Tag Archives: Russian gift giving

Culture in Russia

 

Culture in Russia
Culture in Russia

Culture in Russia, or the USSR is rich and many faceted.  Russia is a vast country with and estimated population of 150 million people.  Approximately 81% of the people speak the official language of Russia as their primary language.  There are more than a 100 minority languages but the most popular spoken language is Tartar.

Proud and hardworking, Russians value family and the connection it provides.  Most families live in small apartments, often with 2 or 3 generations sharing the same space.  In modern times the typical family has only one child because of the necessity of women to work outside the home to help support the income of the family. Very patriotic, they love patriotic songs and events that support their country’s patriotic efforts and they expect others to also recognize this also.

Russian life today centers around the collective spirit. This first began many years ago when life centered on the agricultural village commune, where the land was held in common and decision-making was the province of an assembly of the heads of household.

Several interesting traditions the Russians have when greeting a friend or family member is for men giving a firm, almost bone crushing handshake and for women kissing the other person three times on the cheek alternating the cheek each time. Men give a less firm handshake for women.  Friends may give a pat on the back and a hug.

Gift giving is a tradition that is observed on birthdays, New Years and Orthodox Christmas between close friends and family. If you are invited to the home of a Russian family you should take a small gift.  Men are expected to bring flowers but don’t bring yellow. Don’t give a baby gift before the birth.  It is considered bad luck to do so.  Russians typically will refuse a gift when it is first given but will usually accept it if you ask again to please accept the gesture of kindness.

According to Wikki, “Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing civil war, Russian cultural life was left in chaos. Some prominent writers, like Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov left the country, while a new generation of talented writers joined together in different organizations with the aim of creating a new and distinctive working-class culture appropriate for the new state, the Soviet Union. Throughout the 1920s writers enjoyed broad tolerance. In the 1930s censorship over literature was tightened in line with Joseph Stalin’s policy of socialist realism. After his death the restrictions on literature were eased, and by the 1970s and 1980s, writers were increasingly ignoring official guidelines.” Art and music have also have flourished since restrictions eased in recent years offering artists a more relaxed approach to their creativity. This has also contributed to an increased interest to culture in Russia.