Russia is the largest country in the world and does not own its landmass to one single continent. Partly Europe, partly Asia, simply known as an Eurasia country. The country has the population of 146,053,893 as of June 1, 2022, in the land area of 16,376,870 Km² (6,323,142 mi²), equivalent to 11% of the total world’s landmass of 148,940,000 Km² (57,510,000 square miles). See worldometer.
One of the popular pieces of information you must have heard about Russian people are; they like war, they don’t laugh, they are racists, and so on. Yes, Russians might have all the above, but the question is, in what circumstances? I will definitely not be trying to shield Russians from all these often said things about them, but I will try to tell you things you may not know about them.
This piece of information is coming from me at this time because no matter what the situation is, lots of people are still coming into Russia, especially to study, from Africa, Asia and North America. These facts about Russia is to help prepare your mind on the basic things about Russians as you may find yourself in the country anytime soon.
One thing you cannot learn or adjust to in Russia overnight is their language. Their language is one of the most difficult languages.. In addition to the emphasis on how difficult it is, Russians themselves know their language is difficult. Anyways, that’s not to scare you away, especially if you are planning to study in Russian, it’s a bridge you can always cross. Their teaching of the language and your friendly nature with fellow foreigners and Russians will help you develop your communication faster.
Now, let’s talk about things you should know about Russian people and its culture before you find yourself in the biggest country of the world. These will be discussed as the do’s and don’ts in Russia.
Do’s in Russia
- Always remove your glove before shaking hands in Russia. It is considered rude shaking people with your gloves on. This may be a little bit challenging for anyone who is not used to the cold, but meetings are actually very uncommon on the road during winter.
- Address people you are meeting for the first time with вы (You), it’s a sign of respect. Interestingly, when you are used to each other, ты (you) doesn’t matter anymore, even with the wide age difference between you two.
- Always visit a Russian with a gift, no matter how little. A cake, tea, even a biscuit goes a long way. Never go empty handed because they are always prepared for visitation like a mini get together.
- Install basic mobile applications on your phone for easy access to any of your destinations with little help from Russians due to language barrier. The applications are; 2gis and Yandex taxi. 2gis will lead you straight to anywhere, you can have it in English as well. Also, you can always see Yandex taxi services in any part of Russia.
- Respect people’s privacy, with your neighbors, in the bus or metro together? Minimize the volume of your devices not to distract others, always put on your airpod or earpiece. Equally, don’t start a conversation on general topics with Russians you don’t know, except you need help from them.
- Always be prepared to take pictures, and answer some basic questions from Russians, especially on your first day of communication. I have a piece on questions Russians ask foreigners. Read about the questions Russians ask foreigners.
- Have Russian friends and never ignore the companies of your people (country or continent men) in Russia. You will always need them.
Below is a video of Africans who shared their thoughts and experience with Russian people, culture and language.
Don’ts in Russia
- Don’t leave an empty bottle of vodka on the table standing. This is not proper and unethical to Russian people. Whenever you are done with a bottle of vodka, always roll it under the table.
- Never laugh at a drunken man on the streets of Russia. Drinking is a habit for most Russians, a hit on one is a hit on all. So, in case you are a comedian and you can make comedy acting like a drunkard in Africa, please, don’t try it in Russia.
- Don’t try to preach your faith to any Russian. You think your faith is better? I advise you to only share testimonies with them, don’t tell them to accept your faith.
- Don’t ignore a grandmother or grandfather that needs help on the road. Helping and not arguing with the elderly ones is highly valuable in Russia. In addition, helping ladies with anything that may suit them is a way of proving yourself as a gentleman in Russia.
- Don’t start a political conversation on the streets of Russia. Learn how to face your business.
- Don’t wear your footwear beyond the foot mat inside a Russian apartment, they will always offer you slippers in return.
- Don’t try to get the attention of anyone you don’t know with a smile, it’s considered a mental issue. Let there be reason to laugh before you do. Russians laugh a lot, they even laugh at the cheapest of all jokes, but only when they are in the right circle of people to laugh with.
Do you know something else that can be of help to anyone trying to visit Russia, please leave that in the comment. Maybe you are even planning to visit Russia, and you need more information about Russian people or as a country, please, drop your question in the comment section.