RUSSIA (CBS Local) – Russians working at this year’s World Cup are getting a little extra job training: they’re reportedly being taught how to smile.
The BBC reports that certain groups of workers – many in the public transportation industry – are taking special courses on how to greet and behave around tourists arriving to see the soccer tournament. “Russian Railways, FIFA and the Moscow Metro are conducting special training to teach their staff to be more polite and helpful to foreign visitors,” the BBC explains.READ MORE: COVID Anniversary: New York Marks 1 Year Since 1st Case, With Vaccine Hope On Horizon
Why do Russians need a course on smiling?READ MORE: Police: 2 Men Wanted In Violent Queens Home Invasion Stole $3,000 From Woman At Gunpoint
Unlike other European nations, smiling is not an expression frequently used in Russian culture. One Russian woman interviewed by the BBC told reporters that she was once questioned by a police officer because they found it strange that she was smiling in public.
A Russian proverb roughly translated to English by The Atlantic states, “laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity.”MORE NEWS: Police: 14-Year-Old Robbed Inside Bronx Laundromat
In an effort to create a new perception about the Russian people, state officials are working to give their citizens a more cheerful appearance before their guests get the wrong impression. According to the Russian news agency TASS, 1.5 million tourists are expected to flood into the nation for the month-long event which begins on June 14.