Russian superstitions is something you have to get familiar with if you want to grasp the full depth of our mysterious culture. It doesn't matter how old we are - we will always believe in superstitions that we grow up with. You might think we're completely crazy and you're probably right. Can a normal person drink a full bottle of vodka and still look sober? No. We're insane. One thing is certain though, we're entertaining as fuck. So here are ten Russian superstitions that will really fascinate you, to say the least.
1. Never whistle indoors
If you whistle when you're inside a house, you're going to encounter serious financial issues. If you want to be rich, you're only allowed to whistle once you're outdoors.
2. Look at yourself in the mirror
If you leave your house and then realize that you forgot your wallet or something and you need to go back to get it - you have to absolutely look at yourself in the mirror and smile before leaving the house again. Otherwise, something bad might happen to you.
3. Don't sit at the corner of a table (unless you're already married)
If you sit at a corner of a table, you won't get married for the next seven years. So if you're a young girl who wants that ring on her finger, avoid table corners, okay?
4. Sit down before going on a journey
Before leaving on vacation, road trip or any other journey, everyone needs to sit down for a moment of silence. That way, the trip is guaranteed to be safe. It's also a great opportunity to reflect whether you've packed everything you needed for your journey.
5. Never put empty bottles on a table
Always put empty bottles of booze on the floor, never on a table. Empty bottles on a table can only mean one thing - bad luck, obviously.
6. Don't spill salt
If you spill salt, you're guaranteed to get into a heated argument with your family member. If you happen to spill salt and want to avoid getting into arguments with your relatives, spit over your left shoulder three times.
7. No premature "Happy birthday!" wishes
You can never wish a Russian person "Happy Birthday" before their actual birthday, because it's going to bring them bad luck.
8. Sit in between two people with the same name
If you sit in between two people who have the same name, make a wish! It will come true.
9. Don't give watches or knives as gifts
Never give a set of knives as a gift, because you'll become enemies with that person. If you get your significant other a watch, the two of you will break up.
10. If your palms itch...
When your left palm itches, you're going to make money in the nearest future. If your right palm itches, you're going to lose money.
Nevski's khachapuri, a Georgian cheese bread dish, is made with homemade dough and a mix of cheeses, topped with a runny egg yolk — and the restaurant's menu even teaches you how to eat it.
Its Moscow mule menu, four different takes on the classic drink — made with different spirits, ginger beer, fruit syrups and citrus — even offers mules by the pitcher for $29. There's also an extensive cocktail menu with 10 other Russian-themed options, and a few other pitcher options available for the same price.
Nevski also has a menu of dumplings stuffed with different meats, herbs and vegetables.
Though the menu also offers Russian-inspired desserts, you can also satisfy your sweet tooth with a boozy milkshake menu made with Russian ice cream, milk, Russian waffles, and vodka, Kahlua, whisky and Amaretto.
With so much alcohol on the menu, it's hard to choose your preferred drink — Nevski also offers a wide-range vodka menu, which you can enjoy with a side of bread and pickles in true Russian form, along with a wine and beer list.
Cuisine: Russian and former Soviet republics
Address: 1228, rue Stanley, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: Eat and drink like a Russian, surrounded by artsy kitschy decor inspired by the streets of Saint Petersburg.
Made in Canada's Niagara region, the handcrafted vodka is infused with minerals, creating a velvety black colour — perfect for your goth summer cocktail aesthetic, or for cocktails that match your general vibe concerning Quebec's ever-persistent curfew and lockdown.
When it comes to supporting Indigenous creators, the best place to start is by educating yourself, says Rebekah Elk, a.k.a. @mocassinmama, an Anishinaabe woman from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and a moccasin maker.
It can be difficult for non-Indigenous consumers to show love for these communities without thinking you're overstepping a boundary or appropriating rich histories instead of supporting them, especially when it comes to art.
MTL Blog got the chance to ask the artist a few questions about Indigenous art and culture and how non-Indigenous people can support the plethora of talent here in the city in an authentic and genuine way.
In your opinion, what’s the difference between supporting Indigenous culture and appropriating Indigenous culture?
There is not one Indigenous culture, there are many diverse nations or tribes across North America and the world.
A good starting point for supporting Indigenous is getting to know whose traditional land you’re on and familiarizing yourself with a bit of their history and practices. Learning from Indigenous sources is key to understanding what is considered respectful behaviour and what holds sacred meaning to their community. Learning is the first step to supporting any group and approaching that learning with humility and respect is a must.
Appropriation happens when non-Indigenous folks take up Indigenous practices lightly, without education about the roots of what they’re participating in.
In Canada, it was illegal for Indigenous people to practice their culture for decades, with the last Residential school closing in 1996. These schools were part of a mass-imposed assimilation project by the government and caused harm in many forms to Indigenous people.
This is one of the reasons why Indigenous people are protective of their practices. It is an odd (and hurtful) feeling when it was illegal for your family to do something because it was part of their culture and only a few decades later the very same thing becomes a trend for the non-Indigenous population.
Do you think it’s okay for non-Indigenous people to wear Indigenous clothing? What are the dos and don’ts of buying?
There are so many amazing Indigenous designers. Non-Indigenous people can support Indigenous fashion by purchasing and wearing our designs. Buying Indigenous creations and fashion directly from the source is the best way to rock Indigenous fashion.
While some people worry about what is appropriate to purchase and wear when it comes to fashions from other cultures, usually if it is available for the public to purchase for example in an online shop, you’re okay. The designer or brand has put their clothing into the world with hopes of succeeding as a business and selling their items to whoever appreciates them.
Do: buy from the source, Don’t: try to negotiate the price down — Our creations are valuable, unique, and a reflection of how we as Indigenous people interact with and perceive the world around us.
Many people want to support Indigenous creators, but don’t know where to start. What advice do you have for finding great Indigenous artists in Montreal?
With the current situation of the world, essentially everything is happening online. While in the past I would have suggested going to a cultural event such as Montreal’s Annual Pow Wow where native vendors from all over set up shop for the weekend, right now I would encourage one to look on places like Etsy or Instagram.
With Etsy, you can search a hashtag such as #IndigenousBeadwork, narrow your search locally and find beautiful items from Montreal’s native creatives. Instagram can work similarly, although narrowing your search may be more challenging.
Some of my favourite Indigenous creatives in Montreal who are on Instagram include:
There is no shortage of Indigenous artists in Montreal, and with all of the time at home these days there is plenty of time to create. Indigenous creatives share their work publicly with the purpose of connecting with others, sharing their art form, and often selling their pieces.