Add to favorite
 
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS


The Russians Smile Only for a Good Reason
December 31, 2013 23:09


 “The Russians smile only for a good reason” - a scientist explains the reasons for what seems to be Russian sullenness.

The well-known linguist Prof. Josef Sternin has revealed secrets of the well-known Russian unsmilingness. Foreigners always say that Russians are surprisingly unsmiling people; they write about it in blogs and guides, ask each other at personal meetings, and tell to all friends and acquaintances. The famous researcher calls this common unsmilingness one of the features of the Russian character and explains it with several factors.
 
1. The smile in Russian communication is never a sign of politeness. The western greeting smiles generally mean politeness as such. The more a person smiles, the more he or she wants to express friendliness to the other participant of communication. Among Russians such a constant polite smile is termed a social thin smile and is considered to be a manifestation of a person’s insincerity, reserve, and unwillingness to show one’s true feelings. The Russian smile is a sign of genuine personal affinity and good graces rather than mere politeness.
 
2. The Russians do not smile to strangers. In Russian communication the smile is generally addressed to friends and acquaintances. For this reason shop assistants do not smile to buyers: they just do not know them! If the buyer is familiar to the shop assistant, he or she will surely smile to him or her!
 
3. It is not typical for the Russians to smile in response. If a Russian sees a stranger smiling at him or her, it will be understood as if there must be some reason for the other person’s fun. Perhaps something is wrong with his/her looks, clothes or hairdress and that made the stranger smile. 
 
4. A Russian needs a sufficient reason for smiling and this reason should be obvious to others. It grants the person the right to smile — from the point of view of others. In the Russian language there is a unique saying which is not present in other languages: “Laughter without the reason is a sign of the fool”.
 
5. The unsmilingness of the Russian person is far from gloom: most of the Russians are quite cheerful and witty. And yet, it is also supported by the Russian folklore providing lots of sayings and proverbs “against” laughter and jokes. Vladimir Dahl's dictionary Proverbs of the Russian People contains quite a number of them, for instance: A joke does not bring you to the good. — Even laughter provokes the sin. You don't know whether to laugh or cry. Some kind of laughter is responded by crying. 
 
6. It is not customary for the Russians to smile on duty, while performing some serious task. Thus, for example, customs officers at the airports never smile because they are occupied with a matter of concernment. This feature of the Russian smile is unique.
 
7. The Russian smile is aimed to be sincere only: it is considered as one’s heartfelt expression of good mood or goodwill to the interlocutor. So, if a foreigner smiles at you it may mean nothing but the fact that he/she was taught to smile at everyone, but if a Russian smiles it is only because he or she really wants to smile.

Sources: http://gazeta.ua :// 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Character Smiles Russian Customs   

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

More about Russian Folk Tales Salient Features of the Russian National Character Traditions of Old Russian Housing The Most Unusual Names of the Russians Happy Old New Year!





comments powered by Disqus




Comment on our site


RSS   twitter   facebook   submit

Bookmark and Share

Russian Parliament in Action

search on the map
TAGS:
Dolls  Rashid Nurgaliev  South Ural State University  Maxim Nogotkov   eternal flame  Dagestan  Russian academy of sciences  Kazan Railway Station  Russian history  Oleg Belikov  Pussy Riot  Kemerovo Regional Museum Of Local History  Boris Grebenshchikov  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  Czech Republic  Russian business  Misha Brusilovsky  Dynamo football club   Eurasian Economic Commission  Russian musicians  Southern Urals  Russian Cinema  Archeology  Megafon  Novosibirsk  Mikhail Bulgakov  Sberbank  New Museums  Painting  Sochi Games   Rock Music  Nordic Yards  Novgorod Region  Pavel Chukhray  Exhibitions in Moscow  Borovichi  Syria  Dentistry  Krasnodar region  Rostov  Engraving  Russian Literature  Moscow  Honey Festival  Novgorod  Irkutsk Region  Moscow Stock Exchange  Russian tourism  Nikita Mndoyants  Russian churches 


Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites