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When is the last time that you saw a picture of Vladimir Putin smiling?

Like, really think about it. No, nothing. Not even when he's cuddling a fluffy dog.

How about any other famous Russian for that matter? Nothing. Or as the Russian's would say, "ничего". Russian's even have a proverb which roughly translates as:

Laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity.

We hate to generalise, but Russians aren't exactly the most jovial folks going, which makes it a little tricky for them as they are about to host one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.

For the next month, an estimated 1.5 million citizens from 31 different nations ranging from South Korea to Tunisia and Uruguay to Denmark will descend upon Russia for the FIFA World Cup, and the Russians will be hoping that they leave with happy memories of their summer in the former USSR.

Therefore, to combat the stoic nature of Russian folks companies such as FIFA, Russian Railways and Moscow Metro are literally teaching their staff how to smile for the tourists.

The BBC report that the workers are undergoing special training to teach them how to be more polite and helpful to all the visitors.

The report does state that it isn't common for Russians to smile at each other. Not because they aren't friendly, but merely that it isn't something that is a part of their culture.

Given that the Russian team convincingly beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the tournament yesterday, you would hope that a few more smiles would have been raised around the country or for as long as they manage to stay in the competition.

HT Business Insider

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