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8 Hand Gestures You Should Never Use Abroad

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Do you love speaking with your hands? Think twice before making any hand gestures when you travel overseas. Communication is often a problem for everyone who travels abroad. Miscommunication leads to misunderstanding and it can lead to many problems. And nobody wants to spoil their vacation just because a local person misunderstood your honest gesture. These small mistakes may become severe in the foreign land.

Most people have the habit of speaking with hand gestures when the person whom you are speaking to cannot understand your language. This generally happens when we travel abroad as we don’t know the native language. So, if you’re going to travel and wish to enjoy your international holidays without getting into any trouble, read this post and save yourself. Here is the list of few hand gestures you should avoid using when travelling abroad.

Common Hand Gestures to Avoid Abroad

1. Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up - Hand Gestures

Giving thumbs up on social media or to a person is a trend today. All over the world giving a thumbs up is a positive thing. It is considered as a means of expressing your liking towards something. However, if you give thumbs up in Iran means indecent and offensive insult which means “sit on it”. This is similar to raise your middle finger up. So keep this in mind while giving a thumbs up in Iran, it may be land you in trouble.

2. The Peace Sign

The Peace Sign, Hand Gestures

In India, when you raise pointer and middle finger up, it means peace or victory. It also means being friends after a fight, this is used by children. But in England, Australia and New Zealand never use this gesture to express peace or victory. According to British, the ‘V-shape’ symbol means the ‘F-word’ in actions. Really?

3. The Shake Hand

The Shake Hand

Shaking the hands is just a way of greeting people who are strangers to us. In India, it is just an etiquette. But in Saudi Arabia, shaking hands with opposite sex means asking for physical pleasures. Like, seriously?

4. Send Flowers

8 Hand Gestures You Should Never Use Abroad

Sending the flowers to our loved ones is just a gesture of love and saying thank you in most of the countries including India but it’s otherwise in Russia. If you are sending a bouquet of flower to anyone in Russia which has an even number of flowers, then it means you are giving the funeral flowers to a person who is alive. Count the flowers twice before giving it to anyone in Russia.

5. The ‘Beautiful’ Fingers

‘Beautiful’ Fingers - Hand Gestures

Indians have the habit of appreciating by showing the first three fingers which means ‘beautiful’. But your this gesture may land you in trouble in Brazil. For Brazilians, this ‘beautiful’ fingers means you are abusing him/her. Oh God! Can’t even appreciate people?

6. Hi-Fi

Hi-Fi

In most of the countries, giving a hi-fi is just a way of saying ‘Hi’. But do not give a hi-fi to anyone in Greece, Mexico, Africa and Middle-East. People in these countries think showing the five spread fingers with the palm facing out is insulting. In Greece, it is believed that this is a sign of rubbing dirt on the person’s face.

7. Pinky Promise

Pinky Promise

Showing the little finger for WC is a common gesture but not in Japan. It may land you up behind the bars. In Japan, showing a little finger to a woman means you are calling her the mistress of a married man. So, if you want to use the WC then speak up instead of showing your pinky finger.

8. Come Here

Come Here - Hand gestures

All over the world, we show the hand gestures for calling people who are standing far but in the Philippines, it is used only to call the dogs. And yes, if you call someone by showing this gesture, it is considered as offensive gesture and you will be imprisoned for the same.

The local people may misunderstand your gestures and you will find yourself in trouble with the legal authorities. Always research about the culture and traditions of a country before visiting in order to save yourself from landing in some trouble.

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8 Hand Gestures You Should Never Use Abroad - Thomas Cook India Blog
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8 Hand Gestures You Should Never Use Abroad - Thomas Cook India Blog
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Here is the list of few hand gestures you should avoid using when travelling abroad, as they can put you in serious trouble.
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Thomas Cook India
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