So Sochi: Spotlight on Russian Culture

So Sochi: Spotlight on Russian Culture

The winter Olympics have just started in Sochi and Russia expects a lot from it as the Olympic Games always represent the opportunity to shine in the world. The international attention that this event draws to ‘the Motherland’ will be an excellent opportunity to share some of its culture.


As a matter of fact, national pride runs through the veins of Russian people. They are really proud of their country, history and culture. Consequently, the will to  impress the world will be even stronger than in previous years of other Olympic Games. Simply take a look at the budget to realise how Russia takes it seriously. They spent $50 billion for this event! This is the greatest budget ever spent for such an event and it is three times as much as the London’s Games budget.

The Russian culture does not restrain to this point. Besides, according to the age of the person you can expect people to behave differently, especially when it comes to business.

Hierarchy is a fundamental aspect in this country and has little do to with its Soviet history. However, young managers who have grown up in the post-Soviet era may be much more influenced by the Western management style. Generally, because pride and patriotism is definitely a Russian cultural trait, one of the best ways to make good impression is surely to be able to speak some Russian.

If you want to do business with Russians you should try to build up a trust-based relationship. To achieve this, sincerity is  key. Furthermore, establishing a network could come out as essential to cut through some heavy red tape. Russian people use the word “svyasi“, which means “connections” and refers to having friends in high positions that can help bypassing some bureaucracy.

If you are having some problems getting around in Russia you can count on their hospitality. Russian like to visit each other and they even sometimes do so without any special invitation. Just remember to bring a gift whenever you visit someone, not doing so is considered rude. Therefore, if you have Russian friends, they will be happy to welcome and accomodate you – isn’t this another reason to go to Sochi?

Хорошего дня!  [Have a nice day!]

Written for the Culture Vultue by Elorn Causer. Elorn is an intern at Kwintessential. He is to obtain a Master’s degree on Intercultural Management. He also did an internship at the Council of Europe where he worked on intercultural dialogue and on migrant integration. 

Emma Tidey
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