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7 Reasons You Should Never Date a Russian Woman

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The dedication that Russian women have to look beautiful is just scary. For the majority of them life is like a podium, and so they have to look sparkling even on the way to get a newspaper or walking the dog. My friend Sasha wears high heels every day and doesn’t worry about the lack of comfort as soon as it looks great.

Also, during five years of teaching she has never appeared at school wearing the same outfit twice. When I asked her why she cares so much about her appearance, she looks surprised: “Why would I choose to not look beautiful? Beauty is power and respect. How is anyone going to notice your rich inner world if you don’t attract attention?”

The worst thing is that if you are going out with a Russian girl you will either have to dress up and put a lot of effort in looking nice, or everyone will be looking at you and wondering, how did a pretty lady like her end up with that slob?

2. Loyalty is not cool.

A Russian girl will be your most devoted friend, your best advisor, critic and even your doctor if you are sick. Women in Russia are caring and tender, and whatever happens, they will be by your shoulder ready to face any trouble together.

The best example of loyalty of Russian women: in the 19th century there was a riot against the tsar, and the aristocrats who participated in that riot were sentenced for a lifelong exile and hard labor in Siberia. Their wives followed them voluntarily to cold deserted lands and shared the punishment.

A Russian woman truly believes that her partner is the best person on the planet, the most talented, the strongest, the smartest — and she is sincere about that, because she values herself highly too. And if she believes she is the queen, she’d only choose the king and treat him like the king – with the respect, care, love and support.

If you think loyalty is unnecessary and boring, don’t date Russians.

3. You might get Russian parents in law.

This is dangerous. Visiting your girlfriend’s house will be accompanied with feasts (soups, meat, soups with meat, salads consisting of 50% mayo, potatoes, potatoes, bliny with mince and more potatoes, and then a cake for dessert), and as it is not polite to not finish your meal in Russia, you will have to deal with all that amount of food.

You’d expect help from your beloved, but when it comes to hospitality, all Russians tend to become unreasonable and overfeed their guests until it is hard to move. She will probably offer you another piece of pie. Is dating a Russian girl worth putting on a lot of weight?

And don’t forget the initiation: the dad will most likely test you at some point. You should prove that the family can trust you with their precious child. Tests are different in each family. For example, my boyfriend Jacques had to drink a full bottle of vodka with my dad. Otherwise he would be considered too weak to protect me in danger. Lucky for all of us, Jacques passed the test successfully, and we had to celebrate it with more cake.

4. They are too independent.

Nekrasov, a Russian 19th century poet said: “a Russian woman can stop a galloping horse and enter the burning house.” This is a powerful image of an independent woman who doesn’t really need any help or protection from men.

Girls in Russia do not believe in ideal relationships and think that even if their Prince Charming finds them, they have to be able to live on their own. Building a career and getting a second degree often sounds more appealing than trying to find someone who will value their personality and freedom.

A Russian woman will be very independent in a relationship, and very stubborn, too. But on the other hand, expect bravery in danger and trouble, and the strength that will help both of you overcome the most difficult times.

5. Her high expectations.

Russian women are very demanding. They don’t want just a guy who will love them madly. They want the best man alive to love them madly. Good old manners are very important: you are expected to open doors, help to put on coats, bring flowers when you go on a date. If you are not a gentleman, it is not even worth trying.

But Russian women don’t only pay attention to what you do for them. Don’t forget the others, be a valiant knight! Offer your seat in transport to elderly people and save a kitten from stray dogs. Once I saw a man jump into sewage to save tiny ducklings that fell down a hatch – in the eyes of his girlfriend he was a real hero.

6. The challenge of breaking the ice.

Russians are reserved and try to keep the distance before you become close to them. Any Russian girl can create an impression of Ice Queen, even if she likes you (especially if she really likes you!). I met Paul at work on one of my tours, and he told me he came to Moscow to visit his girlfriend. “When we started dating, I was challenged with the wall of ice between us, as if she didn’t want to open up or let me closer. Slowly, step by step, I discover that underneath this ice there was the most loving and caring person in the world.”

7. All the Russian food.

For many Russian women cooking is a way to show their love, so be prepared for food experiments. At first the cuisine might seem absolutely normal and even a little boring. But when you get to eat Russian food more often than during occasional visit to her parents, you will have more and more questions. What is that weird purple salad? Beetroot with herring? Pancakes with caviar? Why is she putting cabbage in pies (and everywhere else)? How many variations of pickles are there on Earth? Fermented rye bread drink…well, that one is surprisingly decent! You might hate most of the meals, but occasionally there will be something great (e.g., my boyfriend loves Russian salad. He says it is because there is no cabbage there). 

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Remains found in Dublin adds intrigue to search for Robert Emmet’s grave

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Skeletal remains have been found at one of the locations identified as a possible last resting place of Robert Emmet who was executed on this day in 1803.

The remains were found during an excavation at the back of St Paul’s Church in Stoneybatter in Dublin.

The disappearance of the body of Robert Emmet is one of the great mysteries of Irish history.

Emmet was tried and then hanged for instigating the ill-fated 1803 rebellion. He became a symbol of Irish martyrdom for his speech from the dock in which he concluded: “Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace, and my name remain uninscribed, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written.”

After he was publicly hanged outside St Catherine’s Church in Thomas Street on September 20th, 1803, his head was displayed to the crowd by the hangman Thomas Galvin. The remains of Emmet’s body was taken to Bully’s Acre in the grounds of what is now the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and buried there.

When some of his friends went to reintern his remains from Bully’s Acre to St Michan’s Church in Church Street, a church associated with the United Irishmen, they found there was no body there, and so began a search which endures to this day.

Robert Emmet was publicly hanged outside St Catherine’s Church in Thomas Street on September 20th, 1803.
Robert Emmet was publicly hanged outside St Catherine’s Church in Thomas Street on September 20th, 1803.

His great-nephew Dr Thomas Addis Emmet requested an archaeological dig at the family vault in St Peter’s Church in Aungier Street to mark the centenary of Emmet’s death in 1903, but that proved to be unsuccessful.

Speculation

St Paul’s Church is another contender in the saga of Emmet’s remains. It was the parish church of Kilmainham Gaol’s doctor and effective governor Dr Edward Trevor.

In his book In the Footsteps of Robert Emmet, JJ Reynolds speculated that Trevor removed Emmet’s body and put it in an unmarked grave in the grounds of St Paul’s Church. This was to ensure that his grave would not become a shrine for Irish nationalism.

The church, which was the venue for the consecration of the philosopher George Berkeley as Bishop of Cloyne in 1734, has been converted into the Spade Enterprise Centre, a not-for-profit social enterprise unit.

The land where the skeletal remains were found is being turned into a shared kitchen for small business enterprises in the area.

The yard at the the back of St Paul’s Church in Stoneybatter, Dublin where skeletal remains were found.
The yard at the the back of St Paul’s Church in Stoneybatter, Dublin where skeletal remains were found.

Archaeologist Franc Miles said burials in the grounds were from 1702 to the 1860s. A extant set of burial records remain, but Emmet, if he really is buried there, would have no record.

Previous exhumations were carried out when the graveyard was closed in 1860s to make way for a school on the site.

“With all the evacuations, we were left with bits and pieces of body. There weren’t many full skeletons,” he said.

Mr Miles said it all the gravemarkers and stones were removed in the 1860s “so all you are left with really are bones.”

Mr Miles said it would be difficult if not impossible to identify Emmet’s remains even if they are buried in the grounds of St Paul’s Church.

His own “educated guess” is that Emmet’s body is still buried somewhere in Bully’s Acre.

As many of his supporters have said over the last two centuries: “Do not look for him. His grave is Ireland.”

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How the cost of renting an apartment in Copenhagen compares to other cities in Denmark

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With the arguable exception of second city Aarhus, Copenhagen is significantly more expensive to rent housing than anywhere else in Denmark.

But the extra cost in the capital depends on where else in Denmark you compare with, as well as the type of housing you rent.

Private or general housing?

First, it is important to note the difference between the two main types of rental housing in Denmark: private rentals and almene boliger (literally, ‘general housing’), a form of subsidised housing.

For almene boliger, local municipalities put up 10 percent of building costs and in return have the right to decide who is allocated one in four available apartments, enabling them to provide housing to municipal residents who need it. The housing therefore plays a role in the social housing provision.

This type of housing is normally managed by a boligforening or housing association. Rent goes towards costs of running the housing and to pay off the housing association’s loans, which means property owners aren’t profiting from rents and prices are controlled.

Aside from housing assigned by the municipality, almene boliger are open for anyone. However, to get one, you must get to the top of a waiting list, which you join by signing up with associations which operate housing in the city where you live (or want to live).

In Copenhagen or Aarhus, it can take years to get to the top of these lists, while in smaller cities you might get an offer in weeks or even days.

As such, many newcomers to Denmark must turn to the private rental market if they are living in one of the main cities.

READ ALSO: Deposits, complaints and registration: Five key things to know about renting in Denmark

Private housing: Copenhagen clearly pricier 

A study conducted by housing research centre Bolius in November 2020 found the cost of a 56 square-metre apartment in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district to be 8,536 kroner per month.

The study, which was based on data from 2019 and 2020 from rental platforms boliga.dk and boligportal.dk, shows the average monthly cost of non-limited private apartments on Nørrebro, compared with 16 other locations in Denmark.

The cost takes into account the cost of a deposit (normally three months’ rent) and adds it to the average cost of renting the housing for five years (thereby assuming none of the deposit is returned to the tenant).

In comparison to the price in Nørrebro, the study found rent in Hillerød north of Copenhagen to be slightly less (8,218 kroner) for a slightly larger apartment (65 square metres).

Moving further out from Copenhagen, costs begin to drop even more.

In Kalundborg on the west coast of Zealand, you can rent a 71-square-metre flat for 5,167 kroner per month. Næstved, a commuter town between Copenhagen and the Great Belt Bridge, comes in at 6,039 kroner for an apartment at 72 square metres.

The cheaper rents are consistent further to the west, exemplified in Jutland cities Aalborg (5,544 kroner for 62 square metres), Vejle (6.696 kroner for 84 square metres) and Esbjerg (4,399 kroner for 54 square metres).

Although Aarhus is not included in the study, third-largest city Odense is. Here, there is still a significant saving on Copenhagen, with 8,488 kroner, a similar rent to that in Nørrebro, getting you an apartment over 50 percent bigger at 82 square metres.

General (almene) housing: closer, but still higher in Greater Copenhagen

Rent prices for almene or subsidised housing were most recently analysed in a 2020 report by Landsbyggefonden (National Building Foundation), a support institution for the social housing sector.

According to that report, the rent for family housing (meaning housing not reserved for students or seniors) is “on average, approximately 100-200 kroner per square metre higher [per year, ed.] east of the Great Belt Bridge than west of it”.

Of the five administrative regions, average rent for family subsidised housing is highest in Greater Copenhagen at 906 kroner per square metre for a year’s rent.

The lowest rents can be found in South Denmark, where the yearly cost is 722 kroner per square metre.

Zealand is the region that comes closest to Copenhagen on the costs for this type of regular housing. Here, tenants can expect to pay 859 kroner per square metre in a year. The equivalent costs in Central Jutland and North Jutland and 778 kroner and 747 kroner respectively.

The study also places Greater Copenhagen as the most expensive region when rents are presented as the median monthly rent for family housing.

Here, the median values are split into five categories based on apartment size, with Copenhagen coming out as the most expensive region for each category.

For example, the median monthly rents for apartments between 50-60 square metres are as follows: 5,039 kroner (Greater Copenhagen); 4,913 kroner (Zealand); 4,541 kroner (Central Jutland); 4,388 kroner (North Jutland); 4,236 kroner (South Denmark). The national average is 4,667 kroner.

Sources: Domea, Bolius, Landsbyggefonden



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Officials pushed for State to buy direct provision centres from private firms

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The Government should buy a number of privately-owned direct provision centres as a “priority” as it would be more “cost effective” for the State to run the facilities for asylum seekers, international protection officials have said.

The savings arising from owning the accommodation centres rather than paying private contractors to do so “could be considerable”, departmental briefing documents provided to Minister for Children and Integration Roderic O’Gorman last year state.

The vast majority of direct provision centres are currently owned and run by private companies, with accommodation providers having received some €1.6 billion since 1999, including €183 million last year.

The latest figures show some 7,150 people are in the system of seven State-owned sites and 39 private centres. A further 24 commercially-owned premises are being used to provide emergency accommodation for asylum seekers.

The briefing document, released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act, says that housing people seeking asylum in State-owned centres would provide the “best protection from the vulnerability of present market reliance”.

“They are also much more cost efficient to run, and the State owns the asset,” it notes.

The document suggested that State centres should aim to accommodate 5,000 people, and “allowing the private sector to supply the rest is regarded as an achievable and reasonable target”.

The purchase of existing centres from private providers “to immediately boost the State’s footprint in this area should be considered as a priority,” the internal document said.

“Some service providers may be open to this and the market appears to be favourable at present,” it said.

The internal briefing suggested the department could then seek private companies or NGOs to run the centres, which would be a “competitive cost option”.

‘Badly needed’

Ongoing maintenance for centres owned by the State was also “badly needed,” as current pressures on the Office of Public Works (OPW) meant it was not possible “for immediate repairs to be done if required”.

“In exploring the model of more State centres, we need to agree and acquire a capital budget,” the briefing stated.

“State land does not require planning permission for new centres as the Minister has a power under the Acts, whereby the OPW can grant the planning permission and this is usually a three-month process. It is not subject to appeal.”

The document says that State centres “can also have a bigger footprint as it will be a permanent fixture in the locality”. In recent years a number of plans for private providers to open direct provision centres in regional towns have been met with protests from locals and anti-immigration activists.

Mr O’Gorman’s department has sought to reform the direct provision system and is seeking to replace the network of centres with a new system of accommodation and supports by the end of 2024.

New centres

A department spokesman confirmed the State has not bought any new centres since the briefing note was written. The spokesman said under the planned overhaul of direct provision, asylum-seekers who arrived into the country would initially be housed in a number of reception and integration centres.

Asylum-seekers will spend a maximum of four months in the reception centres before moving into housing secured through Approved Housing Bodies.

“These centres will be State-owned and purpose built to provide suitable accommodation for approximately 2,000 people at any one time, to cater for the flow-through of the 3,500 applicants over a 12-month period,” he said.


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