Russian Customs to Keep in Mind
A couple of times in the next couple of months, I plan to be in Mother Russia. No matter that I come from these origins in terms of family background, I find it best to review matters that don’t immediately dawn on foreigners.
While there are entire books written on the subject of Russian customs and culture, I will provide you a few highlights, in no particular order, just as they float to my consciousness. These hail from my youth, my experiences in Russia, and of course, Russian friends and family. Your mileage may vary.
In general, try to avoid doing any of the following:
1. Whistling inside.
2. Wearing outdoor shoes inside.
3. Greeting a guest over the threshold— let them come inside. We Russians are very inside- outside specific apparently, lol.
4. Talking loudly on the street.
5. Giving a wallet or purse as a gift with nothing inside.
6. Shaking hands when wearing gloves.
7. Calling someone a friend (“droog”) when they are simply an acquaintance (“znakomi”).
8. Using the familiar “you” when your relationship calls for the formal “you”. Russians are very specific in terms of who’s who, as well.
As you can see, a number speak to boundaries and borders, whether social or physical. Americans could possibly learn something here….
—————Tags: know before you go Russia, Russian customs and culture, Russian social boundaries, Russian travel etiquette, travel to Russia, what not to do in Russia