World – Hand Gesture Interpretation!

World – Hand Gesture Interpretation!

We all use hand gestures from time to time but the traveller must be wary of using them in foreign countries. One might think that the “Thumbs up” sign is universally recognised to mean “OK”; in the US, Australia, UK, Canada and Russia, this is the case, but in Latin America, West Africa, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, it is a rude gesture and should be avoided.

Similarly, the forefinger and thumb together making a circle means “All good” in Australia, UK, Canada and US. But in Brazil if this gesture is turned upside down it is considered rude, on a par with the one-finger salute.

The horn fingers – forefinger and little finger held up – was adopted by rockers in the USA as a sign of approval (essentially to “rock on”). In Italy, Brazil, Columbia and Spain and Portugal, to make this sign at someone is to indicate that their wife is cheating on them!

The fingers and thumb all together in Italy means “What is this? What do you want?” and is usually accompanied by a flick of the wrist. In the Democratic Republic of Congo it indicates a small amount of something. In Turkey it means something beautiful or well; and in Egypt it is a sign that you will only be a minute.

Crossed fingers in Australia, UK, US and Canada are to wish for good luck but is seen as lewd in Vietnam. The “V for Victory” sign in the US is a harmless sign of peace. If it is turned around In Australia, UK, Ireland and New Zealand, it is rude and used to signify contempt for authority.

In Australia, the US, Canada and the UK, a hooked forefinger is a gesture for someone to “Come here” but in the Philippines it is highly offensive as it is reserved for dogs. The thumb and forefinger held up as if counting would indicate the number 2 in many countries, but in China it is the gesture for the number 8 and in Italy it indicates something is not good.

A downward palm wave in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada is used to tell someone or something to “Go away, shoo!” In the Philippines, Vietnam, India and Ghana it means the exact opposite!

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Source: Huffington Post

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