Jan 172008

It’s at least two years ago that I started watching Russian Internet TV — mostly RTR Planeta. I watch it in spurts. There are weeks or months at a time when I just don’t have time or there is too much network congestion.

It seems there have been some changes since I started. The female news anchors/program hosts smile now. Back then, I remarked on how they seemed to be all business — though just as they signed off they might give a very quick, almost shy smile.

I remember reading some time ago about how Russians just didn’t smile as much as Americans. In fact one American business that went to Russia had to teach the employees how to smile at customers. It wasn’t natural for them.

But now it seems natural enough for them. The males, too, are more smiley than I remember back then. Some of the female hosts are flirty and sometimes even giggly now.

So where did this change come from? Or is it just my imagination? (It seems there are fewer instances of female hosts wearing dresses with shoulder pads now, too.)

One thing that hasn’t changed is the ubiquitous notebook computers. Every program host/anchor seems to have a notebook computer in front of him/her (and a little to one side) though I’m not sure what for.

It would seem to me that there is a lot less to smile about in Russia these days (if you don’t count the material prosperity) but maybe that has nothing to do with it.