lifestyle of Russians depends to a great degree on their income
levels. For Russias poor, life is a daily grind of survival
and many people spend hours each day selling their belongings
or other goods on the street. |
Businessmen are in a better situation than the people that
work as employees. With all the headaches and stress, they still
have some money and considerably good living standards.
The lifestyles of wealthier people have become Westernized
to a very high degree; American-style products and pastimes
are popular, especially in large cities. Watching television
and videotapes is a popular form of entertainment. Russian television
now includes Western-style programs, such as game shows and
had to make the long journey from the total control of the Soviet
times to the total uncertainty of the current situation. Their
life has changed extremely, and if taking peoples' happiness
means of measurement, it definitely changed for the worse.
The older people are very sorry for the Soviet times,
when everything was understandable, predictable and stable.
could not get a much better life than the others with all his
talents and hard work, but he was confident he would have the
necessary minimum: a place to stay, a job, free good quality
medical aid and affordable prices for goods, his children would
have free education and free access to any sport and cultural
particularly medical doctors and teachers, do not receive their
salaries for months, sometimes up to 6-12 moths. It does not
mean that they don't receive salaries at all. It started years
ago, first as delays with payments. So the first time one received
his salary a week later, then next month - 2 weeks later, and
so on. |
it happens that in June you receive your salary for last December.
One receives some money regularly, and he can survive, though
the government owes him thousands. This way was quickly picked
up by the other organizations, and now even if one works for
a private company, he seldom receives his salary on time. The
government constantly promises to fix outdated payments, and
pay pensions and salaries to people working in a budget system
on time, but so far it's only promises.
Most Russians don't have credit histories. They save
and then pay cash.
is extremely popular, as it was during the Soviet period. Books
are cheap, and one can afford to buy 5-10 books a month without
serious damage to a family budget. |
Education in Russia advanced significantly during the
Soviet period. In 1918 the Soviet government instituted free,
compulsory schooling, which enabled most Russians to receive
a good basic education. As a result, Russia has an extremely
high literacy rate.
More than 99 percent of the population over age 15 is literate.
Having a university or college degree is common, and
Russia has the highest educational level in the world.
Having a Ph.D. is also not a big deal, and doesn't give you
a big advantage. Since Perestroyka started, the system of higher
(university) education is slowly deteriorating as well as the
medical aid system, which used to be among the world's best.
are used to a situation where everything is unpredictable and
unstable. They live in a society where anything can happen,
and don't wonder when the national currency loses 25% of it's
value 3 days after the president's public promise that there
won't not be any inflation in the nearest future because the
situation has never been more stable. They have to adapt to
new rules and laws quickly, and they manage successfully with
this task. After "The Black Monday" (17 August, 1998)
when the government announced default, and the ruble fell dramatically,
people from any Western country would run to change the government.
Russians ran to exchange rubles for dollars.
have so many difficulties and problems in life, that they can
easily find a roundabout way for anything. They don't have a
deep respect towards any law, including traffic rules. Russians
are of some the worst and most reckless drivers, and the most
careless pedestrians in the world. |
|Russia is quite
a rough country, and Russians usually do not hesitate to say
what they think in a way that doesn't leave room for any misunderstandings.
Russians are very straightforward. When they meet or phone each
other, they do not spend time on questions like "How are
you?" and go straight to the point. They are not rude,
it's just a way of doing things.|
They also don't smile as often as foreigners do. After
an American leaves a room it is not uncommon for Russians to
say to each other, "Why was he
smiling so much?"
majority of Russians consider themselves as believers, and belong
to Russian Orthodox Church. It's a great achievement for a country
where atheism was the official state religion for more than
70 years. Frankly, they are not true believers. They appreciate
Christian moral values but do not follow them. Religion is not
a real part of their life. Russians are more aware of horoscopes
than the Bible.
Generally, Russians love their country. They can criticize
it severely, but if you try to do the same they will defend
it furiously. They feel like the citizens of the largest county
in the world, and they are proud of it.
St. Petersburg, Anichkov Bridge,
pedestrians in snow.
have much higher potential limits of patience and acceptance
in comparison with Americans.
In the same situation, which is unacceptable for an American,
they will act as if nothing happens. That's why Russian women
often considered good wives. They usually do not let situation
to come to the point of no return. It does not mean that they
give up their goals easily, but they try to reach them in a
different, less complicated or roundabout way. They do not intend
to prove their point, and the result is of more importance than
you will have a chance to visit Russia, you definitely will
be surprised seeing so many beautiful women on the streets.
Russian women just make special efforts to look their best.
They would never step away from home without proper make-up.
Skirts and mini-skirts are still popular among many Russian
Foreigners admit that Russians dress very neat and stylish.
It looks like they wear designer clothes for any occasion.
women take a good care of themselves and rarely get overweight
The keyword to Russian family life is dependence. The
family life is built on dependence, and Russians are attached
to their family members.
Russians get married early, at the age 18-22, mostly because
they don't really care about making a career and being independent.
couples usually get full financial support from their parents.
Most parents help their children until the children themselves
In some ways being over 22 and single in Russia puts a label
on a woman. Not any amount of money she earns or her career
successes can give her high social status, if she is not married.
On other hand, it's not such a fortune for a woman -
to be married in Russia. All housework is women's responsibility,
and it's quite a lot if taking in consideration the lack of
home electronic utilities. About 80% of Russian families do
not have even an automatic washing machine and microwave. Russian
society is pretty male dominating.
much more difficult for a woman to make career than for a man.
Looking for vacancies in Russian newspapers you will notice
that 90% of the ads appeal only to male candidates. Pointing
the gender as a requirement for a position is not considered
to be a discrimination. Women are paid less, and have fewer
career opportunities. Salaries in Russia are pretty small, and
even a successful career doesn't guarantee good living standards.
is common in Russia. Women outnumber men, and a guy can easily
find somebody for a relationship. Sleeping around is a kind
of honor for a man. Probably that's why Russians didn't think
it was much of a deal when they heard about Clinton's sex affair
with Monica. Some Russian men joke: "The
only good thing about Russia is girls - beautiful, gentle and
accessible". Many men in Russian believe they
should be allowed to have as many mistresses as they want and
are often emotionally and physically abusive.
Drinking problem exists in other countries as
well, but not on such large scale. People are so accustomed
to that misfortune in Russia, that if a husband doesnt
drink, he is considered almost an angel, even if his character
is far from perfect.
days it has become a fashion for foreign men to look for a young,
beautiful Russian wife. Some people think that Russian wife
is a free housekeeper; she is sexy and beautiful. Others, fortunately,
still believe in love and find Russian women romantic and affectionate.
Marrying a foreigner became a usual thing in Russia.
The number of marriage agencies doubles every year, with a few
hundred of them in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Almost all people
in big cities have a friend or acquaintance they know personally
who managed to find a husband abroad. However, the position
of society towards such marriages is negative both in Russia
and in the West.
Russian bridal websites: www.absoluteagency.com,