We’ve already seen how Russians feel about their booze, but it seems we may even disagree about what booze even is. For example, the law that stated that beer was an alcoholic beverage only came into effect in Russia in 2011.
This may seem hard to believe, but until about ten years ago, drinks with less than 10% of alcohol were not legally considered alcoholic beverages. The law may have changed, but that doesn’t mean that Russians are drinking less alcohol. Instead, the change in beer’s status has made it more expensive and has simply driven more Russians back to their traditional favorite – vodka.
Poverty in Russia
So far, we have only shown you the beautiful and glamorous sides of Russian life. However, there are many people in this country who will never get the chance to experience this beauty and luxury. Official data states that there are currently roughly 21 million Russians who are living under the poverty line.
When that figure is compared with the general population, it emerges that 14% of the population earns less than $220 dollars per month. That figure has been growing each year for the past several years. This can be seen all around. Moscow, for instance, is one of the prettiest cities in the world, but it also has an astounding number of street beggars.
The Beloved Holiday
Russians are crazy about New Year’s Day. It is their favorite holiday, all businesses are closed, and no one goes to work on that special day.
It is typical for Russians to take time off on the week before Christmas, and the week after New Year’s and January 1st to 5th are national holidays. These days are often spent in celebration, eating, drinking, spending time with family, gift exchanges, or just relaxing.
Pepsi is the Popular Choice
When Vice President Richard Nixon visited Russia in 1959, he participated in a televised debate with Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, which later became known as the Kitchen Debate. The two leaders talked about their countries and discussed possible options for future cooperation between them.
Not everything was serious politics. However, there was one moment that had everyone in the audience smiling; it happened when Nixon and Khrushchev shared a Pepsi. Soft drinks may have been completely unknown in Russia back then, but that is not the case today. Russia actually accounts for 8% of all Pepsi sales worldwide.
A Broken Clock Shows 2:10 AM
There is a very special clock that resides in the White Dining Room in the Hermitage Palace, but its function is not to tell time. In fact, it has been shown the time 2:10 AM for over a hundred years.
The stopped clock serves as a reminder of what took place on October 25. 1917 at 2:10 in the morning, when the Bolsheviks arrested Russia’s provisional government. That was the exact moment in which Russia officially became a communist country.