Russia is a glorious, wild and beautiful country. It is a homeland of great amount of eminent poets, writers and scientists. However, for the person who had never lived there it would be extremely hard to understand the concept of a “Russian soul” or Russian traditions. Nevertheless, now we have Internet and we can learn how to behave in Russian cities and towns and what to avoid. Some Russian traditions are so weird that they are hard to believe, but if you’re planning on visiting someone in Russia it is better to be prepared, than to regret not learning anything later.
Say you’ve met a beautiful woman online, you talked to her, you’ve seen her pictures and you want to meet her in real life. She is 100% on board with this and is impatiently waiting for you. Will she be expecting you at the airport? Of course! Should you bring any flowers? Without question. But how many flowers do you have to bring? In Russia it is customary to give odd number of flowers. Even number of flowers people bring to the funerals and if you give someone even number of flowers it will be like you’re wishing for their death.
Don’t bring yellow flowers, they symbolize sorrow and in romantic sense they symbolize cheating. So yellow is the last color of flowers you want to bring to the woman you like. There are also flowers that are customary to be given only to men, for example – iris. The best flowers to bring are roses if you want to show your passion and generous soul, or chrysanthemum if you want to be seen as romantic.
If you are bringing a present with you – make sure it’s not something sharp. Russians consider sharp objects to be a big taboo as they believe that sharp object will sever good relationship between the giver of the present and the recipient. Another important tradition is that unmarried people must not sit at the corner of the table. It is thought that if you sit at the corner you will not get married any time soon. But if you came to the country to meet a woman and she invited you to meet her family, sitting on the corner may be misinterpreted as your unwillingness to commit in the near future.
Being in Russian house, don’t attempt to whistle – it is strictly forbidden. Russian people consider whistling in the house a bad thing, because thus you can whistle away all the money and good fortune from the house. However, outside you can whistle all you want – go nuts. If you are invited to have dinner you need to thank the hostess and then try everything that’s on the table, even if you don’t want to. If people see that you didn’t try something – they will insist that you taste it. But don’t worry – Russian food is very tasty and moderate - you will like it.
Drinking is so important in Russia that it needs an entire page to describe all the traditions; however you must know at least the basic ones. Russians drink a lot, they can be quite sober after 2-3 full glasses of vodka, even women. Therefore, don’t try to drink the entire glass, when someone proposes a toast, drink a little bit. Russians know they are strong in drinking and will not force you to drink at the same path. Besides, they don’t drink alcohol like western people do – pouring just enough liquid to cover two fingers. Russian people drink vodka by full glasses; therefore one Russian glass of vodka is equivalent to 4 vodka shots in US or Canada.
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