For most of the 20th century, Russia was cut off from the Western world. Now that the borders have been opened for decades, it is clear that some of the most beautiful and desirable women in the world hail from this extraordinary country. Russia has a long, rich cultural history that its inhabitants are very proud of, and single Russian women tend to be well-educated and acquainted with this history. Their knowledge and appreciation of their own culture also results in their eagerness to learn about other languages and cultures. As an example of the Russian people's dedication to and immersion in culture and fine arts, the Russian ballet, which has a long history, remains very popular with contemporary audiences. In the late 20th century, as ballet became less popular throughout the West, it continued to thrive in Russia, and many of the world's great ballet dancers hail from there. Children's ballet schools are still very popular throughout the country. Many single Russian women will have done ballet as a child and seen many performances throughout their lives. Literature is another Russian cultural strength. From the 19th century powerhouses like Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov to the 20th century science fiction pioneers the Strugatsky brothers to modern-day "new realism" writers such as Alexandr Karasyov, writers are a vital part of Russian culture. Single Russian women are likely to have grown up with the work of many of these world-renowned writers on the shelves of their homes. Theater, music and art are also among the cultural strengths of Russia. The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the great art museums of the world. The beauty seen in these fine arts is an important aspect of Russian culture, and this is reflected in both the interior and exterior of single Russian women. Like most Europeans, Russians are far more likely to be bilingual than Americans. English is a popular second language, and some single Russian women may have also traveled to other parts of Europe and experienced different languages and cultures. For the most part, Russian women who are seeking romance outside of the country are eager to learn about the rest of the world and to share their own culture with others. For many Americans, Russia is still a largely alien culture. Because American pop culture is so popular throughout the world, Russian women are likely to know more about American culture than Americans do about Russian culture. However, Russian women are anxious to share their pride in their culture and to learn more about American culture than the superficial picture they might have been presented in American films and other pop culture exports. Getting to know Russian single women means getting to know the soul of a country as well as a woman.