Culture and etiquette
Though the Western practice of eating out is now widespread, Russians love to entertain at home, and if you’re invited over always bring a small present, be it some flowers (if you’re male) or some chocolates (if female). Tipping is in vogue only at high-end eating and drinking establishments, and five to ten percent should cover it. In churches, women should cover their head and shoulders, and men in shorts may be refused entry; you’ll also notice that Russians avoid turning their back to the iconostasis that screens the altar. Russians are rather superstitious; you’ll see people rubbing the noses of the dog statues at the Metro Ploshad Revolutsii in Moscow for good luck. Old-fashioned chivalry is alive and well, with men opening doors for women and offering to help with heavy lifting. You’ll notice young people giving up their seats to the elderly on public transport; follow their example before being told to.
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