You can’t leave out the familiar Russian jokes about the Chukchis, who live in the most remote corner of Russia. The jokes are mostly good-humored. They depict the Chukchis as primitive, uncivilized, and simple-minded, but their naive cleverness and ability to live in the cold, harsh conditions of the north are admired. They reveal the continued Russian arrogance plus ignorance of Chukchi life. Check out this Soviet propaganda piece meant to explain the Russian Revolution:
“There were bad people in Russia. They killed and robbed many other people; they wanted to become rich that way…. Then the poor folk got together, took up weapons and started driving out the bad people… A terrible war began. The people suffered. … But the poor folk defeated the bad ones… All working people gathered together and created a strong Soviet republic. … The government of the Soviet republic now consists of the best people chosen by the whole nation. It will be to you like a father to a son, but you too must obey laws and obligations. … You will find out when you may hunt fur animals and when you must not, so that the animals will multiply.”
Chukchi buys a refrigerator and is asked why he would need such a thing.
“It is -40 C outside the yaranga, but in the fridge only -4 C. Chukchi get inside to warm up!”
Chukchi is at Aeroflot counter.
“How long is flight to Chukotka?”
“Just a minute…”
Two Chukchi are lost in the taiga. One says, “Why don’t you shoot in the air. Someone may hear us.”
“One more time?”
“Can’t, I’m out of arrows.”
Two Chukchi are taking apart an unexploded bomb.
A passerby says, “Are you insane? It could blow up!”
“It’s okay. We have another one.”
Chukchi submits a novel for publication. The editor reads it and tells him, “Well, it’s not very good. You should read the classics. Have you read Turgenev? Tolstoy? Dostoevsky?”
“No, Chukchi not reader. Chukchi writer.”
Chukchi is wearing a big expensive fur coat as he enters an elevator. Two robbers follow him and shout: “Take off your fur coat!”
Chukchi spreads his hands in surprise: “What, is summer already?”
Chukchi wins car in raffle. He takes it to the north and shows it to his relatives.
“Such strong skin.”
One looks underneath at the exhaust pipe, “It is male.”
Chukchi: “That was a horrible bird!”
“It was a hang glider.”
“Had to shoot three times to get it to let go of man.”
Two Chukchis board a bus.
First: “Will this bus take me to railroad station?”
Driver: “No, it won’t.”
Second: “What about me?”
Chukchi comes up to Alla Pugacheva (the famous pop singer) and says to her: “Let’s get married.”>
“If you get me crocodile boots, we will.”
“Okay. Chukchi go to Africa. Get boots.”
Pugacheva waits a year, and another year. She wonders what happened and goes to Africa. She finds the Chukchi sitting on the bank of the Nile with a big pile of crocodiles behind him. He reaches into the water pulls another croc out and tosses it behind him and says, “Damn, another one with no boots!”
A Chinese official comes to a Chukchi.
“We will fight you. How many of you?”
“Maybe five hundred. How many of you?”
“Well, that is problem. How will we bury you all in frozen ground?”
“Wanna hear political joke?”
“No. They might exile us.”
A Russian, a Frenchman, and a Chukchi are involved in a hunger experiment. Each one has a telephone in his room.
The tester says, “When you want to stop the experiment, just say so.”
The Frenchman calls it quits in three days. The Russian quits in five days.
Two weeks pass. They peek into the Chukchi’s room. He is sitting by the telephone, tapping it and saying, “Telephona, telephona, Chukchi wants to eat.”
A Russian comes to Chukotka to hunt bears. He wants a Chukchi as a guide.
“Are you good hunter?”
“Yes. Top rating.”
They find a bear cave. The Chukchi tosses a stone in and an enraged bear comes out and starts to chase them. The Chukchi begins to run and the Russian follows behind him. The Russian remembers his gun, turns and shoots the bear dead.
“Why Russian such poor hunter? Why kill bear here? We should make him run back to my house first, then shoot him. Now, who will drag bear home?”