Common Gestures: If verbal communication is already a complicated thing, imagine the problem that has not become a misinterpreted gesture !? In this year of the World Cup, in which Brazilians are striving to welcome visitors from different parts of the globe, it is good to know what will be used when talking.
To avoid gaffes at those moments or to keep it for the sake of information, we have separated some gestures that can be interpreted in other ways outside of here. Check out the list below and understand the differences in meanings they can present:
Everyone has seen this sign out there, although it is not a pretty thing here among Brazilians. But, if the guy doing this is an American, give him a discount! There, in the Land of Uncle Sam, this is an innocent gesture that indicates that everything is “OK”. In our case, however, this sign is interpreted in the same way when a person shows his spare middle finger. In other words, for us, this is a more offensive gesture.
Leave the plate empty.
In general, “scraping” the dish denotes contentment. But if you are with someone from China, Thailand and the Philippines, stay tuned! In these countries, when the plate is left empty, you are dissatisfied with the host’s generosity.
This is because, in these places, it is assumed that it is necessary to serve enough. Leaving a little of the food untouched, therefore, shows satiety to the extent. Cleaning the dish, on the other hand, implies that there is still space in the stomach!
The palm with fingers apart
In many places, the gesture is understood as a kind of denial or request for time, a request for something to stop or wait. Depending on the situation, it can also be seen as an indication of presence, as in response to the school call. In Greece, however, it even has its own name: moutza. The gesture is seen as a severe offence!
Its origin dates back to antiquity. Some link it to curse rituals. Others, to the conviction of criminals during the Byzantine Empire, in which the prisoners were ridiculed in a parade through the city, in which their faces were covered with ashes. As the ashes were removed first with closed hands and then with open fingers, the gesture itself became an insult over time.
Compliance with the opposite sex
While shaking anyone’s hands seems kind and harmless to us, the attitude is interpreted as a kind of harassment in some countries. In Saudi Arabia, religious laws condemn any public fulfilment and interaction between men and women with no husband-wife relationship.
The thumbs-up, in Western countries, is associated with approval (see the social network Facebook, with its famous “Like”). But there are places where the gesture is seen as a serious injury! For example, in Iran and Afghanistan, the traditional “join” is interpreted as a most obscene gesture.
Did you know that?
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