April 01, 1996

Laughter Through Tears



“No punch line? Must be a Russian joke.”

This caustic headline appeared recently over a Western newspaper’s article about Russian humor. While it certainly grabs your attention, the implication, that Russians have no sense of humor (or a sense of humor that cannot be understood by the outsider), is wrong. After all, if this gift of nature were absent from Russian culture, how could our country have survived intact through four revolutions, two world wars and numerous coups?

Clearly Russians do have a sense of humor and their jokes do have a punch line. And there are natural differences based on the uniqueness of Russian culture and society.


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