It seems to be a bit scary to move into the country with bears wandering down the streets and vodka flowing instead of rivers. To put aside doubts and get you rid of any misconceptions we prepared 10 false stereotypes about Russia. They might look funny and unserious but they will definitely help you to see what is what!
There is the widespread myth that Russians are either serious or grumpy all the time. May be on the streets or in the metro people seem to be frowning. However, that is only because the displays of emotion in public and towards strangers are seen as strange and sometimes even impolite. In fact, Russians are very hospitable and friendly once you get to know them. Just remember the famous Russian saying, laughter without reason is a sign of stupidity.
Winter is coming…
Right after “the cold people” stereotype goes “the cold weather” one. Although Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited town on Earth, is located in northeast Russia, due to the huge size of the country, Russia has almost all climate zones of the world, including humid continental and subtropical climates. Moreover, Russia has a number of popular seaside resorts, for instance in Sochi, Tuapse or Crimea. The weather is usually hot there, and not just it…
Check our article to know more about Russian weather.
An ushanka hat
Is this the same author as in the previous stereotype, who came up with the idea that Russians always wear the ushanka hat? Is it because of the whole year winter, or what? Probably, all Russians wear ushanka hats as long as all French wear berets, and all Arabs wear niqab!
Inedible like the Snow White’s apple
Some people are convinced that Russian food is disgusting and inedible. For instance, holodets or aspic (you may wonder, how meat can be prepared as a jelly), solenya or pickled everything and Atlantic herring under fur coat (no, it is not because of the cold again). Russian cuisine is diverse and unique, and as any other national one, it was formed under the influence of different historical factors. In fact, the reason of the ‘disgustingness’ of Russian food is that throughout history they have had to store and conserve it. Russia has plenty of delicious traditional dishes to try but you need to know where.
Try to cook it yourself, just follow the link and we will show how!
Top-models or just obsessed with fashion?
There are many reasons, why Russian women are beautiful but the obsession with the appearance definitely is not one of them. People used to think that they like to overdress but the truth is that extreme flashiness is usually reserved for special occasions. For day-to-day activities like going to work or grocery shopping, Russian women tend to dress conservatively.
Communism may be dead, but clearly not dead enough
The USSR collapsed in 1991 and the communist regime fell apart with it but an old wives’ tale about Russian communists everywhere is still alive. As in any other country, there is a communist party in Russia. However, nowadays it is not very prevalent and the number of participants is only 161 000 people.
There is a usual case in Hollywood films that while one part of Russians is communists, another one is always connected with Russian Mafia. Although 90s of the last century stood out with the criminal stories, today crime in Russia has fallen dramatically. Furthermore, Russian police force is the third biggest in the world. In particular, Moscow has the largest percentage of policemen – 623 policemen for every 100,000 citizens. Thus, keep calm and sleep easy!
Unfortunately, some tourists think of Russia as old and conservative country, where everything is written only in Russian. However, Russia is no longer in the Stone Age and technologies are widely spread there. Almost everywhere you can find Wi-Fi spots in the city or places to charge your phone; there are interactive metro maps at the stations, ticket machines and lots of other facilities. Don’t worry, as far as English is an international language, signs are duplicated in English.
One of the common myths about Russian education is that it is not recognized abroad. This is definitely false. Firstly, Russian education system is based on the Bologna principles. Therefore, studying in Russia, you get an internationally-recognized bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or postgraduate certificate. Secondly, Russia’s status in the international education community has been sustained by the partnerships and shared programs with the world’s leading schools. Accreditation and teaching standards comply with the international requirements. The 95 Russian universities rank in the QS EECA University Rankings 2018 and 24 in the QS World University Rankings.
“In two cases we can definitely say that you’re dealing with a liar: if a man says he can drink champagne the whole night without getting drunk, and if he says he understands Russians.” Charles Bohlen, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1953-57)
All mystique around The Russian soul arouse in 1840s chiefly as a literary phenomenon. It is usually presented with the people’s spirit held together by “unexpressed, unconscious ideas which are merely strongly felt”. However, someone interprets it as something impossible for understanding. Overall, despite the peculiarities, which, by the way, are inherent for every nation, Russians are really outgoing and openhearted! Check our materials to learn more about what Russians are made of!
It seems to be a bit scary to move into the country with bears wandering down the streets and vodka flowing instead of rivers. However, if you put aside wrong stereotypes you will understand soon that there is no problem in living in Russia. Furthermore soon you will definitely highly appreciate the country and its people!
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Author: Elena Surovtseva