8 things you should not do in Russia
Wherever you are travelling, it is always important to know about social rules and constraints which you’ll have to respect for not be confused in different situations. This is well-known that russian people are very superstitious, and although the country seems to be new and modern, they respect this traditions a lot. Thus, read on and remember this list of taboos and be confident while communicating with your russian friends.
8. Don’t keep your shoes in the private house.
In russian apartments you will often see the carpet in every room, on the floor and even on the walls. This is because historically Russian people always take off their shoes when entering somebody’s house: this is an old tradition and a sign of respect to the homeowner. Very often there will be “tapochki” (slippers) proposed to the guest - you can accept to take them or just rest barefoot. But remember that even if you were offered to keep your shoes on, it will be polite to thank and to take them off anyway.
7. Don’t sit in a public transport.
Actually, to give the place to a senior or pregnant woman in public transport is a common rule all over the world and Russia is not an exception. Besides that, most of russian men wouldn’t also sit when there is a women around, that is why you will often see a man immediately standing up and offering his place to the women when she gets on the bus.
6. NEVER leave empty bottle on the table.
Although most of Russians wouldn't be able to explain you why, it's seen as bad luck to leave empty bottles on the table. Thus, as soon as the bottle is empty you should immediately remove it from the table (normally you can put it on the floor). By the way, it also applies to keys - they are not supposed to be on the table as this is a bad omen of loss and tears.
5. Don’t try to outdrink a russian.
This is a well-known fact that in Russia, drinking is a part of culture and traditionally there is no party without a bottle of good vodka. Russian people always drink cold vodka, but they never add glass to it and they would never excuse you if you mix vodka with juice, water or other soft drink. Only pure vodka, only hardcore. Obviously, russian stomachs are used to drink in such a way, but not everybody can stand it. We advise you then: don’t try to drink as much as russians do and, what is important, do it after a good meal.
4. It is better NOT to smile too much to strangers.
As mentioned in the article “Why Russians don’t smile”, Russian people is not the most smiling nation in the world. If you smile a lot to somebody in the street, this person may think that there is something wrong with his appearance and you are laughing from him. So be careful with smiling to strangers, but don’t hesitate to answer with a smile on others smile.
3. Don’t say “How are you?” if…
Please, don’t ask people how are they doing if you are not ready to listen the story of their life. In Russia, the question “How are you?” is not just a polite part of any greeting. People ask it when they are really wondering how the person is doing, and it is normal to tell about all your joys and sorrows answering on this question. So don’t say it, if you are not ready to listen.
2. Don’t sit at the corner of the table
Russians still believe that the one who sits once at the corner of the table will never marry or find his mate. Most of all, it concerns young ladies, that is why during the diner at somebody’s house or in the restaurant you will see all unmarried women harrying up to take place in the middle of the table.
1.“To split the bill” is not expected
Going out or having dinner with a nice lady? Congratulations! But be careful and respect local traditions: in Russia it is always a man who takes care of all the expenses. Then, if you want to see her again, do not count on her credit card and refuse politely, when she offers to share the bill (although unlikely that would happen to you).