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Sapratu

Par sveicināšanu un smēķēšanas kultūru 1

Joprojām skaidri atceros dienu, kad Daugavpilī pirmoreiz devos uz skolu. Būdams no valsts, kurā pastāv savdabīgs ieradums sveicināt visus, ko sastop ceļā, vai tas būtu paziņa vai pilnīgs svešinieks, jutu pienākumu pasveicināt arī dārzā stāvošo «babušku», kurai sanāca iet garām. Sakopojis drosmi un piedomājot pie savas krievu valodas izrunas, skaļi teicu: labrīt! Atbildes vietā viņa nobēra, kā vēlāk, uzlabojoties manai krievu valodai, noskaidroju, – virkni lamuvārdu. Piedevām sievietes mazais šunelis iekoda man potītē. Morāle: jaunzēlandieši laikam ir vienīgie dīvaiņi, kas sveicina ceļā sastaptos cilvēkus.

Bet drīz sapratu, ka, balstoties uz šo pieredzi, man nevajadzētu vispārināt, jo pastāv divu veidu ļaudis, kas Latvijā uz ielas ir gatavi ar jums runāt. Vieni ir no Jūtas štata Amerikā, un pēc pirmā sveiciena viņi centīsies jūs pārvērst par mormoni. Taču es runāšu par otrajiem. Parasti tie ir jauni vīrieši, bieži vien krievu tautības. Viņiem vajag vai nu cigareti, vai šķiltavas, vai sērkociņus. Pie vietējās sadzīves nepieradušam ārzemniekam censties saprast, ko tetovēts vīrietis ar skūtu galvu no jums vēlas, ir diezgan biedējoša pieredze. Cilvēku, kas tuvojas, prasot cigareti vai meklējot uguni kaut kur jau dabūtajam smēķim, ir pārsteidzoši daudz. Domāju, tas raksturo arī smēķētāju kultūru Latvijā kopumā. Jaunzēlandē smēķēšana arvien vairāk kļūst par antisociālu lietu. Valdība veic arvien jaunus pasākumus, lai izskaustu smēķēšanu, cenzdamās sasniegt ambiciozo ieceri, kas paredz, ka līdz 2020.gadam valstī vairs nebūs cigarešu. Šim plānam gan ir vairāk trūkumu nekā labumu, taču smēķētāju Jaunzēlandē kļūst arvien mazāk. Ir aizliegts smēķēt visos bāros, un universitātes pašlaik dara ko līdzīgu – ievērojami samazina vietas, kurās tas atļauts. Nesen valdība atkal stipri paaugstināja cigarešu nodokļus, kas nozīmē, ka pašlaik paciņa maksā aptuveni septiņus latus.Tā varētu būt laba viela pārdomām arī Latvijas valdībai, kas izmisīgi domā, kā palielināt ieņēmumus. Taču tad vispirms jāpanāk, lai valstī neieplūstu nelegālās cigaretes un lai korumpēti policisti nesadarbojas ar to piegādātājiem. Taču varbūt tas ir neiespējams uzdevums.Smoking culture I still vividly remember the first day I walked to school in Daugavpils. Coming from a country where we have an odd obsession with greeting everyone that passes us in the street, be they an acquaintance or a complete stranger, I felt obliged to acknowledge a babushka standing in her front yard as I walked on by.So mustering up some courage and pronouncing in what I thought was perfect Russian, I boldly greeted her with a Dobri Utra!! Her reply to this was what I would later learn as my Russian improved to be a number of profanities accompanied by her small dog biting my ankle. Lesson: New Zealanders are the only odd people that talk to every person that crosses their path in their street. But I soon learnt I should not stereotype based on my experience with Babushka on my first day at school. For I came to understand there are in fact two types of people who will talk to you on the streets in Latvia.One lot hail from Utah, USA and will try and convert you into a Mormon. But I will not concern myself with that group here. Instead I am going to draw your attention to the second group who will approach you on the street.They are typically young, male and Russian and will be after one of two things; a type of flame, either a lighter or a match; or a cigarette. As an unaccustomed foreigner adapting to a new environment this can be quite intimidating as you try and decipher what exactly it is that the tattooed man with short-cropped hair wants from you. It amazes me the amount of times I am approached every week by someone looking to bum a cigarette or a way to light their already acquired cigarette. I also think it says a lot about the smoking culture here in Latvia.It should be pointed out that I have no problem with smokers, as long as I do not end up reeking off their habit. It just amazes me the sheer number of people that smoke here and the fact that conversation struck up between strangers in the street will most of the time be done so in order to acquire a cigarette.In New Zealand smoking is becoming more and more of an anti-social activity enjoyed by less and less as the Government does more and more to outlaw smoking, as part of an all too ambitious plan they have to make New Zealand entirely cigarette-free by 2020, a plan that I believe has more flaws than merits.  Having made all bars smoke-free, university campuses are also now falling in line and severely restricting the spaces in which smoking is allowed. The latest step by the Government was to recently again raise the taxes on cigarettes now meaning that the average price of a pack of cigarettes costs approximately 7.00 LVL.This could be food for thought for a Latvian Government desperately seeking measures to raise the money in their coffers. But for this to first become reality the illegal flow of cigarettes into the country, along with alleged police corruptness would need to cease to exist, a task perhaps too ambitious.

Pievieno komentāru

Komentāri 1

Marta

You can meet very different people in our country. We have a tradition to greet people passing our way, it is tradition in country, willages, small towns and it's really also today. Daugaupils is big city and not friendly.
If something is asking a gun for cigarrette, then go away as quickly as possible. In many situations they are not looking for gun, they wanted to start conflict.
There are many wonderfull people in our Jelgava, in other cities - look for them, contact with them and your life become wonderfull!

pirms 9 gadiem, 2010.06.17 10:54

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