To be a polite guest in Russia, the main thing that you have to remember is that you’re in a place that has a very different culture, so assuming that things will be similar to how it is back home is the root of the problem. If you’re going to act on this assumption, you’ll come off as rude and unrefined. You, the foreigner, have to adapt to culture and tradition of the people who invited you over to make a good and lasting first impression. Here are five common things that you can do.
If You Plan To Be A Guest In Russia, Here’s What You Must Do
Be Open with Sharing Your Culture
Russians are very interested in learning cultures from different countries. Don’t be surprised if you’re bombarded with different cultural questions, and asked to demonstrate some form of cultural representation like folk songs. When this happens, no matter how embarrassing it may be, just go with the flow. Don’t even think about declining too because it’s a bit offensive. Do it no matter how silly you think the request is to be considered as a polite guest in Russia.
Come on Time
Yes, yes, being on time is a universal gesture for politeness because you’re not wasting anyone else’s time in making them wait. In Russia, however, not everybody comes on time, but everybody values time. So, make it a point to come on time to parties you’re invited to even if you know the rest will most likely be late. Russians will appreciate you for it.
“Yes. That’s wonderful.”
To become a good guest in Russia, you have to agree to what the matriarch of the family says. You do not want to be on her bad side so be very careful with what you say. Back in your home country, you may have discussed ideas over the dinner table freely, but in Russia it may seem impolite for a guest to contradict something that has already been said. Instead of engaging in a, what you may think to be, healthy banter, you just have to smile and nod your head in agreement. And, remember, never embarrass the family’s matriarch because her word is law.
You’re visiting who?
Who exactly are you visiting? Your Russian fiance? No. You’re visiting her family and friends. When you are invited as a guest in Russia, it only means one thing: the people who invited you want to see how you are, if you are worthy of their niece, daughter, cousin, sister or friend. This is why it’s important for you to make a good impression. What your Russian fiance’s family and friends think of you will affect your relationship in the future.
Attention to Children and the Elderly
Paying attention to children and the elderly are not just ways to show that you’re polite. Doing this will actually be plus points for you. This is because Russian people care very much about children and the elderly. They feel that children should be well taken care of and the elderly should be respected and honored. If you, genuinely, show your care for both members of the society, your girl, as well as the rest of her family and friends, will most likely give you a thumbs up.