Friday, April 30, 2010

10 Things You Should Never Say Or Do In Russia: For Dummies

Etiquette is important. No one wants to make a faux pas, it's embarrassing both for the perpetrator and the people around them. Unfortunately, what constitutes a breach of etiquette varies from country to country so the best way to avoid an awkward mistake is to look up a few social dos and don'ts before you hit the road. For those of you interested in studying or visiting in Russia there are a few important things to keep in mind and according to, the website owned by the company that publishes the For Dummies book series, the are the most important ten.

1. Don't go to visit someone empty-handed. Bring a small gift of some kind.

2. Don't wear your shoes into someone's house. Remove them at the door.

3. Don't make jokes about parents. This is the Russian equivalent of an ethnic joke.

4. Don't toast with "Na Zdorov'ye!"

5. Don't be greedy. If you express an interest in a particular object traditional Russians will often offer it to you. Refuse. They will offer several times but you shouldn't accept.

6. Don't underdress. Russians tend to dress up to go out more than Americans.

7. Guys: don't expect Russian women to go Dutch. Don't even expect them to understand the concept.

8. Guys again: Don't let a woman carry something heavy if you're able to carry it for her.

9. Don't let an elderly person or pregnant woman stand on public transportation. Get up and offer them your seat.

10. Don't burp in public. If you do, don't acknowledge that it happened.

For the explanations behind these rules see the For Dummies website at:

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