Which opinion of Russia is just a stereotype?
Every county has its own little characteristics, mannerism or even superstitions. But what about opinion of Russia? You might have heard something about their stereotypes but not all of them are true or even false interpreted. Let’s put them to the test and see what’s really going on.
Old versus new spirit
When people think about Russia, they sometimes associate it with the cold war, post-war period, or outdated cities from the USSR. But that’s not the case anymore! Russia offers a huge variety of modern cities, just look at Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Sochi or Kazan. Of course, you will find some remains from communism but you can also find some old listed buildings from the Second World War in Europe. Russia has a booming economy and you can see this in every big city. The young people here are interested in the future of their country, sometimes even more so than in ours. I don’t want to use the term “western influence” because this country is, compared to the rest of the world, in good shape and is going to have a bright future.
Faith in fate
The Russian mentality is to have a kind of resignation to their own fate, but this doesn’t mean that they give up when difficulties occur. They just don’t complain about every problem and take each challenge as it comes, in order to make the best out of a situation. Compared to the people in Central Europe, where we sometimes complain about meaningless things, the Russians are a bit tougher. The reason for this could be their history, combined with the concept of the strong ‘Russian soul’, as defined by Dostoyevsky.
For Russian people, friendships and relationships are very high valued. This may be caused by the size of the country and by poverty back in the days. So, the quote ‘When nothing is left and everything breaks apart, only friendship matters’ is perfectly fitting for the people’s attitude. This could also be transferred to the working environment because a good relationship with your colleagues sometimes matters more than the actual task at hand.
The people from Russia are all very hospitable. If you have Russian friends or colleagues, it is likely that they will invite you home for lunch or dinner. When entering the apartment, house or flat, you usually take of your shoes, even if they say that you don’t have to. It’s like every other household in the world; you just want to be polite. In regards to the dinning part, you ought to remember just a view phrases like ‘Cпасибо, только немножко’, which means ‘Thank you, not so much’ or ‘Спасибо, нет, хватит. Всё очень вкусно, но я больше не могу’ which means ‘Thank you, it was enough. The food was delicious but I’m full’. The Russians love to serve tons of food, so you’ll never leave hungry. It is way better to be very hungry when you arrive…
See nothing, believe everything
Nearly all Russians are at least a little superstitious. The most common superstition that Russians believe in is fortune telling by a so-called ‘Babki’, which in most cases is an old lady. They may heal, make you lucky or even forecast great misfortune. Another example of a Russian superstition is when salt is accidentally spilled; it is believed that this will bring strife to the family. That is why special attention is paid to salt. For more superstitions check out the blog of my former colleague Tilly Hicklin.
You see, the title of this blog fits quite well. Every country has his own mannerisms and customs. You may even find some similarities between Russia and your home country. Do you know any other Russian superstitions or customs? Write your comment below.