Russians Love Flowers, It Isn’t A Putin Thing

  • Rusia
  • 0
  • 713 Views
  • 26 May 2018

When my mother came to visit me in Moscow, one of the first things she noticed was the amount of 24-hour florists everywhere. Flower etiquette is of particular importance in Russia. Simply put, you won’t survive here without it.

I write this piece because to anyone who knows anything about Russia, Putin presenting flowers to world leaders and their spouses is not altogether surprising.

The florist thing, I admit, perplexed me a bit when I first arrived. In Britain, the only time we see florists they are going out of business. Over the years, I have enquired why so many 24-hour florists are scattered around Moscow. While I cannot 100% verify this, I will say that multiple Russians have reinforced it on many occasions:

A Russian male comes home after midnight because he had been drinking with friends; he brings flowers to the female as a sign of apology, and is (usually) forgiven.

I’ve never been in this situation, but it’s pretty common. Also, some of these florists sell vodka after 9 pm – I’m not making this up. I will let the reader draw their own conclusions, however, the importance of flowers in Russian life goes way beyond men getting drunk with their friends.

With that said, here are some of the basics about flower etiquette in Russia.

First, always give an odd number of flowers, unless you’re going to a funeral. In this case, even numbers will be expected. Second, give a lot of flowers – Russians love flowers and there is no getting around this. My old boss used to joke about how if you didn’t buy your female partner flowers once a week, you’d be in the dog house. Except this wasn’t a joke.

Flowers are also strongly associated with love – no surprise here. What was a surprise to me, a Westernite, was that if you don’t bring flowers to a first date, the lady can assume you are not on one. As a male, you will often be expected to pay for the date, as well. Red or white roses would be the immediate favorite here, although if you can find out which flowers she likes, take those.

Avoid yellow flowers entirely. These are a bad omen and it is said presenting these will lead to a break up. Carnations, as well, should be kept at arm’s length. These tend to be associated with Soviet holidays. For this reason, they are not exactly ‘sexy’ or ‘romantic’. More recently, they have been associated with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, too. You have been warned!

Then again, flowers are still associated with some holidays in Russia. The most famous is International Women’s Day. This is far more important than Valentine’s Day to Russians, so God help you if you haven’t bought flowers. Mimosa tends to be the flower of choice for this day; however, tulips have more recently taken over.

On September 1, the first day of school, students take flowers to give to their teachers. These tend to be in large bouquets, too. Gladiolus are typical and the color usually doesn’t matter. Teachers usually take them home afterwards, so spending a little more on something else would be much appreciated.

Regardless of the occasion, always choose fresh flowers and make them look elegant. This says to the receiver that love and care went into this gift and that you didn’t quickly grab them from outside the metro. Obviously, if it is for a big occasion you can never do enough. For instance, the flowers Putin presented were wrapped in and with ribbons.

Houseplants are OK for families or older women, but only if you know they have some at home. For your love, plants in a pot are unacceptable unless you know she likes them.

Women traditionally are not expected to give men flowers, or other women for that matter. The exceptions are on big birthdays or funerals. If someone is in hospital, then it is also an exception to the rule. In this case, avoid anything with a high pollen count in case another patient has allergies.

If you are visiting the home of a Russian person/family then a bouquet for the lady of the house is always welcome. Again, make sure they are classy and to the host’s taste. Also, be sure to take wine and sweets of sorts.

Individual florists usually have their own rules, quirks and will readily offer advice. Meeting your wife or girlfriend at the airport? My florist suggests white flowers with long stems. Saying sorry after a big fight? See here an exceedingly large basket of pink and purple-ness that costs a fortune.

Florists – all of whom will refuse to sell you otherwise, will observe the above rules. If you aren’t sure of anything, just ask. Most florists I have met are the friendliest people around.

I would avoid criticizing President Putin over a gift of flowers, though. Not only is it incredibly lazy, few Russians will actually understand or sympathize with your outrage. It’s flowers after all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Artificial Intelligence and Challenges to International Psychological Security in Internet

  • 0
  • 140 Views
  • 7 February 2019

On February 5, 2019 the international press centre of MIA “Russia Today” hosted in Moscow a round table on “International Safer Internet Day. Global Trends and Common Sense”. Safer Internet Day was originally started in 2004 by InSafe – a European network of Awareness Centers promoting safer and better usage of Internet. However, it quickly spread out from Europe and became a worldw

citește mai mult

Explaining the Popularity of Russian History At The Box Office

  • 0
  • 116 Views
  • 4 February 2019

If you blinked, you almost certainly missed it. But some of the most notable films coming out of Russia this past decade all centered on its past. More specifically, the first half of the twentieth century, and the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War 1941-45.

My Good Hans (2015), White Tiger (2012), Panfilov’s 28 Men (2015), Rubezh (2018), Matilda (2017),

citește mai mult

Prof. Evgeny Pashentsev spoke on “Artificial Intelligence and Issues of National and International Psychological Security” at the round table at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

  • 0
  • 205 Views
  • 9 December 2018

On 28th of November 2018 at the MFA RF was held a round table "Freedom of Expression in the Digital Environment in the Context of Discussion of International Information Security Issues at Specialized International Platforms". It was organized by the Information and Press Department (IPD) at the MFA RF, MIA "Russia Today" (RossiyaSegodnya), Russian Committee of UNESCO Program "Information for All" and the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre. Two plenary sess

citește mai mult

Azebaijan, cheia geostrategică a Asiei Centrale

  • 0
  • 767 Views
  • 13 February 2018

După destrămarea URSS, Azerbaijanul a fost statul ex-sovietic care alături de    republicile Baltice a avut o dezvoltare constantă și durabilă. Desigur, aici pot fi adresate unele critici regimului de la Baku cu privire la democrație, care în opinia multor analiști este doar mimată la Baku. Însă faptul adevărat este că acest stat a reușit să își gestioneze eficient resursele de care dispune pentru a deveni o societate prosperă. I se atribuie Azerbaijanului etichet

citește mai mult

What Can Democrats Learn From Alabama’s Doug Jones?

  • 0
  • 880 Views
  • 30 November 2017

In ordinary circumstances, Doug Jones would already be preparing to move to Washington DC. The former prosecutor famous for convicting KKK members for a church bombing is up against gay bashing, God and gun lovin’, twice kicked out of elected office, Judge Roy Moore. A man who has eight accusers of sexual assault, all of whom were underage at the time of the allegations.

Yet, if one looks at all the recent polls, they show a ti

citește mai mult

Azerbaidjanul, petrolul și românii

  • 0
  • 1292 Views
  • 7 October 2016

Întotdeauna, statele sunt nevoite să își apere poziția pe marea tablă a geopoliticii, uitându-se cu grijă la vecini, dar și la puterile regionale. Această regulă presupune nu doar poziția ofensivă, ci și valorificare atuurilor, astfel încât să devină piese care contează pe „câmpul de analiză”, iar nu elemente neglijabile, care sunt măturate dintr-o dată de cei ce au suficientă putere să mânuiască piesele.

Caucazul, ca regiune geopolitică, nu face nici ea excepție

citește mai mult

Chinese Psychological Warfare in Countering Domestic Challenges

  • 0
  • 179 Views
  • 19 December 2018

Introduction

The People’s Republic of China is considered to be an emerging geopolitical power in the world. Firstly, it has the second-largest economy in term of nominal GDP and its economic power is one of the most influential[1]. Secondly, in addition to the military power – according to GlobalFirepower.com – is the third after the US and Russia; China is becoming also p

citește mai mult

What are Europeans Thinking about Britain?

  • 0
  • 189 Views
  • 14 December 2018

Something that the British deserve some credit for is their lack of care for how other countries perceive them. Rarely does it tickle our curiosity and we are unapologetic about it. If it did bother us, the tourist hotspots of Marbella, Benidorm, Zante, Napa and the like would be unrecognisable today. Historically speaking, few Britons also want reminding of slavery or atrocities in the colonies.

This is down to both an unabash

citește mai mult

Falii și axe geopolitice de impact pentru securitatea globală (III)

  • 0
  • 400 Views
  • 19 October 2018

  1. Rolul Japoniei în regiune și în plan global

Poziţionarea contemporană a Japoniei – rolul său politic în lume – nu corespunde puterii sale economice. Condiţiile politice impuse de către Statele Unite Japoniei, la mijlocul secolului XX, dar şi prudenţa liderilor politici şi a popoarelor din statele care au fost ocupate de Japonia militaristă îi limitează guvernului de la Tokyo libertatea în elab

citește mai mult