Soviet African Wife (Portrait of the «Cold War Era»)


Natalia Krylova


Discomfort is inevitable during the process of adaptation to a new culture. There are different degrees of ethnocultural compatibility. More than 40 years of the women-compatriot`s existence in African countries confirm that some women managed to adapt on the continent, however others, despite the archived material welfare and social comfort, couldn’t.

The dissatisfaction in the new life can arise not only because of the lack of material wealth, but mostly as a result of socio-psychological discomfort. There are various problems of adaptation which Russian woman faced in the first half of the 20 century.

Poor knowledge of the African society in all its diversities often lead to a situation, when future “social environment” as an essential socio-psychological factor, falls outside of the field of their vision, frequently becoming a high risk situation.

To find the explanation of why Russian women are often suffering after getting in Africa, it is very advisable to refer not only to external factors, but also to the inner side of the marriage relations. The process of “submergence” in African society by means of mixed marriages makes the social integration more complicated, sometimes becomes a key factor in the women’s adaptation to the new life conditions. As life demonstrates, this process is often followed by painful (sometimes tragical) breaking of stereotypes and values, which took shape in Russia and formed the personality of a Russian woman.

Throughout the years of research number of problems were revealed in the sphere of mixed marriages between Russian women and Africans that show the importance of studying the process of adaptation


Soviet Union, Africa, nationals, mixed marriages, ethno-cultural adaptation, interviews, surveys, based on the introduction in a mixed marriage, a large African family, nuclear marriage, the Soviet racism




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