• Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Ireland!

    Ireland: Cliffs of Moher! Go Now!

    Ireland
    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

  • Serbia!

    Serbia: Houses in the mountains. Go Now!

    Serbia
    Serbia is a historic power now looking internally to re-discovery their identity and future. Explore Serbia!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Switzerland!

    Switzerland: The Matterhorn. Go Now!

    Switzerland
    This mountainous country unites ethnic Germans, French, and Italians; making it home to a number of diverse cultures. Go Now!

  • Iceland!

    Iceland: Traditional House! Go Now!

    Iceland
    Although linked to Scandinavia, as an island Iceland has a culture all its own, but most visitors come for the natural beauty. Explore Iceland!

Social Life in Russia

WARNING: Russia's border with Ukraine is unstable and tensions are high, read this travel warning before going!

Behavior

The people of Russia maintain much of the Soviet mentality as they rarely get involved in other people's personal affairs and tend to keep to themselves when in public. Due to this attitude, the people take offense at few things. Although everyone will notice odd behaviors and cultural abnormalities, rarely will anyone point out your cultural mistakes.

As a visitor to Russia try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing in alike manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Russia Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, or showing off wealth.

Dress

Traditional Russian clothing reflects the weather as the clothing tends to be long-sleeved and warm. For Russian women this generally means long dresses that cover the arms and fall to the ground. These dresses are often times heavily embroidered and often times include the color red to some degree. However, the variations of the dresses vary greatly from region to region and even over time, although most have loose-fitting white sleeves and red on them. Most women also covered their heads with some sort of cloth or handkerchief. Likewise, men traditionally wore clothing similar to that of historic Europe with pants, shirts, and often times a vest. Boots were common due to the snow and mud, while hats were essential through much of the year, often times being made from fur.

Today the dress in Russia is modern western-styled clothing, but aspects of the past have survived. Boots and hats remain essential in the winters and women generally plan their outfits and hair with their hat in mind. Fur is also still a common clothing items, but today primarily for women's coats. Women also tend to dress liberally, especially in the summers when outfits can be scarce and white pants can be nearly transparent. The opposite is true for Russian men; pants are the norm, but they are almost always black, as are shoes and boots. Blue jean and tennis shoes are expensive so uncommon in Russia today.

As a visitor to Russia any western-styled clothing is fine, but try to avoid anything with a political message or anything that may indicate where you are from (although foreign shirts are somewhat of a status symbol in Russia). Despite your best efforts to fit in, blue jeans and tennis shoes will give you away as a foreigner unless you are in Moscow. Other than this, just try to dress for the occasion; many churches, nice restaurants, and political sites require long pants and long-sleeved shirts for entry, while Black Sea beaches are fit for swimsuits and the clubs at night can be rather risque.

This page was last updated: November, 2013