“Moscow does not believe in tears”: What does this popular expression really mean?

"Moscow does not believe in tears": What does this popular expression really mean?

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After seeing melodrama several times Moscow doesn’t believe in tears Directed by Vladimir Menshov (some Tell me He’d even seen it eight times), US President Ronald Reagan would have said « I don’t understand anything ». He explained that he wanted to better understand “Enigmatic Russian soul”, In the context of warming relations between the United States and the Soviet Union, and before the meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev. In vain.

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan, 1985

Released in 1980, the film with the intriguing title won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It became a cult for generations of Soviets, but they associated the phrase ” Moscow does not believe in tears Exclusively for this work. What does it really mean and where does it come from?

This image shows the reality of a “brutal” city

The film tells the story of three young girls who go to Moscow with the intention of entering the university. They live in the same dormitory room and have every intention of making a successful career in the capital. In the first part of the film, the heroine Katia follows the example of her roommate and pretends to be the daughter of a teacher in order to start a relationship with a sympathetic middle-class Muscovite. She soon becomes pregnant, and he discovers her lie and leaves her.

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In the second half of the film, which takes place 20 years later, Katia is a successful woman. He was a weaver in a factory when he was young, then he became an executive of a large company and raised his daughter on his own. His personal life is the only shadow in the picture.

Frame taken from Moscow film does not believe in tears

However, this Soviet story ends well. The story of this middle-class woman who made herself ends as soon as she begins: at the end of the film, Katia meets the man of her dreams.

Today the film is considered representative of real life: moving to Moscow and settling there is the dream of many provinces, and their way of doing it will always be the same.

“Moscow does not believe in tears”When one’s concerns, complaints and crying cause no sympathy, it is said that solving the problem is of no use. Megalopolis is a perfect example of: in Proverbs of the Russian people, Vladimir Dahl mentions the phrase in it and clarifies: ” One should not feel sorry for anyone’s fate. They’re all strangers ».

On the other hand, Nikolai Leskov writes this Warrior (1866) : « Well, look, he told me, my tears. Well what, my friend, I say, your tears? These are just tears, I’m sorry for you, but Moscow does not believe in tears, the saying goes. Nobody will pay you for it ».

Tatar violations

However, the proverb was already applied to the Romans four or five centuries earlier.

That’s the way it is … ;; Robot portrait of typical Muscovite

According to some, it originated in the time of Ivan I Kalita, who was famous for extorting money too much. XIIIe Century, the Golden Horde led by Batu, Genghis Khan’s grandson, defeated the Russian principalities. Rusin it was a time of feudal fragmentation: there was no central government, and princes competed with each other for land and power. Some principals fought against the oppressor and still weakened. Others tried to negotiate, trying to avoid bloody and devastating attacks.

Ivan I Kalita, the Moscow Prince, was a supporter of the negotiations. So, having made a deal with Khan, he began to collect the largest tribute from Russian princes, and in return they refrained from enjoying punitive missions. According to chronologists, this new method of relationship between Horde and Ruse paid off: Tatar raids ceased for 40 years. During this period, the principalities rose up and regained their strength. So they managed to resist in the face of Tatars.

However, the ever heavier tribute drove the Princes to despair. We don’t know the exact size, but historians Rating That the amounts are comparable to the budget of a small state. Sometimes, to collect so much money, the princes had to borrow money from merchants, including foreign merchants. It even happened that they couldn’t pay the debt while they were alive. Then they passed it on to their successors. This line was called the “bessermian line” (for Russians, all Muslims are bessermians, the term designates the minority population of Russia Today).

Kalita, who already had separate power over other princes, began to demand from them a sum greater than the tax, “for the needs of the Moscow principality”, which caused disputes among the population: how much more money should Kalita be paid? Some then went to Moscow’s chancellor with the intention of making demands. Weeping, pleading, they asked Kalita to reduce the taxpayer, but the latter was uncompromising. He also strongly suppressed popular protests and publicly punished petitioners. This is where the phrase” Moscow does not believe in tears ” comes from.

Kalita ruled until 1340, accumulating enormous wealth that allowed him to acquire new lands. His real name is Ivan IEr, His nickname is “Kalita”, by which he is known, accidentally means “petsor”.

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Moscow tyranny

According to another version of the story, the phrase appeared in XV, after the Tatar-Mongol yokee Century, during the reign of Tsar Ivan III (aka Ivan the great). This nickname is justified: its main achievement was the liberation from the reign of the Golden Horde of Rouse in 1480.

Nikolai Shustov. Ivan III overthrows the Tatar yoke, 1862

It was during the reign of Ivan the great that various principalities became one state. The size of the territory has increased six-fold, making it a larger country than any European nation. The Tsar bought the lands to connect them with the Moscow principality, or simply conquered them. In the second half of the Xv, the main success of Moscow was the Novgorod Republice Century. With access to the sea and its natural resources, the sparsely populated Republic then lost all independence, falling under Moscow’s control.

It is possible that the expression appeared at that time, although in a longer and somewhat different form than what is known today:” Moscow Strikes with its foot, Moscow does not give tears ». The “kick” refers to a combat technique where the opponent’s legs were amputated, causing him to lose his balance and fall backwards.

In this other article, we explained to you the origin of the expression “I did not eat for six days”, which is often pronounced in French by Russians.

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