Cultural Awareness: Russian Body Language

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Cultural Awareness: Russian Body Language We can assume that regardless of language barriers, the head gestures indicating a yes (up-down) or a no (side-side) can be interpreted and understood to be the same in all parts of the world as well as with other common body gestures. Here in the United States, we use a variety of different body languages to aid us in expressing ourselves when we engage in a conversation. These may be interpreted differently by Russians, but for us Americans, we know the true meaning behind them. The same could be said by Americans if they see or experience the expressive movements made by the Russians. There may be a few gestures that are identical but could be taken out of context. For example, if an American…show more content…
The first thing that an American would notice while walking in Russia is that the Russians appear to look angry/depressed and rarely crack a smile. This gives off the notion that the Russian people are cold-hearted, rude and unfriendly to the Americans. It even turned out to become a stereotype made by visitors who knew nothing about Russia 's culture and quickly generalized them as cold-hearted. They are not cold hearted in fact, they are one of the most generous societies once you get to know them. Going around smiling at random people is normal for us in the States ,but in Russia, they say that constant smiling and laughter without reason is an indication that the individual is touched in the head. When I was younger and got my school pictures taken, my dad would always say I resembled a blue whale because my teeth would be showing. Here strangers smile at each other out in the general public once eye contact it made. Another thing is that if you ever go overseas and go grocery shopping, please be aware that if a cashier doesn 't smile back at you, it doesn 't mean they hate you they are just trying to act professional unless you are a good friend theirs is when they will most likely show emotions. In Russia they take their jobs seriously, it 's not like here where we expect to be greeted or smiled at when…show more content…
Socialization between friends is proof that Russians are not cold-hearted. Russians don 't sugar coat, if they see that something is physically wrong with you they will point it out and that 's a good thing. Because it means that they truly care about you, unlike here if you say something about someone 's appearance you could risk offending them. Another fact that i didn 't take into consideration until we discuss it in class was that it 's very common for Russian women who are friends to lock their arms together when they are out in public. I had seen this a lot in Slovakia and in Ukraine but it felt really natural that i didn 't bother to question it. Also it 's a tradition for men/women to hug and kiss 3 times on the cheeks in both Russia and Slovakia, as well as the shaking of hands. Constant touching, hand movements and direct eye contact is how a typical conversation is complete. About 7 years ago I went to go celebrate my friend 's 18 birthday with him and his dads friends. One of the older Russians, probably in his 40’s sat next to me and we began talking about something, I forgot what, but he would constantly touch my thigh. It didn 't bother me, but it caught me off guard so I ended up asking my friend what that was all about and he told me it was normal in Ukraine and not to react. I personally would not feel comfortable touching my friend’s thighs who are also all slavic. It goes to show that the conversation is more genuine with the Russian body language
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