Visiting other contries often leads to misconceptions because of the differiencies in etiquette rules. Different ways of behaviour can be percieved in various ways depending on your culture. In this assignment I look into a small gesture: The Smile.
When do you smile and why?
Americans smile when they look at pets.
Americans smile at strangers.
Russians don't. A smile is a sign of personal attraction.
US VS. USSR
"It is partially true about smiling. Not because you are not allowed to smile. And the russians are often misunderstood, because tourists seem to think that the russians are angry. But there is a differents when it comes to when you smile. In the West is it normal to walk around smiling without any reason. When you walk around in Russia and smile at busy passing people, you should not expect to recieve a smile back. Because why are you smiling? Is it because you want to have contact with me? - that is what the Russian would think. He would think that you are crazy or mental.It becomes suspicious. But if you smile because you really want to get in contacr with a person, then the Russian are actually really open minded.
But no, the Russians do not smile automatically. That is really a contrast compared to the Americans."
Interview with a Russian
Barack Obama during American talkshow.
Vladimir Putin during Russian talkshow.
Does the leaders reactions reflect the natural reaction?
Are the photos staged?
Out of the first 100 pictures that appears of the president, on how many do they smile?
Hunting a natural smile among the public
Searching youtube (through Tor Browser) almost all the youtube clips shows the "extra ordinary" incidents such as street fight, robbers etc.
The situation and the surroundings of the show seem really staged. This does not reflect a normal/natural behaviour.
Interviews with Russian
Do to language barriers it is impossible to judge why they are smiling when they do.
The first episode of Russian Big Brother is not online (not even on Russian ip-adress). All the youtube clips from the show is about sex, fights, or violent scenes. Not about first meetings.
There has not been shown any hidden camera in Russia since 1995 where a man shoot the boy who pranked him.
Research on etiquette rules.
- Eleonora Korobitsyna
Out of 100 images of "Russian People" and "American People", how many of them has a photo of person smiling? Tool: google image, tor browser.
"American People" = 49 % people smiling
"Russian People" = 22 % people smiling
When and how often do Obama and Putin smile during national talkshows?
The mentality of the nations
Is there a connection between a smile and the happiness of the contries?
When do you smile in Russia?
1. Smile is Russian communication is not a sign of politeness.
2. Russian people do not smile at strangers.
3. It is not typical to Russian to give a smile in return.
4. It is not typical for Russian to smile at a person whose eyes you met with your eyes by chance. Americans smile in such a case but Russians turn off their eyes.
5. Russians don’t smile altogether looking at babies or pets. (I think it is a controversial utterance).
6. A Russian smile is a sign of personal attraction.
7. Russians do not smile when working or doing something serious.
8. Russian smile is sincere. It is the expression of either high spirits or a good attitude to a partner.
9. A smile of a Russian person should have a sufficient reason.
10. The only worthy reason of a smile in Russian communication is the wealth of a smiling person.
11. It is not typical for the Russian communicational culture to smile in order to cheer up or make others cheer up. A Russian person will hardly smile without evident wealth or very high spirits.
12. In a pure Russian consciousness a smile need a proper time for appearing. It is considered an independent action, which is very often unnecessary and annoying. Another Russian proverb says, “Business takes time, fun takes an hour”.
13. A smile should fit the situation from the point of view of the people around.
14. Russians do not really distinguish between a smile and laughter. They often mix up these two phenomena.