Friday, December 15, 2006

We Don't Smile Enough

WE Malaysians are in dire need to learn how to smile. Gets really kinda awkward you know when you're in the lift, and you wanna smile at the person in the lift and when you do, the other person totally ignores it or look away. I live in an apartment so taking the lift is an everyday kinda thing for me. Frankly, I really appreciate a good smile. A genuine one. That's a gem. In Canada, people give meaningless greetings to strangers "Hi, Good day...." when walking down the street. In US, I could strike up a conversation with anyone in the subway by just smiling at someone. In Malaysia, you'll be smiling but no one smiles back at you and u end up looking like a smiling moron. You know, smiling required probably just facial muscles and a bit of effort. I know it lits my day when I see a genuine smile. So make an effort to smile at one person at least today.

7 comments:

Gallivanter said...

Ahem, leave Canada out of this. They're by far the friendliest of people, so there's certainly nothing meaningless in greeting someone.

Most Malaysians walk around with a thumb stuck up their arse!

kyez said...

Yeah, I agree. Even people at work! They never smile back! It's just natural for me to smile at them or greet them since we work at the same place ... but now that you've mentioned it, yes i think most just ignore me. But I still do it because that's just basic courtesy on my part and I guess we just need to accept the sad fact that Malaysians aren't courteous at all & most just don't care :(

cely said...

:)

meekiee said...

hehe...Malaysians are paranoid to smile to strangers.

Lex said...

now now say cheese... remember the white guy?heheheh

cash said...

Aussies are high on the smile factor too. :) I still remember being greeted "Happy New Year!" by a bunch of high school students when I was there during CNY.

I'm not sure if it's Malaysia as a whole, or just the people in the cities, where the rat-race culture may have made people more "guarded", where smiling becomes a sign of weakness, of being an easy target.

Alternatively smiling (and smiling back) may not necessarily be known as a common courtesy to the point that eventually no one bothers to smile for fear of being out of the norm.

What I'm trying to say that smiling in Malaysia may not have the same sort of connotations as it would be in a Western society. Would the unsmiling stranger still be helpful, even if his/her expression doesn't reflect it?

tihtahpah said...

Cash: I dunno how Malaysians rank in helpfulness...but I must say that over a gathering last week, it was concluded that Indians are the least sepakat and Malays as the most sepakat and CHinese ranks 2nd.

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