Anywho, this week's cultural awareness & interpreting body language post will center around the not so universal "A-Ok" hand gesture.
Ignore Willy's mug - just focus on his raised paw.
To Americans and to our friends over in the UK, this symbolic little number represents an expression of "ok" or "you got it" [dude.. if you're Michelle Tanner.. try to follow the lines here]. However, to many of our earth-inhabiting counterparts, this American act of good faith signifies something totally different. Here's a brief rundown:
- Russia > Zero (Ok, I can see where they're coming from.)
- Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain) > Ahem, "you are nothing".
- Brazil > Vulgar Insult (My strangely perverse mind can also identify why this would be controversial.)
- South American countries > "Marica" which translates to homosexual.
- Japan > Money (You've lost me.)
If you want to get creative, apparently making this gesture around your nose means "drunk" in many European countries. Bottom line, just because you're used to making what you consider an innocently universal gesture doesn't mean that it does have just one meaning. Be careful out there, it's called diversity.