Russians say ‘Laughter without reason is a sign of stupidity,’ (Too much laughter discovers folly) because Russian humor is full of deeper meaning and implication. Perhaps it is better understood by Russians themselves because no one has yet challenged the famous saying ‘one cannot translate the Russian soul into any other language.’ And a one laughs when he is happy. So what makes Russians happy?
Funny Stories Among Friends
Perhaps the favorite pastime among Russian people is reciting funny stories that happen to people in unusual situations. And everybody has plenty of those! What a delight do listeners experience when they hear a seemingly ordinary story that ends in such a funny and ridiculous manner that the whole crowd is laughing their heads off. It becomes unbearable when the one telling the story adds so many little funny details that he starts choking from laughter himself. Everyone has such a good time together! Laughing with friends is a true pleasure.
Anecdote – the Masterpiece of Folk Wisdom
What about Russian jokes - anecdotes? Full of good-natured humor and self-criticism, they always hit the nail on the head, so that it is simply impossible not to laugh. Skillfully assembled and resourcefully presented facts from our lives are turned into masterpieces of folk humor in anecdotes. Authors of these creations are usually unknown. Anecdotes are transferred ‘from mouth to mouth,’ from person to person. Usually you have to understand Russian culture very well, in order to comprehend the full meaning of these little stories. Although they do say anecdotes ‘about Vovochka’ (equivalent of Little Johnny) can sometimes be heard abroad.
-I don’t like reading books. There are always too many characters and I
keep forgetting who is who.
-Try to read Robinson Crusoe. You will like it.
Russians love partying, because spending time with good friends is the most valuable thing for Russian people both in good and bad times.
There are certain drinking traditions. You can not start drinking without a toast. Drinking toasts can take the form of anecdotes or not-so-short stories, concluded with "So here's to..." with a witty punchline referring to the initial story. After a toast is made it is neccessary to clink glasses.
The shortest toast is "Ваше здоровье" = " To your health!"
The folk wisdom says: "If you want to make the right decision, ask your wife for advice
and do the opposite." Let us drink to women who always help us make best decisions!
A specific form of humour- chastushka - is a songs composed of four-line rhymes, usually of lewd, humoristic, or satiric content. Chastushkas are sung at parties and deal with love or everyday concerns.
My beloved goes through the market,
He smiles to everybody.
As it turned out he got a false tooth,
Therefore his mouth doesn't shut.
To the Movies – to Have Some Fun!
Russians love comedies. Many generations grew up with them. Many have committed to memory the lines of the leading characters in films. Now these lines became a kind of a password for socializing, decorating speech and helping to remember a favorite film and laugh together. The release of a new comedy is a celebration for movie fans. Afterwards, they often recite the funny moments and relive them again.
Movies, like ‘Gentlemen of Luck,’ ‘Diamond Hand,’ ‘Office Romance,’ and ‘Adventures of Shurik’ were filmed a long time ago, but they remain popular among people of all ages.
There are a lot of jokes on the internet as well. The internet is occupied by youth. The latest fad is the creation of parodies on famous movies and music videos. Young people exchange links to these resources and share fun across the internet.
Folk customs are not forgotten either. Teens of today make up chastushkas, and change lyrics of old folk songs. This pleases the older generation.