RUSSIAN WOMAN BY MANIZHA: the meaning of the song and racist comments. Learn Russian through content

Apr 1, 2021 10:20 · 2639 words · 13 minute read

Hello everyone! Russian with Dasha with you. Today I would like to talk about the song with which Russia will perform at the Eurovision-2021 contest. Why this song in Russia caused such a huge resonance, who is its performer and, most importantly, what this song is about. I would also like to clarify that this video is for foreigners who study Russian and are interested in the culture of Russia, so if I see any negative, xenophobic, racist comments from Russians or criticism that is far from constructive, I will just ban this user.

That’s all, so don’t be offended and think before you write something. This year Russia will be represented at Eurovision by singer Manizha. If you go to the Eurovision song contest channel on YouTube, you will see that Manizha’s song “Russian woman” has 6 million views, 210 thousand likes and 126 thousand dislikes, and, I’m sure, most of the dislikes were put by Russian people or Russians, that is, people living in Russia. Why? Let’s see what this song is about.

01:35 - I will not play the song, but I will leave the link in the description of this video, be sure to listen to it. I want to clarify right away that I have no musical education, today I want to pay attention not to music, but to the text and the meaning of this song. So let’s take a look at the lyrics of the song. The song is called Russian woman. “Field, field, field, I’m small, field, field, field, so small” - that is, we imagine a large field, where a girl stands, and she says: “I am small,” that is, I am small, I am small in this field.

“How to walk through a field of fire” - that is, a field with flames. Imagine someone set fire to this field. Of course, this is a metaphor, this is not a direct meaning, she does not stand in the field, she compares her life with a huge field, and she needs to go through it. “How to go across the field if you are alone? Should I wait for someone’s hand?” - Ruchka is a diminutive form of the word “hand”, that is, shall I wait for help or act on my own? “Who will lend me a hand, girls?” - that is, who will give me a hand, who will help me get through this field? “From time immemorial, from night to morning, from night to night, we are waiting for the ship, we are waiting for the ship,” - firstly, the phrase “from time immemorial” means “long ago.

” The phrase “we are waiting for the ship” I associate with Alexander Green’s story “Scarlet Sails”. You’ve probably read this story: a girl stood on the shore and waited for a ship with scarlet sails, on which her lover later arrived. And so, we are waiting for the ship, that is, we are waiting for someone to come, someone will change our life, someone will save us. “Why wait? Get up and go,” - that is, what to wait for, and why wait, get up and walk across the field, through all the difficulties.

Next comes the chorus: “Every Russian woman needs to know You’re strong enough you’re gonna break the wall”, - that is, every Russian woman should know, must understand that she is strong enough, she can break the wall. The second verse: “What is there to swagger? Oh, beauty” - here the heroine quotes people who say to her: “What is there to swagger?” - To swagger is a very interesting word. In Dahl’s explanatory dictionary it means “to be brave, to behave defiantly or arrogantly”, in Abramov’s dictionary it means “to be stubborn,” that is, to be stubborn, to behave stubbornly, to say “no, I will not do that” and not even explain why.

Efremova’s dictionary also: “behave defiantly, arrogantly”, that is, I think that the heroine is told: “Why are you stubborn?” We can understand like “you are stubborn” and why do you “behave arrogantly”. “Are you waiting for your boy? Oh, beautiful!” - that is, “waiting for your guy”, “waiting for your boyfriend, beautiful”. “You are already over 30, hello, why don’t you have kids?” - you are over 30 years old, why don’t you have children? This question can be heard very often in Russia.

If, for example, in Europe or the United States, many women give birth to children after turning 30, give birth to their first child, in Russia, girls often, of course, not all, and now this age is shifting more and more, but girls often get married after university, that is, at twenty-twenty-one years old, and many of them become mothers by the age of 25. And here the question is: “You are over 30, where are the children?” - that is, when you give birth, when you become a mother.

Unfortunately, I have heard this question in my life, thank God, not from my relatives, but, imagine, I heard this from doctors, especially from a female doctor, that is, a gynecologist. When I went to a regular check-up, I was then twenty-six years old, now I’m almost thirty-one, will be 31 in May, and the doctor asked: “Did you have any pregnancies?”, which means not necessarily that I gave birth to a child, I said: “No, I didn’t. ” She asked: “None?” - that is, I was so surprised, I thought: “Well, what is surprising here? The 21st century, on the contrary, is good that there were no unwanted pregnancies.

” “Well, my dear, time is running out. ” Another phrase: “the clock is ticking. ” This means that time is running out, it’s time to give birth. Many women before, at the age of 26-27 in Russia, were called “old-born (not sure if that’s a correct translation)”, that is, these are women who seem to be still young, but already old, because they give birth to a child not at 20, but at twenty-six - twenty seven.

08:00 - Thank God, in recent years the trend has changed, and now people already understand that the question “where are the children, when are you planning to give birth?” is very incorrect, unethical, and it is not at all your business when I’m gonna give birth, especially since a woman may have health problems, she may not be able to get pregnant, and so on, so this is an excellent example of a phrase that many girls hate, especially unmarried… “You are generally beautiful, but you need to lose weight, ” - that is, they say to her: “You are a beautiful girl, but you need to lose weight, you need to become thinner,” - that is, other people indicate what we should look like.

“Put on a longer skirt, put on a shorter one,” - this refers to a skirt or dress, or clothing in general. Sometimes the girls are told: “You put on such a short skirt, you look like a wh*re, do you want problems?” - that is, a short skirt is bad, but the paradox is that if a girl is wearing a skirt that is too long, she is asked: “Why are you dressed like that? Nobody will look at you!” - well, that is, the guys will not look, put on a shorter skirt. No matter how a woman dresses, there is someone who will definitely say that she did not dress properly.

“You grew up without a father, do what you don’t want. Are you sure you don’t want to do that? But you have to! Listen, it’s true, we’re not a herd,” - well, “You grew up without a father” - of course, that is, you were raised by your mother alone, for example, or a grandmother. Unfortunately, in Russian families, many children grow up without a father. I even found statistics: there are 17 million families in Russia, of which 5 million have children growing up without a father, these are families with single mothers, while there are 600,000 single fathers in Russia.

At the same time, statistics also show that 500 thousand children generally remain without parental care, these are orphans, children who live in orphanages or foster families, so the statistics, of course, are depressing, and this song reveals many problems of Russian society. “Listen, it’s true, we are not a herd,” - a herd is animals that live together, for example, and behave the same way, that is, this is a herd of sheep, a herd of cows, a herd of rams, and this herd is ready to obey commands, listen to that what is said, so “we will not a herd” - that is, we do not have to listen to someone else’s command, and behave as expected of us.

“Crows, please, back off,” - leave me alone, do not touch me. “Now hack into your nose” - that is, “remember. ” “I don’t blame you, but I love myself as hell,” as hell - that is, she wants to say: “I love myself very much. ” “They are fighting, they are fighting, everyone is fighting, but they are not praying,” - fighting, trying to overpower an opponent, fighting. I think it is talking about different things, they are fighting for women’s rights or fighting, on the contrary, for women to behave in a certain way.

“Everyone is fighting in a circle ” - everywhere is struggling, “but not praying” - to pray means to read a prayer or say a prayer. “A son without a father, a daughter without a father, but a broken family won’t break me. ” Again, what I was talking about before: a son without a father, a daughter without a father, I can handle it, I will be strong. And then again we have the chorus: “Every Russian woman needs to know You’re strong enough, you’re gonna break the wall”.

“Don’t be afraid”, - don’t be afraid, you will break the wall, and then the repetition: “They are fighting, fighting, everyone is fighting, but they don’t pray, a son without a father, but a broken family won’t break me. ” When I first heard this song, tears came to my eyes, because the song, in my opinion, is very strong, in the first place. I really liked the arrangement itself, I’m honestly not a musician, but the energy of this song captured me. And let’s not underestimate the backing vocalists.

13:42 - I love the singer Sam Smith, I went to his concert in Barcelona in 2018, and I think he has some of the strongest backing vocalists, and here, when I heard Manizha’s backing vocals, what role they play in song, I really liked it, and the song made a huge impression. What do Russian-speaking commentators write about this song? That “the song is a shame, degrades the dignity of Russian women,” and many commentators also write: “How can Manizha, a girl who was born in Tajikistan, represent Russia at Eurovision?” This is what caused a huge resonance.

Manizha was born in Tajikistan, but during the civil war her parents were forced to move, they left for Russia, and Manizha learned to speak Russian from the age of two. She went to kindergarten, where she was bullied, called a “black ass” - she herself said this in an interview. This is a terribly unpleasant word that children use to bully those whose skin color is darker than theirs. And here another big problem opens up - this is the topic of racism. I never thought that there was so much racism in Russia until I read the comments.

Recently on the podcast Russian Twist, this is a podcast that I co-host with an Englishman named Tom, we had a guest - Emily from the UK. Emily is Chinese by birth, she was born in China, a family from Great Britain adopted her, and all her life Emily lived in Great Britain, spoke only English, but when she came to Russia, people often asked her: “ How can you be English if you look like a Chinese woman? ” Emily did not know how to answer this, and even once she was asked to show her passport, because people did not believe that she was English.

A lot of people with different ethnic backgrounds live in Russia, it is a multinational country, and many of them speak not just Russian, and of course it’s a shame when people write such comments: “But how can you represent Russia, you Tajik, go back to Tajikistan “- these are really mean comments that I read. Manizha said in her interview that she writes all her songs in Russian, she thinks in Russian, she speaks Russian all her life, and why can’t we consider her Russian? So what if she was born in Tajikistan? She was brought up in Russia, she absorbed this language, this culture, and I honestly don’t understand where so much hate comes from, so much hatred for her.

The song seemed like a breath of fresh air to me. From year to year, Russia sent, so to speak, safe artists to Eurovision, that is, they were basically some kind of ballads about love, everything is very lyrical, laconic, what you can hear on the radio. Manizha is not a radio singer. By the way, many wrote: “Who was she chosen? Where does she come from?” Personally, I have known Manizha for about six years, I was at a free concert in New Holland at that time, and it was then that I fell in love with her voice.

In 2018, I bought her album and even wanted to go to a concert, but then somehow I stopped listening to her songs for some time, so it’s surprising for me when people write that Manizha got out from nowhere, and that someone paid for her, promoted her, so that she participated in Eurovision. In my opinion, Eurovision is a great chance to declare to the world that open-minded people live in Russia who are not afraid to talk about their problems, and the recognition of the problem is already a step towards their solution.

I think that one can argue for a long time about who a Russian woman is. In my opinion, this is a strong, persistent woman, gentle, caring, this is a woman for whom the hearth and comfort are dear, on the one hand, she is the one who wants to develop, study, move forward, and Manizha, in my opinion, is a person who just reflects how rich the culture of Russia is, how diverse it is. Friends, I will be glad if you share your comments, your attitude to this song.

Please write if you have faced racism in your country, whether you or your relatives have received racist comments, and I am also interested in how your country treats women who have not married and have not given birth to a child under 30… Will they be told that “hello, it’s time to give birth”, or is it all the same for you 30 - this is only the beginning of a conscious life, and children can wait. I am currently recording a series of live broadcasts with my students, and we are sharing various tips: how to learn Russian effectively, how to learn words in order to really memorize them.

Soon there will be broadcasts for travelers, for those who already speak Russian well, but always strive to improve their skills, so subscribe to the channel, I will be very glad to receive your comments. I hope that not only I liked Manizha’s song. Write down who you will be voting for at Eurovision, and I wish everyone just a great day. Thanks. .