Smile Power Day

File:Happy face ball.jpgSmile Power Day is celebrated on June 15th of each year.  The staff at National Whatever Day were unable to discover the origin of Smile Power Day.  However, this does not stop us from smiling all day long in celebration!

A smile is a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles near both ends of the mouth.  The smile can also be found around the eyes.  Among humans, it is an expression denoting pleasure, joy, happiness, or amusement, but can also be an involuntary expression of anxiety, in which case it is known as a grimace.  Smiling is something that is understood by everyone despite culture, race, or religion; it is internationally known.  Cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communicating emotions throughout the world.  But there are large differences between different cultures.  A smile can also be spontaneous or artificial.

While most often, smiling is perceived as a positive emotion, there are many countries that perceive smiling as a negative expression and consider it unwelcoming.  To much smiling can be viewed as a sign of shallowness or dishonesty.  The Japanese may smile when they are confused or angry.  In other parts of Asia, people may smile when they are embarrassed.  Some people may smile at others to indicate a friendly greeting.  A smile may be reserved for close friends and family members.  Many people in Russia consider smiling at strangers in public to be unusual and even suspicious behavior.  Yet many Americans smile freely at strangers in public places (although this is less common in big cities).  Some Russians believe that Americans smile in the wrong places; some Americans believe that Russians don’t smile enough.  In Southeast Asian cultures, a smile is frequently used to cover emotional pain or embarrassment.  Vietnamese people may tell the sad story of how they had to leave their country but end the story with a smile.

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