Should you be lucky enough to travel to China, know that the vendor at that street stall is not telling you that you're a loser for playing it safe with the onion pancakes (what, the skewered thing with several legs doesn't seem appealing?). Kathleen Crislip is a freelance writer who has covered backpack travel adventures for students and other young travelers. Pointing Finger: Often a Rude Gesture in Any Country or Culture. China, Japan, Indonesia, and Latin America. In Brazil, it could mean... um... something really rude. Zilch. We can make countless gestures using our fingers which, depending on the country we come from, can have a different meaning in another. After asking around a bit, we learned that in some parts of the world, it means to sit on the thumb. Showing feet is taken as offensive in some Middle Eastern cultures. (By the way, if you haven't yet, do read Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman, a mesmerizing memoir of the author's first big trip abroad that started with an aborted trip in recently opened-to-foreigners China). Bottom line: Don't worry about accidentally insulting your hosts in a foreign country with some inadvertent rudeness. In the Philippines however, this gesture is considered offensive, as this style of beckoning is used to call dogs. If you want to read similar articles to The Meaning of Hand Gestures in different Countries, we recommend you visit our Family health category. This gesture was commonly used in World War II by the Allies to symbolize victory. Some cultures take pointing fingers as insulting too. Across many cultures, this finger has no cultural or religious meaning. In fairness, it's not likely to offend many people these days, but could be taken the wrong way, so is best to use carefully and not at all if possible. And possibly spin. Although sometimes hard to avoid, doing it is very bad manners. What You Need to Know, Don't Make These Etiquette Mistakes in India, Hand Gestures in the World With More Than One Meaning. Over the early 2000's, a pointing finger came to be an affectionate gesture in the USA: sort of a, "Yeah, you, you're cool." It is now used for both meanings and is very common to be used by many people posing on a photograph as a friendly gesture, especially among Japanese people. In Vietnam, it is extremely rude to cross you fingers as a hand gesture, as it is representative of female genitalia. Cultural Mistakes to Avoid Traveling Abroad, Cultural Tips for Business Trips to the Philippines, Know Before You Go: Russian Body Language Etiquette, How to Behave When Visiting the Temples in Thailand, Don't Make These Cultural Mistakes When Doing Business in Singapore, Buddhist Temple Etiquette for Tourists: Dos and Don'ts, A Guide to Lantau Island, Hong Kong's Biggest Island, How to Stay Safe While Traveling in China, Is it Safe to Travel to Kashmir? It is executed by raising the middle finger and making a slight poking motion. In the Middle East it is better to avoid using this gesture because it means that you are telling the person you are doing it to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. You may know if for the most popular Italian hand gesture. Meaning of 👆 Backhand Index Pointing Up Emoji Backhand Index Pointing Up emoji is a picture of a right hand with the index finger pointing up. People and their cultures interpret all these ways to give a handshake in different ways. In the US, my Father (from his army days) said that the Index Finger and Little Finger meant "What you are saying is a lot of BullSh*t" The Fingers as horns and a downward hand movement. Body language and gestures that we use every day can have very opposing meanings in different countries. The crossed fingers are said to resemble female genitals. However, this gesture does not mean the same thing everywhere. In many Mediterranean countries this symbol was also used (and in some region still is) to get rid of bad omens and situations. Many western cultures make this gesture when wishing for good luck. The two index fingers together emoji, which started on TikTok, has now been turned into a meme and is taking over Twitter. … From a 'thumbs up' to looking at your watch – here's what 6 hand gestures mean in different cultures and countries. Patrice J. Williams is a travel and style content creator and fact checker and author of thrift shopping book ", Pointing Finger: Often a Rude Gesture in Any Country or Culture, OK Sign Is Okay to You, a Big Fat Zero to Some Europeans. In the USA, however, it simply means "come here", and has no other connotation. The two fingers held aloft in a V are fine provided your palm is facing out, but in some countries -- namely, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom -- it's an insult of the first order if you make the same gesture but with your palm facing inward. Nothing." It's seen as a highly offensive gesture, and should definitely be avoided. Last on our list of hand gestures in different country is putting your fingers together. Nada. In Vietnam, crossing your fingers is seen as making reference to a woman's body. with the palm facing you, in the UK, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand it is an insult meaning "f*** you". 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