non-believers , who see it as symbol of Russian heritage and culture. The Russian Orthodox Christianity requires followers to observe fast days as well as a no-meat or no- other animal products rule on Wednesdays and Fridays. Fasting occurs during Advent. Russian Christians believe that God’s power is very strong during periods of fasting. Fear, sin and punishment have been major themes for Russian Orthodox church. Other religions are practiced in Russia are Judaism and Islam. Many...
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