Voices from Russia

Friday, 11 December 2009

Russians are Tired of the Same Old Gifts

Two-thirds of women said they are tired of boxes of chocolates, everyone considers them the traditional ladies’ gift; to many, they taste as bad as bitter radishes. Men tell us the same story. Most think that a bottle of good alcohol is the perfect gift for a man. However, most guys are tired of this pattern and say that spirits don’t lift their spirits.

Once you know what Russians don’t want, sociologists tried to find out what they would like to receive. As it turns out, 72 percent of women would like to receive jewellery as a gift. Did you expect anything else? About the same number say that flowers are OK, and about the same proportion of beautiful ladies are pragmatic and say, “Give me money, so I figure out what to spend it on myself”. It’s not very romantic, but, it’s practical, especially if you need a new pair of boots, for example. The chances that a donor could guess the proper style and size are quite small, but, she knows what to buy for herself. Discount appliances, as well as tickets to concerts, the theatre, and so on are popular with the ladies too. However, we should draw a line between what is desirable and what actually is. For example, in addition to sweets, women do not like to receive decorative figurines, vases, and other nonsense as gifts for they clutter up the house and collect dust. Nevertheless, it’s what they get and 76 percent of those polled said, alas, life is unfair.

If you ask what men are thinking of, most of them wouldn’t mind getting electronic gadgets according to 68 percent of the respondents. In addition, men also are not averse to getting money as a gift or anything associated with their hobby. In terms of the coincidence of desires and reality, men are, perhaps, happier than women are, 40 percent of them get their coveted electronic gadgets. However, many families fall back on domestic trifles and stationery, to which one-third of the guys have evolved a dislike.

Spending on New Year’s gifts is almost a third of the annual “gift” budget of Russians. On average, if you value it in dollars, it’s about 900 bucks, and, during the New Year, Russians spend about 400 dollars on presents for their loved ones. This is not surprising, for Russian New Year is one of the main and favourite holidays, and people purchase gifts for it far in advance, said Natalia Golovanov, the head of the research centre of the web portal SuperJob. She said, “For most Russians, the New Year is their most favourite holiday, and, in November, the shelves are swept clean of everything that you need to give, eat, wear, and decorate the home. During the run-up to the holiday, vouchers for all kinds of travel and tickets to New Year’s concerts are sold”.

With regards as to where one celebrates the New Year, some Russians prefer to go abroad. Unfortunately, we follow a beaten path there, too, most New Year’s travellers go to Egypt, said Dmitri Danilenko, vice president of BANKO Tourism Information Service, according to a survey conducted amongst travel agents. “In the first place, this trend is stable from year to year, and about 23 percent of travel agencies in the city of Moscow put Egypt in the first place. A notable feature of this season was that Thailand gained the second-place preference in the tourist market, it has almost caught up in the number of votes with Egypt (about 22 percent of votes)”. However, Russians do not like to go to Europe at this time of year for it’s too cold and expensive as well.

Many, however, don’t wish to go anywhere on New Year’s. Half of the respondents said they are staying home. There are two main reasons. One, of course, is money; the second is more sentimental. Many believe that New Year’s is a family holiday, and you should celebrate it at home or at your country dacha. This is the most popular version of the New Year celebration. Only 3 percent of respondents would like to celebrate the holiday by going to a restaurant, and only one of the 100 respondents wanted to go to a massive New Year’s festivity.

11 December 2009

Yekaterina Antropova

Voice of Russia World Service



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