Who’s a Real St Petersburger?

Saint-Petersburg tours

Our guide Alina in front of Hermitage

If you have nothing to do during chilly night, try to google ”typical petersburger”. What will you find? Nothing appropriate actually – tonnes of articles with phrases like ”every night at theatre”, ”Hermitage-lover”, ”korushka”, ”grumpy”, ”polite”, ”shy”, ”grey”, ”poor clothes”, ”a book of Pushkin in the backpack”, ”obsessed with Russian literature” etc. Not the most flattering picture, is it?

But why then the whole country considered Petersburgers as the most interesting and intelligent people? Does it correspond to the reality? No, it doesn’t. At all. Those facts are not even stereotypes; the person they depict doesn’t even exist and have never existed. Who is then an actual Petersburger? It’s a hard question to crack, but we can try.

Firstly, a few words about fashion. It’s true that people in St Petersburg are not used to wear haute couture brands, but it doesn’t mean Petersburgers are not in vogue. They are. However, most of the citizens aren’t willing to spend a fortune on Alexander Wang bomber jacket, when they have excellent local designers, second hands, the best flee market in the country and some outstanding vintage shops. Saint Petersburg and its’ citizens can be a great source of fashion inspiration for you during your trip – just have a walk along Nevsky prospect.

Secondly, so-called culture and thirdly, education and broad-mindness. Saint Petersburg seems to be a ”capital of culture” of Russia in a mean of politeness, shyness and in a some way education. Which is again is not true. Petersburgers aren’t the most intelligent and the smartest people. They are not out every night enjoying the latest play, an avant-garde exhibition or a sophisticated dinner. There is actually much more of this in Moscow.

But what is really special about Peterburgers in terms if these is open-mindness and passion to learn new thing. The best place to spend the evening is the Hermitage, not the museum, but its’ lecture hall. Or whatever lecture hall else. There a bunch of lectures, classes held every day.

The Internet is also full of local education projects. Citizens have an opportunity to study almost everything and, which is more important, to develop their skills, to learn about, for instance, symbolism in ancient Chinese art.

It’s also important to say a few words about food. What do locals in St Petersburg eat? Where? Eating habits are actually much the same as European ones except a few things. We love good coffee and good books. So that’s why coffee shops and bookshops are combined here. Another habit has very little in common with this ’hipster’ habit. What petersburger loves is ’shaverma’ (shawarma). It’s difficult to explain why this a bit exotic kind of food’s became so popular, but it is. The city is full of places where shaverma is served in a huge amount of different variations. It’s actually a part of another tendency, which leads to peterburgers’ open-mindness. Asian, Greek, Finnish cousines are extremely popular as it’s a great way to change and fulfill eating habits.

Last but not at least is Petersburgers’ reliationships with other people. They considered to be introverts, gloomy and sad, unwilling to deal with others. However, as a friend of mine once said ”You’re (guys from Saint Petersburg) are warm and cozy, but I need to be brave to deal with you”. Why it’s despite this coziness it’s not unimportant to be – let’s say it – bold? There reason is a wish to share. While drinking a cup of tea or a glass of local craft bear he or she can tell you everything that has been interested and excited them. That can be a really long and complicated list. And habits like this can also be unexpected. So, don’t be afraid but flattered as it’s a quite common style here.

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