10 Interesting Facts About Russia You'll Like To Know.

Facts about Russia
People walking near the Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, RussiaPhoto by Savvapanf Studio/Fotolia

Russia is in Northern Asia. The country shares common borders with other countries such as Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, and Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Latvia, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, and Ukraine. The capital of Russia is Moscow. The government is a democratic federation. Here are other interesting facts about Russia that you would like to know.

A 2014 population estimate put Russia at some 142.5 million and the country ethnic group makes up some 81.5 of that population. The Russian climate is basically two types. These are the vast cold, dry grassland (steppes) that characterize the south. The other one is the northern part that is basically humid.

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Population: 142.5 million (2014)

Capital: Moscow

Currency: Russian ruble (₽) (RUB)

President:  Vladimir Putin

Prime Minister: Dmitry Medvedev

Continent: Asia, Europe

System of Government: Federal Semi-Presidential Constitutional Republic

Official Language: Russian

Interesting Facts About Russia

1. THE SOLID BASE

In Russia, the family is a solid base for everyone. This is because Russians believe that family is the bedrock of every solid society.  Every Russian family is dependent on all its members.  And most families have only one child. Apart from economic reasons, have one well-behaved child is better than having plenty and not all are well-behaved.

2. COMMUNAL MENTALITY

Russians have a communal mentality. In this regard, being alone in any endeavor comes to them as strange. They live in community, work in community, and eat in community. For this reason, most a Russian would join a table of total strangers in a restaurant rather than eat alone.

3. BONE CRUSHER HANDSHAKE

The typical greeting is a firm, almost bone-crushing handshake. This is done while maintaining direct eye contact. It is viewed by Russians as bad manner to look away while greeting and shaking hands with them. Every greeting is usually related to the appropriate time of day.

4. THE PATRONYMIC NAMES

The average Russian middle name is patronymic.  This means it is a version of the father's first name.  It is formed by adding either '-vich' or '-ovich' for a male, and '-avna' or '- ovna' for a female.  The son of Ivan would have a patronymic of Ivanovich.  And the daughter's patronymic would be Ivanovna.

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5. PRESS GIFTS HOME

Number five facts about Russia is that they do not prohibit gifts giving. But, as a custom, often protest when they are offered a gift.  It is also customary on the side of the giver to reply that it is a little something and offer the gift again. Of course, the gift is usually generally accepted.

6. WHEN NEVER TO GIVE GIFTS

Russians have a few taboos.  One of them has to do with when a woman is pregnant. It is generally a taboo to give a yet unborn baby any gifts.  It is viewed as bad luck.  Gifts for babies yet unborn are reserved till the baby is born. It is a taboo to give gifts sooner.

7. TIME CONSCIOUS SOCIETY

Time matters to Russians a lot.  Punctuality is the order of the day, because appropriate time is allotted to every endeavor. Therefore, when honoring an invitation to the home of a Russian, endeavor to arrive on time!  However, if for any reason you fail that, then ensure you make it not later than 15 minutes of the stipulated time.  And when you get there, take off your outdoor shoes.  You may be given slippers to wear.

8. COURTESY AT MEAL

At the Russian meal table, courtesy is what reigns supreme, and is a central part of table manner. You do not have servants waiting to attend to everything during meal  in many homes.  For this reason, men pour drinks for women seated next to them.  That means if you seating next to a women, it is your responsibility to pour her drinks.

9. THE "LEFT-OVER" THANKS

Thanking your host starts with a gesture right at the table. You can tell him/here that they have made ample provision for your hospitality through the gesture. All you need to do is leave a small amount of food on your plate. But leaving the meal table with your plate totally empty says you didn't have enough and makes your host to lose face.

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10. REMAIN SEATED

Do not get up from the meal table until you are invited to leave the table. Doing so is bad manners! But this has an exception.  At formal dinners, the guest of honor is usually the first to get up from the table. So if you are the guest of honor, then you are free to get up from the table first.

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