Name calling is an expected reaction to offensive gestures. But would you expect it from a politician?
He did so because of the unwelcoming reception of Russian Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Saint Peresburg, whose motorcade was “greeted” by middle fingers of the passers-by and loud honking from the drivers forced to wait in the traffic jam.
Such behavior Poltavcehnko described as жлобство which depending on the context can be translated as “redneckness”, “primitive behavior” or “greediness” (see more here).
Here is what the governor of Saint Petersburg said about the incident.
“When we drove through the streets of our city with the Prime Minister of our country, only the lazy ones did not honk. People were showing fingers. All that when the man came to solve the problems of his native city and our home town. I feel ashamed – not as his subordinate and not as his friend with whom I had worked together for many years, but as the resident of Saint Petersburg. People from other cities also do similar things. But such kind of redneckness I haven’t seen anywhere else” – said Poltavchenko.
In his opinion, it had nothing to do with the discontent with authorities, but with people’s bad education.
“This marks the complete loss of cultural mentality in Saint Petersburg. This is simply [bad] upbringing of people. And this is not something that the authorities should engage themselves in. The main factor here is family. The way in which they were raised by mom and dad.“
It’s worth to note that Mr. Poltavchenko is mistaken regarding the exclusivity of Saint Petersburg.
Here is the viral video from YouTube in which 2 years ago the residents of Moscow were meeting the motorcade of Dmitry Medvedev in a similar manner.
Comments of Russian netizens
The words of Poltavchenko have been discussed in multiple forums and blogs.
Gammer666: It would be my pleasure also to honk and show fingers, but these bosses simply hand’t come to our place.С удовольствием бы тоже посигналил и ‘поднял всякие пальцы’, да эти шишки до нас не доезжают
P66g: I am afraid that during his next visit, Piter’s streets will be empty, – they will be blocked at least the whole block from the route :) боюсь при следующем приезде улицы Питера будут пустыми — перекроют как минимум за квартал от трассы :)
andruxan: What an idiot, if he’d shut up – nobody would know about it except those who were present, and now everybody knows… во долбаёб-то, промолчал-бы никто и не узнал про это кроме присутствующих там, а теперь знают все…
efys: “This marks the complete loss of cultural mentality by Saint Petersburg.” He forgot how this mentality a century ago gave some merry time to authorities.‘Это полнейшая утрата петербургского культурного менталитета.’ Он забыл как этот менталитет век назад устроил весёлую жизнь власти.
[Note: Russian Revolutions in 1917 focused around Petrograd]
Коляш: In the news they will say that passers-by attached Russian flags to the middle fingers and that the drivers were honking because they were happy.В новостях скажут что к среднем пальцем у пешеходов были прикреплены флаги РФ , а бибикали водители потому что радовались.