# Why do Astro/Cosmonauts refer to things as Russian or American?

I'm watching CSA videos, and have watched numerous documentaries before, and have noticed that both Astronauts and Cosmonauts alike aboard the ISS tend to refer to something as either Russian, or American.

In a Chris Hadfield video, he refers to a towel as being a "Russian Towel", and numerous documentaries, other mundane objects as either being a "Russian object" or "American object".

Why bother noting the origin of the objects used upon the ISS? Is it because of international differences or is there some major cause of concern if not mentioned?

• The towel might be as mundane as your discount store \$1 towel, but since it weighs some 300 grams, it costs about \$1000 to get it there. Is it \$1000 out of NASA's pocket or out of Roscosmos' pocket? That's an important distinction the astronauts need to pay attention to. – SF. May 8 '16 at 18:08
• @SF. Fair enough. Nice explanation! – user14355 May 10 '16 at 5:56