Hand gesture travel guide

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We all use them during our travels. Hand gestures. Especially when we have to talk a foreign language that we don’t know by heart. Be carefull though, a sign in your country can mean something completely different in the country you are visiting.

beijing_bouddhist_monk_2009_img_1486Thumbs up!

A good sign in most American en Europese cultures. A very BAD thing to do with your hand in some Islamic and Asian countries. It’s like giving the person you talk to the middle finger. ‘Up yours!’

‘Come here’

When you talk to somebody across the street, but you really want them to come closer, you would probably make the ‘come here’ sign with your indexfinger. Don’t do it in the Philippines where they only use it to call dogs. It can land you in jail even. In Singapore the sign signifies death.

‘Use your left hand to give a present’

Although giving someone a present is a pretty nice thing to do, be carfeull you present the gift with your right hand instead of your left in Asia, Africa and the middle East. In many regions the left hand is strictly reserved to wipe ones bottom. Nobody wants to touch that 😉

10347561_847298122001025_777849404040243805_n‘Rock on!’

Pointing the index and pinky finger upwards and the two middle fingers and thumb curled towards the palm, you are probably at a rock concert. But in the very quiet Buddhism and Hindustic culture this also is a good handgesture. In the mediteranian however making this sign indicates that someone’s spous is cheating.

Stop right there.’

When you open your hand, palm towards the other ones face. You probably mean stop. In Greece you are saying that you want to rub sh*t in their face. Be carefull with that one!

What gestures do you know that mean something else abroad? Help us finish the list and share your miscommunications in the comments below and help us to complete the hand gesture travel guide.

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