Did you notice while travelling that people smile more in some countries and less in other ones?
I lived in Russia, Finland, and Portugal and visited other countries in Europe. Interestingly, smiling is a part of the culture, which has its local norms. This means that smiling should occur in definite situations with definite people in some places. In other places, people smile when they feel like without any frames.
The Portuguese simply shine, and I always need to ‘catch up’ upon my arrival to the country.
Actually, Russia is famous for strict-looking people. There are a lot of jokes on this topic, and foreigners are recommended not to smile as it looks ‘stupid and unserious’. The Russian culture is exactly that one, where you should smile in particular situations, and not, for instance, while saying ‘hi’ to a shop assistant. Personally, I have a big mismatch with my own culture as for some reason I smile a lot.
The same strictness regarding smiling, I observed in other Slavic countries – Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovenia. Based on that, some tourists have misconceptions that Slavic people are tough, silent, and even rude. However, if you get to know any person from those countries, you realise how hospitable and friendly people are. We all have different ways to express ourselves, and there is nothing wrong about it!
In the next 2 posts, I will discuss the peculiarities of greetings in Europe and I will elaborate on Russian and Finnish soups.
Picture from my Instagram