Certain gestures that are innocent in the overseas mean something completely different . Avoid these 6 hand signals when traveling abroad!
1. V in Australia and England
In 1992, George Bush visited Australia and, from the window of his limousine, held up his index and middle fingers in the “V” shape, a la Winston Churchill. With the palm facing outward, this V means victory in England, or peace in North America. Too bad Bush gestured with his palm facing inward, the nonverbal equivalent of “up yours.”
2. Displaying your palms in Greece
We use this gesture in North America to say “stop,” or, if you’re a child of the Jerry Springer era, “talk to the hand.” In Greece, keep your palms to yourself. Holding your palms out towards a person is a highly insulting gesture. This gesture is said to be a remnant of Byzantine times, when people could taunt shackled criminals by smearing their faces with excrement.
3. Thumbs-up in Thailand
This gesture of agreement or approval is an easy reflex when language barriers are at play. Try to avoid it in Thailand, though, where it’s a sign of condemnation. It’s typically a child’s gesture, the Thai equivalent of sticking out your tongue. People will likely be more bemused than hurt if you slip up. Still, it’s a good one to avoid.
4. Give an Even Number of Flowers in Russia
5. Uncross your fingers in Vietnam.
You may be wishing for something special, but in Vietnam crossed fingers mean something slightly more graphic. They are said to resemble a woman’s genitals, and are considered especially heinous when directed at another person specifically.
6. Give a Gift With Your Left Hand, Pretty Much Anywhere
In places such as India, Sri Lanka, Africa and the whole of the Middle East, doing anything with your left hand is seen as unclean as it is (as least symbolically) your ass-wiping hand.Of course, poop is not the only reason left-handedness is bad. According to the Qur’an, Satan himself was a southpaw, which is why he was able to successfully fool the right-handed batter that is mankind.