We will be pleased to hear certain praises related to our achievements in space exploration, economic development, figure skating and other sports, ballet and especially in art and literature (those are spheres of our innate pride).
If you show proper interest in the spiritual and cultural life of this country, respect is guaranteed. Let all the criticism and mockery you might hear from this people about this country not mislead you.
Despite the global notoriety of Russian foul language, it will be frowned upon in an educated, well-mannered society.It is habitual to look shortly in your companion's eyes and then move away your look, which risks to be interpreted by a Westerner as a sign of insincerity or abashment.In fact it is a token of respect and certain distance implying one's modesty.It still retains its extremely negative connotation, so be careful when displaying your probable mastery of the language.Obscene and rude jokes are not welcomed either, though it depends on the company you are in.In the Novgorod Province if a visitor refused from food, the hosts would say with insult spoke: “How can you go from the empty house! ", you risk to get a complete report on how he/she really is.” The word khlebosolstvo - a combination of khleb (bread) and sol’(salt) still stands for hospitality, i.e. The formalism of the Europeans or Westerners at this point can hardly be understood in Russia.Treating the guest with bread-and-salt established relations of love and trust among guests and hosts, whereas the refusal to taste bread-and-salt was regarded as an insult.It is not without reason that they say “even the tsar does not refuse from bread-and-salt”.According to those traditional concepts, the greatest reproach to an ungrateful person would be to say: “You have forgotten my bread-and-salt”.The famous 16th century book Domostroy setting out rules of house management and family life recommended to treat a foe with drink and bread-and-salt, so that “to establish friendship instead of enmity”.