It’s all about gestures

  Recently, the Tiergarten district court in Berlin, Germany, heard a bizarre lawsuit in which a driver encountered a policeman, stuck his hand out of the car window, and made a simple gesture toward the policeman: his thumb and forefinger formed a circle. So the police sued the driver for insulting him.
  This gesture has different meanings in different countries and cultures. In Russia, a fat chef is advertised in a chef’s hat, and his thumb and index finger form a circle, indicating that the food here is rich in variety.
  The German police took the driver to court for insults. The judge searched through the documents and consulted a psychologist, and finally ruled: There are two interpretations of this gesture in Germany. How you treat it is a personal matter, and the driver was acquitted.
  If you ask the semiotics experts from the Berlin Engineering University, they will tell you that there is a “circle” gesture on a vase in ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. In the eyes of the Greeks, the gesture also had two meanings. But it’s all positive: a graphic that symbolizes love—lips kissing or praising the speaker’s precise and eloquent words. As for the insulting explanation, it came much later.
  Thumb and index finger make a circle, Americans say “OK”, French – empty, “zero”, Japanese – a lot of “money”, and in the eyes of Portuguese – an obscene insult , Tunisian – I’m going to kill you. The difference is so big.
  British Airways warns passengers going abroad: “Be careful, inappropriate gestures will embarrass you.” When you don’t understand the language, but you have to explain something to the other party immediately, you can’t help but bring out the gestures and movements, thinking that the other party will understand. But it’s actually far from that. For example, to express disagreement – shaking your head from side to side, but Bulgarians, Greeks and Turks show “agree” with similar gestures. If you are angry, put your hand forward and open your palm to tell someone to leave, which in some African countries means “get closer”.
  In Japan, it is not allowed to wear a belt in public, which will cause panic among residents, and the cruel “caesarean section” starts from here. If a hospitable Japanese invites you to dinner, you want to show that you are full and don’t put your hand to your throat, a gesture that means “dismissal” in Japan.
  In the Islamic countries of the Near East, the left hand has a bad reputation and is considered “unclean”. No one can guarantee your safety if you deliver alcohol, food or gifts with your left hand.
  In fact, some gestures have long been considered impolite or insulting. For example, a mother tells her child that it is impolite to point with her finger, but she may not know that the gesture is punishable according to the Hamurapi Code of 1750 BC. In ancient Babylonia, pointing was seen as implying killing with spears and arrows, and apparently we generally dislike this gesture.
  Semiotics experts have calculated that facial expressions, body postures, hand or finger movements can express up to about 700,000 different signals. That’s a lot more vocabulary than any one language.
  Talk about our commonly used “V” shape gesture. The Latin letter V is the first letter of the English word “victory”. The V gesture usually signifies victory. But be careful when using it, it also has a completely different meaning. During the Hundred Years War in history, both sides of the war often cut off two fingers of the right hand of the other captured person, so that he could not draw the bow and shoot arrows.
  Italian Andrea de Jorio was the first to study sign language. Jorio, an archaeologist, was the supervisor of the Naples Museum 200 years ago. He often accompanies tourists to visit museums and finds two situations: first, many of the gestures of his contemporaries are the same as those on ancient mosaics, sculptures, murals, and vases; second, the gestures of tourists from different countries are different. the difference. Through observation, in 1832 he published the world’s first book on the study of gestures.