Russian Customs and Superstitions
Russian culture is filled with customs and superstitions. Below are a few that you should be aware of to avoid embarrassing or insulting situations.
· If you have been invited to somebody’s house for dinner it’s a tradition to bring a bottle of wine, a cake or flowers. If there is a small child in the house it will be appropriate to take a small gift or candy (a visitor without a gift is a disappointment). A gift from your native country will be most cherished and appreciated.
· It’s considered being rude if you leave something on your plate when eating at a private house and you can offend the hosts. If you do not drink alcohol, at least take a glass and have a sip. You are supposed to try every dish on the table so save some space.
· If you are going to buy flowers for somebody, make sure the number is odd, even numbers are for funerals.
· You should take your shoes off upon entering somebody’s house - you will be given a pair of slippers to wear instead. This is done to help keep the apartment clean.
· It is expected that the man will pay the restaurant bill. It simply not appropriate to leave a woman with her own bill.
· When using public transportation, such as a bus or subway, men should give their seat to mothers with children and to old people.
· Help her with the chair at the table, and also help her on with the coat.
· You should not shake hands or kiss across the threshold of the door step - Russian people believe it brings a bad luck.
· Never collect bread crumbs with your hand - Russian people believe that it means you will be without money for a long time.
· Whistling in someone’s apartment or house is a catastrophe - Russian people believe it brings a bad luck.
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