Smiling for all the wrong reasons

When moving abroad, you quickly notice some differences in how people interact from strangers to family. In my case, I noticed that I was the only person smiling at strangers on the street in Tampere, Finland, whereas I’d never even questioned why everyone smiled at each other in Canada. I made a decision in 2010 to change my ways and adapt, but a couple weeks ago, I decided to revisit that decision from a new perspective.


And now I want to get the convo started. I’ve just changed the comments section of my website to make it easier for you guys to post comments and have a conversation, not just with me but with each other. So tell us: have you had this issue with eye contact or smiling in other cultures? What did you do? Has your approach changed throughout the years? Did you find a way to mesh your personality into the local culture, or are you still figuring it out?

[Tweet “Cultural missteps abroad? Share yours and join the convo at via @irinapravet”]

Can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say! And once again, happy Canada day!

smiling for the wrong reasons screenshot


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