I recently came across an article from an in-flight magazine about communicating without words. It discusses how a gesture can mean very different things in different cultures. For example, holding up one hand so that all five fingers meet means:
- ‘What do you want?’ in Italy
- ‘Beautiful’ or ‘good’ in Turkey
- ‘Just a moment!’ in Egypt
- ‘Small’ or ‘little’ in Congo.
Certain businesses have incorporated their knowledge of cultural differences into their marketing campaigns in order to help them trade. We think it makes good business sense to be aware of these differences in order to avoid making cultural faux pas.
If you know of any gestures that signify different things in different cultures, please comment with your knowledge and experiences.