18 Apr Getting Around Russian Culture, a Story by Tony
ExploRussia as a part of the collaboration with youth organization AIESEC was guiding the group of foreign interns, who came here to explore Moscow, Russian culture and people and spread the word about it in their communities back home. Today we are publishing the Croatian look on life in Moscow by Tony, who is one of the interns, who spend some time in Moscow and shares his view.
The biggest megacity of the north with a population of around 12 million people and the biggest number of billionaires in the world is definitely one of the most thrilling and challenging places to find yourself in.
Some say it’s the second largest city in Europe after Istanbul, but only half of Istanbul is actually in Europe. So we can even put it as the biggest city in Europe, but nevertheless, the biggest or second biggest this city can leave you astonished before you even realize it. From fast lanes of amazingly artistic metros to Kremlin by night, there is something special and unique here, for every soul that visits this place.
But on every „rose“ there is a thorn to be carefully taken off or avoided for best possible experience. For a member of western society that thorn can possibly be a Russian culture that doesn’t certainly need to be anything bad, but still there are some stuff that should be considered before starting your Moscow Cruise. In the beginning, it can be very hard to know how normal habits and manners work in this place. You may find yourself in a situation where you don’t know how to react to a certain situation or you just don’t know how other people will react. At the end, this can end up being very frustrating. Still, you should’t be afraid to go out in the open and meet other people. Russian culture is very direct and often people can appear rude or cold to foreigners.
In Moscow, smile is a rare sign of something pleasant, friendship or a flirt. Smiling can also be a sign of insecurity or, in extreme cases, mental disorder. Most Russians will tell you that their smile is sincere and something special, reserved only for people that deserve it, that they are not taking it lightly and that you can feel really special if you get one. In general, Russians can be very closed and can ask personal questions, expecting an honest and simple answer. People might also feel the need to tell you what to do and even insist of you doing it, and if it is an elderly person, like Russian Babushka, you better do it.
As I mentioned it is a „rose“ and beauty can be very easily found in this culture, especially with that can be overwhelming, especially, for a foreigner that was invited to a Russian home. You can easily end up being treated like a Tsar and you can expect to eat and drink way too much. You will definitely be honored with a toast and if you want to give one yourself, „cheers“ won’t be enough. Russian toast are often very hearted and deep, with a whole story inside them.
Cultural manifest that can also be intriguing is the way that Russian woman are dressing, because they may dress for every occasion, even if it means just going to the store.
Having these things in mind i think you are set to enjoy some of the world most popular and spoken – about places without getting frustrated on the way. My personal recommendation will be to stay in this „glowing“ city as long as possible because it is a centre of the biggest country in the world and home to great hospitality, most beautiful parks and palaces that are just waiting to take your breath away.”
At the ArtPlay District:
In Gorky Park: