Russia is a vast and diverse country. Being so far from the rest of the world, the country often surprises visitors with its own ways. You can see it for yourself.
We often hear about the weird things Russians do. Of course, looking at it from afar it may actually seem that Russia is full of unusual traditions or norms. However, taking a closer look may explain all ‘weird’ things that baffle foreigners so much. Indeed, each culture has its own perks that often seem odd to others. Though, having a closer look can explain a lot of those custom norms, or where they are coming from. Here is the list of the weirdest things Russians do, according to the opinions of foreigners.
Russians, especially Russian women are quite famous for their love of dressing up. High heels are particularly in favor among young women. At times, such tradition to dress up even for the smallest of occasions, like going shopping, for example, can look rather odd to foreigners. The excessive dressing up is something that will be noticed very quickly for everyone who is coming to this country for the first time. Although you may not be accustomed to this tradition quickly, many will definitely learn to appreciate it, after the initial surprise is gone.
Mayonnaise in everything
This is one weird thing that can catch you off guard whenever you are visiting someone’s home for dinner in Russia. Turns out Russians do love their mayo. A lot. It is usually present at almost every dish, whether it is fish meat, or else. Salads are especially prone to be layered with a lot of mayo. So be aware of that whenever you are invited to dinner or ordering food in a restaurant.
Not smiling that much
Yes, we are used to seeing not smiling tough Russians in Hollywood movies. Though, you still may be surprised to see that not smiling is kind of a norm on the streets of Russia. You can blame the cold winter weather, bad political situation, or anything else on that, but the fact will remain true. Russians don’t smile for no reason. Though, it doesn’t mean that they don’t smile at all. Of course, they do. You just need to know a person better and make them feel comfortable. Then you can see the most sincere and generous Russian smiles.
If you get an invitation to a dinner in a Russian home, there are certain things you should know. First, congratulations. You have earned the respect and friendship of those people. Making home parties or special dinners with little known guests is not a norm in Russia. As you might have guessed by now, Russians are rather private, especially when it comes to their home life. Even when they ask professionals, “can you write my essay for me cheap?”, they will still be rather suspicious the whole time. Anyway, being invited means you proved worthy of it. Now, you shouldn’t disappoint your new Russian friends by coming empty-handed. It’s a tradition to bring gifts when you are invited as a guest. Grab something for the kids if there are any. That is another must in Russia.
When visiting someone’s home for a dinner party, be sure there will be no small talk or mingling happening. You will be sat at the table with so many dishes you’ll start being afraid for your life. With some cake and strong black tea for the dessert, of course. People normally don’t move much after they have sat at the table. Be ready to receive a piece of cake on your way home.
Sitting down before going on a road
This tradition can look quite interesting to the rest of the world. There is an old Russian superstition about how you should start your long journey. Overall, every time you are about to endure a journey, whether it is a flight to another country, a moving out to about city, or something just as serious, you suppose to have a seat for a moment right before you are leaving your home. It is a superstition that yet prevails among the majority of the population, especially among the older generations. Such an act of sitting down for a minute is supposed to keep you safe during the long trip ahead of you. Overall, many superstitions in Russia still have their place in modern homes.
Wearing special home shoes at home
This tradition may seem quite weird to people from many cultures, but Russians never wear their shoes at home. When you are a guest in a Russian home, you have to remember that. Better take your shoes off as soon as you have entered the apartment, or at least ask if this is what is expected from you. Often, you will be offered special home shoes. These shoes are supposed to make you feel more comfortable and also protect your feet from potentially cold floors. Of course, such tradition can also be explained by drastic weather changes that prevail in the country. You also wouldn’t enter your home in shoes when you spend half a year in heavy winter boots.