A lot of people have been asking about things not to do in Russia, so here it is!
1. Don’t Smile Without a Reason
The Russians have a saying: “To smile with no reason, is a sign of a fool.” So don’t randomly smile at strangers while you’re riding on public transportation or shopping in Moscow.
2. Don’t Shake Hands With Your Gloves On
It is considered extremely impolite to leave your gloves on while greeting someone with a handshake. So make sure you remove your gloves before any interaction occurs.
3. Don’t Show Up Empty Handed
If you’re invited over to someone’s house for a dinner or a visit, it is considered very rude to show up empty handed. Bring a small gift!
4. Don’t Ever Give a Gift of an Empty Wallet
Russians believe that giving a gift of an empty wallet or purse is bad luck. They see it as wishing financial hardship or poverty on the receiver of the gift. Put some cash in it, for goodness sake.
5. Don’t Leave Your Shoes On
Whenever entering a Russian home it is proper custom to remove your shoes. Many homes are decorated with expensive Persian rugs that are difficult to clean.
6. Don’t Whistle Indoors
Like many Asian cultures, whistling indoors in Russia is considered bad luck. Russians are very superstitious and believe that whistling inside may cause financial ruin, poverty, or another invasion of cockroaches.
7. Don’t Refuse a Shot
Sharing a drink is considered a sign of hospitality. Russians don’t see one shot as a big deal either, so to them a refusal comes off as untrusting or turning down friendship.
8. Don’t Sit at the Corner of the Table
This is another Russian superstition. It is said that “the one who chooses a seat at the corner of a table is destined to never be married or find their lover.”