Russian Culture

Basic Information

Russia is home not only to ethnic Russians but also to up to 190 other nationalities. These ethnic groups have their traditions, customs, and languages. Although the majority of the Russian population identifies itself as Orthodox Christians, there are also representatives of other religious groups such as Muslims, Catholics, and Protestants. 

According to the official data, the share of Muslims in Russia is quite significant (14%) and it has increased in recent years (from 4% in 2009 to 14% in 2020). Moreover, in some regions (ex. Dagestan) Muslims constitute the majority of the population, while in some other parts of the country (ex. Tatarstan) they amount to approximately a half of all people living there. Besides, there are about 6 thousands Islamic organizations operating in Russia, which puts the Islam on the second place after the Russian Orthodox Church organizations in this regard. 

All this ensured the diversity of culture, which one can find in Russia. It also has an impact on how people perceive representatives of different religious groups. Thus, according to Levada Centre survey, the majority of respondents positively treat people of other religious groups, including Muslims.

Being a successor to the Soviet Union and Russian Empire, Russia is famous for its artists, writers, musicians, dancers, film directors, and composers. Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexander Pushkin, Viktor Vasnetsov, Ilya Repin, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and many others contributed not only to the development of Russian culture but also to the world’s one. 

Besides, Russian scientists advanced our knowledge about the world and gave the global community some new things and materials, without which we cannot imagine our life nowadays. For example, the periodic table and synthetic rubber were invented by Russian scientists Dmitri Mendeleev and Sergey Lebedev respectively. Moreover, one cannot imagine space exploration without the achievements of Russian professionals. The first artificial satellite, the first animal, and the first human being were sent into orbit by the Soviet Union.

Features of Russians 

Russian people are usually generous and hospitable. They usually will not visit a family member or a friend without a gift. If you come to their homes, they usually will try to do their best and impress you with a generously served table. Russians are superstitious. For example, before traveling, they will sit in silence to ensure that their trip will be safe and successful. Moreover, Russians rarely smile at strangers without a reason and usually maintain a very concentrated expression. However, they are very cheerful among their friends and family.

Business culture

Due to globalization, the business culture is becoming more and more unified. However, you should take into account some peculiarities of the Russian way of conducting business, when you come to Russia. 

  1.     Business hierarchy

In Russia, hierarchy and subordination are very important characteristics of business culture. The atmosphere during meetings usually is formal and sometimes meetings follow a fixed protocol. The decision-making power is usually in the hands of a strong, central figure. Thus, subordinate employees get specific and precise orders from their senior colleagues without an opportunity to take feedback. 

  1.     Communication

In a formal environment, Russians usually address their counter partners with respect using name and forename, or surname. It is also common for Russians to shake hands and maintain eye contact while greeting. As for language, Russian is an official language, but young people from big cities usually have a good knowledge of English and sometimes of other languages.

  1.     Working time

Russian offices are usually open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 5 days a week: from Monday to Friday. There are also several important Russian holidays, which should be taken into account. Among them, there are long New Year holidays, starting from the 1 January, Defender of the Fatherland Day (23 February); International Women’s Day (8 March); Spring and Labour Holiday (1 May); Victory Day (9 May); Day of Russia (12 June); National Unity Day (4 November). Businesses usually do not operate these days.