I would dare to go out on a limb here and say that body language is the world’s most used language. In some way or another, we all use body language to express ourselves. We especially use our hands to show people what we mean. Of course, some use body language more than others. However, we all use it to some extent. Would you be surprised if I told you that there are several hand gestures that you probably shouldn’t use in some countries around the world? Well, there are plenty, and we are going to take a look at eight of them in this article.
A simple hand gesture such as a thumbs up could have disastrous consequences if you do it to someone in Australia, Greece or even in Italy. So, for example, every time you have been visiting a historic monument in Greece and done the thumbs up, you have actually said “up yours” to it. This can, of course, be seen as offensive, but the thumbs up are one of the more common hand gestures around the world and most people know to take it as a sign of approval.
[pullquote]When it comes to the rock n’ roll sign “the devil’s horns” you might want to be a little bit more careful using it.[/pullquote] Flashing this hand gesture to a friend in Brazil, Portugal or Spain may result in a broken friendship. Why? Because it can be seen as saying that someone’s wife has been unfaithful to them. Not a very clever way to rock n’ roll, don’t you think?
In an effort to make all of our traveling readers a bit more knowledgeable when it comes to hand gestures, we have found a video that will explain eight of the most popular hand gestures from around the world and what they really mean. There are, of course, many more hand gestures that don’t really mean what you think they mean, however, in this article we are concentrating on the eight most common ones.
The video below, produced by Cyplon Holidays, will tell you all about the eight most popular hand gestures and where not to use them. This might save you the headache of having to explain yourself to strangers that have taken offense of your hand gestures. I have already watched the video several times in order to memorize the countries where not to use each hand gesture, and I am hoping this will make my travels a bit more relaxed and enjoyable.
If you know of any other hand gestures that are offensive in certain countries, don’t hesitate to let us all know in the comment section below. I am sure there are many people out there that would love to know and perhaps also laugh a bit at their own mistakes during their previous travels.