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Bread and Salt: Welcoming Guests à la Rus (Video)

Russians traditionally receive guests through an unusual ritual

 
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This post first appeared on Russia Insider


If you’ve ever watched old Russian movies, you may have noticed women in traditional Russian costumes meeting guests or newly-weds with bread and salt. While it may look bizarre, it still happens today and has changed little from centuries ago. In fact, Russian pilots recently returning from Syria to a heroes’ welcome were greeted in a similar fashion.

It seems as if time has no power over this tradition: this ancient ritual from pagan times is still the best way to express one’s goodwill.

But don’t think this is a common occurrence. The ceremony needs a special occasion, such as a wedding or reception of eminent guests (such as national heroes, cosmonauts or government figures).

Depending on the occasion, it can mean, “Welcome”, “Feel yourself at home”, or, “May you live happily ever after”.

The main question is why Russians show their hospitality in such an unusual way? One might think that they could equally meet guests with cakes and sugar or jam on the top. Well, bread and salt always had a special meaning for Russians throughout their history, as the video further explains.


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