The most surprising things about Russian women

AS BEING TOLD BY FOREIGN MEN.

 Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Many famous painters fell in love with Russian women, who were easily distinguished from other foreign ladies. Nowadays, Russian women are getting a lot of attention from foreign men who are drawn to their natural appearance, spiritual values, and a variety of unusual behaviors.

No to punctuality

Russian women astound foreign men with their lack of punctuality, preferring to be late for a date. A 15-minute delay from the scheduled time causes the gentlemen to be unsure whether or not the lady will attend the meeting. For Russian women, however, this is the natural order of things, because the longer he waits, the happier he will be with this encounter.

Wife status

Unlike Western women, Russian women aspire to marry by the age of 25 and change their status from bride to wife. Nobody wants to spend their golden years single, without a husband and children. A woman’s 30th birthday marks the beginning of her old age in a Russian mentality. It is also for this reason that spontaneous marriages occur, with the birth of a child and an impending divorce as integral parts. Girls in other countries start thinking about marriage when they are 30 to 35 years old, and the arrival of their first child is expected by the age of 40, when they believe the best period of life begins — a career is established, financial well-being is achieved, and nothing distracts from commitment to the family.

Under a man’s protection

Russian women astound foreign men with their complete disregard for the prevalent feminism in many countries around the world, claiming that the patriarchal relationship structure is much more acceptable for a harmonious existence. They are educated, strong, and independent, and they are always looking for a partner who will surround them with care, open the door for them, pay in a restaurant, give way, and shower them with compliments. A man is a breadwinner in the eyes of Russian women, and a woman is a keeper of the hearth, so it is nearly impossible to establish a relationship with her based on a separate family budget and joint household management. The husband is obligated to provide financially for the family, and the wife’s main responsibility is to keep the house in order and cook tasty meals.

Manipulation

This coin, however, has a flip side known as manipulation. Russian women are frequently chastised for trying to exert control over their husbands; in order to project the image of an obedient wife, they attempt to seize control of the family. Such an undercover struggle irritates both Eastern and Western men since the former expect loyalty from the ladies and the latter are accustomed to building open relationships based on the partnership principle.

Good housewives

Foreigners are drawn to Russian women because of their thriftiness and, as a result, their ability to handle all of the responsibilities of a housewife on their own. Russian ladies, recalling the adage “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” enjoy cooking a variety of tasty dishes for their loved ones. House cleaning, washing, ironing, and, of course, canning for the winter are considered natural female occupations. Ladies from Western countries tend to use cleaning services to keep their homes in order, and semi-finished items or fast food to complete their diet.

Spontaneity

Another distinguishing feature of Russian ladies is their spontaneity and inability to live according to a long-planned schedule. Capable of breaking away from their familiar surroundings at any time and setting off in search of adventure in uncharted lands, they excite foreigners with their eagerness for daring and quirky adventures that add zest to everyday life.

Motherhood

A child is the only one who can make changes to a Russian woman’s easy life, for which she is willing to give up all of her preferences. With the birth of children, the entire family life starts to follow a regular routine, and motherhood becomes the primary course. Furthermore, Russian women are unaccustomed to the fact that a man will share the care of a baby with them, thinking that it is better than a mother because no one knows what is good and bad for the infant.

Then, of course, they love to chastise their husbands for not engaging in the child’s development and for ruining their youth with household chores, but they are partially to blame for the occurrence of these problems because they did not trust the father’s instinct of a man.

Tolerance

Foreigners regard boundless tolerance as a distinguishing feature of Russian women. Going to endless compromises in family life, she is condescending to her husband’s acts that violate her integrity and rights. They tend to humbly consider all of life’s difficulties, referring to a poor destiny, since they are afraid of awkward conversations and public opinion.

Femininity

Foreign men are taken aback by Russian women’s desire to appear feminine, attractive, and glamorous at all times and in all places. They are endowed by birth with a special Slavic charm, but they nevertheless pay close attention to their appearance, standing out against the backdrop of Western ladies with their well-groomed, catchy makeup, and somewhat defiant attire.

Since all of the above is a regular part of women’s daily beauty routine, Russian ladies don’t need an excuse to put on lipstick, do their hair, dress up, and wear high-heeled shoes.

Other little things

Thrifty foreigners get annoyed when Russian women bathe in an open shower for half an hour and do not save water at all. They still don’t understand how, after marriage, they continue to maintain tight relations with their parents and relatives, who may come to visit, intervene in family affairs, and spend many days at their son-in-house law’s without an invitation.

Women from Ufa, Russia

Ufa is the capital and largest city of the Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan. It now has a population of over a million people, with approximately 54 percent of the population being women and only 45 percent being men. Furthermore, it is the only city in the Russian Federation with natural population growth. This place is unique in its own way. Different nations, viewpoints, and even religions coexist peacefully here. Currently, there are much more Russians in the city than Tatars and Bashkirs. There are also people of other nationalities living there, including Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Belarusians, Armenians, and even Germans and Jews.

This city is not overly populated, so it is spacious, clean, and beautiful. Ufa has nearly 700 square meters of urban space for every inhabitant. As a result, the Bashkir capital is known as Russia’s most spacious megalopolis. The capital of the Bashkir Republic is the fourth-longest city in the Russian Federation. It is also one of the top five largest cities in Russia in terms of land area. There is a vast network of two dozen caves and mines for gypsum extraction near Ufa.

Ufa’s culture is multinational and multifaceted: this city has a lot to be proud of, from architecture to a wide range of cultural events. However, there is one point that should be highlighted. These are Ufa women, women with distinct characteristics and mentalities that cannot be ignored.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

If you’ll ever question what kind of appearance do ladies from Ufa have, you will almost certainly get very different answers. In this city, you can meet both Russians and Bashkirs, as well as girls born from interethnic marriages. As a result, many Ufa women have both Russian and Bashkir traits. Such a combination of genes produced an excellent result. The girls look great here, and there are often models among them. Furthermore, despite the city’s apparent gloom, Ufa women prefer to dress brightly and stylishly.

This city’s residents are completely opposed to intolerance and violence. This is due in part to the fact that Ufa is home to people of various cultures and nationalities. Residents of Ufa are extremely tolerant. They treat everyone with the utmost hospitality, from guests from other regions to foreigners. In the entire history of Ufa, there have been no conflicts on either religious or ethnic grounds. Modesty is another distinguishing characteristic of Ufa girls. It is also a part of the life philosophy of everyone who lives in this area.

The family is one of the main values in Russian culture. In terms of Bashkir traditions, the family has always been and will always be the most important thing in life. As a result, regardless of the type of girl from Ufa you meet, she is more likely to be family-oriented. In other words, women in this country want to meet their husbands for more than just protection. They are eager to invest in the family hearth and child-rearing because, in their opinion, these are the most valuable investments.

Women from Ufa are very freedom-loving. This trait should not be confused with feminist sentiments. The truth is that the Bashkirs have always valued freedom as their primary value. Russians who moved to this area have absorbed local values and partly adopted the lifestyle. After many centuries, the inhabitants of Ufa are still striving for freedom and justice.

Ufa, as a massive megalopolis with a population of over a million inhabitants, has perhaps the most apparent imbalance in the number of men and women. Currently, there are slightly more than 800 men for every 1000 women which leads to some competition between women. That is why many of them are forced to look for a mate in other cities or countries.

10 facts about Russian women from non-Russian men’s perspectives

You are correct if you think that men all over the world admire Russian women’s beauty. Find out what else they usually say about ladies from Russia!

 Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

  1. Russian women place a high value on their appearance. Sure, they have good genes, but they also spend a lot of time and money on cosmetics. They learn to care for themselves from a young age, despite the fact that their beauty is natural. They may not wear makeup in principle, but they do so to boost their confidence. They are right to be proud of their appearance.
  2. Family is the most important value in a Russian woman’s life coordinates system. Despite the fact that Russian girls study, work, and pursue a career, their husbands and children are always their top priority. Perhaps this is because patriarchal traditions are still prevalent in Russian society.
  3. Russian women adore romance. You are expected to treat them as ladies and to behave like gentlemen. They enjoy small gifts but may decline expensive gifts because they dislike feeling obligated.
  4. The majority of Russian girls have a stunning figure, either pear-shaped or hourglass-shaped. Young girls take care of themselves by participating in sports or exercising on a regular basis to stay fit. They avoid fast food and practice long walks.
  5. Russian women dress exquisitely. Even in the dead of winter, they dress in miniskirts, heels, and tights. They even dress up for a simple dinner or a trip to the movies. Many Russians dress for work in the same way that American women dress for parties.
  6. In Russia, most girls marry before the age of 30. Nonetheless, they continue to study and work despite their marriage.
  7. Most Russian women are excellent cooks, and they learn this skill from their mothers. Cooks and cleaners are rarely hired in Russia because Russian women do not trust strangers to do their housework. That is why they make excellent hosts.

     Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

    Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

  8. Russian women are extremely intelligent. After all, it was this country that invented space travel and gave birth to Nabokov! A Russian girl is capable of thinking, acting, and living independently. She studies, gets a job, and works hard to support herself completely.

     Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

    Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

  9. If you are lucky enough to win a Russian girl’s heart, you should also love her family: Russian families are very strong and close-knit. If you can gain the trust of the girl’s family, they will accept you as a member of their family. However, if you cheat on your Russian girlfriend, you’re done. Russian families can be vengeful, vindictive, and dangerous.
  10. Russian girls are extremely loyal, and if they fall in love, they stay in love for a very long time. To avoid divorce, the Russian will try to save any relationship, even if it is harmful to her. But don’t test her patience: if she decides to leave, she’ll leave for good.

Russian women on a dating market: demand generates supply.

There’s an old adage that goes, “Like must marry like or there will be no happiness.” Nonetheless, many Russian women seeking love abroad disregard this wisdom. The “Russian bride” phenomena did not emerge by accident, but rather as a result of a simple economic law — demand generates supply.

 Photo by Crina Doltu from Pexels

Photo by Crina Doltu from Pexels

From the men’s point of view

Being an average level of income, any age man from the US, Canada, Europe, or Europe can suffice to pass as a suitable groom for an average Russian lady. If the groom is unsure whether marrying a Russian woman rather than a woman from his own country is a smart decision, he does a basic cost-benefit study.

One advantage of marrying a Russian woman is her strong family values. A Russian wife would suit any man who does not want his best half to dote on him and look after the housework and their son, and who is not an individual feminist sort. A Russian wife would satisfy any man who needs his best half to pamper him and take care of the housework and their children rather than be an ambitious feminist. A man can be assured of a good wife with a Russian woman, at least according to the dominant stereotype.

Some men may be self-conscious about an age difference between themselves and their spouse in their own country. This is not a problem in Russia. There is no social shame associated with seeing a partner that is 25 years your junior.

Though the Russian brides’ dating sites offer a big cultural mix, there would be no significant gaps between the man’s and her life views, and she will probably speak at least some basic English.

From the women’s point of view

Women, by nature, want care and protection. So, where do Russian women get the impression that life in a foreign country is far superior to life in Russia?

Here is the answer: we all recall the economic and social struggles of the 1990s when we realized that food and clothing were plentiful in the West, where a woman could purchase shoes and a handbag in the same color and pattern as her suit or dress.

It was an eye-opening experience. Even though times have changed and Russia is now a consumer’s heaven, this trend persists, although in a weakened form. The thing is, the number of Russian female users of international dating sites is great, and it is continually replenished by newcomers from the poorer provinces.

When a woman falls in love and decides to marry her overseas mate, she should consider the challenges of adjusting to her new circumstances and carefully weigh the economic advantages of her choice against the weight of her feelings; she should not depend on the possibility that she would reform her chosen man, molding him into something more preferable.

In fact, both parties make economic estimates. Men do it directly, while women do it in a more abstract manner — in the shape of consumer fantasy.

Women from Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Krasnoyarsk is Russia’s geographical center, situated on both sides of the Yenisei River, which separates Siberia into Eastern and Western parts. Krasnoyarsk, with a population of over one million people, is the third-largest city in Siberia, rapidly growing and well-known for its metallurgical industries. Krasnoyarsk is located 4065 kilometers from Moscow via the Trans-Siberian railway. It takes about 2 days and 10 hours by rail and about 4.5 hours by plane to get there from Moscow.

The city of Krasnoyarsk is famous for its unique atmosphere and architecture, not very typical for the rest of Russian cities. Furthermore, industry and business are highly developed here. Another fascinating thing about Krasnoyarsk that its residents truly believe that people living on the Western and Eastern sides of the Yenisei river have a different mentality.

Krasnoyarsk is one of Russia’s biggest cities. Its population has reached a million in 2012, and it has continued to expand steadily, although slowly. At the same time, there are approximately 100,000 more women than men in the city.

 Photo by Tatiana Twinslol from Pexels

Photo by Tatiana Twinslol from Pexels

Krasnoyarsk region is one of the leaders in gold production, producing one-fifth of Russia’s gold reserve. But not only this specious metal is what Krasnoyarsk is rich with. The city can be truly proud of the beauty of its women. The majority of Krasnoyarsk ladies have a very effective appearance in addition to strong will, an active lifestyle, and a well-tempered character. They are kind, helpful, friendly; hardworking and strong; beautiful, tolerant, and sporty.

Even though Krasnoyarsk has long been associated with separatist sentiments towards other Russian cities, women from this region are all very polite and sociable when it comes to international dating.

Recent studies show that more than two-thirds of Krasnoyarsk women consider family to be their main priority. The family becomes the main sanctuary and the cornerstone on which their lives are founded. This is one of the reasons why Krasnoyarsk girls are so driven to start their own strong and reliable family with a good guy.

Three key differences between Ukrainian and Russian women

Russians and Ukrainians share a common past. The two peoples have become so inseparable that it can be difficult to tell the difference between a Russian woman and a Ukrainian woman. However, each nation has its own unique personality traits. Like the fact that Ukrainian women would rather rule over men than be obeyed by them. They are a mix of passion and tenderness.

 Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Personality characteristics

Russian and Ukrainian women differ not only in appearance but also in a variety of personality characteristics. The obstinacy of Ukrainian women is the first thing that stands out. It can be contrasted with Russian women’s complaisance. Ukrainian women are more determined, independent, and self-sufficient than men.

Ukrainian women are not used to tiptoeing around men, and there is ample historical evidence to support this. Keep in mind where Ukraine began in general. Cossacks were frequently killed in clashes and battles, or they returned home crippled. This forced Ukrainian women to make their own decisions and accept “non-female” jobs.

The Ukrainian woman tempered her character, becoming tougher and more dominant in her family, whereas, in most Russian families, women remained subordinate to men. Ukrainian women never played the role of victims.

Ukrainian girls’ assertiveness is not an invention. It is supported by historical sources as well. For example, Levasseur de Beauplan, a French cartographer and researcher, described an intriguing custom in which Ukrainian women chose men to create a family themselves. This is something that could never happen in Russia. How can a modest marriageable Russian girl propose to the guy she wants to marry?

Temperament

Ukrainian women are not only more determined, but they also have a fiery temperament. Russian women are more subdued and melancholic as it’s shown in the masterpieces of classical Russian literature.

An interesting sociological study was conducted by one Ukrainian online magazine. Journalists interviewed Ukrainian female students to learn how they see themselves, and they were asked to list the main characteristics of their personalities. The words “feminine”, “gentle”, “cheerful”, “obstinate”, “capricious”, and “emotional” were frequently used by the interviewees.

In other words, Ukrainian women have contradictory, extravagant, and volatile personalities. Russian girls are much calmer.

Appearance

Cosmetics smooth away any disparities between Russian and Ukrainian ladies, who are rightly regarded as among the most attractive in the world. Russian women are more “Northern” in appearance. They mostly have blonde hair and light eyes, clean-cut, delicate facial features. The blood of the Russians mingled with the blood of the Finno-Ugric and East Baltic peoples.

Ukrainian women have a hotter, “Southern” appearance. Most of them can boast jet black hair and noticeable facial features. The appearance of Ukrainian women is sometimes very contrasting: pale skin with dark brows, black hair, and ice blue or piercing green eyes, for example. The Russian woman resembles a fairy tale’s majestic Snow Queen, while the Ukrainian woman resembles a bright, sunny Queen of summer.

What surprises foreigners the most about Ukraine and Ukrainians

BBC Ukraine conducted its own poll of foreigners to learn how they perceive Ukraine and Ukrainians today, compiling a list of the most popular responses from citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Japan, Pakistan, Canada, and Mauritius.

Character

The peculiarities of Ukrainian character, most notably sincerity and hospitality, were mentioned by almost everyone with whom the BBC Ukraine correspondents spoke.

“Sincerity. If you’ve ever traveled to other countries, you’ve probably noticed that the locals appear to be very friendly, but I don’t believe this is genuine. For me, it is often just a mask. However, when it comes to Ukrainians, you can clearly understand how they feel about you,” — Gabriel from Miami says.

 Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels

“There are a lot of things that I like about Ukrainians. But the warmth and sincere hospitality are at the top of this list. It amazes me how easily I can communicate with them on a deep, spiritual level. An hour spent over a cup of tea and good company is the best medicine for my heart and soul. This is what I call a unique feature of all Ukrainians, and it is something I appreciated a lot during my time in Ukraine,” admits Randa, who returned to her homeland, the United States, after living in Ukraine for 21 years.

At the same time, Randa dislikes Ukrainian men being rude to women in public.

“Men on the subway or bus would frequently push me away just to pass by and take a seat. Ukrainian men would never offer their seats to a woman, no matter how old she is and no matter how heavy her bags are. Total ignorance.”

Johannes from Denmark has shared similar impressions: “The most irritating aspect is the lack of mutual respect and courtesy. This is true for both the elderly and the young. This is an attempt to be the first, without regard for others…”

“The people I met in Ukraine were all highly educated and well-mannered” —  says Hideo from Japan.

“It seems to me that Ukrainians are very hospitable and united as a nation,” explains Peter from the United Kingdom.

“I am amazed by the entrepreneurial spirit of Ukrainian people. They have ambitions, they have business projects. Although I understand that it is also a matter of survival for people who pursue careers due to the country’s economic uncertainty,” —adds Francis from Canada.

“Strive for liberty and private property. Even during the communist era, many Ukrainians retained these sentiments,” — Alain from France said.

Women

“On the plus side, there are Ukrainian girls. This is, of course, one of the reasons I’m here!” — Gabriel from the United States admits.

 Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

“Ukrainian women are smart, well-organized, and good housewives,” — says Shoaib from Pakistan.

“They are very beautiful and warm-hearted women,” — says Toshiyuki from Japan.

Roads and cars 

“There are only new foreign cars on the streets. How is this possible?” — inquires Hideo from Japan.

 Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

“There is a huge number of expensive cars: Porsches, Range Rovers, and new Mercedes models. Come count them in the center of Kiev during the rush hour. It’s one great car after another! And this is in a country that is in the grip of a crisis and a war,” —says Gabriel from Miami.

“Roads and little yellow buses! Oh my goodness! It’s just a state of disarray. Drivers who are overly aggressive are attempting to squeeze into the lane. And look at these bright yellow buses! How can they not turn over during rush-hour packed with people!?”— Peter from the United Kingdom says.

“There is no regard for one another. This is especially noticeable in how cars are parked: when they park at crosswalks, they block the passage for pedestrians, including those in wheelchairs,” — says Johannes from Denmark.

Food

“The quality of the food was a huge surprise for me. When I first came to Kiev, there was a bias towards food. But, as time passed, I realized that traditional home-cooked meals are delicious. My fiancee Irina is a fantastic cook, and some of her traditional Ukrainian dishes are out of this world,” — says Peter.

 Photo by Morgan Victoria from Pexels

Photo by Morgan Victoria from Pexels

“I enjoyed Ukrainian cuisine a lot. Your chefs are of the highest caliber. It’s unclear why Ukrainian dishes still don’t have Michelin stars,” — says Hideo.

“Alcohol is like oxygen for Ukrainians; it seems like they can’t live without it,” — states Shoaib from Pakistan.

“It turns out that they drink alcohol every single day,” — Toshiyuki from Japan shares his thoughts.

Nature and the past

“Ukrainian nature is very beautiful,” — says Shoaib.

“The Carpathians’ natural beauty astounds me. This is truly amazing. It must be protected against fraudsters, both large and small, public and private,” — Orest, who moved from France to Transcarpathia, agrees.

Beauty, however, is not the only factor that professionals consider.

“Every day in Kiev, you discover something new or unexpected. These are brand-new penthouses in high-rise buildings with kitschy decor. And houses from the Soviet era that have been destroyed or demolished. The cityscape is increasingly indicative of an ongoing crisis, deeply rooted in the intricacies of the country’s political, social, and historical landscape,” — says Mauritian-based architect Laura Lim Sam.

“The combination of two different lifestyles is most striking. This is the old worldview, the Soviet approach to everything, which is very rough, even primitive. At the same time, the younger generation, which travels to Europe and the United States, sees the world and a new modern life, thinks in a modern manner. And I’m surprised at how well it works in just one country,” —says Gabriel from Miami.

“I’ve always been amazed at how Ukraine, on the verge of disaster, managed to avert it at the last minute. This has occurred several times throughout history. And again during the last revolution,” — says Alain from France.

Caring Russian women and strong Russian men

According to a new Ipsos “Global attitudes toward gender” report, Russia emerged as the most gender-sensitive country. Russians, for instance, categorically refuse to see men doing laundry and cleaning and women working as scientists and builders. Furthermore, gender divisions are strong in Serbia and China, while the situation in Brazil, Peru, and Spain is exactly the opposite.

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Using the online interview method, Ipsos researchers interviewed over 20,000 respondents aged 16 to 74 from 29 countries, including Russia. The survey was conducted among respondents aged 18–74 in several countries (the United States, Singapore, Canada, Turkey, and South Africa). The survey participants were asked to rate the characteristics, responsibilities, and professions in terms of belonging to the male or female sex.

Strength and leadership of Russian men

Strength is regarded as a masculine trait by the majority of Russians (65%), while it is regarded as a masculine trait by slightly more than a third of respondents globally. According to this metric, Russia is clearly ahead of the “global average” — in other countries, the share never exceeds half, and in Spain, only 21% of respondents consider strength to be “male.”

Also, much more frequently than in most other countries, Russians regard leadership as a masculine trait — only China has higher indicators. Surprisingly, men in many European countries and the United States exhibit this trait far less frequently.

Percentage of respondents who associate these characteristics with men:

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Caring and wise Russian women

In Russia, Serbia, and Germany, women are seen as caring for others, whereas in Saudi Arabia and India, concern for others is clearly a more masculine affair. Women are almost never associated with a sense of humor (when compared to men), and only 2% of respondents in Russia and Serbia consider the sense of humor to be a feminine trait.

Wisdom suits a Russian woman better, which cannot be said for nearly all Asian women. Western Europeans hold similar beliefs (as in Russia).

Russian women’s confidence was found to be the lowest (1%) among all countries where the survey was conducted; Russians regard this characteristic as exclusively male (22%).

Percentage of respondents who associate these characteristics with women:

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Cleaning, cooking, and washing are not men’s business.

Taking care of children, washing, cleaning, and cooking — all of these tasks are performed by men far less frequently in Russia than in other countries. Home maintenance and repairs are perceived as a male occupation by only one-third of respondents (59% in Chile, for example), and 9% of Russians believe that it is a women’s responsibility.

It is interesting to note that cleaning is more of a male prerogative in Saudi Arabia and Brazil, whereas cleaning is equally male and female in Turkey.

Percentage of respondents who believe these tasks tend to be performed more by men:

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Russian women’s household responsibilities

The survey’s findings revealed that in Russia, women handle nearly all household responsibilities, whereas, in other countries, attitudes are more mixed. For example, 60% of Russians are more accustomed to seeing a woman doing the laundry (only Serbia has a higher share), while in Europe, the share rarely exceeds 25%. And in Latin America and Turkey, such activities are roughly equally divided between the sexes.

Percentage of respondents who believe these tasks tend to be performed more by women:

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Russian man: a builder and a politician

Politicians, scientists, and information technology workers are seen as masculine professions in Russia more often (and sometimes significantly) than in other countries. Furthermore, the disparity is frequently frightening. For example, 68% of Russians consider information technology to be a male occupation, compared to only one-fourth in the United States and 37% in Serbia, which can also be considered a fairly gender-based country. A similar picture emerges when it comes to politicians, who are viewed as men by more than half of those polled in Russia, but only 17% of those polled in the Netherlands.

Percentage of respondents who consider these occupations to be held more by males: 

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Russian woman: to teach, to teach and… to teach

Russia’s views on the gender of the teaching profession turned out to be markedly different from those of other countries. More than half (51%) of Russian respondents see this occupation as being held by a woman, whereas in Western European countries, the share is rarely higher than 20%. Male teachers are considered even more common in some countries (India, Turkey, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia).

Doctors’ occupation is frequently perceived as men’s in all countries except Russia and Serbia, and the proportion of female doctors is sometimes negligible (2% in the Netherlands and Australia and 3% in the UK).

Percentage of respondents who consider these occupations to be held more by females:

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Source: Ipsos, Global attitudes toward gender in 2020

Women from Kharkov, Ukraine

With a population of nearly 1.5 million people, Kharkov is Ukraine’s second-largest city, as well as the country’s scientific center and the administrative center of the Kharkov region. It lost its status as Ukraine’s capital (Soviet Ukraine) about a third of a century ago. Kharkov is now a major cultural, educational, transportation, and industrial center, with numerous museums, theaters, and libraries, as well as the Annunciation and Dormition Cathedrals, the Derzhprom building in Freedom Square, and the National University of Kharkov.  It was a UEFA Euro 2012 host city.

Kharkov attracts people from all over the country. A large number of universities, factories, and large corporations are concentrated here, prompting many people to consider moving. It is a city of students, socially active youth, and daring and enterprising individuals. A city with huge shopping malls, markets, museums, stadiums, theaters, clubs, and lovely parks. Life is in full swing here, with new offices, squares, fountains, and architectural wonders being built on a regular basis.

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The city gives great opportunities for those who come here to study or work. Because of the competition in various spheres of life, local women are very active and purposeful here. Every year, it becomes more difficult for them to find the right match in their city, so they increasingly turn to various dating websites.

Kharkov is a large city with a developed infrastructure, and locals are accustomed to long commutes between home and work. The women here are very active and used to a fast-paced lifestyle. Basically, they manage to do dozens of things in a day, including walking the dog, cooking breakfast, getting to work, meeting friends in the evening, cooking dinner, and reading their favorite books. A woman from Kharkov will have time to do everything around the house, so you won’t have to worry about mountains of unwashed dishes or an empty refrigerator!

Kharkov ladies are not only active, sociable, and hardworking; they are also known for their natural beauty and amazing fashion sense. Women from this city usually have green or blue eyes. Their hair is light brown or light blonde. They can, however, dye their hair in a variety of colors. Black hair has recently grown in popularity. Like the majority of Ukrainian women, ladies from Kharkov have a lovely figure. They enjoy staying fit by participating in sports.

One of the most intriguing characteristics of Kharkov women is decisiveness. Ukrainian girls’ assertiveness is not an invention. It is supported by historical sources as well. For example, Levasseur de Beauplan, a French cartographer and researcher, described an intriguing custom in which Ukrainian women could propose to their future husbands.

According to Russian women, marrying a foreigner is simple.

Making this marriage work is a much difficult task.

According to statistics, more than 90 percent of European marriages with Russian women end in divorce. There are numerous reasons for this.
The main reasons are based on different perceptions of family values among Russians and Westerners. However, if there is mutual affection, children, and common interests, it will almost certainly work out to overcome the differences in cultures, traditions, and family life.

This is how it works for Elena from Rostov-on-Don and her Swedish husband Magnus, who got married over ten years ago in a small town called Eskilstuna, where they still live today.

 Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Elena had to overcome many challenges as a result of her move to a foreign country, where she had to fit into an unusual life and develop relationships with such disparate family clans.

“We first met in 2007 at a beach disco in Turkish Marmaris,” — Elena comments, — “I’m still perplexed as to how they managed to spot each other among the throngs of vacationers. At the time, I didn’t speak English, and Magnus didn’t speak Russian; someone then assisted us in exchanging contact information. We corresponded for four long years; he wrote me in English, which was then translated into Russian by a translator; I had to study English, and he began to learn Russian as a result. We spoke on the phone for the first time two years later, but the conversation was made up of separate phrases that we had learned by then. Later on, we began to pay each other visits.”

To be honest, leaving my hometown to begin our lives together in Sweden was a difficult decision to make. It seemed that my whole life was left somewhere far away, and a new one starts from scratch. I had no idea what awaited me in this mysterious Scandinavian country where I didn’t speak the language and had no relatives or friends. At work, I rewrote my resignation letter 15 times before making a decision.

The first two years following my relocation proved to be the most difficult. I had to learn a new language and adjust to a different way of life, laws, culture, and mentality. We struggled with some stupid misunderstandings as a result of having completely different ideas about some simple things. In Sweden, it is called “kulturkrack” — a clash of cultures. Perhaps it was after the birth of our first child, Alexander, that I realized this was my new home. Then, almost imperceptibly, I learned the language and got a job. But it was a trying time. A new life necessitates numerous investments: in studies, in relationships, in children, and in comprehending your goals. But I clung to the hope that everything would work out in the end. Fortunately, my husband supported me in everything, I am grateful for his patience and for his support.”

In many ways, Russians and Swedes have opposing views on marriage and parenting.

To begin with, getting married legally is not required in Sweden, and it is not a “fad.” This, I believe, is because if the marriage ends in divorce, all property is divided in half. A woman with children will not be left on the street, the state will provide housing and financial assistance. Second, there is a strong concept of “fifty-fifty” in Sweden, and both spouses share their expenses equally. Men can take six months of maternity leave and do household chores on an equal footing with women: cook, clean, and care for children. A woman, on the other hand, can do a man’s work. Change a wheel on a car, for example. I always tell Magnus that I will not change the wheels because I am “too Russian” for that. Finances in the family are typically divided in half, as are bills and so on… Of course, there are exceptions to the rules, and I believe they are unique to our family. It appears to me that there are still more of my chores around the house, but when I mention this to my husband, he flatly denies it: “No, no, we have everything equally.”

My Russian family consists of three people, including my husband. As a result, our three children — Alexander, Maria, and little Filippchik — are carrying on the family tradition. I want to have more children, but my husband laughs: “Then everything won’t fit in the car,” — Elena says, smiling.

“Swedish fathers play an active role in their children’s upbringing, changing diapers, playing with them, preparing food for them, and taking them for walks, just like mothers. The dominance of fathers in playgrounds was the first thing that struck me when I moved to Sweden, but where are all the mothers? But now I’m content because my husband can cook dinner (he bakes well and frequently spoils his family with pizza and cinnamon rolls), read a book before bed, or play hockey or snowballs with the kids.”

According to Elena, her children have close relationships with their Russian relatives.

“I often tell them that they are half Russian and half Swedes, and to clarify, I say: “this is your Russian cheek, and this is your Swedish cheek,” — they laugh. I tell children that Russia is a very large country and that our first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, was Russian. I promise to show them many of the most beautiful places in my homeland when they grow up. Kids know about many relatives in faraway Russia who miss them much. We talk on the phone a lot, and Alexander and Maria talk on the phone with their grandparents, cousins, and brothers. My mother enjoys conversing with Magnus and teaching him new words. Magnus takes pride in learning new Russian words. But before we met, my husband knew nothing about Russia, let alone Russian culture and people… He is now a direct expert on Russia and speaks Russian fluently. I am overjoyed because he will be able to communicate with my relatives and friends when we visit the country and will not feel like a stranger. And when I speak Russian with our children at home, he understands every word.”

“Our children are dual citizens of Russia and Sweden. We think it’s great that they’ll be able to choose which country they want to live in when they grow up,” — Elena says. “To help children learn Russian, we take special educational programs, read Russian books, and have a large Russian library in our Swedish home.”

Of course, this prosperous and long-lasting union of two such disparate people can be counted on for a lucky star, good fortune, a divine gift. However, it appears that it is founded, first and foremost, on simple human qualities such as dedication and hard work, the ability to hear each other, and the ability to share warmth, care, and love.