Do Russians smile?

That's one of the questions I get asked by foreigners when they visit Russia for the first time. I have a few American friends living in Yekaterinburg. They figured out that Russians don't smile in public. They attributed this largely to the hardships the Russian people have experienced over past few centuries. In fact, we went walking down the street with my American friend and we made a bet on who would be the first to find someone smiling. We both lost. Neither of us found anyone smiling.



This is a sad part of the reality of living in Russia. Outside, you don't see a whole lot of people expressing themselves, greeting each other, or even laughting that much. However, when you're invited to their homes, you see a different picture. Russians express their hospitality at home around the table drinking tea and eating candies and cakes. They talk a lot about their families, work, politics and how Putin is turning the country to USSR again... And they smile and laugh meanwhile. See, this is what's interesting. We get caught in a trap of trying to comprehend life by simplifying everything. This creates stereotypes such as Russians don't smile. But it makes us blind to see a greater picture. I want to say that the truth is greater than just Russians don't smile. I bet they do. And not just in the home drinking tea. I want to hear, learn, and explore a greater, deeper story of Russian life. I'm going to prove that Russians smile too:)

Please share pictures and stories that proves that Russians smile. Please contribute to this wonderful story through your comments.

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