“Tone down your smile”: a photo from the July issue of the local tourist magazine The Prague Visitor has proved a viral hit on Reddit over the past few days, where it has received over 20,000 upvotes.
The picture, a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the differences between Americans and Europeans, purports to advise those from the USA on how to better fit in while in Prague.
“One way to spot the foreigner among the Czechs is a big toothy grin,” the caption reads.
Posted to the Reddit subforum r/funny on Saturday by user MonsieurBonheur, the picture has received nearly 1500 comments over the weekend, many trying to explain exactly why the American smile is so over-the-top… or why the Czech one is so understated.
“I grew up in Texas, smiling is expected and caring about people you don’t know is the norm,” writes user inspirature. “It’s considered rude if you don’t smile when you meet someone.”
“When you live under a repressive authority (be it a government, an asshole boss, an abusive parent, whatever) you learn ESPECIALLY not to show happiness when you are happy,” comments tarlton. “It’s just an invitation for someone to demonstrate their power by ruining your good day.
The Prague Visitor is an English-language monthly magazine targeting tourists and locals that can be found in over 300 locations across Prague.
The full article – How to Fit In (or Stand Out) in the Czech Republic by Auburn Scallon – can be found on its website.