26 Old Russian Traditions as the English Saw It

Old Russian Traditions as the English Saw It

Posted on July 13, 2009 by


Samuel Collins, an Englishman, who was a doctor of tsar Alexis of Russia (the 17th century) and spent nine years at his court, wrote a letter to his friend, describing in what environment he lived and what weird traditions Russians had back then.

Neither men, nor women dare forget to wear a belt under pains and penalties of heaven.


They do not whistle using their lips (it’s considered to be inappropriate), but do this with their teeth, and that is very strange.


If they are surprised about something, they do not shrug their shoulders, but move their head from one shoulder to another.


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26 Responses to “Old Russian Traditions as the English Saw It”

  1. Pastka says:


    • Pastka says:

      Good inside in old Russia from Englishman, haha. Russians musted thinking: “this one is really barbaric, uncivilised and great sinner”. They let him – poor savage – taste some russian prostitute, but they could not imagine them selves having sex with a female of his kind. Haha, pretty racial ..

  2. pimp says:

    Poor Brits, live with drunk Russians is not picnic in the park.

  3. Kozak says:

    I don’t know if it’s really true but it was hilarious. Just take the fact that they did all on the contrary that other non-Slav people did, like eating pork because Tatars hated it or not shaving beard because the Polish did it. It’s just priceless :)

    • Pastka says:

      Maybe they did it on contrary becose Tatars-Mongols, and Polish people were only nations that conquered and ruled Russia in some years. From humiliation comes hate, and contrary acting. France and Germany were mighty at some point of history, they tried to conquer Russia, but they could’t. Maybe thats why Russians still like German and French stuff..

    • anonim says:

      half of it is not true…russian people eat pork coz they like it and coz they used to think it makes you healthier only,and man don’t shave coz it used to be realy,realy,realy,realy cold in russia so they don’t want their faces to freez—and it used to be “fashionable” ,russian people don’t stand as they pray,””In our clock a hand goes round the dial plate, but in Russian ones the dial plate moves around”” that’s false, and russian people never used to colour their teeth—–it’s just that they never used to brush them…

      and for whistling—-russian people think if you whistle at home– you’re calling “The Evil”….(they still think that) russian people got lost interesting tales really….

  4. [i]They think that shaving beards is a sin, because the Polish people do this.[/i]

    ROTFL :-)))

  5. [i]Just take the fact that they did all on the contrary that other non-Slav people did, like eating pork because Tatars hated it or not shaving beard because the Polish did it.[/i]

    C’mon man. Poles are Slavish. Maybe we don’t like each other very much, but it’s all in family after all ;-)

    • Kozak says:

      Yes,it’s true, I’ve been thinking about Tatars when I wrote that. I know well that Poles are Slavs too :) And plus we are neighbors. I come from Ukraine to clear that up.
      I just found it really hilarious the way Englishmen described Russians :)

  6. Kirov says:

    Not much has changed. We do things different, just because.


  7. w says:

    The side head nod is an indian thing

  8. Dogz says:

    Russians liks fat women :D:D:D:D


  9. Evgeny says:

    It is ridiculous to claim that beard they kept because Poles did shaved it. Russia and Poland became competitors much later – at that time significance of beard has been highlighted in Russian Truth (12th century) laws of Russia.

    I am not surprised that Englishmen was ignorant. But this internet-audience ignorance is really surprising.

  10. Yeah the russians sure like a nice fat woman!

  11. I agree with you says:

    Fatness being beautiful is a mark of “more money you got, more you can eat”. And also it did mean fat people were healthy, because sick people get thin very often.

    Hey admin, please find a way to block the trolls, or at least let us mark them as “spam”. Thank you.

  12. Karin Wikberg says:

    The picture of the 6 horses and the sleigh can be find in the Swedish National Archives (kartavd., utan känd proveniens, nr 636) a page from Erik Palmquist’s travel journal from Russia in 1674! The funny with this picture is the text (not published here): “The Russian Court women travelling in winter, they have for their feets in the sleigh an ugly tartarian slave-women so that they themselves could look moore beuatiful”!

  13. what to say to something like this *headshake* says:

    so many generalizations! ridiculous! i’m sorry, but i’ve read old Russian books, many of which depict old Russian life. i doubt many people saw shaving their beard to be a sin, most noble men did not have beards after peter the great, and prior to that there where ‘beardless fazes’ or fads the population went through. as for the fat thing… that is just ridiculous, it was a sign of wealth, yes, but look at the women in the pictures!

  14. emerald454 says:

    They prefere Doxa over Timex, specially when it id gold. 1945 Hungary.
    “Malenkij robot” is 5 years in Siberia.

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