Russian Women. Why The Girls Don't Smile.
Russian people don't smile. Both men and women. This statement is only partially true. The matter is
that Russian people have a special opinion about the appropriateness of a smile in different situations.
A saleswoman from one of Russia's stores hit a psychiatric hospital due to the fact that the director
smiled at her all the time. "Maybe I have shortfall," - girl tormented constantly, and her head had
turned with this. It's terrible to imagine what would be with the director, if the above incident had
occurred in United States.
If the motto of the American lifestyle "Keep Smiling" can be considered, then for the Russian girls as
well all Russian people it would be "To smile, at what?" Russian still feel hypocritical the smiles of
Western people, and they in turn believe that Russian are morose and evil. Ever since much has
changed. We now know that all this is not so simple.
Korean girl An Hyun Gin, a participant of Olympiad on the
Russian language, that was held in Novosibirsk last year,
wrote in her composition: "Many Korean suggest that Russia
is a very harsh country, that all Russian are closed and
unsympathetic people, that they all love vodka. Now I know
that this is not true. "
However, foreigners arriving in Russia, continue to note that
very few Russian people smile. Nothing surprising.
The difference in smiles is the difference of cultures. We do
not smile, they smile. This is not good and not bad, it is so.
The main is to take it to socialize with each other.
"When I am asked why I am smiling all the time, I say: I am
behind the eight years of training. After all, at school, I was a
member of the team of cheerleaders. As you probably know
by movie these are the girls who are always smiling. We
smudged teeth with petrolatum so that we were otherwise
not to smile,"- American Annette Loftus tells to her Russian
This story is a living illustration to the Russian stereotype that the American smile - that's not quite
normal and real, in any case, insincere. Foreigners do not disavow. The same Annette, who first came
to the Soviet Union in 1991, as she admitted, after returning to the United States, had experienced a
cultural shock when saw the smiles of compatriots. "I immediately missed unsmiling city of
Leningrad," - she says.
You can imagine how those smiles affected Soviet citizens who were lucky in that time to go abroad.
In Western cultures the smile is a kind of greeting strangers, a prerequisite for human polite
communication and the attempts to ensure security in the unfamiliar place with strangers.In Russia it
can cause quite the opposite reaction.
A smile on incomprehensible reason put Russians on their guard. Therefore, the Russians made to
believe that constantly smiling people are not very healthy: like the girl from anecdote, to which the
brick fell on the head.
It should be noted that Americans were not smiling always. Roosevelt first of the American presidents
began to smile in all the official photographs. His predecessors posed for photographer exactly the
same tie up a position as Russian leaders. By the way, the success of Mikhail Gorbachev in the
West was largely due to the fact that he was the first Soviet leader who smiled, and therefore was
open to communication and not dangerous.
However, Russians not always went through the streets with gloomy faces. In memoirs noted as a
feature of a new emerging Soviet society (after the Revolution of 1917) that "smile has gone." And if
"gone" - then it means existed before?
A serious face of Russian brides.
"Common unsmiling - one of the striking features of Russian girls". Russian girls' smiles is not a sign
of courtesy, they have not accepted smiling at strangers, and Russians do not answer by smile to
The paradox is that Russians smile less because of their openness... It turns out that their gravity - it
is the habit not to hide their feelings and moods. And because historically is made that the mood
often is bad among Russians, then they did not intend to hide it. So the concern they have settled on
the face is "common normative look of Russian man."
Just Russian smile, by definition, is for familiar people only, so it is quite difficult to teach Russian girl
to keep a smile in everyday life.
Elena Vil-Williams, who worked at her time for the Coca-Cola company, says that the training for
Russian and foreign managers are held quite differently.
"For example, it is suffice to say Americans: "You must be smiling." And they are smiling - she tells.
- But Russian girl says: "It's disingenuous, this is bad!" Russian girl must prepare herself for such a
communication, go inside to find something positive."
Russian brides are still considered the most "serious", ie, unsmiling.
Three kinds of smiles.
Smile the formal - in Western cultures it is the kind of
strangers welcome. Automatism of such a smile in the West
is so great that Hillary Clinton smiles to photographers even
at the Princess Diana's funeral ceremony.
Commercial smile - a mandatory requirement of modern
service. In Chase Manhattan Bank the announcement hangs:
if our operator did not smile at you, say this doorman, he will
give you a dollar.
A sincere smile - a manifestation of good feelings and good
relations. The natural human reaction to the positive
circumstances. This kind of smile is inherent in all human
beings, regardless of cultural conditionalities. It is this kind of
smile that characterized the Russian girls.
By: Julia Pika
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