10 Things I Love About Russians

There are a lot of stereotypes about Russian people and, I admit, a lot of them seem to be negative.  But if you’re going to be an expat and want to have a positive experience and live harmoniously with another culture, you’ve got to have a positive attitude.  I’ve always been partial to Russians and approached them expecting the best and I have rarely been disappointed.

1) They’re loyal.  This is actually something I’d heard about Russians before I ever went to Russia.  Although it may take a long time to get close to a Russian, once you’re in, there’s no looking back.  They make great friends and will do anything to help one another.
2) They’re creative.  I’ve heard Russians say this about themselves and it’s definitely true.  I suppose it’s an attribute that comes from living without a lot of available resources and having to make-do with what you have.  But Russians can solve just about any problem in a highly unique way and have the ability to think outside the box.
3) They love to travel.  Although the places Russians can travel are often limited because of visa requirements, every Russian I’ve met is keen on travelling.  Whether it’s just within Russia or somewhere like Egypt or Turkey, Russians are eager to explore the world.
4) They’re curious.  This goes hand-in-hand with #3 in that they’re incredibly curious about things outside of Russia.  While they may declare that Russia has the best of everything, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to see what’s on offer elsewhere.  They’re also very interested in foreigners and their lives.  I was constantly bombarded with questions about myself, about life in America and my opinions on practically everything.  And I was never short of an audience with rapt attention.
5) They try to speak your language.  Russians study English in school and even if they don’t have a very high level, they are eager to practice with native speakers and try to speak English as much as possible if you don’t know any Russian.  I’ve heard that the French speak English but simply refuse to speak it.  If that’s the case, then it’s just the opposite with Russians.
6) They’re hardworking.  There are a lot of stereotypes even among Russians that they are lazy.  But I’ve noticed that they work hard and long hours.  I met a lot of Russians working more than one job, sometimes more than two jobs.  While they might not enjoy their work, they get up and do it, often spending hours commuting to their jobs.
7) But they know how to relax.  After working all week, Russians love to relax in the countryside at their dacha.  They know how to throw great parties and make the most of their leisure time.
8) They’re kind and helpful.  In my experience, Russians are willing to help pretty much anyone if you need something or are in a bad situation.  When I had difficulties with my luggage, Russians came to the rescue.
9) They have a healthy attitude toward nature.  Russians seem to love being in nature and are close to all things natural.  Their attitudes toward the human body are natural as well, as opposed to clinical or puristic.
10) They’re stylish.  Everything they do, they do it with style.  Sometimes it might seem over the top, but Russians like to be bold and dramatic.

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2 Responses to 10 Things I Love About Russians

  1. Hi JoAnne,

    I admire your good writing, your positive attitude, and your observation skills. In Number 8, Rusians can be kind and helpful, but their usual стесняется (social reserve or shyness) holds them back and can limit the extent of their help.

    I contrast Russian and American thinking, attitudes, and behavior in my blog, American Russia Observations. Please stop by and take a look. Comments welcome!

    Rob

    • JMS says:

      Thanks for the comment and compliments! I’ve noticed that as well but it seems during extreme situations they are willing to provide assistance. Your blog sounds fascinating! I can’t believe I haven’t come across it before and I’ll definitely be checking it out!

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