пятница, 22 апреля 2011 г.

a simple smile

  The talk of the town (or among foreigners studying here) is why don't Russians smile? What are the reasons behind their morbid stares and unpleasant attitudes? Don't they know that it takes more muscle work to frown than to smile? Quite often my class sits down between class breaks and while talking about something all together different come upon the topic of the hostility and the lack of smiling in this country. Students from Spain, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, and Poland say that sometimes in their countries it is almost rude NOT to smile and be welcoming and pleasant to people. The Americans of course are "infamous" for being the over-smiling culture. Out of curiosity and determination to understand why in the world you wouldn't smile, I often times ask Russian friends and acquaintances the smiling question. A good friend once said that Russians don't smile because of the hardships that they face day to day; they live difficult lives. With this statement I cannot agree more because compared to other european countries and especially the United States the people face pretty harsh realities in their personal lives and the government. I don't know if this is wrong to say, but come on Russia you still live better than a huge percentage of the world, cheer up!
   I asked the same question an acquaintance and outwardly made fun of American as he called it "stretched smile", emphasizing that their smiles are not genuine and there isn't anything that good in the world to be smiling so widely about. However his answer was quite profound for a 17 year old and yet very prepared, like someone engrained this answer in him. "I think that Russians don't smile because throughout history they lived through harsh times." Alright, but what about his generation? They didn't live through any of that. Their lives are quite normal and nice in fact. They have no reason to frown! Unfortunately to that he had nothing to say, but continue and make fun of how stupid it was to smile all the time.
   So is stupid to smile all the time? My thinking...NO! Life is good and it's ok to smile at the little boy running trying not to be late for school, or the grandpas playing chess in the metro or accidently hugging someone on the bus cause it's 150 people on a 75 passenger bus. Like Nat King Cole said "Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it's breaking...smile..what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worth while if you just smile." Yes pretty cheesy wording, but still a great meaning. That simple smile in the most difficult of times is what brings joy to your day. Not long ago I was a bit sick and was riding the bus home from my classes on an overcast cloudy day and I was looking at a man who was walking and minding his own business. I smiled at him and he smiled back with the biggest smile. What that man doesn't know is that I remembered that smile for the rest of the day. So my philosophy: smile no matter what cause you never know who is watching and what that smile might mean to them. 

3 комментария:

  1. Wow Kristina, this is really interesting. And very well-said. Wouldn't it be cool to do some sort of research on this topic? I could totally see you doing that. You are the coolest!

  2. This is the best! Supposedly French people don't smile at each other too because it would be rude/strange. Weirdo