Foreigners are constantly told that the Russian - a surprisingly unsmiling people write about it in blogs and guidebooks, ask in person, tell all your friends and acquaintances. Indeed, we smile much less other nationalities, but, as it turned out, we have to it have their reasons.
A renowned scholar, Professor Iosif Sternin calls one of the peculiarities of the Russian character household unsmiling and explains it to several factors.
Here are excerpts from an article by the linguist, which sheds light on some of the strangeness of the mysterious Russian soul.
1. A smile in Russian communication is not a signal of courtesy. Western smiles during a greeting mean pure politeness. The more a person smiles the more friendliness he wants to demonstrate his partner. Permanent polite smile at the Russian called "duty smile" and is considered a sign of poor human manifestation of his insincerity, secrecy, unwillingness to discover the true feelings. Russian smile - is a sign of personal sympathy, not polite.
2. The Russian did not smile at strangers. The smile in Russian communication is addressed mainly familiar. That's why buyers saleswomen do not smile - they do not know them. If the buyer sign the saleswoman, she told him certainly will smile!
3. Russian atypically smiling back. If you see the smiling Russian him / her to a stranger, he will no doubt seek the reason of fun. Maybe something in his / her clothing or hairstyle made this type so much fun.
4. To Russian smiled, it should be for this reason enough obvious to others. It gives a person the right to smile - from the point of view of others. The Russian language has a unique saying that is not in other languages, "Laughter without reason - sign fool».
5. unsmiling Russian people (it is unsmiling and not darkness - Russian for the most fun, cheerful and witty) and supported by Russian folklore, where we find a lot of proverbs "against" laughter and jokes. From Dictionary by Vladimir Dal "Proverbs of the Russian people" - joke to no good arguments. - And laughter leads to sin. - And laughter, and sin. - Sometimes the laughter tears responds. - In truth there are no jokes. - Joke lead to no good.
6. Russian pending smiling in office, when performing any serious business. For example, customs officers at airports never smile as busy a serious matter. This feature is unique Russian smile.
7. Russian smile is intended to be only a sincere, it is regarded as a sincere expression of good mood or position to the other party.
So, if you smile a foreigner - it does not mean anything, it taught everyone to smile and if Russian smiled, it was because that really wanted it.