Russia & Russians
 

Inside this section you will find basic information about Russia and Russians.

Russia is the largest country in the world. Its area is 17 098.242 thousand square km. The state is located in eastern Europe and northern Asia. From north to south the country stretches for over 4,000 km; from west to east – for almost 10,000 km. Russia borders on 16 countries. In the south-east - with North Korea, in the south with Azerbaijan and Georgia, Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan. In the south-west - with Ukraine, in the west with Finland, Norway, Belarus, Latvia and Estonia. The Kaliningrad Region borders on Lithuania and Poland.

The enormous size of Russia and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental climate, which is prevalent in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the extreme southeast. Mountains in the south obstruct the flow of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean, while the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences.

Most of Northern European Russia and Siberia has a subarctic climate, with extremely severe winters in the inner regions of Northeast Siberia (mostly the Sakha Republic, where the Northern Pole of Cold is located with the record low temperature of −71.2 °C or −96.2 °F), and more moderate winters elsewhere. Both the strip of land along the shore of the Arctic Ocean and the Russian Arctic islands have a polar climate.

The coastal part of Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea, most notably in Sochi, possesses a humid subtropical climate with mild and wet winters. In many regions of East Siberia and the Far East, winter is dry compared to summer; other parts of the country experience more even precipitation across seasons. Winter precipitation in most parts of the country usually falls as snow. The region along the Lower Volga and Caspian Sea coast, as well as some areas of southernmost Siberia, possesses a semi-arid climate.

For most foreigners, Russia is often associated with two main cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg. This is the heartland of former Imperial Russia, and these great and ancient cities often become the focus for most tourists visiting Russia. Moscow, with its traditional ancient Russian churches and the beautiful Kremlin, and Saint Petersburg, which is the most European of all Russian cities, are the highlights of the great country. However there is much more to Russia, a country that spans eleven time zones and two continents, ending less than 50 miles from North America.

Interesting facts:

- Russians are very well educated and well behaved people. Their values include loving children, old people, friendship, pride, loving literature, patriotism, generosity, and humor.

- In the right situation do not be shy. In any social situations do not be afraid of making mistakes while trying out your Russian language. Russians in general are just happy that you are trying and will definitely help as much as they can.

- Most of the Russian people seem serious. They usually show very respectful behavior in public. Russian people dislike talking loud and expressing strong emotions in public. This is considered impolite in Russia. Moreover they are actually hospitable and warm despite their normal cold and pessimistic attitudes on the street.

- Do not assume that everybody in Russia is ethnically Russian. There are more than 50 ethnic groups in Russia. When talking to Russians it is appropriate to ask about their nationality and their traditions and customs.

- Never be afraid to reject drinking vodka. You will definitely not offend anyone. Just have a reasonable excuse ready. If you do drink with Russians, remember that the bottle is usually drunk until it is empty.

- Never expect everyone you meet with to be on time. Russian people have unusual idea of timing and it is clear that in general time is a much cherished value among people from other countries.

- Russians always give high value to traditionalism, stability and security in their culture.

- Never suppose to pay a visit to a Russian friend (for a half an hour). If you are invited to someone's house and sit down to lunch or dinner this is a really lengthy process.

- Talking about Russian people, we should not forget about Russian women. Russian girls are very beautiful. You will definitely remember by their charm for the rest of your life. They are lovely and gorgeous. They always like to give their best appearance in public places.

Quotes from the web:

- I think the biggest piece of advice I would give to any foreigner traveling to Russia - is NEVER second-guess the Russians. Never try to guess what they are going to say or do next, because if there is anything I've learned about Russian people, they are unpredictable. You can never guess how they are going to respond to anything, so just be yourself, try to be respectful, and open to learning from them. But know that as soon as you think you "understand" the Russians, they will do something to confuse you again :)

- Russian people on the whole are by far better educated than Westerners. When it comes to culture and arts, they knock socks off other nations. It goes with says, that here I'm not speaking about the dregs in life that exist in every country.

- I lived in Russia for 4 years, not as a tourist but among the local people. Compared to Western customs, these are a few of Russian habits or customs I noted:
1- Eating: If you are a guest with Russians at the table, Russians will not start eating until their guest begins to eat. first Nor will they serve themselves before their guests help themselves first.
2- Russian women love flowers as gifts and love giving flowers as gifts too.
3- Russian people are extremely generous: When visiting them at their home, they will always give you a little gift of something when you leave.
4- Russians love children more than any nation I have lived among. It's not uncommon for them to stop, chat and admire a stranger's baby in a carriage or stroller.
5- If you look lost, they are very helpful and will even go out of their way to go a distance with you to show you the way.
6- Russian woman like to look feminine and dress for it.
7- Russian men have no hesitation in telling a stranger woman that she is beautiful.
8- Russians love parks and enjoy strolling in winter or summer.


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