Russia is the world’s largest nation and one of the great emerging superpowers globally. It is a country with a long and important history, and the former Soviet Union was one of the most innovative nations in the world. Moscow is one of the world’s largest and most developed cities and plays a huge role in the economy of the country. Due to Russia’s size and position, it is considered the gateway to Europe, and one of the great nations of the world. But, there’s plenty of stuff we bet you didn’t know about Russian culture, and we’re going to look at some of the most unusual below.
Russians are actually very traditional and have excellent family values. Family always comes first for Russians, and their culture is one that is based around family values. They still get married quite young, and there is a definite focus on having children and starting a family. Russians are firm believers in long-term relationships and making things work in a stable environment.
Beer wasn’t classed as alcoholic!
In the past, you may not have known, but beer was not actually classed as an alcoholic beverage in Russia! No, really! Until 2011 beer was not viewed as alcoholic until President Medvedev (at the time) signed a law to make it so. We know Russians prefer vodka, but that’s just crazy!
Low life expectancy
Russian men have some of the lowest life expectancy rates in the world, with one in four Russian men dying before they turn 55! In the US this is only 10% of men, while in the UK it’s 7%. Life expectancy for Russian men is just 64 years old, which is incredibly low. It’s thought that excessive vodka consumption is one of the primary reasons behind this.
It’s on 2 continents
Most people don’t realize that Russia is actually on two continents as opposed to one. It’s easy to think they are just in Europe – after all, the country is classed as part of Europe, and they compete in European sporting competitions. But, due to its enormous size, Russia actually straddles both Europe and Asia, making it officially a part of Eurasia.
Alaska used to be part of Russia!
Ever wondered why Alaska is so cold? Well, it might have something to do with its past. See, you might not think it today, but Alaska was once part of the Russian Empire. In fact, it was bought by the United States in 1867 for just $7.2 million!
During the reign of Peter the Great, there was actually a beard tax imposed, that had to be paid by anyone with a beard. This might sound like a hoax, but, funnily enough, it was actually a genuine thing. We don’t know whether Peter had something against men with beards, but it seems a little harsh to tax something so trivial!
Christmas isn’t always Christmas
Okay, this is a strange one because Russia does celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but not all of Russia. Orthodox Russians actually live their lives by the Julian Calendar, a reformed version of the Roman Calendar, and, according to this, Christmas Day is on January 7th! There are other popular holidays that fall on different days as well – it’s just a quirk of having such a large population.