Etiquette

Etiquette in Belarus is pretty much the same as in Russia.

  • Shaking hands Handshakes are a big deal, especially for men. If you enter a room, shake hands with everyone. Don't shake hands across a threshold (it's unlucky), and make it firm or you'll be perceived as weak. Lastly, never shake hands with gloves on. Women are under no obligation to shake hands.
  • Visiting homes Remove your shoes and coat on entering a house. Always bring a gift. If you give flowers, make sure it’s an odd number – even numbers are for funerals.
  • In Orthodox churches Women should wear long skirts or slacks, and men long shorts or trousers. No tank tops.
  • Eating and drinking Vodka toasts are common at shared meals – it’s rude not to join in, and traditional (and good sense) to eat a little something after each shot. Be sure to make your own toast as well.