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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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IC. Emotional-Reactive Class

This class deals with those types of behavior that are caused by an emotional reaction to the environment.

a) Attitude to fate, ill fortune, violence, oppression

Force– 91 Fate, Patience, Hope – 15
Fate – 55 Patience – Hope – 252
Happy – 114 Humility – 51
Nature is hard to change – 33 Punishment, recognition, submission – 108
Suffer – 47 Freedom – Captivity – 600
Good hope – 53 Freedom – 70
Foolish hope – 95 Severity – Meekness – 42
Bad luck – 103 Happiness – Дuck – 771
Misfortune – 21 If only – 104
612 (2,91%) 2151 (7,41%)

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

The inn won't spoil the good, but the church won't the bad Submit and bow at your feet
Suffer, Cossack, grief, you will drink honey The sword does not cut submissive head
People, having sown, are waiting Patience is the best salvation
It will be good when the bad is over God endured and told us
It is easier to praise than to suffer Whose bread I eat, so I know him
It's a bitter world, but you have to live The back is ours, but the will is yours
It is better to suffer a wrong than to do a wrong Submissive child all the way
Grandfather hoped for dinner, but he went to bed without supper You will wash your feet, and I will drink water
Happiness is temporary, and the poor are eternal Keep your head tilted, and your heart submissively
No fish will be cancer Russian at random and has grown
The wet is not afraid of rain To whom to grate, and to whom to be grated
From adversity cut off the flap and run away You can’t break a butt with a whip
And the headsman reigns, but does not see fate You can't jump above your head
Eat, goat, osier, when there is no hay Be quieter than water and lower than grass
Hit the ground by evil! Live quietly, you will not see disaster

A significant component of this theme in Russian folklore (7.41%) and the very meaning of the vast majority of them convincingly testify to the greater inclination of Russians to endure grief, misfortune, violence, and social injustice. Humility, resignation to fate. If there is hope, then mostly for a happy occasion – the main motive of Russian folklore, the theme of opposition to evil very rarely happens. It is not for nothing that Tolstoyism ("Do not fight evil with violence") arose on Russian soil. Ukrainians think much less about the problems of fate, Ukrainian proverbs on this topic (2.91%) do not show a particular tendency to obedience, but have more hopelessness or indifference.

b)Prudence, caution, hesitation

See you tomorrow – 67 Reserve – 67
Beware– 92 Caution – 233
Ponder – 105 (0,50%) Meditation, determination – 63 (0,28%)
264 (1,25%) 363 (1,25%)

The structure of the components of the topic suggests that in a difficult situation, Ukrainians are more inclined to analyze it than Russians (0.50>0.28), while the latter are cautious in advance. And it is also striking that Ukrainians have a lot of proverbs with a warning not to trust anyone, in particular a woman, which clearly contradicts the thesis about special respect for a woman among Ukrainians.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Dogs bite the brave too Does not ask the ford, does not sink into the water
Do not trust the dog – it will bite God protects the cautious
In times of good weather, be afraid of great trouble Live quietly, get rid of trouble
Never trust a woman, horse, or dog. Give the beggar in the gateway, but don’t let him into the yard
Trust no one, then no one will betray you Take care of bread for food, and a penny for trouble
Neither in the village nor in the city do not trust the girl Look at both eyes, but do not break your forehead
We need bread after the afternoon too The quieter you go, the further you'll get
Measure three times, cut once If you cut it off, so you don't turn it back
Don't lend – it's a bad habit, and when one gives back, also scold you Seven times measure cut once
Don't bring the devil where there are few people Seeing the inevitable misfortune, shut the door by footcloth

c) Attitude towards neighbor


Stubborn – 58 Perseverance – 74
Balky– 7 Importunity – 63
Сorrosive – 70 Fad– 278
Capricious – 74
209 (0,99%) 415 (1,43%)

Both nations generally react negatively to manifestations of various kinds of individuality. The results of the calculations and the structure of the components of the topic show that Russians condemn manifestations of any individuality much more than Ukrainians, who perceive it as an inevitable nuisance.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Spins like a gypsy in the sun He wanted bird's milk
Either cross or leave They don't grumble all the time, they need to shut up
Like a gentleman, like a store Love currants, love and soreness
Nature is hard to change Not to fat, to be alive
Although it is worse, it is different Clean does not stick to the dirty
Stuck like Philip to Anna Give him an egg, and even a peeled one
You told her oats, and she says buckwheat Good is not sought from good

Gratitude, honor, reverence

Gratitude – 112 Decency, courtesy, custom – 245
Porky – 43 Appreciation, honour – 63
How fast – 52
Used to – 9
216 (1,03%) 493 (1,67%)

Russians pay more attention to the norms of behavior. It is important for them to "not lose face" and show respect to people who deserve it in accordance with their position in society. Ukrainians, in human relations, pay more attention to ordinary grace, which has roots in the historical past. During the first division of the Slavs into two branches, as discussed above, the western branch, which, along with the ancestors of the Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks, also included the ancestors of the Ukrainians and Belarusians, came into close contact with the German autochthonous population, which stood on the more high cultural level at that time. Thus, the Western Slavs borrowed the word of gratitude from the Germanic people, which, according to the known laws of phonetic transformations, took the form of dyakuvati in the Ukrainian language. The ancestors of modern Russians and southern Slavs inhabited the basin of the left tributaries of the Dnieper far from the influence of more developed peoples and did not have a special word common to all tribes to express gratitude. It appeared in the languages of this group of Slavs later, when they settled over a wide territory and no longer had close contact with each other. In each of the languages ​​of this group of Slavs, the word for gratitude has a different root. Thus, the habit of expressing gratitude, in particular, among the Russians did not have time to acquire such a distribution as among the Ukrainians.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Forbid God horns to pig and lordship to churl A person without custom cannot live with people
No gentleman can be from a churl, and even if will be, then a bad one Funerals are good with weeping, and the wedding with songs
Need is polite, and the poor is agreeable The dress is clean, and the speech is honest
Shut up and beat the poppy The wife is dying, and the husband is dying with laughter
God gave us, and we will give to people Guilty, sir is a Russian word
As long as the girl doesn’t merry, then she gives water to a dog, and soon the girl will get married, then she doesn’t want to give herself Whom they honor, they praise
When it is good for the priestling, then he forgets God What an honor if there is nothing to eat


The topic of assentation, and obsequiousness, is not specifically highlighted by Nomis, and Dahl has two sections:

Pleasing – service -72
Servis – Rejection -73
145 (0,50%)

On the one hand, the presence of such themes in Russian folklore indicates a developed feature of obsequiousness in the national character of Russians, associated with the veneration of people of a certain class, which we noted above, and on the other hand, this can be a manifestation of gratitude. Where the Ukrainian confines himself to verbal gratitude, the Russian considers it his duty to thank him with his own service.

Generosity, stinginess, hospitality

Niggard – 56 Generosity and miserliness – 137
Gifted – 36 Generosity – 37
Guest– 214 Inheritance, gift – 41
Present– 3 Guest, hospitality – 409
Entreaty – 187 Entreaty – Consent – Refusal -270
Bread and salt (hospitality) – 210
706 (3,37%) 894 (3,08%)

If the vaunted "wide Russian soul" is reflected in Russian folklore, then hospitability and generosity characterize Ukrainians even more, although here Ukrainians are often skeptical about the generosity of their neighbor.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Then they gave me bread when I no longer have teeth Who is poorer is more benevolent
Generous with father's money Collect with one hand, distribute with the other
You don’t give bread from someone else’s bag The hand of the giver will not fail
Don't ride a gifted horse Not rich feeds – generous
A promise is a promise Not so rich with what he has,
but so rich with what he is glad
They came uninvited and left unloved Often takes a hat,
will not leave soon
A miser is not stupid, and a generous person is not wise

Cunning – Sincerity

Cunning – 204 (0,97%) Directness – Вeceit – 302 (1,04%)

This theme in folklore is represented quantitatively in almost the same way, but in terms of content, we can assume that Russians respect open-heartedness more than Ukrainians.

Propensity to conflict

Squabble – 51 Quarrel – Scolding – 114
Abuse– 376 Peace – Quarrel – Controversy – 128
Harmony – 39 Swearing – Regard – 222
Fight -76 Fight – War – 73
War – !09
Angry – 78
729 (3,46%) 537 (1,85%)

Ukrainians significantly outnumber Russians in the propensity for conflicts (3.46 > 1.85). No wonder people say that where there are two Ukrainians, there are three hetmans. However, the events of the Orange Revolution showed the national character of Ukrainians has positive changes. Unexpectedly for everyone, Ukrainians during the revolution showed amazing tolerance for political opponents.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Let the fools fight, let them become wiser Don't fight with who you bow to
As abuse begins, advice will not help Own dogs squabble, don't poke someone else's!
You disband like a Moscow bast shoes Beat your own – strangers will be afraid
Because of the footcloths, they made a fuss A bad peace is better than a good fight
He swears how much he can fit in his mouth The young scold – amuse, the old scold – rage
The bull roars and the bear roars, who is biting whom and the devil cannot tell Don't wave your fists after a fight
When you go to war for someone else's head, take your own Two fight – the third do not go

Bragging – Praise

Praise – 122 Praise – Boasting – 231
Boast – 92
214 (1,01%) 231 (0,79%)

The theme of praise, and boasting in Ukrainian folklore occupies more space. It seems that Ukrainians love to boast, as well as the Poles, which was noticed back in the 18th century, and to show off more than Russians. Russian children are taught from school: Ya (I) is the last letter in the alphabet.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Do not pay attention, people, that I am a shoemaker, talk to me as a simpleton Do not brag going to war, but brag when you leave the war
She flaunts herself like a priest's wife at a wedding Every merchant praises his goods
Lazy praise praises itself Praise the dream when it comes true

d) Organization – discipline

Everything has its time – 42 It's time – Measure – Haste – 292
Summer never happens twice – 22 Faithful – Reliable – 70
Measure – 9 Faithful – Known – 267
Guarantee – 30 Pledge – Oath – Surety – 101
Condition – 11 Chatterbox – Spy – 22
Promise – 34 Condition – Refusal – 73
148 (0, 70%) 825 (2,84%)

The great lag behind the Ukrainians in organization and discipline from the Russians (0.70% << 2.84%) is not a surprise. It is in this case that the extreme individualism of Ukrainians is most evident. At the same time, ridicule of losers, and skepticism prevail in them compared to positive judgments.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Dear egg to Easter A fast horse will stop sooner
The horse is not saddled when it is necessary to get on Who swears idle, you can't rely on him
Gonna die but field plow You will vouch for a friend, you will suffer from an enemy
Cossack, tomorrow will be Saturday, and the girl will not be there Seven do not wait for one
Seven women are seven councils, and the child is navelless With a faithful dog, the watchman sleeps
Whoever vouches, he suffers The soul knows the measure
When the fishing is rich, the harvest is poor Contract is more expensive than money
On the way, in the guest house, remember about livestock Too many cooks spoil the broth
What is owed, must be paid Called himself a mushroom – climb into the basket

e)Neatness – Beautification

Cleanliness – 48 Dandyism – 133
Clothes – 250 Neatness – 42
298 (1,42%) 175 (0,60%)

Perhaps this topic reflects the internal culture of the people, but in the Ukrainian section "Clothes" there are many neutral sayings, so no serious conclusions can be drawn from these data. The examples presented below are obviously ironic.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Although he is poor but handsome You won’t crack from the dirt and won’t rise from purity
Not every gentleman can be recognized without a coat It's a bad glory that Savva is without a coat
Although not elegant, but capable • There is even a click in the belly, but there is the silk on the belly.
With pork snout in wheat dough Well done handsome, but the soul is crooked
Even though he is naked, he is wearing a belt The wolf and the bear do not wash and live healthily.

f) Reaction to positive emotions

Sing– 154 Games – Fun – Catching – 141
Dancing– 109 Laughter – Joke – Fun – 142
Game – 32
Revelers – 37
Music – 57
Hunting – 28
Laughter – Jokes– 448
Gala – 111
976 (4,64%) 283 (0,97%)

The special love of Ukrainians for entertainment is very clearly reflected in folklore (4.64% for this topic).

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

Maybe he knows such a song that if he sang it, his hair would fade Funs and games, but shod in bast shoes
Sings like a fly in a jar The tambourines ring well, but they nourish badly
Go away, mushroom, let the kobzar (a singer) sit down Nothing to eat, but live is joyfulli
He who laughs will not pass away Does not get tired of playing, so long as the matter does not go away
If only he knew how to dance, but trouble will teach him to work. Cause time, fun hour

g) Moral vices, bad habits

Vodka and others – 484 Ardor – Revelry – Debauchery – 34
Smokes and sniffs – 49 Bacchanalia – Boozing – 156
Cards – 11 Drunkenness – 355
Thief – 143 Fraud – 111
Lechery- 91 Theft – Robbery – 103
Extravagance – 134 Save – Squander – 154
Temptation – 86
Temptation – Example – 91
812 (3,86%) 1059 (3,65%)

This topic occupies approximately the same part of the folklore of both peoples, however, sayings and proverbs differ clearly in terms of motives. Ukrainians condemn moral shortcomings more severely than Russians, who tolerate them.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

If you don't save your body, will lose your soul Kursk thief
Stolen is not posession And stealing is a craft
Muscovites-falcons, you have eaten our bulls, and when you return healthy, you will also eat the cows Likhvinsky mountains and Novosilyevsky thieves
Perhaps the Muscovite will stop stealing when the devil starts praying to God It's a sin to steal, but you can't escape
Dad, the devil climbs in the house! – in vain, if not a Muscovite It is better to give birth to seven than to go married
Bad looks have no shame (The cities of) Orel and Kromy are the first thieves, and Karachev to addition
I bought it, but it hardly escaped I'll go to a monastery where there are many singles
He who does not smoke a pipe and sniff tobacco is not worth a dog Drunk speech – sober thought
There is nothing worse than a poor Jew, a thin pig, and a drunken woman Drink wine, beat your wife, don't be afraid of anything
Drink, but don't drink away your mind What's bad is indulged
Boose is not water – trouble for a man Drink wine, beat your wife, don't be afraid of anything
What the body loves destroys the soul Drink at the table, don't drink at the post
The money was spent on luxury We eat someone else's, carry stolen goods
Card loves boose Let's drink, so we'll lock the hut, and what's in the hut, we'll bring it in a tavern

There is a certain objectivity in the fact that in Ukrainian proverbs theft is associated with Russians, and in Russian proverbs, theft is associated with some Russian cities.

h)Volitional impulses

Beat – 425 Murder – Death – 21
Kill – 16 Punishment – Mercy – 98
Punishment – Indulgence– 51
Punishment – Сondemnation – 47
Punishment – Danger – 72
Punishment – Threat – 53
Danger – Punishment – 211
441 (2,10%) 553 (1,91%)

The ratio of this topic in the folklore of both peoples is approximately the same, but the generally more strict tone of Russian sayings and proverbs is striking (1.91%). In Ukrainian folklore, the topic of beating (2.10%) is usually associated with upbringing and attitude to such a function, and in Russian, in addition, the themes of inevitability and the need for punishment for misconduct and committed crimes, as well as the threat of punishment as prevention, are clearly manifested. However, it is significant that Nomis did not specifically single out the topic of punishment, while Dahl considers it in various aspects and not only in this section. Obviously, punishment is not clearly visible in Ukrainian folklore, which influenced the level of discipline of Ukrainians. The understanding of the importance of punishment for maintaining order in society may not have developed among Ukrainians due to their stateless existence, since any repressive actions by a foreign government could be regarded simply as unjust oppression.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

A horse is controlled by the bridle, and a man by words The stick is dumb, but gives the mind
Blood is not water, it should not be spilled Don't give indulgence
Grass does not grow on a beaten road A bad tree with a root out
Don't let your hands run free For inadvertently they beat desperately
Beating is not a bad thing to teach Beat the one who cries, scold the one who listens
An eagle, an ox, and a daughter-in-law live in one spirit: they do nothing good when they are not beaten Even if had killed a fly, so wash your hands

Emotionally motivated behavior is reflected in 28.99% of Russian proverbs and sayings, in Ukrainian folklore, this topic occupies 27.71%. If we take into account the perception of the world as a whole, then in the everyday life of Russians, emotions play a greater role than that of Ukrainians (52.12% of folklore versus 46.53%). However, there is a significant difference in the very structure of the sensory component. Ukrainians have a much more developed reaction to positive emotions, while Russians are more restrained, their emotions are more connected with the harsh truth of life.

This class should also include the emotional reaction of a person to his own behavior in the form of conscience, which he is guided by when comparing his actions with higher values, an ideal. Neither Dahl nor Nomis have a "Conscience" section. But the mention of conscience can be found in other chapters. In Dahl, the word conscience is found 29 times in the section "Human", and in Nomis, in the section "Bad looks have no shame", which talks about shame, there is one saying with a mention of conscience. Perhaps there are single mentions somewhere in other sections of a similar subject, but I did not find it.

Examples from Ukrainian and Russian folklore

         Ukrainian                                     Russian

They have a dragoon conscience. No matter how wise you are, you cannot outsmart your conscience.
For conscience and for honor – at least his head will be taken off.
A story can be told about the his conscience.
The soul is Christian, but the conscience is gypsy.
You can't sew conscience to a coat.
A good conscience is the eye of God.

The material available in the collections of Dahl and Nomis says that the difference between Ukrainians and Russians in attitudes toward conscience is great, this topic is considered separately in the Conclusions.