Culture & Identity of Russia
WARNING: Russia's border with Ukraine
is unstable and tensions are high, read this travel
warning before going!
The way of life in Russia has incredible variations. Go to Moscow, St. Petersburg,
Yekaterinburg, and a village and in many ways they may appear to be different countries.
St. Petersburg has a youthfulness and liberal aura as a student center, Moscow exudes
power and wealth, Yekaterinburg feels like an industrial town allowing life in the
desolate unknown, and villages seem to move slowly, but peacefully. The traditional
Russian culture is heavily based on rural living and village life, but the Soviet
heavily industrialized and urbanized the people, changing the daily way of life
in the country.
Today nearly 75% of the people are urban and nearly a third work in industries,
such as mining, oil, coal, metals, machinery, and military equipment. Only about
10% of the people still work in agriculture and the rest work in the services fields.
Although the farmers tend to work from sun up to sun down, for most people the work
day begins at about 8:00 or 9:00 am and continues to about 5:00 or 6:00 pm. The
GDP per capita in Russia is about $18,000, but the wages differ greatly from urban
to rural settings and some occupations, such as engineers in the oil industries
and lawyers everywhere, make significantly more money than nearly any other occupation.