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Author Topic: Converts and fake accents  (Read 13416 times) Average Rating: 1
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Νεκτάριος
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« on: March 07, 2009, 07:00:28 PM »

This is continued from this thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19383.msg298958.html#msg298958

Father Seraphim of Platina picked up a Russian accent over the years, although he was fluent in Russian.  Was he one of your crazies?

To be fair, if one is constantly speaking with non-native speakers of English in English it is not entirely uncommon to speak more slowly, use simpler vocabulary and grammatical structures.  Nonetheless, a native English speaker who converts to a religion as an adult and lives continuously in an Anglophone nation and adopts a foreign accent is most likely doing so intentionally. 
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2009, 08:10:51 PM »

Of the American Orthodox converts that I know, none has developed any fake or changed accent.
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2009, 08:48:01 PM »

I'm converting and I think i'm picking up a Ozarkian accent... (as compared to my rural KC accent) Though it's def. not intentional... Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 09:15:53 PM »

In the past I spent extended periods of time with Japanese people. I have caught myself speaking broken English lots of times
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2009, 10:56:15 PM »

One of my German teachers in high school told us that when she was living in rural Bavaria after college for a number of years, she met some Americans students on a train and they refused to believe that she was an American.  It had been at least two years since she actually spoke English and she was having trouble speaking it smoothly. 
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2009, 11:17:34 PM »

This is continued from this thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19383.msg298958.html#msg298958

Father Seraphim of Platina picked up a Russian accent over the years, although he was fluent in Russian.  Was he one of your crazies?

To be fair, if one is constantly speaking with non-native speakers of English in English it is not entirely uncommon to speak more slowly, use simpler vocabulary and grammatical structures.  Nonetheless, a native English speaker who converts to a religion as an adult and lives continuously in an Anglophone nation and adopts a foreign accent is most likely doing so intentionally. 

Yes, I agree, Νεκτάριος. How people can aspire to talk with an accent is beyond me.

May be I can donate my accent, but NOT the knowledge of a foreign language to someone? LOL.
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 11:22:20 PM »

One of my German teachers in high school told us that when she was living in rural Bavaria after college for a number of years, she met some Americans students on a train and they refused to believe that she was an American.  It had been at least two years since she actually spoke English and she was having trouble speaking it smoothly. 

But that is not what we're talking about -  I'm talking about converts who are native English speakers, live in America and speak predominantly English (I've even met English monolinguals who fit this into this group) and adopt a faux accent.

Other things:

There ought to be a grandfather clause on facial hair.  If you were clean shaven before, you ought to remain so.  Hair length also should not change.  

Berkenstocks with socks are absolutely forbidden.  

Unless you wore 19th century Russian peasant garb before conversion, you should not be allowed to do so afterwards.  And if you did, you really should just be taken to the funny farm instead.  

The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 11:28:16 PM »

May be I can donate my accent, but NOT the knowledge of a foreign language to someone? LOL.

Maybe we can trade.  I'd love to be able to speak Russian without immediately being asked "Откуда Вы?"   Grin
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 11:29:35 PM »

Just a question, if you are an American convert and you travel overseas (like to Greece) and plan on attending Church on Sundays, how else other than appearances could you convince them that you are Orthodox at the Eucharist? (this isn't meant to be offensive) I remember one Priest (i think it was on AFR) lamenting that he sometimes catches himself communing those that look Orthodox as compared to those who don't if he doesn't know them, and joking about how (including himself) converts often try to "look the part".
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2009, 11:33:58 PM »

Just a question, if you are an American convert and you travel overseas (like to Greece) and plan on attending Church on Sundays, how else other than appearances could you convince them that you are Orthodox at the Eucharist? (this isn't meant to be offensive) I remember one Priest (i think it was on AFR) lamenting that he sometimes catches himself communing those that look Orthodox as compared to those who don't if he doesn't know them, and joking about how (including himself) converts often try to "look the part".

You could just try saying "Ειμαι ορθοδοξος"  and see where that gets you.  But you might also notice that Greeks in Greece tend to just dress like normal Europeans.  And chances are they will be someone around who speaks enough English to help you out.
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2009, 11:34:10 PM »

One of my German teachers in high school told us that when she was living in rural Bavaria after college for a number of years, she met some Americans students on a train and they refused to believe that she was an American.  It had been at least two years since she actually spoke English and she was having trouble speaking it smoothly. 

Interesting! Accents may be gained when someone has minimized exposure to a certain language. My first language in Ukrainian, Russian is my second, English is my third. Before immigration to USA, I did not have a Ukrainian accent when I was speaking Russian. Now, when on occassion, I do speak Russian, I have some mixture of Ukrainian and English accent there. However, in English conversations my Ukrainian accent still remains.


I'm talking about converts who are native English speakers, live in America and speak predominantly English (I've even met English monolinguals who fit this into this group) and adopt a faux accent.

Other things:

There ought to be a grandfather clause on facial hair.  If you were clean shaven before, you ought to remain so.  Hair length also should not change.  

Berkenstocks with socks are absolutely forbidden.  

Unless you wore 19th century Russian peasant garb before conversion, you should not be allowed to do so afterwards.  And if you did, you really should just be taken to the funny farm instead.  

The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.


Νεκτάριος, I totally agree with your conclusions. If I was a non-Orthodox American, considering conversion, and I would see all this comedy with 19th peasant garbs, etc., I could turn around and leave. By this mascarade, such a crowd prevents some conversions of normal people. Of course, the vast majority of converts does not act that way. But those very few, who do so, really can create a twisted image of Orthodox to the outside communities.

And the discussion of the absolute monarchy in the United States! Wow! Wow! Wow!
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2009, 11:45:17 PM »

Νεκτάριος, I totally agree with your conclusions. If I was a non-Orthodox American, considering conversion, and I would see all this comedy with 19th peasant garbs, etc., I could turn around and leave. By this mascarade, such a crowd prevents some conversions of normal people. Of course, the vast majority of converts does not act that way. But those very few, who do so, really can create a twisted image of Orthodox to the outside communities.

And the discussion of the absolute monarchy in the United States! Wow! Wow! Wow!

I agree, and I'm not at all anti-convert.  After all, I'm a convert myself!  But honestly, if an average person who had just read a bit about Orthodoxy and went to their local parish, filled with American converts and saw this a scene like this, what would he or she think?
http://picasaweb.google.com/dormitionorthodoxchurch/Pascha2008#5194144486272529730
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2009, 12:04:34 AM »

One of my German teachers in high school told us that when she was living in rural Bavaria after college for a number of years, she met some Americans students on a train and they refused to believe that she was an American.  It had been at least two years since she actually spoke English and she was having trouble speaking it smoothly. 

But that is not what we're talking about -  I'm talking about converts who are native English speakers, live in America and speak predominantly English (I've even met English monolinguals who fit this into this group) and adopt a faux accent.


Oh, I know.  That particular comment was directed in agreement with Marc1152's comment.

I totally agree with all your conclusions regarding this topic Smiley  In fact, we were just talking about this type of phenomenon tonight at catechism class.
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2009, 12:08:24 AM »

Νεκτάριος, I totally agree with your conclusions. If I was a non-Orthodox American, considering conversion, and I would see all this comedy with 19th peasant garbs, etc., I could turn around and leave. By this mascarade, such a crowd prevents some conversions of normal people. Of course, the vast majority of converts does not act that way. But those very few, who do so, really can create a twisted image of Orthodox to the outside communities.

And the discussion of the absolute monarchy in the United States! Wow! Wow! Wow!

I agree, and I'm not at all anti-convert.  After all, I'm a convert myself!  But honestly, if an average person who had just read a bit about Orthodoxy and went to their local parish, filled with American converts and saw this a scene like this, what would he or she think?
http://picasaweb.google.com/dormitionorthodoxchurch/Pascha2008#5194144486272529730

Kind of looks like some scenes from (the original) Wicker Man.  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2009, 12:21:20 AM »

But honestly, if an average person who had just read a bit about Orthodoxy and went to their local parish, filled with American converts and saw this a scene like this, what would he or she think?
http://picasaweb.google.com/dormitionorthodoxchurch/Pascha2008#5194144486272529730

So, what bothers you about this is...the guy with the hair parted down the middle and long beard?  The guy(s) dressed all in black?  The ethnic dancing?  The head coverings?

I'm not disagreeing with you that some converts try to go overboard in becoming "culturally Orthodox," but it seemed like a fun afternoon with the kids in the parish (the parachute with the beach ball is a really fun activity, ime).  Maybe all the kids knew whatever dance that was, the guy in black had just been wearing a cassock...I dunno.  I guess I was just expecting something different when I clicked on the link above.  What I saw seemed rather harmless and charming.
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2009, 12:42:28 AM »

You see, my friend, I am also trying to be as pro-convert as possible. This is all just about a very small proportion of converts, who act strangely and scary others. In traditionally Orthodox countries, as both you and I observed, everybody also dresses up in a modern European way. Some immigrants from historically Orthodox areas make first turn to faith after coming to this country, as a measure against stress, etc. Mentally and emotionally for them Orthodoxy still seems as a natural choice. Such potential parishioners also would turn around if they will observe a circus in a Church.

And when it comes to Americans who have only limited book knowledge of Orthodoxy! Unfortunately, human mind works in a such way that it appears so difficult to change a negative initial impression.

But some people really go way overboard. Wierd clothes, head coverings for ladies, hair styles, etc. Some scenes may be way worse. In a couple of cases that I witnessed, fortunately, it was just a temporary stage, which has been finished with the help of experienced priests and Godparents.

This is good to gain an interest in Greek or Romanian language. It always enhances to learn about any national traditions - Polish, Chinese, Uzbekian, you name it. It is nice to know how to prepare ethnic foods, learn some other traditions. But behaviors and appearances should remain in line with the normal civilized society.
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2009, 01:04:40 AM »


The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.

Try telling that to Mexicans.
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2009, 01:10:13 AM »

Νεκτάριος, I totally agree with your conclusions. If I was a non-Orthodox American, considering conversion, and I would see all this comedy with 19th peasant garbs, etc., I could turn around and leave. By this mascarade, such a crowd prevents some conversions of normal people. Of course, the vast majority of converts does not act that way. But those very few, who do so, really can create a twisted image of Orthodox to the outside communities.

And the discussion of the absolute monarchy in the United States! Wow! Wow! Wow!

I agree, and I'm not at all anti-convert.  After all, I'm a convert myself!  But honestly, if an average person who had just read a bit about Orthodoxy and went to their local parish, filled with American converts and saw this a scene like this, what would he or she think?
http://picasaweb.google.com/dormitionorthodoxchurch/Pascha2008#5194144486272529730
Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy LOL!

Mostly because I know the priest!  I think the shaven guy is probably Patrick Barnes from Orthodoxinfo fame (he has read hair).
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2009, 01:14:37 AM »

So, what bothers you about this is...the guy with the hair parted down the middle and long beard?  The guy(s) dressed all in black?  The ethnic dancing?  The head coverings?

I'm not disagreeing with you that some converts try to go overboard in becoming "culturally Orthodox," but it seemed like a fun afternoon with the kids in the parish (the parachute with the beach ball is a really fun activity, ime).  Maybe all the kids knew whatever dance that was, the guy in black had just been wearing a cassock...I dunno.  I guess I was just expecting something different when I clicked on the link above.  What I saw seemed rather harmless and charming.

C'mon, let's be honest.  That type of stuff isn't normal (except obviously some activities for the kids).  The thing that I think a few of us are getting at in this thread is the the demographics of the Orthodox Church ought to reflect society as a whole to some extent.  If you walk into a parish and it has a relatively high percentage of slightly off people, doing things that are just slightly abnormal it is off putting.  Ultimately I think people ought to be themselves (not the sinful, old man - rather their personality, interests, etc.).   You shouldn't become something fake or artificial to be Orthodox.  That's neither healthy nor sustainable.  
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2009, 01:15:45 AM »


The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.

Try telling that to Mexicans.

Fine.  They have a grandfather clause in my dictatorship.   Tongue 

But, they do need documented proof that they did engage in such BEFORE finding out about Orthodoxy. 
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« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2009, 01:24:08 AM »

Well, the girls are dressed as expected to  me. Finding little girl clothes that don't have someone from highschool musical, hannah montana or are really short is hard.

Doesn't look that strange to me. But I live in the NW Cheesy

I think that what happens (theory) is that all the really great saints dress and have facial hair in a similar way. All the fans of "The Crow" try and look like him. I think it is better to try and look like a russian saint than someone from a movie.
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« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2009, 01:43:33 AM »


The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.

Try telling that to Mexicans.

Fine.  They have a grandfather clause in my dictatorship.   Tongue 

But, they do need documented proof that they did engage in such BEFORE finding out about Orthodoxy. 

There aren't that many Orthodox Mexicans - just look on the street.  You'll find plenty with all the buttons fastened.
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« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2009, 01:47:02 AM »


The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.

Try telling that to Mexicans.

Fine.  They have a grandfather clause in my dictatorship.   Tongue 

But, they do need documented proof that they did engage in such BEFORE finding out about Orthodoxy. 

There aren't that many Orthodox Mexicans - just look on the street.  You'll find plenty with all the buttons fastened.

Hmmm.  My "barrio" is predominantly Hispanic.  I'll have to pay closer attention next time I'm out and about. 
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« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2009, 02:43:17 AM »

Dees topeec eez outrage!
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2009, 01:57:56 PM »

There ought to be a grandfather clause on facial hair.  If you were clean shaven before, you ought to remain so.  Hair length also should not change.

I am converting, and some of your judgments don't seem fair.  I have a large beard, and I have grown one and shaved it off, on and off, for years.  Until this last summer, I had hair down past my waist.  So if I decide to grow it out again later, should I have to worry about people like yourself judging me?

When I first went into an Orthodox Church, one of the first things that I noticed was that others looked a lot like me!  Plenty of beards and long hair.  And yes, it is mostly a convert parish.  I haven't gone around and done a survey to see if everyone changed their image after conversion.  I can say that there are no fake accents around, but then again as it's mostly converts we have no one to imitate!
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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2009, 02:34:31 PM »


The top button of a dress shirt can only be buttoned if you are wearing a tie.

Try telling that to Mexicans.

Fine.  They have a grandfather clause in my dictatorship.   Tongue 

But, they do need documented proof that they did engage in such BEFORE finding out about Orthodoxy. 

Add the Amish (well, the plain people in general) to that grandfather clause. And tell me when you run for dictator. You have my vote.

Seriously, though, since I'm the one who inadvertently started this, I should probably chime in and say I think there are two separate things going on here, and the first has nothing to do with Orthodoxy or religion (I have always attracted these people; it's a curse).

First, there's ISBICSM (I'm So Boring I Can't Stand Myself) Syndrome. These are the people who think they're just so bland they have to do something to stick out, not just a little, but so much they can't be ignored. Like the people who get spikes surgically attached to the top of their heads, or people who get tattoos everywhere so no matter how many clothes they have on, you see the tattoos (tattoo artists get a dispensation). Here, it's the "boring" part that's relevant. Being Americans and looking normal is just too boring. It's only because they stumbled into Orthodoxy as a way of standing out that the syndrome manifests itself in those Russian peasant costumes and phony accents. I think this also explains the extreme manifestations, such as the sermons we used to get from that priest about how we all had to support an absolute monarchy to be Orthodox. If it's American, it's boring and therefore bad, and if it's exotic, it's great.

Then, there's what I used to call St. Anthony of Egypt Syndrome, but changed to Desert Father Wannabe Syndrome, because I didn't want anyone to think I was showing disrespect for a great saint. These people get it into their heads somehow that basic hygiene is unholy. So they bathe maybe once every two weeks, grow scraggly beards (beards are fine, but trim it so you look like a civilized human being), and so forth.

I said it on the other thread, but I'll say it again. I'm not bashing converts. I am one. And here, where Slavs are a dime a dozen, these people are nowhere to be seen. But when you have an area with nearly no Orthodox and these people start up a mission, as they did at that mission I attended, they attract other, similar types, and then get weirder, like they're all feeding on each other, kind of like a weirdness black hole. There's no normal Orthodox element to balance them, so they all spiral into the event horizon, which increases the mass, so it sucks in more, and so forth.

You may see them more in cities. I don't know. I don't live in a city, and all of the Orthodox parishes here are small town and country churches.

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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2009, 02:54:59 PM »

Interesting! Accents may be gained when someone has minimized exposure to a certain language. My first language in Ukrainian, Russian is my second, English is my third. Before immigration to USA, I did not have a Ukrainian accent when I was speaking Russian. Now, when on occassion, I do speak Russian, I have some mixture of Ukrainian and English accent there. However, in English conversations my Ukrainian accent still remains.

I guess I am even "worse." I honestly do not know, what was my "first" language because my parents spoke Russian and my grandfather spoke only Ukrainian, and he, being retired, spent about as much time with me as my working parents when I was learning to speak (or more). So, he always claimed that the very first sentence I uttered was a Ukrainian sentence,  "Оце сий" (broken "r-less" Ukrainian for "this is cheese"), while my mom argued that it was "посмотри, какие красивые птицы" (Russian for "look, what beautiful birds"). Smiley

And I have accent in ALL languages I speak!!!  Shocked Shocked Shocked If I am in Moscow and speak Russian there, the people will say, what a strong Ukrainian accent. If I am in rural Volyn', and speak my regular literary Ukrainian, the people will say, arghhh, he speaks Ukrainian like a "moskal'" (Russian). And of course my English has plenty of the Eastern European accent.

conclusions. If I was a non-Orthodox American, considering conversion, and I would see all this comedy with 19th peasant garbs, etc., I could turn around and leave. By this mascarade, such a crowd prevents some conversions of normal people. Of course, the vast majority of converts does not act that way. But those very few, who do so, really can create a twisted image of Orthodox to the outside communities.

Totally agree.
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« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2009, 03:38:12 PM »

This thread makes me laugh. I have very few friends other than those from church. Nearly all of them are fairly recent slavic immigrants. As a result, I find myself speaking my own native english very seldom. When I do speak it (english, that is), I must confess, I have been mistaken for an immigrant. I also lived a few years in Eastern Europe, where I socialized very rarely with americans, and almost exclusively with our organization's Ukrainian staff, all of whom spoke english, of course with a ukrainian accent. If all you ever hear is such english, before you know it, you are speaking the very same way. This is what happened to me, I did not adopt it consciously.

Regarding the "weird" peasant dress, headcoverings etc. I came from a religious background which emphasized modesty and headcoverings, so, odd as it may sound, the "peasant" dress I found most attractive,organic, and appealing. I felt in Orthodoxy a familiar desire to dress and live modestly, which I feel is a good witness to those of my former denomination. Anyhow, I've  always been a bit of a natural bohemian at heart and I love historical costume (since childhood). This is simply who I am and who I've always been and I'm not ashamed nor embarrassed of it. I feel free to enjoy my own interpretation of style,do not dress in actuality as a peasant, but why can it not be the best of many worlds-why cannot we get inspiration from art and history and all that is beautiful?
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« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2009, 04:29:06 PM »

I thought I should add here that at our parish we do indeed have some families who dress as 19th century Russian peasants(I had to think about it for awhile). And do you know what? Every single one is either ethnic Russian or Greek!! One family has just recently appeared. They are Russian and dress as everyone is condemning in this thread. They are extremely old-fashioned in appearance, indeed they put me totally to shame with their modesty and shame-facedness. I think it is wonderful to have such people in our midst-they are being true examples, and I wish there were more such people. Some of my friends (recent Russian immigrants) have mentioned them to me, and everyone speaks of such people only with the greatest of respect.
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2009, 05:41:22 PM »

First, there's ISBICSM (I'm So Boring I Can't Stand Myself) Syndrome. These are the people who think they're just so bland they have to do something to stick out, not just a little, but so much they can't be ignored. Like the people who get spikes surgically attached to the top of their heads, or people who get tattoos everywhere so no matter how many clothes they have on, you see the tattoos (tattoo artists get a dispensation). Here, it's the "boring" part that's relevant. Being Americans and looking normal is just too boring. It's only because they stumbled into Orthodoxy as a way of standing out that the syndrome manifests itself in those Russian peasant costumes and phony accents. I think this also explains the extreme manifestations, such as the sermons we used to get from that priest about how we all had to support an absolute monarchy to be Orthodox. If it's American, it's boring and therefore bad, and if it's exotic, it's great.

I think you are onto something with this.  For some people simply attending church every Sunday, trying to live a Christian life and going unnoticed is simply not enough. 

I said it on the other thread, but I'll say it again. I'm not bashing converts. I am one. And here, where Slavs are a dime a dozen, these people are nowhere to be seen. But when you have an area with nearly no Orthodox and these people start up a mission, as they did at that mission I attended, they attract other, similar types, and then get weirder, like they're all feeding on each other, kind of like a weirdness black hole. There's no normal Orthodox element to balance them, so they all spiral into the event horizon, which increases the mass, so it sucks in more, and so forth.

You may see them more in cities. I don't know. I don't live in a city, and all of the Orthodox parishes here are small town and country churches.

IME healthy parishes are diverse parishes.  Ones that are almost exclusively convert tend to have a weird feel to them.  Perhaps because I'm not from an Evangelical Protestant background (which seems to be the most common from the convert clusters I've seen), I never really feel comfortable.  OTOH, a parish in which converts aren't welcomed is a complete disaster.  In my benevolent dictatorship, the perfect parish would be about 50/50 convert to cradle ratio, with about 80% English in the liturgy and 20% Greek, Slavonic, etc.

Regarding the "weird" peasant dress, headcoverings etc. I came from a religious background which emphasized modesty and headcoverings, so, odd as it may sound, the "peasant" dress I found most attractive,organic, and appealing. I felt in Orthodoxy a familiar desire to dress and live modestly, which I feel is a good witness to those of my former denomination. Anyhow, I've  always been a bit of a natural bohemian at heart and I love historical costume (since childhood). This is simply who I am and who I've always been and I'm not ashamed nor embarrassed of it. I feel free to enjoy my own interpretation of style,do not dress in actuality as a peasant, but why can it not be the best of many worlds-why cannot we get inspiration from art and history and all that is beautiful?
   
This is actually what I'm saying: be yourself AND be Orthodox.  My hunch is that with many of the people donning Slavic peasant costume, they have no Mennonite background, grew up in suburban America and are likely to be English monolinguals. 

There is also an urban vs. rural side to this.  In Russia, I hardly ever saw the peasant costuming in Moscow or Petersburg parishes.  It is entirely possible to be modest and even wear a headscarf and still look quite modern.  OTOH in rural parts of the former USSR it is a whole different world.  If people are being themselves and simply blending in, that's ideal. 

The irony of this is here I am starting a thread about international Women's day and saying:
Congratulations on the holiday

Does that sound even remotely natural for a native English speaker?  laugh

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« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2009, 06:12:36 PM »

You're right, Nektarios. Diversity is indeed key. However, I don't think we should be too harsh with those who, for whatever reason, decide to dress as a peasant-there are worse things to do. We aren't supposed to judge those who wear tattoos and body piercings (for example), so let's not be too harsh with those who choose to dress in a way that seems to them perhaps, modest and attractive. I'd far rather see the russian peasant vibe than some of the other things one sees on the street, or even, alas, in the church. In america anyhow, there has always been an old-fashioned undercurrent in certain circles. There are intellectual, upper-class new englanders who have always dressed in long skirts and round gold-rimmed glasses, and for whom, no doubt, the russian peasant style would be appealing and close-to-the heart. But I agree, you are right to say we ought to just be ourselves, and not behave with affectations. However, we're all works in progress, and sometimes we do go through odd stages... Wink
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« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2009, 06:23:39 PM »

We aren't supposed to judge those who wear tattoos and body piercings (for example)

Oh don't worry, I'm just as judgmental of them.  But, I've never walked into an Orthodox parish and seen it filled almost exclusively with peopled decked out in tattoos and body piercing. 
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« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2009, 06:37:20 PM »

I guess I've never been to a parish full of 19th century style dressed Orthodox, so I shouldn't really be participating on this thread...However, I would love to see it someday, out of curiosity.

For the most part, I have no complaints with how people at my parish dress. Everyone seems to be pretty much without sartorial pretensions. I would say there are more tattoos and piercings than there are wannabe peasants, though laugh.
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2009, 07:32:08 PM »

There ought to be a grandfather clause on facial hair.  If you were clean shaven before, you ought to remain so.
Hey!  I resent that remark! Angry  (Just kidding to make a point, really. Wink)  I was clean shaven when I joined the Church and decided to grow a beard--since reduced to a goatee--after I had been Orthodox for many years.  Of course, my decision grew ultimately out of the fact that I'm just plain ol' too lazy to shave everyday.  The goatee I wear now is a bit of a compromise with the fact that I just can't grow a full beard without it looking sparse on the sides.  No desire on my part to become more "Orthodox" just by growing a beard. Wink
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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2009, 08:23:16 PM »

I've just recently heard audio of Fr Seraphim and, although I've read he was fluent both in one of the Chinese languages and in Russian he had a nice cultured American accent, like a recording from the early 1900s, not a Russian one.

The only fake accent I've heard in more than 15 years of doing this was from a third-generation Russian-American born Orthodox! To be fair he actually could speak Russian; it would really be d*ck to put that on without even knowing the language!

The phenomenon of people in Orthodox countries dressing normally and some converts going in for fancy dress has been thoroughly covered elsewhere.
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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2009, 08:53:51 PM »

Oh don't worry, I'm just as judgmental of them.  But, I've never walked into an Orthodox parish and seen it filled almost exclusively with peopled decked out in tattoos and body piercing. 
That'll change in time. My friend and I were only saying the other day that by the time we're in a nursing home, the patients without tatts and peircings will be the odd ones out! Cheesy
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« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2009, 08:55:03 PM »

Shaving your chin sucks.  I'm only clean shaven right now since I'm looking for work.
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« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2009, 09:00:41 PM »

I guess I've never been to a parish full of 19th century style dressed Orthodox,

Some of the first Greeks in America retained ethnic garb ... only for a few years.

Now, one has to spend $400 to buy a full ethnic makeup for Greek School unless a yia yia has some sewing skills.

For the most part, I have no complaints with how people at my parish dress. Everyone seems to be pretty much without sartorial pretensions. I would say there are more tattoos and piercings than there are wannabe peasants, though laugh.

Those with tattoos and piercings are conditioned to believe that Christ accepts them as they are, which is true ... except that they forget that one's body is like a Temple which is not supposed to be defiled (1 Corinthians 6:19).

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« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2009, 09:15:44 PM »

I guess I've never been to a parish full of 19th century style dressed Orthodox,

Some of the first Greeks in America retained ethnic garb ... only for a few years.

Now, one has to spend $400 to buy a full ethnic makeup for Greek School unless a yia yia has some sewing skills.

For the most part, I have no complaints with how people at my parish dress. Everyone seems to be pretty much without sartorial pretensions. I would say there are more tattoos and piercings than there are wannabe peasants, though laugh.

Those with tattoos and piercings are conditioned to believe that Christ accepts them as they are, which is true ... except that they forget that one's body is like a Temple which is not supposed to be defiled (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Logically, this could apply to anything. Not that I agree with your hypothesis, but a person who is clearly unfit or overweight could be viewed as having forgotten that one's body is like a temple which is not supposed to be defiled, nor neglected.

I once witnessed a young member of my parish being harangued by our priest for having an ear piercing. I was shocked and saddened that this young person had given up his Saturday evening with friends to drive several hours to attend the Pascha Liturgy only to be treated in such a manner.
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« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2009, 09:31:05 PM »

Logically, this could apply to anything. Not that I agree with your hypothesis, but a person who is clearly unfit or overweight could be viewed as having forgotten that one's body is like a temple which is not supposed to be defiled, nor neglected.

I once witnessed a young member of my parish being harangued by our priest for having an ear piercing. I was shocked and saddened that this young person had given up his Saturday evening with friends to drive several hours to attend the Pascha Liturgy only to be treated in such a manner.

There are not many left like your Priest (current?, former?).  To harangue a person at Pascha over an ear piercing is not consistent with the Paschal Homily of the Sermon of St. John Chrysostom.
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« Reply #40 on: March 08, 2009, 09:43:32 PM »

Logically, this could apply to anything. Not that I agree with your hypothesis, but a person who is clearly unfit or overweight could be viewed as having forgotten that one's body is like a temple which is not supposed to be defiled, nor neglected.

I once witnessed a young member of my parish being harangued by our priest for having an ear piercing. I was shocked and saddened that this young person had given up his Saturday evening with friends to drive several hours to attend the Pascha Liturgy only to be treated in such a manner.

There are not many left like your Priest (current?, former?).  To harangue a person at Pascha over an ear piercing is not consistent with the Paschal Homily of the Sermon of St. John Chrysostom.

Former. Interestingly enough, when I pointed out that I had pierced ears (and so did his wife, though I didn't mention that), it seemed to be quite acceptable. I guess it's ok for my body to be defiled with two pierced ears, but not that of the young lad, who had only one.  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2009, 08:41:51 PM »

But honestly, if an average person who had just read a bit about Orthodoxy and went to their local parish, filled with American converts and saw this a scene like this, what would he or she think?
http://picasaweb.google.com/dormitionorthodoxchurch/Pascha2008#5194144486272529730

Looks sort of like the folk dancing or medieval dancing groups that I was part of in my college years  Grin
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« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2009, 09:46:35 PM »

But honestly, if an average person who had just read a bit about Orthodoxy and went to their local parish, filled with American converts and saw this a scene like this, what would he or she think?
http://picasaweb.google.com/dormitionorthodoxchurch/Pascha2008#5194144486272529730

Looks sort of like the folk dancing or medieval dancing groups that I was part of in my college years  Grin

Maybe they were line dancing to "boot scootin' boogie    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6So6eHn5uY?"
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« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2009, 12:07:07 AM »

The Parish priests should be the ones worrying about this whole thing.

And for the record I had my scraggly unkept "St. John the Baptist" beard before I became Orthodox. I think scraggly unkept beards are awesome. Tongue
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« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2009, 12:38:15 AM »

And for the record I had my scraggly unkept "St. John the Baptist" beard before I became Orthodox. I think scraggly unkept beards are awesome. Tongue

The word is 'unkempt', not 'unkept'.
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