Russian Manners, Customs, Traditions and Habits

Learning about the Russian culture is an excellent way to improve your Russian and understand Russian-speaking people. Russian culture has a rich history, strong traditions and influential arts, especially when it comes to literature, philosophy, classical music, ballet, architecture, painting, cinema and animation. These resources will help you to learn about many aspects of the Russian cultural heritage and make learning Russian more fun.

The People

Russia has had a long history of totalitarianism, which has resulted in a rather fatalistic approach to living. The desire to work individually under personal initiative was suppressed by the Czarist and Communist states. With the advent of perestroika (restructuring), the Soviet/Communist value system has been scrapped, but the pace of reform has been slow and many are finding it very difficult to adapt to the Western values of individualism and profit maximization. Older Russians are generally quite pessimistic and don′t have much faith in a better life in the future. Younger urban Russians have adopted a more Western outlook on life.

           Russian Manners, Customs, Traditions and Habits                 Russian Manners, Customs, Traditions and Habits.  

Corporate Culture

- Russians appreciate punctuality. Business meetings generally begin on time.

- Under Communism there were no incentives for bureaucrats to perform well or to even be pleasant toward clients; this meant that the usual answer to any question was "No." This practice is still found in Russian society today, but "No" is usually not the final word on an issue. One has to bargain and be persistent to get what he or she wants.

- Business cards are handed out liberally in Russia and are always exchanged at business meetings. The ceremony of presenting and receiving business cards is important. Don′t treat it lightly.

- Representatives of the Russian company or government body are usually seated on one side of a table at meetings with guests on the other side.

- Your company should be represented by a specialized team of experts. Presentations should be thoroughly prepared, detailed, factual and short on "salesmanship."

- Russians usually negotiate technical issues very competently, directly and clearly but, being newcomers to capitalism, often do not fully understand Western business practices and objectives. You may have to explain the reasoning behind some of your demands.

- Russians find it difficult to admit mistakes, especially publicly. They also find it difficult to risk offending someone by making requests or assertions.

- Trying to do business in Russia over the telephone is generally ineffective. The Russian telecommunications system is inadequate, but improving quickly. The telex is widely used.

- Personal relationships play a crucial role in Russian business.

- Business negotiations in Russia are lengthy and may test your patience. Plan to be in for the long haul.

- No agreement is final until a contract has been signed.

               Russian Manners, Customs, Traditions and Habits.                 Russian Manners, Customs, Traditions and Habits.    

Russian Samovars

Samovars and tea-drinking are an indispensable element of Russian culture. In modern Russia, samovars are rarely used to boil water for tea as originally intended, however many families place samovars in the center of the table during holiday celebrations. Reserving pride of place for a samovar at the festive table is both a tribute that Russians give to their ancestors and a ceremony that embodies warm-hearted hospitality.

Matryoshka – The Russian Nesting Doll

It′s hard to find a symbol of Russia more popular than the traditional Russian nesting doll. These decorated wooden dolls "with a secret" are also called matryoshka dolls or babushka dolls. They are recognized even in the countries thousand miles away from Russia. Taking a Russian nesting doll back home is a must among tourists from Europe and the United States alike. The lovers of exotics collect matryoshkas in Australia and South Africa. The simplicity and originality of matryoshka dolls attract the fans of Russian folk art from around the world. Bright and picturesque Russian nesting dolls decorate the fireplaces and bookshelves in the homes of thousands of Russians.

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