Russia Traditions

Russia traditions

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Last updated:
07.08.2019
 

Traditions in Russia

Russians love customs and respect traditions. Even today most soon-to-be-wed couples choose to follow old Russian wedding traditions, instead of the simpler western ceremony. And there are some “on-a-daily-basis” traditions you are unlikely to find anywhere else but in Russia.

To take a seat before hitting the road, for example! When all suitcases are packed, people are dressed, and the taxi is waiting, most Russians will pause everything and quietly sit down for a minute. Though nowadays most people won’t remember where all this came from, originally, during this minute people were supposed to mentally check everything one last time without a rush and to capture the warmth of the home they were leaving to take it with them.

One more tradition the rest of the world might find unusual is congratulating each other on getting out of a shower or sauna by saying “S lyogkim parom” (“Congratulations on light steam”). It all started hundreds of years ago with Russian banyas (traditional Russian saunas). The hottest place in a sauna was almost under the ceiling, so before going, people were wishing each other ”light steam”, the steam that will travel fast from the red-hot stones up. Over the years, this changed into the version existing now.

Sitting
 

When Russians invite guests over, they always cook way more than it’s possible to eat during one evening and it doesn’t matter how long this evening will last. And the evenings are usually long. When Russians sit down for dinner, they can stay at the table for hours. While in America people usually move around and talk to numerous people, in Russia all conversations are happening simultaneously while sitting around the table (with an occasional pause to refill the plate).

Clothes

There are some more things you should keep in mind before your Russia travel. Seeing someone walking down the street in wrinkled clothes is an exception rather than the rule. Russians prefer to iron their clothes before going out, even if they are just popping out to the grocery shop.

In Russia, it’s widely believed that anyone whistling indoors is bringing poverty on himself by “whistling money away”. So if you have a “stuck-song syndrome”, it’s better to hum the tune if you don’t want to get several weird looks in your direction.

And, at last, if you need to address a lady but you don’t know her name, you can’t go wrong with calling her a girl. Be it a child in the park, a young woman in her twenties or a person in their 70s, you can call her “devushka” and it won’t surprise anyone.