Hand Gestures To Avoid In Other Countries
If you're planning an international trip this summer, be careful how you use your hands.
Gestures that are completely innocent here can get you in big trouble in other places. Here's a good list of gestures to avoid.
1. The peace sign. You probably know this, but if you give a peace sign in the U.K. and other places with the back of your hand facing OUT, it means what the "bird" means here. George Bush Sr. got in trouble for doing it in Australia back in 1992.
2. The thumbs-up. Kind of surprising, because here we use it to be friendly. In a lot of other places, they take it as a big insult . . . as in, "You can SIT on this."
3. The A-OK. In some places it's just another way to say what the "bird" might say here.
4. Curling your finger to say 'come here.' If you're in the Philippines and you beckon someone by curling your index finger toward yourself, they'll ARREST you. For them it's a gesture that's only meant for dogs.
5. The left-handed shake. Here, you might sometimes shake with our left hand if you're carrying something in your right, and it's no big deal. In other places it's REALLY rude, because that's the hand that everyone uses for their personal business.
6. Crossing your fingers. What we do here to wish for good luck is a big insult in Vietnam.
7. Baring the soles of your feet. Some cultures think it's rude to show the soles of your feet, because they're lowly and dirty.
8. The middle finger. This one actually means the same thing just about everywhere.