10 Gestures to avoid abroad

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Have you ever happened to be abroad and to be "looked at badly" for a gesture that is usual for you, but not usual for the place where you were? No? Well, know that you are always on time ... In order to avoid negative glances, misunderstandings or even entering into dangerous situations, scroll through our list and memorize the 10 absolute gestures to avoid abroad!

Index

  1. Fist in the forehead in Brazil
  2. Horns in the Baltics, Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain
  3. Hands angled down in Greece
  4. Fist with thumb between teeth in India and Pakistan
  5. Gesture of indifference in Belgium and Tunisia
  6. Clenched fist with thumb between index and middle fingers in Turkey, Russia, Indonesia
  7. Umbrella gesture in southern Europe and Brazil
  8. Altolà in Greece, Mexico, the Middle East, Africa
  9. Shaking your head in Greece and Bulgaria
  10. Fingers crossed in Vietnam
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Punch in the forehead in Brazil

Put the fist in the forehead, perhaps while issuing a silly voice or a grunt, in South America and particularly in Brazil means to call an idiot. The comic scene can generate appreciation from those around you, but certainly not from your interlocutor ...



2 - Horns in the Baltics, Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, Spain

In all these countries, the gesture of the horns has the same meaning that it originally had in Italy: it indicates that the spouse is unfaithful. In Italy the horns are also used in other more or less comical situations, while in the countries mentioned above the gesture is taken seriously... so beware!



3 - Hands angled down in Greece

This is a gesture that can accidentally happen during a conversation, but remember well: if you are in Greece, keep hands at an angle with the tip pointing towards the genitals you are saying that ignore the person in front of you.

4 - Fist with thumb between the teeth in India and Pakistan

This gesture often used by children in India and Pakistan can be very offensive, as it means "invite" the interlocutor and all his family to go to that ... country.

5 - Gesture of indifference in Belgium and Tunisia

What for us is the "gesture of indifference", or the sliding of the back of the hand under the chin outwards with a quick move, in Belgium and Tunisia means being lost.

6 - Clenched fist with thumb between index and middle fingers in Turkey, Russia, Indonesia

This gesture, similar to that of point 4, in the aforementioned countries means: screw you! In other countries it even symbolizes ... private parts of a lady.



7 - Umbrella gesture in Southern Europe and Brazil

The gesture we call the "umbrella gesture" is very offensive in some areas of southern Europe - including Italy - and in Brazil: the meaning is similar to "fuck you". This gesture is used a lot by football fans as an offensive sign towards opposing supporters.

8 - Altolà in Greece, Mexico, the Middle East, Africa

This gesture, called "moutza", is very offensive in the countries indicated: it symbolizes a great disappointment. It's a very ancient gesture: it even dates back to ancient Byzantium, when criminals were chained to donkeys and paraded through the streets.

9 - Shaking your head in Greece and Bulgaria

It is not true that raising and lowering the head means yes everywhere, while shaking the head from right to left means no everywhere: in Greece and Bulgaria the two gestures have the opposite meaning. Eye!

10 - Fingers crossed in Vietnam

If in many countries crossing your fingers means wishing luck, in Vietnam this is a very offensive gesture, if addressed to another person: genitals of a woman.


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