Russian Myths

by Elena on September 20, 2018

Russia is probably one of the most myth-filled countries in the world: dancing bears, constantly drinking vodka citizens and very cold weather. Is it really so? Read the article below to know!

Myth: Russians drink a lot

Consumption of alcohol per capita in Russia is less than in some countries of Western Europe. Working residents of large cities drink no more than the British, Czechs and Germans. Moreover, a healthy lifestyle has become increasingly popular among young people in recent years: adolescents completely abstain from alcohol and tobacco, and go in for sports.

Myth: Russians are closed and harsh people

Any foreigner who gets in Moscow or Saint-Petersburg metro during the morning will be convinced of this statement once and for all. In Russia, it’s really not customary to walk around the streets with a smile on your face, and generally, hiding emotions is a part of Russian mentality. However, in a company of friends, Russians become open-minded, cheerful and are extremely easy-going. That is a mystery of Russian soul!

Myth about weather: Russia has two winters, the white one and the green one

In the European part of the country, the temperature from June to August stays within comfortable 23-25 °C. This is even higher than average summer temperature, for example, in the British Isles or in some states of North America. Sometimes the weather surprises, and the air warms up to +35 or even +40 °C in summer, which negatively affects residents of large cities.

Myth: bear walk the streets in Russia

What can we say, things happen. You can really meet a bear in small towns of Siberia and the Far East. Animals appear on the outskirts to find food in garbage cans. Sometimes they even go out onto the highway, provoking accidents. Local residents create anti-bear patrols engaged in shooting and catching dangerous predators in order to solve the problem. As for other areas of the country and major cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan or Sochi, the probability of meeting a bear on the street there is almost zero.

Myth: nesting doll is an authentic Russian souvenir

In fact, the funny toy, a doll with several smaller dolls in it, was invented in Japan. The local “matryoshka” depicted Fukuruma, the god of learning and wisdom. The Japanese toy came to Russia at the end of the 19th century, and everyone was so fond of it that Russian masters decided to rethink it in their own way. So there was a painted folding doll of a red-cheeked girl in a sarafan and a headscarf. The origin of the name “matryoshka” remains mysterious. Some say it’s formed from the beloved name Masha, or Manya.




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