Russia is not only terribly fascinating just because it is the wildest, most chaotic and most unpredictable place on the face of the Earth, but also because it was once home to another country – yes, you guessed it – the Soviet Union. It is difficult to sum up the Soviet Union in a short sentence, so let’s just say that it was the biggest country in the world. In this aspect it’s got nothing on Russian Federation because Russian Federation is also the biggest country in the world. Nowadays. But RF reminds a lot of USSR, though one must not mistake the one for the other, or the other way around – the other for the one [this rule applies not only to politics, but also to dating]. In USSR life was, so they tell me, very illogical. Today life in RF is not any less illogical, I would like to add, but, they say, there is a big difference here – in RF one can say whatever one might want to say (though I’d fight them on this one), whereas in USSR – not so much. From this – the impossibility of speaking one’s mind in combination with an utterly absurd reality, that demanded at least some kind of reaction – were created a great cultural phenomena: «Советский анекдот» [the Soviet Joke]. A long time ago in a galaxy far away I collected Soviet jokes. I managed to collect 116 until I stopped. I collected them in English, because I did not speak Russian at the time. But I’m sure that if I would start with this hobby again, but in Russian, I would find many more in a much shorter amount of time. (Keeping in mind how much larger the internet itself has grown since way back when.) Today I want to share a couple of them with you. If you have any Soviet jokes of your own, in Russian or in English, feel free to share them here in the comments! Laughter prolongs life, I was taught in school – and even more so is laughter needed in times of economic crisis as it is… absolutely for free.
It is perfectly normal to feel confused as to where one is currently located in Russia, especially as signs of ‘the old country’ are abundant and ubiquitously. Like for example on the ceiling of Novosibirsk’s train station.
1. Son: What will communism be like when it is perfected?
Father: Everyone will have everything they need.
Son: But what if there is a shortage of meat?
Father: Then there will be a sign over the butcher’s shop saying “nobody needs meat today”.
2. What are the last six pages of a Lada user’s manual reserved for?
The train and bus timetables.
21. In America, you watch television. In Soviet Union, television watches you.
22. In America, you check books out of library. In Soviet Union, library
checks you out.
23. In California, you can always find a party. In Russia, The Party can always find you.
41. An American and a Soviet soldier kill each other and end up at the pearly gates
at the same time. Peter says “well, we have national division in hell as well,
but you may choose where you’d like to go. There is an American hell and a
American: what’s the difference?
Peter: well, in the American hell you have to eat a shovel of shit a day.
Russian: and in Russian hell?
Peter: two shovels of shit.
American: I’ll go to American hell.
Russian: well, two shovels of shit, it’s not nice, but I was a Russian alive
and I died a Russian and I’ll go to Russian hell.
Millenniums later, the same two soldiers end up doing sentry duty at the
checkpoint at the border between American and Russian hell at the same time.
Russian: Hi hi hi! How you doing! Long time no see!
American: Hey! How are you, you look good!
Russian: how is it over there in American hell?
American: oh, one shovel of shit a day, you get used to it. How about Russian
Russian: well, you know how it is, one day there’s no shit, the next day no
shovels. . .
58. Will there be KGB in communism?
No, by then people will have learned to arrest themselves.
88. What’s the difference between a Christian and a Communist?
The Christian hopes to get to Paradise after death, and the Communist – to be posthumously rehabilitated.
92. What is Russian business?
Stealing a box of vodka and selling it so as to have money to spend on drink.
And this one is my personal favorite…
102. In a Soviet school, the teacher talks about Lenin. Suddenly, one student asks her a question: “You personally knew Comrade Lenin, could you say anything good about him?” The teacher thinks for a long while and replies: “One day Comrade Lenin was peeling a skin off an apple with a knife, and a hungry child came to him and asked for a piece of the apple. Comrade Lenin told him to go to hell” Seeing the surprise on the faces of her students, she added: “You see, he could have cut the little bustard, and he did not, that’s how good he was.”