Russian traditions which are weird to foreigners
An old proverb teaches us that when in Rome do as the Romans do. Indeed, if you come to another country, you have to respect traditions and customs of this country even if they seem bizarre to you. Without knowing traditions, you can violate them and produce a bad impression even unwillingly.
When you plan your trip to Russia, you have to prepare before. It is worth reading about the traditions and way of life of Russians. The reality is far from the satirical stereotype of Russia associated with bears, vodka and nuclear bombs. Russians are sociable people, who like to receive guests at home.
We have made a list of the weirdest traditions in Russia to help you not to get into an awkward or confusing situation. Forewarned is fore-armed!
Russians are doctors for themselves
An adult Russian person is an expert in all areas of a human health, and he does not need a doctor to organize his own treatment: he knows the symptoms and diagnoses, knows what medicine to take, where to get antibiotics without a prescription (an unacceptable behavior for a foreigner!) and even how to recover without pills, using traditional medicines. There is House MD and Grey’s Anatomy in each family. A regular visit to a doctor is an irrational thing. Though, old retired ladies enjoy going to the district physician. It is a kind of entertaining socialization for them.
Always look your best
Russian women are the most beautiful in the world. These ladies attract the attention of foreigners not only with beautiful eyes and long braids. In any Russian city tourists see an amazing picture for them: a young girl with a full makeup and high heels walks with a dog or goes to the store. Such show-off is not typical elsewhere in the world. Russian ladies believe that they always must in case they meet someone important. Unfortunately, many women do not know the difference between and evening and day outfit.
Always cook the first course
Russian housewives often cook a first course dish for several days. It can be any type of soup or borsch. Sometimes it takes half of the day off to prepare a pot of soup. Without the “first”, Russian people, especially men, often do not feel full. In addition, it is believed that eating hot soups is necessary for health.
If you pay someone a visit, even for a short time, in most cases you will be offered a cup of tea or coffee. And it happens the first moment you enter the house. All the talk will be over a cup of tea. And what is interesting, guest are often received in the kitchen. Russians think that a kitchen is the coziest place in the house. If you have any serious business, after you finish it, you will still have to drink tea. Tea or coffee is always accompanied by cookies, sandwiches, cakes, pies or candies. Very often Russian housewives bake pastry at home.
Russian people must have a higher education
If a Russian has no higher education, he is a miserable dropout! University education is included in the mandatory list of what every adult must have. It is more necessary than prestigious work or own housing. Foreigners do not understand this position: for them, college is enough to not be considered uneducated, and university education is a privilege. Even more incomprehensible is the fact that Russian university education has almost no correlation with the real life prospects. It does not guarantee that you will have a really good job position or earn lots of money. Many people build a career in the sphere far from the field of study. It is simply necessary for every Russian to have a degree.
Russians always wear slippers at home
Not in all countries people remove street shoes before going home. This habit is shocking Russians to the depths of the soul! For them, it’s like getting into bed in boots and a coat. Russians always take off their shoes when they enter home, and they always change their shoes into slippers. Russians very rarely walk barefoot in the house. Each member of the family has a pair of slippers, and sometimes even two. There are winter and summer modifications, and also there are slippers specially provided for guests.
Russians like to pay a visit
Yes, to visit and receive guests is an important part in the life of a Russian person. Sometimes on weekends, instead of going out of town, the Russians go to visit friends or relatives. You should not come to someone’s house empty-handed: it is necessary to bring something with you — “something for tea” or a bouquet of flowers (the main thing is that their number must not be divided by 2). If Russians go to close friends or relatives, they can bring some food: pies, cookies or home-made pickles.
They do homemade pickles and jam
In Russia you will be treated with their home-made pickles or jams. Despite the fact that all these things are sold in the nearest supermarket, personally cooked tomato pickles or jam are a special pride of Russian housewives. To be honest, the taste is much better than from the supermarket. Each granny has her secret recipe of jam that is truly delicious.
Anyone visiting Russia should keep in mind that in spite of all these weird traditions, Russians are hospitable people who always try to understand foreigners. After all, even if you get into a funny situation, there will be something to tell your friends at home.