Gestures Which You Should Avoid Using While Travelling

EaseMyTrip April 25, 2022

One of the best things about traveling is learning, meeting different people and experiencing different aspects of their cultures. While travelling, we do take proper care about the food, music, dance, or clothes but, no one talks about the small things like gestures.
What's considered a friendly gesture at one place might be obscene in another. This could create unforeseen miscommunications that could be embarrassing. So, to save you from such awkward situations, we bring to you some of the hand gestures, you should avoid while travelling to various places in the world.
Here's is a list of gestures you must avoid while travelling the world.


Avoid using this gesture in: Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece.
The gesture of ‘Thumbs-up may look cool on Facebook or USA, but in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece, it means "up yours." So, to avoid any awkwardness, next time you must reconsider what you are doing.

Finger Summoning

Avoid using this gesture in: The Philippines, Singapore, and Japan.
Want to call someone? Then, beware to do finger summoning in the Philippines. The same gesture is specifically used for calling dogs and considered very offensive. And in the land of Singapore and Japan, that same gesture indicates death.

The OK

Avoid using this gesture in: Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, and France.
We might find the A-OK gesture as a gesture for “OK” or “excellent”. But in places like Turkey, Brazil and Venezuela, the gesture is a vulgar slang that can offend anybody you are flashing it to.

Fingers Crossed

Avoid using this gesture in: Vietnam
As per the Vietnamese, crossing your index and middle fingers won't bring you good luck in Vietnam. This human gesture symbolizes a part of the female anatomy and could get really offending when flashed to somebody.


Avoid using this gesture in: Greece.
When in Greece, don’t use the ‘Stop’ sign as it is considered extremely insulting. The disgrace dates back to the Byzantine age when the criminals were made to parade on the streets and the people watching used to spread charcoal on their faces using their open arms just like you do in stop sign.

Pat on the Head

Avoid using this gesture in: Thailand
As per the culture of the Thailand, Head is considered to be very pious as in the Buddhist faith; it's where the spirit lives (Remember, How people bow their head before other in Thailand, they do that only to recognize the divine in you). Thus patting someone on the head is something one should definitely avoid when in Thailand.

Victory Sign

Avoid using this gesture in: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand
The Victory Sign made famous by Winston Churchill, may mean what you mean but in countries like United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand land you in trouble especially if your palm is facing inward. The same gesture is equivalent of giving someone a middle finger.

Left Hand

Avoid using this gesture in: The Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa.
Are you a lefty? Then a small FYI, Countries like Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, and Africa not much appreciate the use of it. In these countries, the left hand is traditionally seen as unclean, because it is connected with cleaning yourself after using the bathroom.

Devils Horn

Avoid using this gesture in: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Colombia.
Extending your index and pinky finger to form the Devil’s Horn might be a rocking gesture at a concert. But, in Spain Italy, Portugal, Brazil, and Colombia, it means that your wife is sleeping with someone else. So, hoping you would be a little careful next time before using it.

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