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Cross-cultural gestures

Cross-cultural gestures

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Cross-cultural gestures

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  1. Cross-cultural gestures

  2. Farewells • The American good-bye: hand up, palm out, wrist stiff, and a back-and-forth motion with the whole forearm and hand • The European good-bye: arm up and extended out, with the palm down and just the hand bobbing up and down at the wrist • The Italian & Greek good-bye: arm extended, palm up, curling all the fingers back and forth toward themselves

  3. Beckoning • The American way: A. raise a hand (with the index finger raised) about head high, or a little higher --in Japan: rude --in Germany: “two” B. raise a hand and with the full, open palm wave the hand back and forth to attract attention --in Europe: “no” C. curl the index finger in and out to signal “come here” --in the former Yugoslavia and Malaysia: used for calling animals --in Indonesia & Australia: used for “ladies of the night”

  4. Beckoning—cont’d • The European & Latin American way: extend the arm, hand out, palm down, and then make a scratching motion with the fingers --in Italy & Greek: may be confused with “good-bye” • The French way: catch someone’s eye and then nod the head backward slightly • The Colombian way: clap the hands lightly • The Mexican way: a. issue a noise with the lips, something like “hssssst” or “psssst” b. purse the lips and make a kissing noise (certain parts of the country)

  5. Insulting Gestures • The middle finger --the “single-digit salute”< “digitus impudicus” in Latin --the “expressway digit” in California Variations of “The Finger”: --the Arabs: extending the hand, palm down, fingers splayed outward, with the middle digit directed straight down --the Russians: bending back the middle finger of one hand with the forefinger of the other hand (“looking under the cat’s tail”)

  6. Insulting Gestures—cont’d • The forearm jerk --made with both arms: The right arm is bent at the elbow and the left hand then comes chopping down into the crook of the elbow while the fist of the right hand is jerked upward. --used mainly by men --the message is strong, sexual, and insulting

  7. Insulting Gestures—cont’d • “Animal Insults”(used frequently by young children) A. Ear Waggle the hands placed at either side of the head, thumbs pointing inward at the temples or ears, and the other fingers spread, then the hands flapping back and forth symbolizing a donkey, being stupid and lazy B. Thumbing the nose placing the thumb of one hand on the tip of the nose with the other fingers splayed outward and then making a wiggling motion depicting a hostile, erect comb of a fighting cock

  8. Insulting Gestures—country-specific ones • France: playing an imaginary flute “You are talking so long, I’m getting bored.” • Syria: picking the nose “Go to hell!” • The U.S.: imitating the action of shoveling “This person (who is speaking) is creating a lot of manure.” • The Jews: pointing to one’s palm “Grass will grow on my palm before what I’m hearing comes true.”

  9. The fist • The knuckles facing outward a combative, threatening, and aggressive gesture • The gathered fingers displayed outward a gesture of pride, power, or victory • The upraised fist, with the fingers outward a gesture synonymous with the Black Power movement --U.S. sprinter Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico --Martin Luther King during his many protest marches --Nelson Mandela of South Africa on his triumphant 1990 tour of the U. S. and Europe

  10. The touchy business of touching Touch Don’t Touch Middle Ground Middle East counties Japan France Latin American countries United States China Italy Canada Ireland Greece England India Spain & Portugal Scandinavia Some Asian countries Other northern Russia European countries Australia Estonia