- Russian workers in key industries are being taught how to smile.
- This is because the country is expecting 1.5 million tourists during the FIFA World Cup, and it hopes to tackle the stereotype that its people are unfriendly.
- The World Cup kicks off on Thursday.
- Read all of Business Insider’s World Cup coverage here.
Workers in Russia are being taught how to smile in a bid to be more welcoming to tourists during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday.
Russians do not smile as much as other Europeans, according to the BBC. An article in The Atlantic attempts to explain why when it loosely translates a Russian proverb: “Laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity.”
However, there’s now a reason to smile – 1.5 million reasons to be precise, as Russian news agency Tass claims 1.5 million foreign tourists are expected in Russia during the World Cup.
To prepare for all the tourists, workers in key companies like FIFA, Russian Railways, and Moscow Metro are all undergoing unique training.
The BBC says the world governing body for football and the two Russian transport firms are teaching staff how to smile.
The report says that “Russian train conductors are being taught how to smile at foreigners,” in an effort to tackle the stereotype that its people are unfriendly.
The World Cup officially begins on June 14 when Russia takes on Saudi Arabia in the opening match.
If the host nation wins its first match then workers will have even more reason to show their happiness.