August 29, 2008

Hey, What Is That Gesture For?

I have seen quite a bit of textual sites about the gesture taboos around the world. This one, so far, the best one that I liked. It's all text, but it's nice, clean and organized. Easy to read. It doesn't look like an essay. There are 23 countries mentioned here. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, United Kingdom), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Commonwealth of Independent States. I wonder why there aren't any middle east, african and asian countries listed. Not even Australia!

Did you know, that the thumb up and the OK gestures (among others) is offensive in some countries? My solution is, keep your hands in your pockets and stay out of trouble,;-) Be safe and hope it's not rude to keep your hands in your pocket. Grin.

The second link is from Wikipedia. It's great. It is written differently than the first link. They have different focuses. It also focused on sign languages. But they are both great. In my opinion anyway. The original link is actually an excerpt from Roger Axtell's book, "Do's and Taboos of Body Language Around The World". I have that book. It's nice.

Wikipedia has some images included, so I wouldn't look at that one at work. There is the famous American brand "flipper" for instance. Strangely enough, it actually originated in the Roman literature, and is not always obscene here in the US. Go figure.

Another example is the image above. It's the American Sign Language's (ASL) symbol for "I love you", but in Italy it's used to curse somebody. Wow.

Gestures Around The World


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