There are many peculiarities that only Russians have and it’s useful to know them. Especially if you are dating a Russian woman! (source: travorabroad)
1. Take your shoes off
This tradition has been going on for centuries, and hosts usually offer tapochki (slippers). At nice parties, some women may bring an extra pair of heels or shoes for inside use.
2. Never whistle while indoors
Russians believe that whistling indoors could lead to financial ruin, poverty, or just another invasion of cockroaches.
3. Never sit at the corner of a dinner table
It is said that the one who chooses a seat at the corner of a table is destined to never get married. For certain, they will never find their lover. This is mostly directed towards younger women, and some traditions say you won’t get married for 7 years. So most of the time kids don’t get scolded for this one.
4. Never lick the food off of a knife.
Apparently it is unacceptable to lick any food or “remainders” off of a trusty utensil. It’s considered rude and a sign of cruelty.
5. Informal dress codes are not so usual
Russians are known to dress quite nice, for a variety of occasions. A casual neighborhood, city park walk or even a meal with friends. Nice dresses and heels, suits or ties, it’s common to see others’ dressing their best as a sign of respect. Dinner parties, trips to the opera, ballet, or even a theater – dress nicely, and expect others to do so too.
6. Going Dutch is not expected
The tradition of covering a meal and evening with a female is generally upheld. If you ask a nice lady out for diner, you shouldn’t expect her to pay for the meal or anywhere else you decide to go. Some may offer to split the bill, but you shouldn’t count on it. Some of them may not even bring their rubles with them for such an occasion! If you expect to see her again, it’s a safe bet that you should be ready to foot the bill like a gentleman.
7. Don’t expect a lady to carry
If you’re accustomed to all things that are politically correct, double think it for a second. That lady carrying her luggage down the metro steps, or the lady at the airport getting ready to get her bags ready for her departure – always be there to lend a hand. It’s polite, and as a man you are expected to be the one that assists in such a situation. You will see this even when getting in a taxi – the drivers will commonly be the ones that assist in the luggage. Such is a lesson in everyday life – lend a helping hand.
8. Never disrespect invalids
When you board a bus, or the city metro, you’ll first notice that younger people will always be ready to lend a seat to the elderly, women, and children. This is a common norm you will run into everywhere, and may not always be the case in some countries. While some may be offended in some countries being offered this privilege, it’s a sign of respect in Russia, and especially when elderly or pregnant women are standing there waiting for a seat it’s downright rude.
9. Never crack a joke about one’s family
The jokes surrounding others’ family members are generally taboo to make, and to be quite honest – risky. You can crack a joke on ethnicity, appearance, or gender based jokes, but if you insult another’s mother and father, it may not come across as a joke at all.
10. An empty purse is a horrible gift
Giving an empty purse as a gift is yet another superstition. Why is it empty? Do you wish financial hardship and poverty on your lover? Are you single again? Well to be fair, it applies to any money holding object one could thrown in as a gift.
11. Bodily functions are frowned upon
It is incredibly impolite, and you should not expect any kind of pride associated with such things. Burping loudly is not a game changing display of authority or humor. So if it happens, don’t make a big deal out of it. Some say not to even apologize, but to simply ignore it. It’s not of the most epic impressions you would want to make, so keep it in mind.
12. Never shake a hand through a doorway
Russian’s are very superstitious, so superstitious in fact, it ties into getting acquainted. It is considered rude to shake hands with your gloves on – so take your gloves off before any proper interaction occurs. Additionally, shaking ones hand at the door is considered back luck. So make sure to take your gloves off, and save the hand shaking for indoors.