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Communication through public displays of affection in Moscow, Russia


  1. When I first decided to go to Russia the first things that crossed my mind were cold and bitter weather, rude behaviors, and uncivilized people. This stemmed from  what I learned from the Disney movie Anastasia and common stereotypes I also had the perception that the city and all of the buildings would be run down.  I have no doubt that these notions stem from movies and word of mouth but they were shattered as soon as I stepped foot in Moscow, the capital of Russia.

    Upon arrival in the most mesmerizing city I have ever had the pleasure to visit; I was stunned by a vast amount of unexpected surprises. The most consistent throughout our visit to Moscow being the open display of public affection. Whether we saw two girlfriends holding hands or greeting each other with a kiss on the cheek, a group of girlfriends dancing together on the dance floor, or a romantic couple kissing  the whole ride down an escalator public displays of affection are everywhere.  At first it was odd to see so much affection between so many people at all times until I thought about how people interact in America.

    Americans love PDA just as much as any other country including Russia.  However, Russia seems to be more intense than most places that I have visited. In America we kiss and embrace our loved ones when we see them. But why?

    “ I ‘m affectionate when I ‘m around those people who I care about. When I see my friends I smile and greet them with a hug. But its different when I see my boyfriend I hug and kiss him. They are both ways of how I communicate but each is a different more personal level.” Said University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Chelsea Wahlstrom.

    As human beings it seems that we have the need to communicate our feelings through means of affection. Some of us use a small kiss on the cheek  to  communicate friendship and understanding. Others use long embraces to communicate passion and love. No matter what the relationship is human beings seem to like communicating through affection as a means of showing certain people they care about them. Russian people may be more hands on in their displays of affection but they're communication goals are the same as in the US. 

    See interview below
    for more insight on Russion PDA