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Old 04-16-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Thailand is called the 'Land of Smiles' but in Bangkok the people were mostly how they are in most big cities. More smiles than Western countries, but still it's a big city.

I can't speak for countries I haven't visited. I can't judge by backpackers I meet, since most are having a good time/drinking.etc and do not reflect the typical Dutch or Korean person going about their day to day business.

I'd say in Australia, smiling at strangers is not uncommon, but it's also very common to keep a 'stiff upper lip' and not express any emotion. I imagine Britain is worse.

In SE Asia aside from Singapore, people seem quite free with their smiles, but are often business-like and do not smile if they have not met you. If they have however they do like to smile and laugh a lot.

I always considered Southern Europe to have a lot of people who smile a lot but maybe I'm wrong. Sweden, Denmark seem full of reserved people who only open up with alcohol.

No idea about Africa, but Africans I've met seem more serious than I thought.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Americans. They are taught to smile, even when inappropriate. They even wear smiley face buttons and say meaningless things like "have a nice day". It is impossible to distinguish a genuinely friendly American from one who simply knows the drill.

Americans even spend a fortune to get their teeth fixed, straightened, whitened, in order to have a smile that conforms with national cultural expectations. We watch movies about horribly destitute people living in slums or like hillbillies, who are played by actors who have perfect teeth, and it doesn't even seem out of place to us.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Americans. They are taught to smile, even when inappropriate. They even wear smiley face buttons and say meaningless things like "have a nice day". It is impossible to distinguish a genuinely friendly American from one who simply knows the drill.
Unless you're just very fake, I think training oneself to smile can actually MAKE you feel happier and smile naturally more. There have been studies done on it. Smiling does make you happier, not just the other way around.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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thai , vietnam , malaysia , seems to be very common in that part of southern asia
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
thai , vietnam , malaysia , seems to be very common in that part of southern asia
Yes, probably moreso than East Asia.

Would you say the Irish smile more than the English and Scots? They seem more happy-go-lucky.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Tricity
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I don't believe that forced smiles actually makes anyone happy. Artificial smiles are just like that - phony and meaningless. We already discussed it in another thread. Not sure why is this thread any different and what it is going to accomplish. We will just repeat again, and again that smiling to anything and everybody without any reason is a cultural thing. Actually, American "invention" where people who are not very expressive are regarded with some suspicion. They are accused to be cold, withholding, depressed.
People in some other countries smile more than others but no one beats Americans in that..... Some people don’t smile often and are quite content. Others smile a lot of the time, but it is out of anxiety.
I agree with jtur88 on that.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Originally Posted by elnina View Post
I don't believe that forced smiles actually makes anyone happy. Artificial smiles are just like that - phony and meaningless. We already discussed it in another thread. Not sure why is this thread any different and what it is going to accomplish. We will just repeat again, and again that smiling to anything and everybody without any reason is a cultural thing. Actually, American "invention".
People in some other countries smile more than others but no one beats Americans in that..... Some people don’t smile often and are quite content. Others smile a lot of the time, but it is out of anxiety.
I agree with jtur88 on that.
That's me, although when I'm happy and comfortable I also smile a lot, so I naturally smile a lot. People would think something was wrong with me. Sometimes in public, when I see sometime and am smiling and they return with a stony frown, it makes me feel embarrassed, as if they think I'm acting goofy or anything. I may not even be smiling at them but catching their steely gaze makes me uncomfortable. Why do people have to be so serious? Maybe if Russians smiled more in public they wouldn't take everything so damn seriously and it would be a less violent society?
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Tricity
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Smiling all the times do not makes people less serious, or less violent - they just looks silly, imo.
Actually study revealed that fake smiles may cause depression and maybe even a violence.
Just talk with people working in Customer Service. They have to smile to everyone, even to the phone (!) all day long. By the end of the day they are tired of being nice and smiling at everyone. Some in fact are close to snap and release their frustration.
Employers encourage their staff to always appear happy in order to boost the success of an organisation, however smiling for the sake of smiling can lead to emotional exhaustion and withdrawal, but I don't think that "the organizations" really care about that.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Thailand is called the 'Land of Smiles' but in Bangkok the people were mostly how they are in most big cities. More smiles than Western countries, but still it's a big city.
It's called drumming up trade, they also wink a lot and do bizzare things with ping pong balls.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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From my experience, people that live in warmer weather and hail from Mediterranean-Latin stock - people that can come up with monikers like "la dolce vita" and "joie de vivre," or say things like "me encanta" a lot. That ought to narrow the field.
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