Customs and traditions

Russia is a hospitable country. Despite the apparent closeness, Russians are very flattered that foreigners are interested in their country. Therefore, you will be asked with pleasure: what you liked about the country, how your impressions are.

Russia is quite a modern country. Clothes can be absolutely diverse, according to the weather and comfort. An exception may be visiting Orthodox churches or other religious institutions. It is also recommended to be silent there not to disturb other praying people.

In Russia, people never smile at strangers, it’s normal. But if Russians smile it’s sincere. And if you start to communicate with Russians, you often become  friends.

Some features of behavior in Russia.

It is not customary to talk loudly in public places.

It is not customary to approach very closely while talking.

It is not customary to pat on the shoulder of a stranger.

It is not customary to shake hands with a woman at a greeting.

It is not customary to speak or somehow manifest one's sexual orientation.

Don’t tell strangers "Hello", more respectful treatment is "Good afternoon."

In places of power (mountain lakes, all silent  points of Altai, Baikal, monasteries, temples) it is better to speak without raising your voice and keep silent, admiring all you can see. Any noise  in these places is perceived as a Scream, destroying the Perfection of Silence.

Let go  all  your vain or negative thoughts. Try to disconnect from the world - minimize communication with colleagues and relatives who are far away ...

A few interesting facts about the traditions in Russia.

Do not come to visit empty-handed

If you are invited to dinner, or just a visit, do not come home to the Russians empty-handed. It doesn’t matter what you bring - a box of chocolates, flowers or a small toy for a child. Russian hosts, preparing to receive guests,cook the best dishes and buy delicacies, which they don’t buy for themselves. If, after applying so many efforts, the guest will come even without a flower,the Russians will think  that he is impolite.

Take off your shoes when you go inside the house

Russian apartments are carpeted. Often these are expensive Persian carpets with different  patterns that are not as easy to clean as the usual American carpeting. In addition, the Russians walk a lot in the dusty streets, and not just enter the house directly from the car. For these reasons, as well as the centuries-old tradition, the Russians take off their shoes when entering the house. Owners usually wear slippers, but when going to a party, women usually take a pair of good shoes with them to wear them indoors. Of course, if you do not take off your shoes, no one will say anything. But look glance - maybe you're the only one sitting at a table in snow-covered boots?

Don’t joke about parents

Russians are not politically correct. So,  tell anecdotes about women, politicians,celebrities; but don’t joke about someone's mothers or fathers. They will not understand you.

Don’t accept “the shirt of someone’s back”

The Russian proverb “to give the shirt of my back” means "giving something, no matter how it’s important for you.” In Russia, offering everyone what they want is a sign of courtesy. And this is not only about food or spending a night as a guest in Russian home. Having their traditional education, Russians can offer everything you like - a picture on the wall, a vase or a sweater.

However, if you are offered something, you don’t need to take it. The Russians don’t offer things, because they want to get rid of them, they do it, because they want you to feel good. Therefore, if you think that you  "rob" the owners, it’s better  to refuse several times,because the hosts will insist. You can accept a gift only if you really want this thing, but you should give a return gift next time.

Don’t dress too simply

Sometimes it happens that these are foreigners, regardless of gender, who are more modestly dressed. Usually it happens during a feast or in a theater. Going to a restaurant is also considered as an event where you should not come in jeans and a T-shirt, no matter how informal the institution seems to you. Therefore, before accepting an invitation, you should learn about the dress code.

Don’t let a woman pay for herself

In this situation Russians are absolutely different from Western Europeans. They don’t pay together. Therefore, if you invited a woman to a date, don’t expect that she will pay for herself - neither in the restaurant, nor in any other place. You, of course, can offer her to pay for herself, but then you are unlikely to have the opportunity to meet her again. A Russian woman can not have money with her at all. She, most likely, will take a purse with her only if she is afraid of meeting a maniac and of running through the back door.

Do not let women  carry weights

This rule can irritate supporters of political correctness, but Russians are sure that men are physically stronger than women. Therefore, you will seem  impolite to her if you stand and watch the woman carrying something heavy.

Be polite to the elderly in public transport

When Russians come to America and travel by public transport, they are surprised that young people are sitting, and the elderly are standing side by side. In America it’s possible to offend an elderly person by offering to sit down. In Russia, if you don’t give a place to an elderly person or a pregnant woman, the whole bus will look at you as a criminal. Women, even young, are also often given way in  public transport, although this is not necessary. However, you should stand up and offer a place to the elderly.

 Don’t belch  publicly

Demonstrations of the work of your body in society are considered as the height of ignorance, even if the resulting sounds are expressive, and you are proud of them.

Moreover: if it  happened (we are all living people), do not apologize. After apologizing, you acknowledge your involvement and attract more attention to yourself. The Russians, horrified by your actions, will pretend that they haven’t noticed anything, or they will accuse a dog. But still, if you don’t want to keep this action in their memory for a long time, try to refrain from such manifestations in public places.