Traditions and Superstitions
When entering a house in Russia, you should always take off your shoes, and you will be given slippers to put on. In Russia it is considered bad manners to whistle whilst in someone's house. If you are invited to visit guests in Russia, it is always polite to bring a small gift, with chocolates, flowers or alcohol often being popular amongst Russians. Russians are great present givers and will present you with souvenirs when invited at Russian homes. Great gifts to give include specialties from your home town or country, chocolate, coffee, key rings, baseball caps, army knives, foreign coins or badges, watches, perfumes, etc.
All Western goods are usually available in Moscow now, so don't bother with goods you think Russians still be deprived of. The days where a pair of jeans equalled a month's salary are long gone. If you are invited to private homes for dinner, bring a bottle of wine, candies, fine tobacco or a bouquet of flowers (odd numbers of flowers only, even number of flowers are only given at funerals). A small gift for children is always appropriate. Be prepared to accept all drinks and food offered when visiting friends. Refusing a drink or a toast is a serious breach of etiquette.