Don’t smile when you meet a Russian

Did you know that in Russia, you are not supposed to smile when you meet new people, because a smile is seen as a sign of weakness? I learned this from my Danish friends who moved to Russia six months ago. In Denmark, we have a saying: “A smile is the shortest distance between two people.” But perhaps that is the whole point; that Russians prefer to keep a distance until they fell convinced that the stranger means no harm to them. Because once you have broken the ice and established a friendship, Russians can be heartly and all smiles. I wonder if it has to do with a Cossack warrior culture where in earlier times, they had to protect their tribe against strangers, as opposed to trading cultures in other parts of the world which had more focus on welcoming strangers with a view to market opportunities? Just pocket philosophy.

About .

I am a Danish writer, journalist, and communications specialist. After several years in The Netherlands, I am back in my home country, with one foot in London. I hold a M.Sc. in International Business Administration and Modern Languages, and I have brushed up my skills through studies at Webster University and London School of Journalism. I have worked with communications and business development most of my life. I do freelance work (English and Danish), and I write for pleasure. Most of my stories are about places and people I encounter on journeys around the world. I have an eye for cultural and social subtleties, and I am especially interested in travel, the environment, and the arts. Drop me a line if you want to hire me, or if you have a question or comment. And feel free to follow me on Twitter, Bloglovin' and Instagram.
This entry was posted in Culture, Denmark, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.