The verb “marry” in Russian: a reflection of the culture of the country?

Amongst the hundreds of curiosities in the Russian language, today I would like to write about the verb “marry” which in this language has two different roots. One is “жениться”, that is pronounce as “jenitza” in English and is used to express the official union of a man with a woman. The other root is “выйти замуж», something like “get out after the man or a man” and which is pronounced as “buiti zamush”. As it can be noted easily the verb has to different stems. The first one comes from the word “wife” and the second is an entire expression that conveys an awesome way to look at marriage. Men wed when they get married, this is nothing extraordinary. Women, however, “go after a man”, this is, they  leave their own family to follow a man and become probably a “yes man”.

It is indeed true that Russian women love their jobs and they are proud of being a part of the labour force. In fact, the 8th of March, which has now become the international Women’s day, has been for quite some time now a  big festivity in Russia with husbands bringing bunches of flowers for their wives. They honour all working women there on that day.

Yet it is also true that Russian culture finds it difficult to believe a woman can be happy without a man at her side and his sort of “sponsoring”. This is mirrored in well-known films such as «Москва слезам не верит» “Moscow doesn’t believe in tears” in which its main character, a middle-aged attractive woman in a top management position  is portrayed  as an “incomplete” person until she gets to know a man she likes. The only wall between both of them is the incapability of the man to accept he is not the one with the highest income. Maybe in spite of the 8th of March Russian society has not yet adopted a feminist stance. Not long ago I read an interesting “graffiti” on my way to Cardedeu’s Sant Isidre Market: “Feminism is the radical idea that a woman is also a person”. Maybe we should learn to add: “with the same rights as a man”?

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