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About football and not only

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Russians: «We are not angry, we are shy»

Option: Russians are not angry, they are shy.


Many find a trip to Russia to be an extreme experience. However,  it appears to be not so scary at all. After having visited Russia you will be able to share many stories, that could be an object of your fellows’ envy. 


1. Smiles

Russians (especially Russian officials) don’t smile so often. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are angry. That is just the part of the culture. This is the issue that is changing especially in large cities.   

If you are lucky to get a smile from a Russian, be sure the person does it from the heart, and not just to show politeness.

What you should do: smile!

Привет! [priv'et] - Hi! 

Я люблю Россию! [ya lyub'lyu  Ros'siyu ] - I love Russia!  


2. Girls

Foreign men mean adventure and extreme for Russian girls. Sometimes they are their dream about a prince.

Я люблю тебя! [ya lyub'lyu  te'bya] - I love you!

Ты мне нравишься! [ty mne n'ravishsya]  - You are nice!

Ты красивая! [ty kra'sivaya] - You are pretty!

Извини, я женат. [izvi'ni ya zhe'nat] - Sorry, I am married.


3. Alcohol (caviar, matryoshka doll)

You might have heard a lot about alcohol consume in Russia. Not all Russians drink Vodka, though. Many of them prefer to drink beer. Girls may have a martini or a glass of sweet wine. There are many kinds of alcoholic drinks in Russia. In some regions it is not sold after 8 p.m. or 11 p.m.


Мне пиво. Мне водку / виски. [mne 'pivo / mne vodku/viski ] - A beer, please. I’d like some Vodka / whisky.

Я люблю виски, водку, текилу, пиво. [ya lyub'lyu viski / vodku / tekilu / pivo] - I like whisky / vodka / tequila / beer.

Я не пью. [ya ne pju] - I am teetotal. 


PS: Not all Russians like caviar. One from a thousand may possess a Matryoshka doll. Even less people have balalaika. Bears live in Russia, but hardly any Russian owns one.


4. Russians like to surprise

Russians may criticize their government, the weather, their national football team. But they may get embarrassed if you try to show your empathy. Russians think that only they are allowed to criticize their motherland.  

The best thing you can do is to talk about things that inspired you. The more you praise Russia the better. Russians are sincere. They appreciate people being honest. Russian people are happy to surprise their guests. 

Many Russians think that the climate of their country is severe. There is an opinion that the roads here are extreme. The distances are surprisingly long. Confirming this you will please any Russian.


Я люблю Россию! [ya lyub'lyu  Ros'iyu] - I love Russia!

Россия — красивая. [Rosiya kra'sivaya] - Russia is beautiful.

Россия — большая. [Rosiya bol'shaya] - Russia is huge.

Россия — удивительная. [Rosiya udi'vitelnaya] - Russia is amazing.

Россия — страна чудес. [Rosiya strana chu'des] - Russia is a wonder land.

Русские — добрые и умные. ['Russkiye 'dobrieye i 'umniye] - Russians are kind and clever.

5. Hospitality

On the one hand, hospitality is an important cultural feature of multicultural Russia. On the other hand, try not to mix a real hospitality with cheating.  Be attentive, do not transfer the payment for your accommodation to unknown people. If you are in trouble, ask for help. There are always plenty of people who are ready to help you. It may happen everywhere: one cheater doesn’t represent the nation.  


Помогите, пожалуйста! [pomo'gite po'zhalusta] - Help me please!

Где такси / туалет / стадион? [gde tak'si/ tua'let/ stadi'on] - Could you tell me where I can take a taxi/ where the WC (the toilet) is/ where the stadium is.

Извините! [izvi'nite] - I am sorry!


6. Take care

Russia is more patriarchal than European countries. You may feel it like being in Europe visiting shopping malls, restaurants, observing the streets, how people are dressed. How European the outlooks can be, the way Russians think differs from European a lot. What is a norm for you can be the opposite for natives. Don’t be too suspicious. Just remember that it is much safer to walk with your friends in the city center (not in the suburbs) during the daytime.


Помогите! На помощь! [Pomo'gite! Na pomosh!] - Help! Help me, please!

Полиция! [Po'litsiya!] - Police!


7.  Last, but not the least - football

Please, support Russian national football team. Russians are used to be angry with the players and disappointed about the way they play. Russians hardly believe that their team can win the World Cup.  

Not to stand in a long line is better to come to the fan zone two or three hours earlier before the match starts. You may get the right game atmosphere while standing in a queue, though.  The spirit of football is the thing we go to matches!


Россия — чемпион! [Rossiya chempi'on] - Russia is the champion!

Слава России! [slava Ros'ii] - Long life to Russia!


8. English

Not all the people in Russia speak English, but it is taught at schools though. The main reason is the lack of practice. Expect people to answer just “yes” or “no”. The rest might be explained by gestures and  smiles.

English in the capital of Russia and in big cities is better. The youth speaks English better than the middle-aged population. Still the language barrier may prevent the communication.


9. Pictures

My friends were sorry for the foreigner fans, who were not able to resist being asked to take pictures with.


Мне нужно идти. [Mne 'nuzhno id'ti.] - Sorry, I have to go now.

Извините, не могу! [Izvi'nite, ya ne mo'gu:] - Sorry, I cannot!

Я устал, извините. [ya us'tal, izvi'nite.] - I am sorry, I am tired.


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