Russia: Daily Life
by Going Global
Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of area (about 1.8 times size of the US) with population of more than 140 million people. It has a strong collectivist culture that dates back to medieval times when farmers lived and worked in self-managed agricultural communities known as mirs or obschina. The country's extreme physical conditions also forced people to work together in order to survive.
Due to their difficult history, Russians tend to have a pessimistic outlook, although young people are less prone to this quality. Russians may say things such as, “We will try to finish on time,” or “Perhaps it will work,” because they are aware conditions may change. Patience is greatly valued. Their complex and difficult history has led Russians to “hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Related to this is the key Russian concept of dusha, or soul, a concept that extends to the everyday. It refers to Russians' tendency to view and describe life through philosophical or spiritual terms. It is important to recognize this when interacting with Russians in business dealings.
Although Russians comprise 80 percent of the federation's population, there are significant minority communities, particularly Muslims in the north Caucasus region. In all, there are more than 20 million people belonging to minority groups in Russia. There is only one official language – Russian, but more than 140 other languages and dialects are in use in Russia.