If you live in the United States, the A-Ok signal is given by connecting your index finger with your thumb as a sign for OK good thing. In the western society this hand gesture usually denotes positive feelings. This however is not a universal gesture, for it does not give the same message in other cultures around the world. The western culture encompasses only a small minority of the people of Earth and there is much to be learned.
For those touring about the world, be careful when and where you give the ok gesture because it could range
In Brazil it is the equivalent of the middle finger, an infamous example of this occurred in the 50’s when Richard Nixon visited Brazil and flashed the OK sign when descending from his plane; this simple act was effectively giving the middle finger to the waiting crowd, could you imagine a foreign leader doing this on national television.
Not all different
Now the US isn’t too foreign, some other countries also apply similar meanings to the OK as many Americans. The gesture can mean well ok in countries such as Canada, Ireland, scuba diving (the thumbs up means you want to ascend to the surface), Italy, and young people in Japan.
I hope you this column will help you to be more conscious of how you behave in other countries and cultures and be wearier of yourself when backpacking across the globe.
"How to Avoid Insulting the Audience with Your Body Language." How to Avoid Insulting the Audience with Your Body Language. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.speaklikeapro.co.uk/Insults.htm>.
"Japan Business Etiquette, Culture, & Manners." Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/japan.htm>.
Baxamusa, Batul Nafisa. "Hand Gestures in Different Cultures." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 19 May 2010. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/hand-gestures-in-different-cultures.html>.