Why you should not use “OK” gesture in Middle East

Like Mark Twain once said, sometimes it’s “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt”. You also have to remember this rule when you are trying to use gestures in foreign countries.


Raising eyebrows

In Europe you do it to show that you are surprised. People in Philippines use it to welcome each others. Remember to not show this gesture to your Peruvian boyfriend. It means that you want money.



My compatriots (Poles) use it when they want to say that everything is okay. It’s about making a circle with your thumb and index finger. In Japan it is a symbol of money. So it’s a good one. Different from countries like Germany, Greece and Spain. You have to imagine the symbol of which part of the body it is in these countries.

Shaking the head

It’s a very simple one. Just ask Bulgarians – “is it normal to shake with your head vertically to say yes ?”. They will respond you with vertical shaking just to say “No !”.


Driving a car in Mexico

Don’t think badly about people from this country. I don’t know why they don’t use turn signals. But as a result of that, while they are turning, they are usually just showing it with their left hand. Don’t be confused when a driving Mexican will exhibit his armpit to you. He is just turning right.


Hitting the neck with an open hand

If you know this, I know that you are from Eastern Europe. I know that you want to invite this nice Italian girl for beer. But don’t show her this gesture. What is it for inviting people to drink in Hungary or Slovakia, it’s used by Italian gangsters to show somebody that his life is going to be ended.


“OK” gesture (thumb lifted upwards)

Finally. When someone from Middle East will show this to European one and he will respond with the same, the situation will be weird. Except when they are gay.


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