MOSCOW — If you meet any overly polite Russian tourists this year, you have Russia’s new travel etiquette guide to thank.
According to Condé Nast Traveller, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow has published a travel etiquette guide to help Russians avoid “undesirable incidents” while abroad.
In addition to generic travel rules like “practice good hygiene when visiting swimming pools”, “avoid alcohol abuse” and “do not use offensive gestures” like extending the middle finger, the ‘General Elements of Behaviour’ guide also includes country-specific advice, some of which are pretty spot on and hilarious.
In Sweden, for example, Russians are advised to respect personal space on buses and not sit directly next to passengers if vacant seats elsewhere are available. In Mongolia, shouting loudly is frowned upon, being late in the Netherlands is a no-no, and spanking your kids in Norway is also advised against.
As for Canada, where “gay marriage has been legalized for a long time”, Russians have been advised to avoid telling off-colour jokes.