Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 49° Partly Cloudy

Give Friendly Gestures A Hand

The Boston Globe

Watch what you do with your hands when visiting another country. What seems like a harmless gesture to you may be taken as a major insult. Here, mostly from Travel Holiday, are some examples:

In Nigeria and Australia, the “thumbs up” sign is akin to giving someone The Finger. In Spain, that upraised thumb can indicate an allegiance to Basque separatists.

The OK sign (making a cirle with the thumb and forefinger) is considered terribly obscene in Uruguay, Spain and Brazil. In Japan, that gesture tells a cashier you want your change in coins.

The “scratchy come-hither sign carries crude undertones in much of South America and Southeast Asia,” writes Travel Holiday. The magazine suggests beckoning a waiter this way: “Stretch out your arm, palm down, and flutter your fingers.”

And a backward display of two fingers (a peace sign or victory sign with the back of the hand facing the recipient) is considered a vulgar gesture in England.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


New health insurance plans available November 1 through Washington Healthplanfinder

 (Photo courtesy WAHBE)
Sponsored

Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.