If your travels ever take you to the United Kingdom, you may want to avoid sticking your index and middle fingers in the air with your palm facing toward you.
“It’s the equivalent of giving someone the finger,” explains Heather Dickson, assistant publisher at Lonely Planet as well as a Brit. “Don’t order two beers in this fashion in UK bars,” she adds. “Doing it palm facing out is okay [as if you were flashing someone] the peace sign.”
Speaking of okay, in Brazil it’s not okay to make the “OK” sign with your fingers as “it’s extremely vulgar and means you’re talking about fornication,” says frequent overseas traveler Philip Guarino, who advises business travelers about cultural behavior. In lieu of the okay sign, he says, you might want to give Brazilians a thumbs up. However, if you do that while while visiting Iran, it’s the same as flipping the bird.
Can’t we all just get along?
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