,

Sign Language

When first twin Jenna Bush flashed the Hook ‘Em Horns at an inaugural bash, she was just showing Texas pride. Little did she know that the horns were also the calling card of the Death Metal movement that sparked mayhem in Norway some years ago. Which got us thinking: what other parts of the globe are we irrevocably alienating with our sporty gesticulations? To find out, we asked Terri Morrison, co-author of Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries, to set us straight. -LANE STRAUSS

Article ESPN, The Magazine
Terri Morrison © Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved


espn_article_icon
ESPN, The Magazine – Front Cover
espn_hookemhorns_image1When first twin Jenna Bush flashed the Hook ‘Em Horns at an inaugural bash, she was just showing Texas pride. Little did she know that the horns were also the calling card of the Death Metal movement that sparked mayhem in Norway a few years ago. Which got us thinking: what other parts of the globe are we irrevocably alienating with our sporty gesticulations? To find out, we asked Terri Morrison, co-author of Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries, to set us straight. -LANE STRAUSS

 

espn_openhand_image2“In parts of Africa, when you put your open hand in the air, it’s not exactly a compliment. It implies that the person being waved at has five fathers.”

 

espn_handhips_image3“Standing with your hands on your hips is considered a very aggressive posture in the Far East, particularly the Philippines and Malaysia. It’s like bait for a fight.”

 

espn_handsoff_image4“In the Netherlands, nobody touches anybody. The culture is extremely formal, so it’s very hands-off down there.”

 

espn_pointingsky_image5“This is more confusing than offensive. People in other countries don’t associate pointing to the sky with giving accolades to God. In India, for example, they point with their chins.”

 

espn_thumbsup_image6“Thumbs-up is a very rude gesture in most Middle Eastern countries. It’s essentially like giving some-one the finger.”

 

espn_bottomfoot_image7“Never, ever show the bottom of your foot to an Arab. It’s considered the filthiest part of the body, so the gesture is horribly offensive. Horribly.”

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *