What Not to Say Around the World

What Not to Say Around the World

Erin Bryant, Press Release Editor

When traveling abroad, communicating can be a painfully awkward game of charades. A seemingly innocent motion may have result in a stern slap to the face.

A thumbs up here may mean, “Everything is good,” in Thailand and Arabic countries beware. In Thailand, the gesture is super childish. It is equivalent to sticking your tongue out. In Arabic countries, a thumbs up suggests that one should have a colonoscopy.

“This highlights the cultural differences in the world. Other countries, like America, each have their own forms of communication,” Katie Luck, sophomore, said.

The peace sign seems like a nice sign. However, in Australia and the United Kingdom, the sign of friendship is equivalent to the middle finger.

Never tell someone in Greece to “talk to the hand,” because they may then that harm you. The gesture is a provocation to put feces on someone, which had its origins in the Byzantine Empire. During this time, people were encouraged to rub feces on the faces of prisoners.

“I would not feel comfortable touching any kind of … bodily fluids,” Mercedes Dawson, junior, said.

The “Rock On” sign means something adverse in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Colombia. This is a more offensive way to call someone an idiot. This gesture is more equivalent to saying, “You are so stupid your pictures under the dictionary definition of the word.”

In the Philippines, do not beckon. Whatever happens; do not beckon. A casual sign to come over may land someone in jail as it is a sign that death is nearing.

In many parts of the world including African, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries, giving someone something with your left is a sign of disrespect. This is because, to these people, the left hand is should only be used to wipe one’s butt and flush the toilet.

With less than thirty days left in the school year, students need to be mindful for summer travels.