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Moscow Lifehack: Being Polite in Russia 101: Hand-Shaking Rituals

Should I shake hands with everyone in Russia?

TMT: In Russia, real men shake hands. Men shake hands with both men and women they meet for the first time. Then they shake hands with every man they see, even if he's a good friend or twice-a-day dog walking buddy. But they don't shake hands with women acquaintances. Got that, men? Shake hands with men you know, nod politely to women you know.

If you're a woman, shake hands with men and women the first time you meet. Women will shake it. Men will shake it or kiss it. If you're not sure which way the man is going to go, master the ambiguously proffered hand: tip it to a 45-degree angle, which makes either a shake or kiss possible.

And when you greet someone on the street on a cold day, take off your glove to shake hands.

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