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To leave the ear flaps up on an ushanka when it is freezing cold outside.
Men: Whatever you do, don't let your flaps down.

After a night when temperatures dipped to minus 25 Celsius, at least nine out of every ten male Muscovites wore their fur hats Tuesday with the flaps folded up, leaving their ears exposed in various shades of red and blue.

"Are you cold? I'm not, and I've been standing here all day!" said Vasily Chura, a cheerful traffic police officer posted on Arbat Square. As thermometers in downtown Moscow edged to just above minus 20, the flaps on his shapka were neatly tied on top.

"We're Russian people," he added. "We're used to it."

Alexei Kalimov, a 70-year-old pensioner who wisely wore his flaps down, had a more sober explanation for the ear-flap phenomenon. "They are trying to show off their toughness, endurance and manliness," he said as he tapped his feet to keep them warm. "Often they will put on a hat but keep their chests bare, especially in Siberia."
by Muzhiki March 08, 2015
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