12 Hand Gestures You Do NOT Want To Do When You're Traveling Abroad

by Ellie

Thinking of going to a foreign country? You may not know, but many hand gestures can mean very, very different things that what we're used to. That playful hand movement you do in the US may be extremely rude somewhere in Europe. So skim these GIFs and make sure you don't do anything you may regret on your next vacation. It'll be very hard for your parents to bust you out of jail from another country.

GIFs via: Giphy and Imgur



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OK Sign


In most English speaking countries (US, Canada, Aus) you are safe to use this very well known OK sign. However, do not try this in Brazil. The act of pressing your thumb and index finger together to form a circle and turn it upside down is one way to get into a lot of trouble!


"Rock On" Gesture


Although it's super "metal" to throw up this sign in the US, if you travel to Spain/Greece/Italy this is a little less safe. The two fingers actually depict horns and can imply that a wife is unfaithful to her husband.


Crossing One's Fingers


We generally see this gesture as wishing luck to someone, yet in Vietnam this actually symbolizes a woman's genitals. Very, very different.


Nodding of the Head


This is going to cause A LOT of problems. Nodding in the US means you're giving a yes or OK as an answer. Yet in Greece or Bulgaria it's the complete opposite! Nodding actually means negative!

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