Russian Stereotypes: What Foreigners Think About Russians

Russian Stereotypes: What Foreigners Think About Russians


Russia is not only home to 144.5 million people, but also world literature, talented classical composers and, of course, Russian ballet. Russian culture has an incredibly rich history and strong traditions. This, however, does not reduce the number of stereotypes about Russians. Vodka, bears walking the streets and other “serious statements” about Russia are not always true.

Stereotype one. Russians drink a lot of vodka.

When I only came to America, and told everyone that I know Russian language, culture, traditions more than my own country’s – Mongolia, everyone started asking me if Russians drink a lot of vodka. Many stereotypes about Russians do revolve around vodka. It may seem that Russians fall asleep and wake up with a bottle. Rumor has it that Russians drink the most alcohol. Although Belarusians are still the “drunkest nation”, Russia is not far behind them and takes an honorable fourth place in the ranking. Russia even celebrates the birthday of vodka (January 31).

Very cold Russia.

People often think that the temperature in Russia never rises above 0 degrees, that Russians are somehow arranged differently and never feel the cold. The truth is that winters are long and cold in some regions of Russia. In Russia, which is huge in size, the climate is mainly continental and sharply continental. And temperatures can be quite extreme, from 45? in Kalmykia in the summer to a deadly -64? in Oymyakon in the winter.

Bears roam the streets in Russia.

There are no bears on the streets in Russia – not even in Siberia! In the 19th century, bears performing on the streets were commonplace, oddly enough, grizzly bears generally do not like the public and loud noises. A bear may accidentally wander into some remote village, but this is not the norm.

Everyone in Russia is involved in the mafia.

Another myth about Russia is that the country is controlled by the “Russian mafia.” There are legends about the mystical Russian mafia in leather coats, which solves all its problems with the help of robbery and violence. The Russian mafia, although it shares the laurels of popularity in cinema with the Italian and Japanese mafia, has always been considered the most cruel, unbalanced and without signs of honor and dignity. In some countries, they even think that the Russian mafia is engaged in organ donation around the world.