Smiles

An hour of cultural observation regarding Greeks and smiles

Sitting in a booth outside of a gyro shop in the Athens' square I decided to conduct a small cultural experiment on smiles or the lack thereof. The experiment consisted of tallying every time I saw someone smile, laugh, or simply show a sliver of happiness in their commute. This ideal originated from a talk I had with a peer about European people compared to American people and how they interact with each other especially in regards to emotional ecstasy. Over the course of one hour I counted 112 smiles and 5 responsive smiles. Responsive smiles occurred whenever one smiled back at me when I smiled at them initially. However, despite the low count of responsive smiles there were more reciprocal interactions such as elevated eyebrows and head nods there was even one negative reciprocal interaction where one man gave me an extremely weird look in response to my smile. I performed a similar experiment at the ski resort where I counted responsive smiles while on the ski lift unsurprisingly my capita per responsive smiles greatly increased. I suspect this is because skiers were excited to be on the slopes. I hope to continue this experiment throughout my travels it has been interesting to see the smiles across cultures, they are truly universal.