Surfing on the net, or browsing for books, you’ll likely find one that talks about how to behave properly when visiting other countries. What looks innocent and normal for you might be offensive for the other. Yes, this is normal, since different countries have different cultures to begin with.
But in this article, we’re going to talk about American etiquette for Russians to follow. So if you’re from Russia, here are some simple travel tips for you before flying to the US.
Giving Gifts to Americans
- Gift doesn’t matter for Americans. In fact, unexpectedly giving a gift to an American can turn into a really awkward situation in a matter of minutes. If ever you really want to give gifts, make sure that it is “purely Russian” for modern America. Be it a good book about Russian history, art or culture, you name it. Business gifts, however, should be avoided. Americans tend to think that giving gifts at work can be seen as a bribe, which is illegal and is punishable by law in the US.
Sparking a Conversation with American Women
- Flirting with women that you don’t even know is a big no when you’re in the US. Be it in a subway, or in the street, don’t ever look at a woman’s legs or someone will call the police on you. Mutual kissing a lady’s hand is also not accepted. Women in the US plays a vital role when it comes to business. They are treated equally in the corporate world and not only as a lady. So be formal and don’t ask things like about marriage to avoid trouble.
Socializing with Americans
- If you’re not invited to be in someone’s home in the US, then don’t go. Showing up uninvited is not acceptable. Americans tend to build relationships first before inviting someone, even on a picnic. Invitations will also happen only on the weekend. Americans are also huge fans of sports activities, so when you’re invited for a weekend trip to the park or something, don’t forget to bring badminton rackets, baseball kits, and any other sporty equipment.
- Americans don’t also like long intros when engaging in a conversation. Being direct to the point is the key. Closing remarks are also appreciated. Saying things such as “see you later” should not be taken literally as this only acts as a courtesy for American culture.
- One thing Americans do while having a conversation is they tend to put their feet on a nearby chair or table and cross their legs while doing so. This is completely normal for them but is considered wrong in some countries.
- You should avoid asking about their health especially during casual conversations unless they’re at a hospital. Doing so will be regarded as an invasion of privacy and lack of tact.
- Whenever you approach an American or before engaging a conversation with them, don’t forget to smile in each and every situation. Not only to your American friends, but also to acquaintances as well, and even passers-by, or shop owners, hotel staff, the police, everyone in America for short.
- Also, avoid sharing your personal problems to someone you’re not even close with. In the US, serious problems should only be shared with your family or close friends. Remember that America is a cheerful nation. They’re not smiling because it’s already a norm for them, they’re smiling because it’s a natural thing for them. They don’t pretend when doing it. So always keep your “happy face” on once you arrive in America.