When you travel to other countries, it’s good to be aware of their different customs, currency and basic etiquette. You should also be cognizant of just how easy it is to insult others with seemingly innocent gestures. A thumbs up or a high five may not mean the same thing it does in the United States. Use this list as a guide of gestures you do NOT want to do while traveling abroad. It might seem strange to you now, but insulting your foreign friends or hosts could be as easy as biting your thumb (even if it’s a nervous habit). If you’re traveling soon, you might want to memorize some of these so you can avoid getting kicked out of restaurants.
1.) The Chin Flick (Belgium, France, Northern Italy, Tunisia): This means “get lost” (in more aggressive language). To perform this, you brush the hand under the chin in a forward flicking motion. It’s an insulting brush off people typically use in arguments.
2.) Idiota (Brazil): This basically means “Are you an idiot?” You put a fist to your forehead while having a comical overbite. It takes a little artistic flair and skill to pull off correctly, but it could result in some laughs if you’re in good company.
3.) Moutza (Greece, Africa, Pakistan): This is an aggressive, complicated gesture that means “to hell with you.” It is basically pantomiming rubbing dirt or other digusting substances in the face of your enemy.
4.) Five Fathers (Arab countries, Caribbean): This insult implies that you have a disgusting family upbringing. This is a particularly insulting gesture in Saudi Arabia. If you’re washing your hands (or are an antsy person) be careful of this gesture.
5.) Pepper Mill (Southern Italy): The pepper mill insinuates that a pesron is crazy. If you’re asking for more pepper at a restaurant, be careful!
6.) Corna (The Baltics, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Portugal, Spain): This gesture means that your wife is unfaithful, a deep insult to a man. It’s VERY close to the American sign for “love” or even “rock on.” This gesture’s meaning varies greatly from country to country, so you might want to avoid it altogether when traveling.
7.) Write-Off (Greece): This means that you are ignoring the person you are talking to. It’s a pretty simple gesture, so it’s easy to accidentally do doing conversation.
8.) Cutis (India, Pakistan): This gesture means “I don’t care for you or your whole family,” basically. You could insult your foreign host’s entire family with this little movement. You could even be thrown out on the street.
9.) Tacaño (Mexico, South America): By banging your elbow on a table at dinner, you could insinuate that your companion is stingy. If you have a habit of putting your elbows on the table while you eat, you might want to avoid doing so while traveling.
10.) Fishy Smell (Southern Italy): This insult is one we could understand, as it means the phrase “this smells fishy,” or “something’s fishy.” That means you find someone or something untrustworthy, or that you’re not going to let someone take advantage of you.
Some of the gestures we have in the United States are used in different countries, but they mean something entirely different. It’s amazing that, all over the world, people heave created languages with so many similarities. (You just might want to avoid trying out those same gestures until you know exactly what they mean.) Source: Telegraph.co.uk Educate your friends on what NOT to do in other countries by sharing this article.
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