Hand Gestures You Should Avoid While Travelling

One of the best things about travelling is learning a bit about other cultures, but learning about other cultures comes with the risk of faux pas. Avoid these hand gestures while you travel, just to not offend your hosts. Some of them may be familiar, but others are pretty unique. Most people probably know that the peace sign can, if your fingers are the wrong way, be the equivalent of flipping someone off in the UK, but you may not know that the "come hither" beckoning gesture you're probably familiar with is pretty disrespectful in Japan and some other southeast Asian nations.

The same applies if you hold up your palm to signal someone to stop. Perfectly normal in some countries, and in some cases just a signal you want someone's attention. In Greece however, it's pretty rude. The video above explains all of these and a few more gestures — and it's worth remembering that if you're a tourist, most people will understand culture clash on some level and give you a pass — but a little education goes a long way, and ideally you won't need that pass at all. Hit play to see more.

Hand Gestures to Avoid Abroad (in 90 seconds) [Cyplon Holidays (YouTube)]


    WTF? I've lived in Australia all my life and have never known the thumbs up to mean "up yours" ... an eastern states thing maybe?

      nope, i live in NSW and I've never known it to mean that
      also the last one, has dual meanings that they aren't very clear on in the video.
      2 fingers with your palm facing towards the recipient is the peace sing... fucking go ahead nobody cares. tho if your palm is facing towards yourself you telling them "up yours, or "Go fuck yourself" .... well unless you stick your tounge between your fingers and then that's simulating cunnilingus. still probably inadvisable is most situations... but you should probably know that

      Last edited 28/10/16 5:56 pm

    Thumbs up means up your's in Australia?

    Meanwhile the V actually does mean up your's in Australia... but they down play that?

      'V' sign: Depends which way your hand is facing.
      Palm towards someone: 'Peace', etc - all very Churchillian.
      Palm towards yourself: 'Up yours' (or as they used to say in Brisbane, "Two to the Valley").

      They also don't cover giving the bird to the local motorist who carves you up in the Middle East (mainly Gulf Arab States). Doing so risks being carted off to the local police lockup, potentially followed by being thrown out of the country. They have zero sense of humour in this regard.

      Last edited 27/10/16 1:26 pm

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