Russian ways and traditions


Russians drink tea all the time

Once the most eager tea lovers lived in Great Britain, but those times are long gone. Today the most devoted tea connoisseurs are Russians! In Russia, we drink tea all the time: with any dish, if we are too cold or too hot, if we are bored or cool, to entertain, to calm down, to elevate the mood, to kill time or to establish friendly relations. You do not even need to be thirsty to drink tea. Do you want to check it out? Join our home visit!

Russians like to pay visits to each other

Having guests is a Russian sport. On weekends, instead of going to a park or a shopping mall Russians are set to visit their friends or relatives. And you must definitely bring something with you like sweets, flowers or a bottle of wine. The receiving side cannot sit idle in anticipation. They prepare meals in great abundance, sometimes much more than needed for lunch. Therefore, the family or friendly gatherings smoothly flow to late at night.

Russians drink birch tree sap

“Birch sap” for a foreigner sounds as something incredible. What? Juice from wood? And for a Russian person it is a quite familiar and widely available soft drink. Traditionally collected by people in the forests in spring, now it is a bottled soft drink. However we believe it is an effective tool of traditional medicine to improve metabolism. Want to try it? Join our home visit!

The Russians celebrate «Old New Year”

“Old New Year” is oxymoron for any language except Russian! And the foreigners are surprised to know that this holiday really exists and is actively celebrated. In 1918 Russia passed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, thus moving forward by 14 days. So, Old New Year comes on January 14. Though it’s been 100 years now, people still say “according to the old style” and celebrate New Year for the second time. There is always chance for a holiday – why resist temptation?

Russians love to tell anecdotes

“Do you remember, as in that joke …” – a Russian habit that literally blows the brain of a foreigner! It looks like this: a Russian tells a story from his life, then interrupts himself at the most interesting point and finishes by saying, “well, you know… as in that joke, you remember.” And goes on telling a story completely unrelated to the previous one, sometimes abstract, or illogical and not always funny. This is an anecdote. Also, the Russians are very fond of quoting old movies and books.

The Russians love to toast

To tell the truth, a long, meaningful toast is a Georgian tradition. However the whole world believes that gentle affection for complex verbiage before drinking a glass of spirit characterizes the Russians. So, foreigners believe that “To your health” is the choice of the most lazy Russians, while the others make long speeches with quotations and referrals, deviate from the main topic, use anecdotes and personal touch. And what is the audience doing? Listen with their glasses raised up.

Russians always wear slippers at home

Not in all countries people take off street shoes when coming home. This habit shocks Russian people to the depths of the soul! It’s like going to bed wearing boots and overcoats. Russians always take their shoes off when come home, but they rarely go barefoot. They always change into slippers. In Russia each family member has his own pair of slippers, and sometimes even two, winter and summer modifications. And they reserve a pair of slippers for a guest.

Russians congratulate each other after having a bath or shower

“With a light steam!” is the phrase almost untranslatable to any foreign languages. Of course, you can translate it as “Enjoy your bath or shower!”, but the meaning of it will be lost because you say it not before but after this hygiene ritual. So, the foreigners wonder why at all the Russians say it.

Russians do not shake hands in the doorway

To the Russian people shaking hands ‘goodbye’ should take place inside or outside and never in the doorway, otherwise it is bad luck. So, please remember that when leaving your hosts after dinner in a Russian home.

Russians «sit down for a smooth road”

When the bags are packed, and it is time to go to the airport or the railway station, a Russian person will never rush to the doorway. First he will sit down and remain seated in silence for a minute or two. A very practical ritual – you may remember if you have forgotten something very important.

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