| Watch what you say!
A simple hand gesture could land you in a world of trouble.
Here the thumbs up sign means "good going! "
But in Bangladesh it's a taunt, and in
countries, it's the equivalent of an upraised middle finger.
sometimes hail a waiter with
index finger slightly raised and
loosely extended. In Japan
it's rude to beckon a waiter if you motion with the index finger. And
in Germany the
waiter might well respond by bringing you two more drinks.
"V" for Victory.
It can mean "victory" or
but in Britain if
palm faces inward, it's a taunt, especially if executed with an upward
jerk of the fingers. As the story goes, over 650 years ago, the French
disabled the English archers they captured in battle by cutting off
middle and index fingers. After the battles of Agincourt and Crecy,
the French were heavily defeated, the triumphant English gloated over
French prisoners by holding up their hands, first two fingers upright,
palm inward, to show both fingers fully intact.
Think you can save
yourself a load of trouble by shoving your hands in
your pockets? Think again. Keeping one's hands in one's pockets while
is impolite in Indonesia, France
It may mean
"smart," but in Holland,
tapping the centre of the forehead means "he's
sign for "he's crazy" (circling a
next to the ear) could be confused with their signal for "You
have a telephone call."
Joining the thumb and index finger in a circle is an insult
American countries. When Richard Nixon was vice president, he is
reported to have
a crowd south of the U.S. border with a double A-Okay sign. Imagine the
the A-Okay gesture as meaning "zero" or "worthless."
one hand, palm forward, means "stop!"
the moutza, or hand push, which is a common sign of confrontation.
And in West Africa
the gesture is even more insulting than the upraised middle finger.
The pinkie and index
finger raised up and the two middle fingers folded
down is beloved of fans of the University of Texas Longhorns, but in
of Africa this is
And for millions of Italians it
is the cornuto, signalling "Your spouse is being unfaithful." Yet in
raising the pinkie and thumb means "hang loose."
| DIFFERENT MEANINGS
- In Japan, you nod your head in agreement;
your host smiles and thinks you're paying attention.
- In Egypt, you shake your head in
disagreement; your host frowns and wonders why you don't understand.
- In Mexico, don't call her senora, which
can imply aging; call her senorita.
- In Zimbabwe, don't ask, "Is it far?"; out
of courtesy people will answer, "Not far." (Be specific and ask, "How
long does it take by foot?") <>
- Beware what you offer your host. Pass
up chrysanthemums in Argentina and Balkan (they denote funerals),
clocks in China (the written characters resemble those for death) and
red pens in South Korea (red ink conveys unfriendliness).
- In Saudi Arabia and other Islamic
countries, eat and drink with your right hand; the left is considered
- Your mother was right. Don't point. But
if in Singapore you must, use your thumb, not your forefinger, lest it
be taken as an insult or obscenity.
- In Malaysia, curling the index finger
is considered very rude. Scratching the air would be preferable for
calling over a waiter.
- In Russia, don't shake hands across a
threshold; it might invite bad luck.
- In Buddhist lands like Burma, don't pat
a child on the head; it's the spiritually highest part of the body.
Money In Travel - Step by step directions for becoming a
travel agent, and creating and marketing niche travel sites. This
package includes an
E-book written by a travel agent, video and audio resources and much
Travel Guides: The Frugal Shunpikers Guides
A series of E-book guides for RV travel on a budget. After 9 years of
driving the back roads of America, the author reveals hundreds of free
camping finds and other advice for budget RV travel.