When many people think of Russia, sultry spies, vodka-swilling men, and mail order brides spring to mind. However, while Russian spies and mail order brides did, and perhaps still, exist it's hardly fair to judge Russia and its citizens by these stereotypes. Here are four common Russian stereotypes that need to be put to rest.
Everyone in Russia Loves Vodka
As one of the largest producers of vodka, it’s probably safe to say that Russians enjoy a good drink. However, contrary to popular imagination, most Russians do not guzzle vodka every single day. Russians, like citizens of any other country, have jobs to hold and families to feed. This would be very difficult to do if they quaffed vodka day in and day out. While Russia is known for its vodka just like Japan is known for its sake and Germany for its beer, not all Russians guzzle vodka on a regular basis.
Russian Women Are Mail Order Brides
Many Westerners believe that women in Eastern Europe can be purchased from a website like stereo speakers or the latest vampire novel. However, this belief is far from accurate. While it’s true that many Russian and Ukrainian women marry foreigners, the ladies are not “mail order brides” in the sense that they can be purchased by Western men and shipped to Montana ranches or English manors. Russian dating sites share more in common with mainstream dating sites than mail order catalogs and Western men cannot Russian purchase women, either directly or indirectly.
Russians Are Prone to Spying
Thanks to the recent Anna Chapman scandal and various Russian spy references in pop culture, more than a few people are suspicious of Russian men and women living abroad. However, they needn’t worry. Though Russian spies have existed in the past, and perhaps still do, it would be silly to assume all Russian expatriates are secretly working for the KGB.
Everyone in Russia Wears Fur
While it’s true that Russia is one of the planet’s coldest countries, it is also a huge nation with a large variety of temperatures. In fact, the summers are as warm as Florida in some places and Russia’s Southern beaches draw many visitors. While fur coats are popular, one can hardly claim that all Russians wear them. The idea that all Russians wear fur coats is just as inaccurate as the notion that all Scottish people wear kilts or that all Japanese people wear kimonos.
As always, treating Russian women as individuals, rather than membes of a group, is the best way to develop a happy, healthy relationship. Don't be fooled by common Russian stereotypes.