The meaning of gestures around the world
In today's world, almost every business is a global business and does not have to go far to meet another culture. For example, you might travel abroad to get a new product; your company can merge with an international company based in overseas; or you can find international guests as part of a huge business deal.
Whatever the situation, you should be aware of the gestures. Gestures used as Americans are not universal. Some may create a bad impression or be offensive to others. Using the wrong gesture can get into trouble and affect your business. You should be particularly aware of these gestures:
The "great" sign – in America, the gesture is "a-okay". But it is rough in Australia, Iran and some other Muslim countries. This is "up".
The "OK" sign is often used in America, and is considered vulgar and obscene in Bulgaria, southern Italy, Germany and Greece. In Japan, this gesture means money. In southern France it is used to be something worthless.
The pointed index finger – a pointed index finger is used to emphasize one point of American culture. However, this is unusual in the Middle East, Russia and Asia. Instead of pointing your finger, point at an open palm.
The sign of victory – This gesture is a common sign in America, creating a V with the finger and middle finger of the pointer. It means victory or peace. Be careful when using it in Britain. If the palm faces itself, the gesture can be considered obscene.
Crossing Two Fingers – It is often considered that they want to have luck in Europe and the United States and are considered as an attacker in Paraguay.
Shaking the head from side to side – in the United States shaking his head sideways to the side "no". In Bulgaria, the same gesture is "yes"; Moving the head up and down "no"!
Hook Horn – This gesture is raised by lifting the index and pink fingers while leaning over the other fingers. This is a general gesture in Texas to cheer up a sports team. They want good luck in Brazil. It is considered a curse in Africa.
The beckoning gesture – This gesture is created by bending and disassembling your index finger. It is common in most countries and means "come here". However, the gesture is offensive to Mexican, Filipino and Vietnamese.
Grabbing your fingers – Some may use this gesture to get someone's attention. It sends a vulgar message in France and Belgium. He would never open his fingers to get the waiter's attention.
Hands in Pockets – This is usually seen in the United States. In Finland, Sweden, France, Belgium, Indonesia and Japan, your hand in their pockets would have been considered distrustful at a business meeting.
The meaning of gestures is not universal. Use these tips to prevent cultural faux pas. If in doubt, the best advice would be to "hold your hands on yourself".