Destiny Eem
How likely is this true for Russian culture? Would this be an accurate representation of the Russian cultural persepctive regarding smiling?

Here is the link to an article I read concerning it:

https://www.rbth.com/arts/2013/11/29/ten_reasons_why_russians_dont_smile_much_31259

May 26, 2019 4:57 AM
Comments · 15
Hi I'd agree with 90% of the article. It's purely a cultural thing. Different cultures think and do according to the environment they are raised. Overtime things naturally change. I actually think the Russians have a great sense of humour infact they are very funny. A lot of people still assume russians are harsh and cold. It's all nonsense i spent Xmas and new year there. It was my first time and I had the best time of my life. Amazing place with equally amazing people. 👌🏿
May 26, 2019
I agree with the part about a smile being genuine, but the rest about the types of smiles is a little strange. My impression from the article is that Russians are some kind of strange species of animal, whose behavior needs to be studied. The part about it not being acceptable to smile at strangers is not true. I think you should keep in mind that in e.g. UK culture, a smile is often seen as a sign of politeness, whereas in Russia, the unspoken codes of social conduct with regard to politeness are different. 
May 26, 2019

Yes, I think there is a grain of truth in this article. From what I can tell, "fake it till you make it" is not a very popular approach in Russia, and you don't have to smile at everyone when you in fact are feeling miserable. It's a bit different for service workers now, but still not to the degree when a cashier in a supermarket has to smile at you and ask "how are you doing?" *shudders*. I honestly don't understand what's so wrong with "smileless" politeness so to speak, in my opinion it feels better when you know that the person you're speaking to is not secretly hoping you would just stop bothering them so that they could stop holding a "proper" smile. Still, I wouldn't say we don't smile at all, personally I smile a lot and so do many of my friends, it's not that different from anywhere else really. It's just that it's not obligatory, and when I smile I usually mean it (hope it makes sense). 

Now, is it not acceptable to smile at strangers in Russia? No, I wouldn't say so, but I think you should keep in mind that some people indeed may interpret it as something really personal. But I'm not sure it's the case in Russia only, I remember smiling at one audiobook (and, by coincidence, at one guy sitting in front of me in the bus) in another country, and he interpreted it a sign of flirtation as well. So, I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't be the case in the US, for example, but I'm not really sure.

May 26, 2019

Mostly this article is true, especially for elderly people. However, globalisation influences Russia too, many international companies apply standards of smiling for customer service and sometimes it looks very funny. 

It doesn't mean that Russians don't like to smile and laugh. We really love good jokes and laugh a lot with friends. 

May 26, 2019
Destiny, the main thing about smiling un Russia - it's not obligatory. It's absolutely appropriate and normal to smile at your acquaintance (or even stranger) if you are really glad to see them. But if you feel sad or unhappy nobody would expect you to smile. I think it's very rational:)
May 26, 2019
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Destiny Eem
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
Russian