There is a raging debate in Russia today about the fate of Lenin's body. This debate is a reflection of the many different moods and attitudes, mostly specific to generations, related to the current social issues in this vast country. One can stand in long lines (as I did) to see his body encased in a plastic box in a darkened mausoleum. The contrast of dark and light reminded me of viewing Rembrandt paintings in Amersterdam.
But he might not be there much longer. One of Putin's deputies has raised the question of whether Lenin should be buried like everyone else (some say he requested to be buried in St. Petersburg). Many people say good riddance and that it's an embarrassment to the New Russia to have someone who represented (and created, long after his death) such bad times on display like an art piece in the main tourist area of Moscow. Others, some of the older generation, and definitely the communists, are outraged that moving him out of Red Square would even be considered. The young kids, those born after 1980, say, "who?"
When I walked around his body I tried to see if he was smiling. You see, no one in Russia smiles (except, again, those young ones). When I asked about this I was told that Russians view foreigners' smiles (i.e., Americans) as fake, that the physical reaction doesn't really reflect what that person is thinking (and it is hard to argue this point). When I asked them if they thought my smiles were false, they responded, "no." When I probed, they said that the reason they can tell the difference is that "you also smile with your eyes, and your eyes cannot lie."
Very interesting, I thought. When someone smiles at me now, I look into their eyes (although not to the extent of Mr. Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David) to see if the smile is genuine.