Breaking Stereotypes: Your Town is not the Best

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Many of us belong to one place, one city. It does not mean we were born in this particular city: a person could have studied there or maybe just moved for some reasons.

No doubt we do love such a city or a place. But this Love to One City must not grow into Disrespect or even Hatred to all the other places. Unfortunately, it happens everywhere. And very often people compare their own town with another town, which makes these 2 towns rivals and divides people into 2 groups. And obviously that is a stereotype.

As far as live in the North-West of Russia, such two cities for me are Saint Petersburg and Moscow. I should admit that I live in the first one but I sometimes visit the second one.

If you ask any person from St. Petersburg about Moscow, 99 out of 100 are going to say something not good about the city. It seems to be a real contest between 2 places. But should it even exist? How many people out of these 100 were to Moscow? I don’t believe that all of them, maybe a half, maybe even less than that. Some of them hate Moscow so much that don’t even want to visit it. So it is just a common and silly stereotype that people don’t want to break. It’s comfortable for them to think they are the best and to live in their own closed world. I must say that not everyone thinks like that. However, the majority does. I should also admit that I had such a stereotype myself: from childhood I heard that all football teams from Moscow are the worst teams in the world, that people from Moscow are selfish, very rich and very impolite, that Moscow underground is dirty and crazy, that traffic is hectic, lifestyle is too fast and that Moscow consists of immigrants. I thought like that till my first trip to that city at a relatively mature age. I broke this stereotype. And now I am going to give the following list of reasons why Moscow is not that bad and why St. Petersburg is not the best place. These two cities is just an example. However, to my mind, the following reasons are so frequent all over the world when we speak about big cities that it can also be applied to rival cities in many places.

1. People

Stereotype: angry and impolite.

Reality: of course, all people cannot be polite, kind and nice. But just think: the population of Moscow is about 14 million people. Can all these people be really rude? The answer is obviously «no». If they really were, probably Moscow would not be the capital anymore. Moreover, it would not have such a great influence. Who would like to have deals with unfriendly people? No one.

2. Underground

Stereotype: too complicated and crowded.

Reality: Just think: if the city is too big, if it has many offices, Universities, Ministries, hospitals etc, should the transport system be complicated? I don’t think so. Moscow underground is just different. The stairs are not too long and trains come almost every minute. Maybe the underground itself is crowded during rush hour but that is common for all big cities. No one is late for work or school. Moreover, the underground system is rather well-spread. Better than in St. Petersburg.

3. Traffic

Stereotype: traffic jams 24/7.

Reality: yes, traffic jams do exist. But they are everywhere. You just can’t avoid them if you live in a big city. What I have noticed in Moscow is that there can be a middle-sized traffic jam in the centre because some politicians are moving, but just in 10 minutes it is over. Everyone is in a hurry and people don’t want to wait. The lifestyle is too fast to wait time.

4. Lifestyle

Stereotype: too fast lifestyle, people in Moscow sleep a bit and work a lot

Reality: If a person sleeps a bit and works a lot, he should go to a doctor almost every day or die very fast as sleeping means a lot. All people who I met in Moscow and from Moscow sleep 7-8 hours a day. Sometimes they sleep less, sometimes more. Just as normal people do. Despite the lifestyle, they don’t lack sleep, they just have a little bit less free time and are more organized.

4. Immigrants

Stereotype: too many, everywhere all over the city.

Reality: If Moscow was a bad place, people from other places would not come there. However, It is a well-known fact that many people dream about moving to Moscow. Why? Moscow gives you opportunities to achieve your dreams when you work hard. No matter where you come from, you are given a chance. At the same time Moscow has some limits on the amount of immigrants. I must say that we also should not forget about Globalization. It is everywhere now and if you want to achieve success in the future, you should admit that people from other places can bring something innovative and good.

5. Weath

Stereotype: Moscow people always show their money off

Reality: Silly people always show their wealthiness off, no matter where they come from. It comes from the upbringing and the family, not from the place or city.

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