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The lifestyle of Russians depends to a great degree on their income levels. For Russia’s poor, life is a daily grind of survival and many people spend hours each day selling their belongings or other goods on the street.

usinessmen 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 soap operas.

Russians 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.

One 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 facilities.

Government employees, 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.

Woman reading.Eventually 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 The government constantly promises to fix outdated payments, and pay pensions and salaries to people working in a budget system on time, but so far it's only promises.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.

Reading 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.

Villager.Russians 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.

Small accident, March 2003.Russians 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?"

The 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.
St. Petersburg, Anichkov Bridge, pedestrians in snow.

Russian Women

Russians 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 the rightness.

Oksana Fedorova from Moscow, Miss Universe 2002.If 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 ladies.
Foreigners admit that Russians dress very neat and stylish. It looks like they wear designer clothes for any occasion.

Russian women take a good care of themselves and rarely get overweight with time.

The keyword to Russian family life is dependence. The family life is built on dependence, and Russians are attached to their family members.

ussians get married early, at the age 18-22, mostly because they don't really care about making a career and being independent.

Young couples usually get full financial support from their parents. Most parents help their children until the children themselves are elderly.

n 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.

It's 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.

Infidelity 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 doesn’t drink, he is considered almost an angel, even if his character is far from perfect.

Now 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.


ussian bridal websites: www.absoluteagency.com, www.bride.ru, www.russianbrides.com, www.russian-brides-club.com, www.chanceforlove.com, www.russianwife.com, www.aprettyrussianwife.com

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