Students, as well as all Russians, are prone to believe in superstitions. Indeed, the process of taking exams is not always predictable, and not every student is confident in his abilities during exam periods, especially if he does it for the first time.

Examination session is probably the most stress inducing period in the lives of students. To feel more confident, students in Russia perform quite strange rituals.

Catching “Khalyava”

[khalyava (freebie in English) – is a Russian slang for anything that was received for free or easily, without applying any effort]

The night before an important exam, students who have not prepared well for the exam, open the window open their exam record book on the appropriate page, and shout loudly three times: “Khalyava, come here!” Then they shut their exam record book and don’t’ open it until they enter the exam room the next day.

If the student’s exam record book accidentally opens before the exam, the “khalyava” will fly away.

Scolding a Student

Before an exam, students ask their friends to curse at them. This is believed to bring good luck. There is only one bad word that cannot be used – you cannot call a student a “fool”.

Lucky Clothes

Often students, who passed an exam wearing a particular item of clothing, would continue wearing the same item considering it lucky. This may also apply to a “lucky” pen, a “lucky” phone, a “lucky” hand and so on.

This Strange Hygiene

It is believed that before an exam you should not wash your hair, get a haircut, clean your apartment, and shave.

Maybe these rules have a reason – you are better off spending your time on studying.

Moscow Students

In Moscow at a subway station “Revolution Square” there is a bronze sculpture of a dog. It is believed that if you rub its nose, you would have a lucky day. Not coincidentally, you can always see many students around a bronze canine nose.

Still, we think that’s the best superstition for a student is working hard throughout a school year 🙂


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