Russian people are known to be hospitable and friendly to foreigners. Even though they may seem colder to each other than people from other countries, they are usually curious about the lives of foreigners, ask a lot of questions and invite them into their homes for dinners, which are usually lavish events with plenty of food and drink.
Russians are very warm with people they like but maybe quiet cold if they don’t like someone. Smiling as much as Americans isn’t a norm but if Russians do smile you can count on it being sincere. Russians would not smile or nod if they meet your eyes in the street, as would be the norm in other parts of the world.
This is not a sign of rudeness but rather a cultural norm. Friends, on the other hand, may be greeted with warm handshakes and hugs. Russians love bestowing gifts on visitors and showing them around. Many foreigners who have rented apartments from Russian landlords note that their relationship become more than business after a while.
Land ladies may often want to offer meals for their guests, taking care of them as if it was their family. Some people find that charming, others like their privacy; it is best to discuss those things in advance. Because the concept of ‘personal space’ may not be as established in Russia as elsewhere people may seem to be pushy when standing in line at shops and different establishments.
Again, it’s a cultural difference that has to be observed.
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