Here’s part II on Etiquette in Russia.
Present your best self
While doing business in Russia, keep your hands where they can be seen. The same goes when you are walking around as it looks sloppy.
Don’t slouch, slouching is seen as a sign of rudeness and incompetence in a Russian social setting, so straighten your shoulders if you want to be taken seriously. Of course, this makes sense in countries other than Russia, but it’s especially true here.
For a business, meeting make sure you are suited up or dressed up in a dress or skirt with heels. Appearance is extremely important to Russians, more so even than in the West, so if you look at all disheveled, you will lose respect points quickly!
Waiting in line has a different logic
Russians believe in lines. In fact, they became experts at lining up during Soviet times. But they also figured out how to look for an opening. Don’t leave too much space in front of you, or someone will conclude that you don’t want what’s at the head of the line badly enough to mind if they cut in front of you. Yell out, “Ya, poslyedniy!” (“I’m last!”) if someone tries it. It’s considered a helpful reminder to the prospective cutter.
Don’t Show Anyone Your Back(side)
When entering a row of theater seats, whether at the Mariinsky or the cinema, work your way in facing the people already seated. It may be uncomfortable to have to look them in the eye, but putting your butt in their faces is considered very rude.
Cover Yourself in Church
The one place where attire should be on the modest side is in church. The Orthodox Church traditionally demands a decently long skirt for women and covered shoulders for both sexes.
It doesn’t take a history major to understand what might make a Russian bristle. The Soviet Union, while not always a lot of fun, was one of the most powerful nations on earth. After its collapse, there was economic turmoil and an erosion of the middle class. Therefore, it is best to not discuss politics, human rights, homosexuality, or Putin as some businesses and government are intertwined.
Men are chivalrous
Men will pay in any situation other than a long friendship, the man will always pay for the woman. If there’s any possibility at all for romantic development, it’s a given. Also, do not pour your own drink in a social setting. Most gentlemen will pour you a glass by default.
Did I miss anything? If so, let us know in the comments below.
Sending chillaxing weekend vibes! 💋
Feature photo credit: Instagram, andrei_mikhailov