Cory is in Mongolia and is posting pictures of his trip on Instagram and Facebook. You’ll notice that in a lot of the pictures the Mongolians aren’t smiling…or at least they’re not smiling very big. Sometimes they look downright angry or bored. They’re not any of those things. They’re just Mongolians posing for a picture and Mongolians don’t tend to smile as much when posing for pictures. It’s one of those things that’s not wrong or right, just different than they way we, Americans, tend to do things.
We’ve been told it has something to do with the Soviet Administration of the country for 70 or so years (the 1920’s to the early 1990’s). Russians tend to smile less than Americans in public. The Atlantic wrote a piece on it (please excuse the mild language). Different cultures view smiling differently. Some see smiling as a sign of friendliness (like Americans), some see it as a sign of dishonesty, some see it as a sign of stupidity. I’m not sure exactly why Mongolians don’t smile as often in pictures; there’s not a lot of legitimate cultural comparisons of USA vs. Mongolia out there, but I know they do smile less and that to interpret their smilelessness as unhappiness wouldn’t be fair.
As you enjoy photos of the trip, rest assured, the Mongolians Cory photographed were enjoying the trip and photos as well!