The thing is red for Russian and non-Russian things in Russia

Enquanto empresas ocidentais se retiram da Rússia, aqui no Brasil restaurantes tiram o estrogonofe do cardápio.

While western companies withdraw from Russia, here in Brazil restaurants remove beef stroganoff from the menu.| Photo: Bigstock

) Everyone who writes has a story like this to tell. The Portuguese teacher pulls out of his hat some strange and wrong grammatical rule that, in the student’s mind, later becomes dogma, if not style. I had a teacher, for example, who taught me that you couldn’t start sentences with adversative conjunctions. The so-called “but”. As a result, I spent years and years putting a comma where a period would fit, just to not displease the teacher – who, at that point, didn’t even remember my existence anymore.

I think it was the same teacher who taught me that the right thing is “the thing is red”, and not “the thing is Russian”. For years, however (I’m still sometimes reluctant to start the sentence with an adversative conjunction), I rebelled against this dogmatic orthography which, to me, made no sense. If the thing was Russian

, I thought about my etymological naivety, it was because Russia was a country full of difficulties and suffering. The cê-cedilha, for me, was not only a grammatical error but also an ontological one.

But I think I’m too old to have a tantrum with the vernacular. Let the state of Russian things be ruined. And the non-Russian stuff in Russia, too, as many Western companies are leaving Russians to fend for themselves, preventing them from enjoying a Big Mac, drinking an ice-cold Pepsi, or using Neve paper to blow their nose. nose.

The marketing departments of these companies say that the strategy is part of of the war effort, which aims to asphyxiate Russia economically or cause a revolt of citizens unable to contain their addiction to junk that symbolizes the wealth of the liberal West. But between us, I think it’s all just a sign of virtue. The risks of this strategy are twofold: in the event of a quick resolution to the conflict, companies will have to put their tails between their legs and return to the Russian market with a big PR problem to solve. The other risk is that this market will be occupied by Chinese companies. To be checked.


Meanwhile, in a land blessed by God and beautiful by nature, far away of the conflict in Eastern Europe, individuals are demonstrating for the boycott and even ban (Brazilians love to ban) of products of Russian origin – and not Ruça. The anti-war rage reaches even the most false-rich dish on the national menu: stroganoff.

Personally, I have a very close relationship with stroganoff, which accompanied me as if it were my last name during most of my childhood. Even today, from time to time, someone appears who thinks he is very original when he calls me Paulo Estroganoff. As for the dish, my palate considers it overrated.

The fact is that a restaurant in São Paulo, “in repudiation of the war”, decided to ban stroganoff from the menu. And it was the biggest auê. There were people who were angry not only with the drastic, useless and, let’s face it, laughable attitude, but also with the spelling of the word. According to Professor Nicolau Olivieri, for example, “it is 398475098 absolutely urgent standardize the transliteration of the Russian dish” (emphasis mine). And the correct one would be “stroganov”, not stroganoff or stroganoff. I don’t know about you, but if I ordered stroganov in a restaurant I would be sure I would spend the next day in the bathroom.

Russian vodka has also fallen out of favor. But not at Maria, who makes the best caipirinhas in Caiobá and assured me that Absolut is a thousand times better than Smirnoff. I saw some people suggesting a law (Brazilians love a law) for vodka (or “vodega”, as I’ve heard around) to be replaced by Corote 100% national and without any tsarist impetus. I hope it’s a joke, but I wouldn’t bet all my savings on it.

Using the war as a pretext, not even Dostoevsky escaped opportunistic cancellation. Russian productions were excluded from a film festival. A Brazilian resigned from the Bolshoi ballet. Roller coasters will now be called “crazy coasters”. If I put Tchaikovsky’s cannons to fire here at home, will I be in any danger? Better not to risk it. By the way, will anyone realize that the similarity between my last name and the canceled dish isn’t a mere coincidence? After all, things have never been so rough for Russian things, even if they are also Ukrainian, Italian, Spanish and above all Brazilian, as is my case.

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