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It’s easy (and almost natural) to use hand gestures in foreign countries where you know little to none of its native language. But, did you know some of our regular hand gestures, even as simple as a thumbs-up, are offensive overseas? gathered an eye-opening list of hand gestures that have different meanings in different places. Check it out below!

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1. Pointing

Pointing can be taken as “attitude” in many countries — America, too, in some instances. Instead of pointing, experts recommend using an open-hand gesture to motion the same acts.

2. Fingers Pressed To Your Nose

We often squeeze our nose when things stink, but in Southern Italy, it means “I don’t trust you.”

3. Thumbs Up

Where we’re from, a thumbs up just means “ok” or “all good,” but in some parts of the Middle East, it means “I don’t really like you.”

4. Beckoning Finger

Have you ever motioned someone to come your way with your finger? Well, in places like Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and some parts of Africa, it’s almost seen as an invitation to fight: “Death to you.” 

5. Peace Sign

A quick two fingers in the air could signify far worst than peace in the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, depending on how you position it. When done with your palm facing inward, it means “anti-peace.”

6. High Five

A high five equates to “hey” and “way to go” in America, but in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean hub, it kind of means “talk to the hand.” 

See’s suggestions on how to make up for your mistakes overseas here.

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Traveler’s Tip: 6 American Hand Gestures That Are Offensive Overseas  was originally published on