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10 Russian Habits

Foreigners who have visited Russia are most surprised by a large number of everyday habits of Russians. It never occurs to people from other countries to do things which Russian people find absolutely normal to do. Therefore, this article writes about Russian habits which are typical of people in Russia but which can astonish a foreigner.

  1. Russians often drink tea.

Although the British used to have a reputation of being real tea lovers, nowadays tea drinking tradition in Russia is known all over the world. Russians are devoted tea experts. People in Russia always and everywhere drink tea: they drink tea to get warm in the winter, or to get cool in the summer, they take tea with their food and even medicine. Tea drinking is a way to relax, to entertain, to cheer oneself up, and to have good time in the evening. Having a cup of nice tea together is also the way to establish stronger family and friendly relations. And you should not be really thirsty to have a cup of tea. This is the way they treat tea in Russia!

  1. Russians keep old things.

The habit of Russians to keep old things dates back to the Soviet time when there was a lack of many things. People stored jars, bags, packages, boxes, nails and other stuff in cabinets, closets, mezzanines, even if they did not need these things any more. People also never threw away broken things – they used to keep them just in case they might need them? Nowadays the older generation still follow this habit.

  1. Before the trip, Russians need to “have a sit before the trip”.

It is one of the most popular Russian habits. After you have packed all the bags and is ready to go away, Russians are not in a hurry to leave their house, they take their time to sit down and stay silent for a minute. By the way, it is a really good way to remember if you have taken all the necessary things.

  1. To mend things by themselves.

In most cases, Russians first try to fix everything on their own. They invite a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber or a mechanic, only when they cannot cope with the breakdown by themselves or when they have made it even worse. Moreover, they buy new equipment or thing when they have already tried everything to fix the old one.

  1. Russians wear slippers at home.

Entering the house, Russians always take off their street shoes and change into slippers. It is not a custom in other countries to take off street shoes upon entering the house, however, for a Russian person it’s like to get into bed in a jacket and boots. Russians find the habit of wearing street shoes when you are at home embarrassing.  Every member of a Russian family has a pair of slippers, sometimes even more than one pair, as well as they might have slippers for the summer and winter seasons. Russians also have a spare pair of slippers for their guests.

  1. Russians love visiting their friends.

Visiting other people or receiving guests are the most important component in the life of a Russian person. For example, at the weekend people in other countries together with their families usually go away from the city, but Russians like visiting their relatives or friends. Russians never go to visit people empty-ended, they always buy something as they say “for tea”. When Russian people go to visit their relatives or friends, they might bring a pie, cookies, or something cooked by themselves.

  1. Russians make a lot of home cooking.

In Russia, almost in every house, you will be treated with homemade pickles and jams. Russian women are especially proud of pickled cucumbers and tomatoes, and jams made from berries or apples picked up at the country house, even though you can buy all this stuff at the nearest grocery store.

  1. Russians drink birch juice.

Birch juice is something extremely unusual for a foreigner. Foreigners very often ask if it is possible to drink it, and it is really difficult to explain. But this drink is widely available and rather common, as well as it is an effective means in the alternative medicine as it enables a better metabolism.

  1. Russians congratulate each other after they have had a shower or a sauna.

“S legkim parom!” (“Enjoy your steam!”) is a traditional and virtually untranslatable into other languages phrase which Russians say when somebody goes out of a bathroom, sauna or banya. This phrase means congratulating on the successful bathing, therefore foreigners do not often understand why Russians say it at all.

  1. Russians eat all food with bread.

Russians need bread with almost every dish, otherwise they will come out of the table feeling hungry, and it surprises foreigners, as they do not eat that much bread. However, recently more and more people have started following western standards of healthy eating, and they substitute bread with some healthier options.

These were 10 most common and surprising habits of Russian people which still astonish foreigners. We hope you have found this article useful and you have learned something new!

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