Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

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Many foreigners think that Russians are strange, they mention the mysterious Russian soul and Russian behavior that is beyond any logic. It’s true that Russians have many traditions, customs and habits that foreigners cannot explain or understand. Some of those often mentioned in foreign press are listed below.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

1. Russians do not like to smile at people they do not know. They smile only at close people. But always sincerely.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

2. Russians make much more food than needed when guests are expected.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

3. New Year, the main winter holiday, is celebrated on a significantly grand scale compared to Christmas.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

4. Russians say very long and complicated toasts when celebrate something.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

5. Russians usually celebrate each other after sauna or taking a shower by saying: “Enjoy your steam!”

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

6. They sit down at a table not only to eat but also to talk and such talking may last for many hours.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

7. Women of any age, except old ones, are addressed as “girls”.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

8. Russians like to tell anecdotes, they do it even in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Sometimes they will interrupt a talk by using a phrase “I remember one anecdote…” and begin to tell it even if it has nothing to do with the topic being discussed.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

9. When asked “How do you do?” Russians have a story to tell you instead of a short cliche such as “Thanks, I’m fine!”

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

10. Most of Russians regularly watch Soviet cartoons.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

11. When they go to the nearest grocery store, Russian girls get dressed and apply make-up as if they are going to some festival or to a party.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

12. Before going on a journey, Russians sit for awhile – “just for luck”.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

13. Russians often live with parents. They do not get embarrassed when they share apartments with grannies, parents, children and grandchildren.

Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows

14. Coming to someone’s place with no present is bad manners for Russians. They bring anything – sweets, alcohol, flowers – but never come empty-handed.

5 thoughts on “Russian Customs That Normally Make Foreigners Raise Their Eyebrows”

  1. 15. When a Russian girl gets married, she often has one or more babies fathered by her husband’s brother.
    [From my experience, this is quite common.]

  2. I have never heard of this happening in Russia. Can you provide any evidence? That seems really strange. Do you know what the reason may be?

  3. I was able to visit an old friend in St. Petersburg, and he was impressed that I brought gifts for him and his family. I guess not all Americans are totally ignorant of local customs.

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