There are many questions among the thousands of e-mails we at BigRussianSoul.com receive. Some of these questions pop up with such regularity that they actually fall under the category of the "Frequently Asked."

Here are these Frequently Asked Questions and the answers. Stop asking these questions, please.

Who the hell are you?

Three big souled men from the East. Or West, depending on who the hell you are.

Tell me about your family.

That's not question... but my father is seaman and my mother teacher.

Isn't rude to call this document a "FAQ?"

Actually, this is a wonderful example of a homophone--the word you are thinking of is "FAK," which is quite rude. FAQ is not rude at all. The words do, however, sound the same.

[Frequently Asked Follow-Up, FAFU]. What's this about gomophones?

A gomophone is a word that sounds just like another word--like "soul" and "sole." (Example: "The Canadian Sasquatch has a big sole, but the Siberian Sasquatch has both a big sole and a big Russian soul.") Do not ask any more questions about words.

Does the Alaskan Sasquatch have a Big Russian Soul, or did he lose it in the real estate deal?

The Big Russian Soul knows no political boundaries. Since the Alaskan Sasquatch (181? - present) was born in Russian Alyaska, said Sasquatch is entitled to all the rights and privileges afforded by a Big (very big, in the case of the Sasquatch) Russian Soul.

When I was in Japan on business trip, I felt myself that my Big Russian Soul was diminishing. Can separation from Rodina atrophy my Big Russian Soul?

It can if you let it—beware. There are a number of countries and places that can be particularly hostile to the vacationing Big Russian Soul. China, the rest of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas (particularly the USA), the Middle East, and much of Oceania have been found to have negative effects on the Big Russian Soul if an arrogant perspective is not maintained while visiting.

Do the effects of intoxication in any way weigh on the Big Russian Soul?

Good question (and it includes a gomophone, well done). Most scholars agree that an individual who does not have the Big Russian Soul cannot acquire one, even temporarily, by drinking liquor. Similarly, one cannot lose or diminish an actual Big Russian Soul through drink.

Scholars, however, disagree on the question of whether alcohol can augment an existing Big Russian Soul. BRS scholars who are intoxicated at the time of the theorizing tend to speculate that the Big Russian Soul increases in intensity and magnitude in response to drink. The fact that they cite nothing as evidence of this effect is the strongest evidence of said effect.

I notice you didn't mention vodka...

Vodka is not inanimate, philistine.

Can inanimate objects have a Big Russian Soul?

Yes. Examples of inanimate objects possessing of the Big Russian Soul: space station Mir (rest its soul); most icon paintings; a number of museums, house-museums, theaters, etc.; some lacquer boxes and porcelain figurines. Those tea sets with the polka-dot spots also have BRS.

So size--of the soul's posessor, say--matters when it comes to the Big Russian Soul?

Not really. That bit about the exiled Russian Sasquatch having a "very big" Russian Soul was just me being silly. While there are degrees of Big Russian Soul, they don't have much to do with physical size. Pushkin, BRS, was a little man with curly hair, but his soul was the biggest in recorded history.

I do not have a Big Russian Soul, but when I was in Russia some people said that I understand the Big Russian Soul. What does this mean?

This doesn't mean anything. You still don't have a Big Russian Soul, and you probably don't understand it, either--these people were just humouring you.

A friend of mine likes this girl, see, but he doesn't know if she has a Big Russian Soul. He's too embarrassed to ask her to take your survey, but he really needs to know. Is there any way that my friend can find out if this girl has a Big Russian Soul without asking all those questions?

Our survey is the only scientifically proven way to gauge her BRS status.

Any other methods that purport to identify the Big Russian Soul are probably flimsy quackery, based on prejudices and should not be considered reliable.

I heard on TV that certain foods "capture the Russian soul." Can eating these foods give me a Big Russian Soul?

In general, no. Many works of literature, art, etc. also capture the Russian soul, but reading them does not give you a Big Russian Soul. While it is true that throughout history Big Russian Soul cults have claimed that rituals involving tea, kholodets, fresh bread, dumplings, etc. can transfer the Big Russian Soul, most scholars of the Big Russian Soul doubt the veracity of these claims.

I think Pushkin stinks, but I have the Big Russian Soul. What gives?

No you don't, and yes you do; or sure you do, but no you don't. There is very little middle ground on this one.

I am writing a history report about the Soviet Union. Did the inhabitants of the satellite republics have Big Russian Souls?

No, most of them did not. Those who did knew they did and made sure everyone else also knew.

What can I do to protect my Big Russian Soul?

The most important thing you can do to protect your Big Russian Soul is to remind everyone you meet that you have one. This is the approach taken by the most successful Russian immigrants.

Is it true that the more nicknames you have, the bigger your Big Russian Soul is?

This is a good rule-of-thumb. Of course, if you don't have a Big Russian Soul you can have 1,000 nicknames and it wont make a bit of difference.

Lermontov, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Tiutchev had over 75,000 combined nicknames--that's enough nicknames to stretch to the moon and back 13 times! There are over 50 different words for Sasquatch in Kamchatka.

What is the inheritability of a BRS? How potently is it passed through generations

Due to recent advances in microbiology and the mapping of the human genome, scientists now feel confident that they will track down the elusive "BRS-gene" sometime within the next five years. Until this time, however, there is no reliable test (except ours) to indicate its presence in homo sapiens.

Strangely, the BRS-gene shows signs of being both dominant and recessive, sometimes lying dormant for several generations before manifesting itself; when it appears, however, its influence over the organism is entire, and it brutally mutates lesser genes to its indomitable will. Current thinking is that if both parents are carriers of the BRS-gene, the child will be as well, but the data are inconclusive at this point. Also, as our FAQ points out, environmental factors may also play a role. Suffice it to say that if there is a known carrier of BRS-ness in your family, you are "at risk" (if such a phrase can be applied to such an honor!) and should consider a prophylactic course of vodka and pickles.

Ultimately, however, the BRS-gene is beyond the bearer's control. If it is present and inclined to be dominant, it will assert itself despite all efforts to the contrary. If it is absent or recessive, even a long life in the motherland will not bring the BRS aspirant any further than wannabe status.

I hope to be reincarnated with a Big Russian Soul. How should I go about this?

BigRussianSoul.org recommends an incrementalist appoach...do not be so bold as to approach the BRS over-hastily! A good strategy is to first try to get yourself reincarnated as one of the National Minorities that have the great good fortune to share the Rodina with their larger-souled brethren.

Become a Buryat and spend a lifetime contemplating the Really Big Lenin Head! Chime in as a Chukchi and you'll be the life of any party! Be merry as a Mari, morose as a Mordovian, saucy as a Tartar, carefree as a Komi, or understated as an Udmurt! Yuck it up in Yakutia or throat-sing your way to glory in Tuva.

(Choose with care. Certain other less cooperative, inexplicably resentful national minorities of are, of course, best eschewed on the karmic highway to BRS glory.)

What about the Volga Germans? Do they have Big Russian Souls?

Regarding the Volga Germans, the notion that a BRS can be acquired merely by proximity to the Russian Heartland has been entirely debunked: Verily, if it were that easy, would not the planes to Volgograd and Samara be packed out with Soul Seekers?

However, discounting those (obviously microscopically-souled) individuals that fled to Germany at the first opportunity, the Volga Germans have been in the Rodina long enough that many of them have indeed acquired the BRS through intermarriage and other, more esoteric, means. We here at BRS.org are happy to evaluate them on case by case, first-come-first-served basis.