Most Russians live in small flats in large apartment buildings. Apartments are scarce and usually there are two to three generations living together.
Single people live with their parents and even married couples may live with one spouse’s family due to the scarcity of flats and the economics of living on their own.
Family members depend on each other. Grandma may look after the children and cook and clean for the family while the others are off at work. They take care of each other.
Living in small flats together, they have to be considerate of each other and compromise to get along.
It fosters an atmosphere of mutual interdependence. Russians are comfortable depending on each other, while westerners are more independent.
Because of their desire for interdependence, Russian women make excellent wives.
Russians are wonderful hosts and very warm when you visit them in their home. You will almost be smothered with attention when you are their guest or a member of their family.
However, they have almost two modes of operating in their daily lives. One is at the friend / family level and the other is at the public level.
At the public level, they are stone faced and do not smile. They are usually not very friendly and can be downright impolite. In Russia, you will not get a vapid smile at the bank followed by a ‘have a nice day, ’ as you would in America.
If you stop a stranger on the street or airport in Russia, you may not get any response at all. They may continue walking without speaking to you. Asking for help can be a very frustrating experience in Russia.
Russians are straightforward and blunt. Life is hard. They do not waste time with please and thank you. They will say what is on their mind in a way that does not leave any room for misunderstanding.
Manners were considered a part of bourgeois capitalist society during the Soviet era. Manners were frowned upon as a means of perpetuating the old social order, like religion.
John has been married to a Russian women for over five years. He has travelled the path from finding her, to traveling to Russia, to bring his wife to America, and adjusting to married life. He will show you step by step how to do this yourself. http://www.russian-luv.com/manners.html