While walking home from work the other day with my roommate and Katya, we got to talking about Las Vegas. Of course many Russians know about Las Vegas and some even dream of visiting it. But the reason it stuck with me is that we were talking about impulsive behaviour and the idea of getting married in Vegas that is part of American culture. Numerous celebrities have gotten married there, quite a few films have been made about Las Vegas and all the crazy things that can happen there, and a number of songs have been written about or inspired by Las Vegas (you can even find a list here). And let’s not forget the saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” which has been adapted numerous times to include different places.
All in all Las Vegas seems to hold some sort of allure and is a very unique place. But what got me thinking is whether there was such an equivalent in Russia. Do they have such a concept? While it’s easy to translate the phrase, “let’s go to Vegas,” the deeper cultural meaning behind it can easily be missed if one isn’t aware of the history and idea of Las Vegas. This notion can easily be transferred to any cultural aspect that is unique and shows the need for cultural understanding, even if you’ve got a great translator.