I was somewhat charmed by the idea of transforming different countries into fictional characters. With Russia being the country I am most familiar with, I decided to sit down and contemplate the possible personality traits that would pertain to Russia’s international and domestic image.
To define Russia’s outer image, stereotypes could come in handy. For instance, Russia is often perceived by foreigners as:
… a cold country with plenty of snow and ice to last a lifetime;
… a dangerous place to be in, and a difficult place to live in;
… having authoritarian leadership;
… inhabited by people who never smile and are ready to spontaneously sacrifice themselves for their motherland;
… grand and majestic: huge territory, big army, big bears, big missiles, big problems, etc.;
… unyielding, as all who attempted to invade it had to eventually abandon their cause;
… having plenty of wilderness that has not yet been touched by civilization;
… underdeveloped and orthodox — utilizing older or outdated technology and over-emphasizing the importance of traditions and religion.
There could be more, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Next let’s look at how Russia is perceived by Russians from within. It is a country that:
… has a varying climate, ranging from snow and ice at -50°C to sweat and sand at +50°C;
… is a casual place to live in, but difficult to get around in;
… has/had leaders ranging from pathetic and embarrassing to strong and suave;
… is inhabited by people that are willing to be helpful, honest and supportive to complete strangers, even if such would entail sacrificing time and personal belongings;
… is definitely grand and majestic in all senses of the word, and for this reason is pride-worthy but also very resource-demanding;
… is unyielding to the enemy out of sacred respect to the achievements and sacrifices of preceding generations;
… has plenty of wilderness to explore and to get away from the madness of urban life;
… was bestowed with an important duty to humanity, and thus has to preserve its orthodox ways, possibly to prevent an ever-changing world from going astray.
From this we can gather that, externally, the character:
is cold as ice and, like snow, possesses simple and elegant beauty;
is silent and reticent;
is difficult to keep up with;
is authoritative and domineering;
is mysterious and unpredictable;
is bad with technology and prefers to use old proven tools and methods, thus…
is opposed to innovations.
Whilst deep inside, she:
experiences a wide range of emotions;
is at times carefree and disorganized;
is aware of her flaws and extremely self-conscious;
will go out of her way to help someone in need;
holds great pride in her heritage and family legacy, but is forced to spend a lot of time and effort to maintain it;
prefers to restore her energy by spending her time one-on-one with nature;
prefers to live in stability and harmony;
upholds tradition and respects God.
Why I decided that it’s a “she”? I tend to perceive the west and the east as representatives of masculine and feminine energies, respectively. Russia is often defined as a European country, but was always reluctant and unfitting to be recognized as a representative of western civilization, partially due to its world-view, partially due to the fact that most of its territory resides in Asia. So to me she is a woman that is domineering and endurant, but also very feminine and motherly.