March 1, 2008

Cross-Cultural Differences? (Disaster!)

Posted in I didn't know that! tagged , , , , , , , at 2:05 pm by Olórin


I used to think that the whole world nods in approval and shakes head sideways in disapproval! Vell I was wrong! Even though the majority express it this way,According to Charles Darwin, author of “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872)”  there are some exceptions!

Australian natives:

“don’t shake the head, but holding up the right hand, shake it by turning it half round and back again two or three times.”, A certain Native told Darwin that Abyssinians expressed the word “no” by tilting the head to the right and making a slight cluck, and “yes” by throwing the head back and raising the eyebrows instantly.


Nodded for yes and “winked” for no! (LOL! We would be lost if we went up there!)


Okay this is where trouble ensues! There a nod means “no” and a head-shake means “yes”. (Imagine the catastrophe! I can’t believe my parents lived there for 3 years!)


Their “yes” is shaking head from side to side and “no” is throwing the head back and make a slight cluck! (Yawch I got my hair cut yesterday by a Turkish woman! no wonder she kept repeatedly asking me, I remember nodding a lot 00;)

Other misinterpreted gestures:

We do the Thumbs-up as a sign of approval inspired by the Romans, Sadly, zat’s a myth! It happened as a result of successive mistranslations that we think it’s how the Romans showed mercy. The real gestures were hiding the thumb in a clenched fist, signaling mercy, and if they wanted the dude torn apart they would extend their thumb in a stabbing motion.

The Thumbs-up sign is known world-wide as an “OK” gesture, but in Sardinia and Greece it means “Screw you”! ( your future visits to Greece inshalla, Just nod your head ^^; )