Ten Signs You Were Raised By Russian Parents

Russian Dolls 2

My parents brought me to America from Russia when I was just eight years old. So even though I went through the entire educational system in the United States, I still grew up in a predominantly Russian household. I hope this post will enlighten many of my American friends about some amazing Soviet tendencies that we Russians tend to demonstrate, no matter how long we have lived in America. Also, I am sure I am not the first to write this kind of post Рbut this is the first post I write like this one which offers a unique perspective, my own. Here are ten signs that you were raised by Russian parents:

1. You Ate Meat Jello¬†Regularly. This decadent dish, pronounced “ho-lo-dets,” was a basic part of your diet. Bill Cosby would have been proud. Imagine regular jello. Now, take out the fruit flavor. Now, put pieces of meat in it. Put it in the fridge. Take it out, cut a slice and put some Russian mustard on top. Bon¬†appetite.

2. Getting Anything Less Than An “A,” In School Was¬†Unacceptable. I was¬†always¬†super jealous of my classmates in elementary school whose parents gave them a trip to Disneyland for straight C’s but all I got was a scolding for my A- that I should have done better.

3. Drinking Multiple Cups Of Tea, Late Into The Night. Anytime was a good time for tea. Lot’s of it. Multiple cups. About ten years ago, I completely Americanized myself and switched to coffee.

4. You Move Out Only When You Get Married. This was a regular occurrence for most people who were raised by Russian parents. In fact, some brave couples even continued to live with their parents, after they got married.

5. Boxes With Chocolate Candy Were Displayed On Top Of Cabinets. This was one of the weirdest things about growing up with Russian parents. I was always like, I want to eat that candy. But, since the box was so pretty, it doubled as decoration. Again, it was reserved to be opened only for special occasions.

6. Fine China Was Used Only When Honored Guests Came Over. There were special cups, spoons and plates reserved only for special guests. During regular meal times, you would not use them at all. Again, this was a bit weird for me as I pretty much did not understand why I could not use this for every meal. The china was made for the person, not the other way around no?

7. Over One Hundred People Would Come To Your House When You Turned Three. The ironic part is that most of the people were adults. I guess Russians want to use any excuse to have a party.

8. If You Are A Female And Not Married By Age Twenty One, You Were Considered An Old Maid. Again, don’t get mad¬†at the¬†messenger¬†here. But¬†this is the cultural truth. I personally don’t think that this is fair or even normal to consider this, but again – these are some¬†culture¬†tendencies that would be experienced by most people who¬†grew up with Russian parents.

9. If It Is A Fruit Or A Vegetable, We Will Can It And Preserve It. No Joke. That is why most Russian households have multiple refrigerators and storage specifically set aside for these delicious delicacies. Just be sure you have the muscle to open that can.

10. It Is Considered Impolite To Come Over To Someones House Without Bringing Something With You. Again, with a western mindset, I personally think this is a bit weird. What if what you bring does not go with whatever the hosts were cooking up that night. Makes for a bit of an awkward situation. If you do want to continue this tantalizing tradition, here is a bit of advice: Bring something that you would not mind getting for yourself.

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Question: If you grew up in a household with Russian parents, what else would you add to this list? What questions do you have for people who grew up in a Russian household? 


18 responses to “Ten Signs You Were Raised By Russian Parents”

  1. Well I didn’t grow up with Russian parents but I live with one! I would add to the list,

    -You were never allowed to have the slightest breeze blow on you even if it was hot outside because drafts will kill you!
    -You never experienced a drink with ice in it until you moved out, because that will kill you too!

    1. LOL that is so true!

    2. Now that is true! My kids are still not allowed ice in their drinks, because….well, there is no need for it, luke warm drinks is the way to go! lol

  2. lily polevaya Avatar
    lily polevaya

    This made me laugh…”In fact, some brave couples even continued to live with their parents, after they got married.”

  3. Tetiana Ashley Avatar
    Tetiana Ashley

    Everything so true!!!

    Also, You have to eat soup everyday, otherwise you won’t be healthy.

    But I’m grateful for my parents, it was their love and care to me. And, if I had a choice, I’d choose the same parents and the same childhood. Even if I hate SOUP. LOL ūüėČ

    1. Tetiana hi – I too am super grateful for my parents! What was your favorite type of soup?

      1. Tetiana Ashley Avatar
        Tetiana Ashley

        guess what? Ha -ha-ha-ha BORSCH!!!!! nothing compared!!!! Unfortunately I don’t cook. Maybe somebody can share a recipe with me?

        1. Beatrice Avatar

          4 small beetroots, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 onions, tomato paste and all spices should be fried on pan with oil. Then boil some meat for 40 mins (chicken or pork), take it away and separate it from the bones then put it back to boiling pan..add cut potatoes (1-2), then in 10-20 minutes add vegetables with tomato paste..give them again 10-20 mins to boil and at the very end add some dill and garlic..there u go

          1. Tetiana Ashley Avatar
            Tetiana Ashley

            Thanks so much. When it will be ready I’ll let you know, you can come over to try it, if you are brave lol ūüėČ

  4. only 2,4 and 10 applies to my family. I see value in it. Of course there should be common sense of what you brining. Good candy, fruits and healthy drinks are always welcomed by hostess

  5. Lol #8 so true!

    1. isn’t it? ūüôā

  6. Bogdan Tar Avatar
    Bogdan Tar

    LOVE IT!

    1. good name Bogdan! ūüôā

  7. David Pazyukov Avatar
    David Pazyukov

    – If you were raised by Russian parents in US. The words shozzy (shoes) and garbigee became part of the Russian vocabulary lol

  8. It’s like you look through my childhood home window! :o)))

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