The thumbs up gesture is seen as offensive across large parts of the Middle East and South America, too. Which countries find it most offensive? Especially if it's accompanied by a genuine smile. Meanwhile, in Turkey it is a positive sign meaning everything is well or that something is pretty. In the Middle East and Far East use the index and middle fingers together or the whole hand to point something out. Looking at your wristwatch during a conversation is considered to be rude if done during a conversation, as it may be considered a sign of boredom, especially in Middle Easter countries, where the meaning of this hand gesture signifies being in a hurry or having to go somewhere. The pointed finger is a symbol used in alchemy, and many classic paintings, as well as being used on old gravestones.It represent the person's relationship with the spiritual world - in a sense where they are [or were if they are dead] on the spiritual path.In its simplest interpretation, which we will take first:. This gesture's origin is found in India to symbolize the expulsion of demons. Body language and gestures that we use every day can have very opposing meanings in different countries. William Timmons / former Peace Corp volunteer / Niger. Don’t try to … In Vietnam, it is extremely rude to cross you fingers as a hand gesture, as it is representative of female genitalia. (That would be an insult.) This gesture has evolved to mean perfect, but in some countries it has completely different meanings: In Germany and Brazil it is a very obscene gesture, in Japan it means money and in France it usually means zero or useless. You may know if for the most popular Italian hand gesture. Although they basically use it when they are incredulous about something, when you are gestured in such a way it may also mean "What do you want?". In this case I suspect that its literally indicative on your part; "that Person", "Brian", accompanied by an index finger (or sometimes the thumb if said person is immediately to one side or behind) and that no blame is implied. Getting touchy. You think that resting your hands in your pockets seems like a chill thing to do, but in some Asian cultures, like Korea and Japan, you'd make people flip the hell out. Touchiness and physical affection are not common in Chinese culture. TikTok has become the new go-to hub for trends, challenges and dance crazes and it's also introduced a number of new phrases that … The crossed fingers are said to resemble female genitals. Also in Britain, it's obscene to stick two fingers up in a V-sign with the nails pointing outwards. Different cultures may point using a range of variations on index finger pointing. In other words, you don't order two beers in an English pub by holding up two fingers with your palm facing you unless you want to get in a bit of a brawl. It's not just West Africa, though. In Sri Lanka and other Asian countries, the index finger is used instead, but the meaning is the same. And in some countries, the number three could be signified by a gesture that looks similar to the okay sign. This gesture called a shaka sign is typical in Hawaii and in places where there's a surf and beach culture. In some cultures, crossing your fingers is a sign of good luck or best wishes. Common body language and gestures in the United States such as eye contact, the OK sign and the hand thrust, have widely different meanings in various parts of the world. 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. Easiest just to smile enthusiastically when things are indeed "OK" in these parts of the world. However, crossing your fingers can also signify a white lie, especially when trying to hide the hand this means that you are lying during a conversation. And in some places, it can mean that you're indicating that the other person is a, um, body part with happens to be round (and hidden). In the USA, however, it simply means "come here", and has no other connotation. We can make countless gestures using our fingers which, depending on the country we come from, can have a different meaning in another. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain. Ouch. While in many cultures pointing at someone is considered a bit rude, it's certainly not always considered an obscenity. Nothing." 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. Be careful how you wave at a person in West Africa. In the Philippines this gesture is liable to arrest and is used to call dogs and prostitutes. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger … This looks like an 'OK' sign, but not in Brazil. Peace Sign, V for Victory, or Fighting Words and Hideous Insult. Flipping the finger, also known as flipping the bird, is a sign of extreme contempt. For more extended information, take a look at our article on the meaning of two fingers. In the USA it can be a friendly gesture that can mean "you're cool" when doing this gesture to someone you're talking to directly and in a friendly fashion. Be friendly, be polite -- they'll know you didn't really mean to imply anything about sticking anything anywhere with some casually thoughtless and simple gesture. The corona is carried out by pointing the index and pinkie finger upwards and the two middle fingers and thumb curled towards the palm. The thumbs up gesture can also create some real problems for those who count on their fingers. Kathleen Crislip is a freelance writer who has covered backpack travel adventures for students and other young travelers. Some cultures take pointing fingers as insulting too. This gesture goes back to Ancient Roman times. Where the middle finger is seen as a rude gesture, using it to point can be extremely off-putting and should be avoided. Cross-Cultural Communication In some pagan cults this is also a symbol of the God Wicca. And in many African countries, you should also only point at an inanimate object and never at humans. This gesture called a shaka sign is typical in Hawaii and in places … Last on our list of hand gestures in different country is putting your fingers together. However, this gesture does not mean the same thing everywhere. From there, you're on your own -- just don't feel offended by the gesture. In Vietnam, crossing your fingers is seen as making reference to a woman's body. (American culture, for instance, may frown upon it as a point of manners, but it's absolutely more acceptable than, say, giving someone the finger.) In Japan, pointing is done with the fingers together and the palm facing upwards; in Germany, with the little finger only. Most cultures find pointing rude altogether, but others are more tolerant of its use. finger-pointing definition: 1. a situation in which someone is blamed for something that goes wrong: 2. a situation in which…. with the palm facing you, in the UK, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand it is an insult meaning "f*** you". A pointing index finger raised upwards is used in Islam as an affirming gesture of Tawhid though it has been also used in more political contexts, particularly by groups more extremist in ideology such as ISIS. 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?). Although sometimes hard to avoid, doing it is very bad manners. Lastly a “dead fish” corresponds to an indifferent and passive handshake. Middle Finger. A hand with the index and middle fingers crossed is even the logo for the UK’s National Lottery. It's a … Hand gestures and body gestures can have meanings in other countries and cultures that are not what you think they are -- for instance, an "OK" sign in the United States is a circle made with the thumb and forefinger; in parts of Europe, it could mean that the person to whom you're making the gesture is a big fat zero. 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? Many western cultures make this gesture when wishing for good luck. After asking around a bit, we learned that in some parts of the world, it means to sit on the thumb. indicates, "F*** you! " Flipping the Finger. In the previous section we explained that the V sign means victory or peace. It is executed by raising the middle finger and making a slight poking motion. It’s also widely used by … However, in China it can also mean number six. Even babies point their fingers at objects they want. (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). "Pointing the finger" is an idiom which usually means blaming someone for something, (also "the finger of blame"). Regardless of the hand, pinky fingers mean you are a good negotiator. It is used in several meanings, including when it is meant to underline some statement and attract attention to it, to point out some fact, or to ⚠️ Warn someone about something important. If you want to read similar articles to The Meaning of Hand Gestures in different Countries, we recommend you visit our Family health category. From a 'thumbs up' to looking at your watch – here's what 6 hand gestures mean in different cultures and countries. Traditionally, it's a way to show the number three in many Western countries, and a way to indicate the number seven in China. For example, in some countries, pointing a finger at a person is considered an insult, which is why in the U.S. we tell children “don’t point.” While in Italy pointing is used to indicate a direction. This gesture was commonly used in World War II by the Allies to symbolize victory. The two pointing fingers indicate the horns of the Devil. Be careful using it abroad, though: it's still not really polite to older generations, and it's not polite, at all, to anyone in the Middle and the Far East (use an open hand to point when you're in that neighborhood). Across many cultures, this finger has no cultural or religious meaning. In Germany and Hungary, the upright thumb is used to represent the number 1; however, it represents the number 5 in Japan. Well, what's widely accepted for us can be seen as offensive in other countries around the world, so this is yet another gesture to use with caution. Extending the index finger to point something is probably the most common hand gesture. In Spain, North America, Ecuador, Chile, Russia and Germany this same sign but bringing the thumb to the mouth means drink because it is reminiscent of the shape of a glass. Knowing this it is especially important for communicating in … In Arab countries this is also an offensive gesture and can be quite offensive. The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. Pointing the middle finger in the air is considered a rude gesture in the U.S.; pointing the index finger means the same thing in Arab countries Hand gestures and body language mean very different things across different cultures. It is believed that thumbs up was used in gladiator combats to express that the defeated gladiator should be saved in opposition to thumbs down which expressed the desire to execute the gladiator. To point your open hand & outstretched arm toward someone, (as if to say halt! ) On the other hand, in Chinese culture pointing is actually a gesture that signifies the number eight. In most countries crossing your fingers is a sign of good luck, in many countries, as it was historically a sign of protection against evil in Catholic countries. The two index fingers together emoji, which started on TikTok, has now been turned into a meme and is taking over Twitter. For this reason, this oneHOWTO article will explain what some of these hand gestures mean. It's seen as a highly offensive gesture, and should definitely be avoided. The finger is at one end of the hand, and so does not disturb the use of the index finger or the whole palm. And to some (mostly to older generations), two fingers held up with the palm facing out means V for victory -- hard to insult anyone with that sentiment, but you may find yourself rather misunderstood. So check out our list of hand gestures around the world, and take note if you'll be heading to any of these countries soon -- it's always best to err on the side of caution and try to avoid gesturing if at all possible. This is considered as the symbol of the devil in many cultures. ~ This could also mean placing a blame on someone. It helps to know what these gestures mean so as to not surprise anyone by using them in another country. Facing your palm up and curling an index finger toward yourself is commonly understood as a “beckoning” gesture. China, Japan, Indonesia, and Latin America. What is considered polite in one culture may be construed as rude in another. In many Mediterranean countries this symbol was also used (and in some region still is) to get rid of bad omens and situations. Brazil: A good luck charm to ward off the evil eye and jealousy. However, the gesture made by circling thumb and forefinger, with​ the middle, ring, and pinkie fingers extended, has a couple of other meanings than the "Okey dokey" we're most familiar with. Loser Sign - or the Number Eight in Chinese? And possibly spin. 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." Some cultures take snapping fingers to get the attention of a waiter as alright whereas some take it as disrespect and very offensive. 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. However, pointing a finger has a meaning in different countries too. But watch out! Some cultures consider pointing fingers at someone as insulting whereas in other parts of the world it is often used as a reference. This gesture has survived many years and is now used in most western countries where thumbs up means we are stating that everything is okay. 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. And the ring symbolizes intuition, communication, and quick intelligence. Showing feet is taken as offensive in some Middle Eastern cultures. In Vietnam, however, this is an obscene gesture, especially when done while looking at or addressing another person. Again, better off with the enthusiastic smile to indicate that all is well. America: The thumb between the index and middle fingers represents the nose stolen from a kid’s face in the “I’ve Got Your Nose” game. 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. While the origins of the action are unclear, it appears the symbol is an attempt to create a crude "o" and "k" (the "o" is certainly clear, though not so much the "k"). Learn more. On the other hand, in Arab countries, it means to take your time. People and their cultures interpret all these ways to give a handshake in different ways. A simple "OK" seems, well, simple, right? Raising the middle finger up facing another is a rude gesture in any other countries. This gesture first got this meaning in the UK, is also known as the "two-fingered salute" and has been widely used against authority. Italy and Spain: “Hang loose” (or the “rock on” sign) These gestures, generally positive and “cool” in … It means something like “come here.”. It can also be used in an insulting fashion in some Western countries, such as France -- as in, "You great big zero. And if you do manage to slip up and offend someone, a simple apology and explanation that you didn't know it was offensive are often all it takes to make amends. Sticking the middle finger up with the fingernail pointing outwards is also rude in Britain. Pointing fingers is a universal gesture that is negative … For fans of heavy metal it means "What's up?". Pointing with index finger may be used to indicate an item or person. What You Need to Know, Don't Make These Etiquette Mistakes in India, Hand Gestures in the World With More Than One Meaning. If you're in the habit of throwing a thumbs up at people to express your happiness, try to quash it for any trips to the regions mentioned above. 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. This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. … Turkey: An obscene gesture similar to the middle finger, and is also used to show disagreement or to deny a request. If in doubt, motion with your head to point at something. In Brazil, however, the okay symbol is the equivalent of giving someone the finger in the U.S. Over the early … Zilch. This hand gesture is considered as the symbol of the devil in many cultures. Those of Indian heritage may point using the chin, whole hand, or thumb. Finger-pointing definition is - the act of making explicit and often unfair accusations of blame. Take heed all you global … Its meaning is"relax". Pointing Finger: Often a Rude Gesture in Any Country or Culture. ~ Western cultures consider finger-pointing to be one of the most obscene hand gestures. Although we haven't personally had too much trouble with this one, we've got a friend who swears she supremely dissed a shopkeeper in West Africa with a thumbs up sign. The two pointing fingers indicate the horns of the Devil. No, the vendor's telling you what it costs... and it has to do with the number eight (two fingers up, and ten fingers minus eight fingers is two). In America, you might respond to such a question by flashing the "A-OK" sign, created by touching your forefinger to your thumb and pointing the remaining three fingers straight up. Nada. This gesture is made by bringing the fingertips of your hand all close together, with … A “finger handshake”: the person catches only the fingers of the other person’s hand. If you do this sign upside down, i.e. This symbol's original meaning was a-OK and NASA was one of the first to use it to describe that everything has gone to plan. The corona is a hand gesture that is carried out by pointing the index and pinkie finger upwards and the two middle fingers and thumb curled towards the palm. In most countries it is considered insulting to ask someone to come towards you like this. It can also be used to seal a promise, like when you vow to keep a secret. This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff. For example, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is a sing to show you want a small amount of something. Bottom line: Don't worry about accidentally insulting your hosts in a foreign country with some inadvertent rudeness. Nowadays it has several meanings around the world: In Spain and Italy this means that your partner is cheating on you. In the Philippines however, this gesture is considered offensive, as this style of beckoning is used to call dogs. In some countries like Russia, Germany or France it is also commonly used to express number one. Snapping your fingers to get the attention of a waiter is okay in some parts of the world but is disrespectful and offensive in other areas of the globe. The peace sign seems so universal to us Americans, doesn't it? In the USA it is the symbol of the University of Austin in Texas and means "Hook'em Horns"; meaning stab them horns, referring to the Texas bulls. However, there are other meanings to this hand gesture in different countries. In Brazil, it could mean... um... something really rude. In Japan, however, the okay gesture means money, which could lead to confusion if you use it to indicate everything's okay while you're in the country. In Egypt it means that you won't take long to do something. ~ Pointing fingers normally means indicating some person/object. During the sixties, this gesture was adopted as a symbol of peace by activists against the Vietnam war and other counter-cultural movements. Lifting the thumb and little finger. Previously, it had been perceived everywhere as a marginally rude gesture, though it was occasionally used to great effect in advertising (think, "Uncle Sam Wants You"). 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. Sometimes the hand is moved to emphasize the gesture. The Seashell. This gesture is bad manners all around the world. The thumb between the index- and middle finger in the fist form in Russia mean the same thing as the middle finger in America, pinky finger in china mean the exact same thing as middle finger in america, The Meaning of Hand Gestures in different Countries, Putting your thumb and index finger of one hand together, Raising the index and middle fingers of a hand into a V, Raising your index and middle finger into a V with the palm inward, Ask someone to come towards you with a finger, Raising your index finger and little finger to make horns, What Are The Five Senses And What Do They Do, What are the Symptoms of a Lack of Oxygen to the Brain, How does Caffeine Affect the Nervous System, How Long Does it Take for Prednisone to Work, What Is The Normal Range Of Lymphocyte Count, Causes of Pain in Right Side of your Stomach, How Many Calories To Eat Per Day Based On Age, How Much Prednisone to Use For Sinus Infection, How to Get Rid of Fluid Retention in the Legs. 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