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Monday, July 12, 2010


One of my classes today was about gestures around the world, & how some gestures could be perfectly acceptable in one country, but be utterly offensive in another.

At one point in the lesson, I showed photos of several gestures & asked which ones the students recognized. They said they use the "V" for victory as well as the "OK" sign here in China. They also said they'd seen the "thumbs up" sign, but had never seen the "thumbs down" version.

When they saw the "middle finger" gesture, they said they'd seen it in foreign films, but they don't use it here. I asked if there was any gesture used in China that was really offensive, like the middle finger is in the West. They said that the most offensive gesture you can make is to point at someone. (Memories of Mom: Don't point!)

Interesting. Could the Chinese be that positive that they don't need negative gestures? Not even a thumbs down? Or were the students just trying not to offend me?

1 comment:

michelle said...

I HATE it when people point at me! Maybe I'm part Chinese?