Russian Culture

Other Considerations

  • While Russia is renowned for having a strong drinking culture, it’s not as glorified in Russian society as many foreigners believe. Being very drunk is not regarded positively in Russia. The public is very aware of the negative effects of alcohol dependency and it is considered bad manners to become visibly intoxicated from vodka or other drinks. Some may even see it as a sign of weak character.
  • The number 13 is considered unlucky in Russian culture. Celebrations may be organised so that they do not coincide with the number.
  • Homosexuality is not widely accepted in Russia and people from the LGBTQI+ community may encounter negative attitudes.
  • You may find that a Russian person who you presumed was quite moderate and ‘politically correct’ tells jokes that you deem to be inappropriate (i.e. sexist undertones or slurring racial/ethnic minorities). Consider that this kind of humour is quite common in in Russia. The media tends to circulate insulting stereotypes of Siberian natives, Koreans, Asians, Ukrainians, people of the Caucasus, Jews and those of other ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
  • ‘New Russians’ is a term that has arisen since the 1990s to caricature those who got rich in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It implies that a person gained their wealth through possibly corrupt means. This reflects a cultural scepticism of the wealthy.
  • Smoking cigarettes is a common habit and older Russians are likely to smoke in public places frequently. 
  • Being visibly drunk in public places is a legal offence in Russia. It is also illegal to for certain profane words to be spoken publicly or written in the media.
  • Some elderly Russians may be suspicious of anything related to government and bureaucratic processes.
  • Free speech is inhibited in Russia; the Putin government is known to harshly punish journalists, activists and other forms of opposition that resists its authority. Therefore, consider that some Russians in Australia may have migrated to seek political sanctuary.
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Russia
  • Population
    142,355,415
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Languages
    Russian [official] (85.7%)
    Tatar (3.2%)
    Chechen (1.0%)
    Other (10.1%)
    [2010 census]
  • Religions
    Russian Orthodox Christianity (15-20%)
    Islam (10-15%)
    Other Christianity (2%)
    [2006 est.]
    Note: These estimates are of practicing worshipers only. Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers.
  • Ethnicities
    Russian (77.7%)
    Tatar (3.7%)
    Ukrainian (1.4%)
    Bashkir (1.1%)
    Chuvash (1%)
    Chechen (1%)
    Other (10.2%)
    Unspecified (3.9%)
    [2010 census]
    Note: There are nearly 200 national and/or ethnic groups are represented in Russia.
  • Cultural Dimensions
    93
    39
    36
    95
    81
    20
  • Australians with Russian Ancestry
    85,657 [2016 census]
Russians in Australia
  • Population
    20,425 [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Russia. However, it should be that there are many people who were born in other republics of the former Soviet Union who also identify as Russian. According to the 2016 census, the number of Russian-speakers in Australia is 50,314.
  • Average Age
    42
  • Gender
    Male (37.3%)
    Female (62.7%)
  • Religion
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity (42.3%)
    No Religion (26.3%)
    Judaism (12.7%)
    Other (14.1%)
    Not Stated (4.5%)
  • Ancestry
    Russian (79.3%)
    Jewish (5.9%)
    Ukrainian (1.7%)
    Other (10.9%)
    Not Stated (2.1%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Russian (79.8%)
    English (13.7%)
    Polish (1.2%)
    Greek (0.8%)
    Other (4.5%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 80.8% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    New South Wales (37.5%)
    Victoria (33.2%)
    Queensland (12.9%)
    South Australia (6.8%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (54.4%)
    2001-2006 (19.8%)
    2007-2011 (21.6%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/138/ru.svg Flag Country Russia